10 common paddleboard mistakes and how to avoid them

Paddleboarding is fun and enjoyable, but like any sport, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes and take steps to avoid them.

Here are 10 common paddle board mistakes and tips to avoid them:

Standing incorrectly: Many beginners tend to stand with their feet too close together, which can make the board unstable. Instead, place your feet shoulder-width apart, parallel to the spar (midline) of the board for better stability.

Poor paddle grip: Poor paddle grip can affect your technique and efficiency. Hold the paddle with one hand on the top handle and the other hand on the shaft, keeping your elbows slightly bent. This allows for better control and power in your shots.

Looking Down Instead of Forward: It’s natural to want to look down at your feet or the water below you, but focusing your gaze down can upset your balance. Look to the horizon to maintain stability and navigate the water better.

Paddling with your arms only: Relying solely on your arms to paddle can quickly tire you out. Instead, engage your core and use your chest to generate power in your punches. Think of it as a full body workout, with your arms acting as extensions of your core.

Standing too far back on the board: Standing too far back on the board can cause the nose to lift, making it harder to control. Stand in the center of the board, with your weight evenly distributed, to maintain balance and maneuverability.

Ignoring weather and water conditions: Not checking weather and water conditions before setting out can be dangerous. Strong winds, currents or waves can make paddleboarding difficult or dangerous. Always check forecasts and conditions, and adjust your plans accordingly.

Overestimating your abilities: It’s important to know your skill level and not face tougher conditions than you can handle. Start with calm, flat water before moving on to more advanced conditions. Always be realistic about your abilities to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Not wearing a foot leash: A foot leash is a crucial safety accessory that attaches you to your board. Neglecting to wear a leash can cause the board to drift if you fall, making it difficult to reach and potentially leading to dangerous situations. Always wear a leash to stay connected to your board.

Not using proper sun protection: Paddle boarding often involves spending long periods of time in the sun. Not applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, or using protective clothing can lead to sunburn and long-term damage to your skin. Protect yourself from harmful UV rays, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Forget hydration and snacks: paddleboarding can be physically demanding, especially in hot weather. Remember to bring water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout your session. Dehydration and low energy levels can affect your performance and overall experience.

Remember to always prioritize safety when paddling by wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), being aware of weather conditions, and being aware of your surroundings.

By being aware of these common paddleboarding mistakes and taking steps to avoid them, you can improve your paddleboarding skills, stay safe on the water, and have a great time exploring this fantastic sport. Remember to always put safety first and have fun!

Enjoy the summer and the sun that smiles on the happiness of being here,

Nicole from Sun Vibes SUP