Stand-up Paddling: Basics and tips for your SUP tour
Everything about preparing for your perfect stand-up paddling experience
Would you like to start stand-up paddling this summer? Then you've come to the right place. When the temperature is warm, stand-up paddling is the perfect combination of cooling off, sport and fun. Together with fitness blogger Roxi you will learn the basics and techniques of paddling. She has also brought another challenge for you, because stan-up paddling is much more than just paddling on the board. Roxi's challenge is: yoga workout on the SUP. If you are already planning your first SUP trip, we have put together technical tips and a SUP checklist for you. Are you ready to go-paddle?
Basics of stand-up paddling: learning the basic techniques
Can you already stand upright on the stand-up board? With a bit of practice, you're guaranteed to succeed - the fun factor is included, by the way! Together with the fitness blogger Roxi you optimize your SUP skills. In a video, Roxi shows you everything you need to know about SUP basics and the right SUP technique. Practicing on the water is very shaky, so better start with dry practice. Roxi shows you what equipment you need and what function the fin on the paddle board has. You will also find out which paddle board is suitable for your size. Let's start with Roxi's tips :-).
Clear your head: relax with stand-up paddling
The feeling of lightness in the soul and warmth in the stomach. The sun's rays on the skin, which make the water droplets sparkle like glitter particles. Just let your thoughts flow and take a deep breath. That's good for you! It is not necessarily true that stand-up paddling is pure sport fun. You can relax on the board and recharge your energy tank at the same time. Especially on the water and in nature we feel able to really switch off. Say goodbye to yesterday's stress with these 3 relaxation units on the board!
1. Sit cross-legged in the middle of your board. Your back is straight and your chest is slightly puffed out. Put your hands on your knees. Now close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose. Now exhale through your mouth. Can you feel your lungs filling and emptying with clean air? Repeat the breathing exercise until the tension in the head and neck area is released.
2. Lie on your back on your board and place your arms next to your body. Your feet point upwards with the toes pointing upwards. Now breathe in and out deeply again. As you do this, rotate your feet and point your toes: away from you and then back towards you. Be aware of the environment around you and listen to the little sounds of nature. Would you like to cool off? Then off to the water ;-)
3. How about yoga on the SUP? You stretch and relax your entire body with SUP yoga. The perfect opportunity to just clear your head. Your yoga feeling reaches a new level with the fresh air and the gentle sound of rippling water. Have fun with the yoga workout on the SUP.
Safety check for stand-up paddling: With this checklist you are guaranteed to be safe on board
If you are in the process of planning your first SUP tour, you can use our SUP checklist to ensure optimal safety on your board. The checklist will help you not to forget any important SUP rules. For example, do you already know the area where you paddle? A walk along the body of water will familiarize you with its size and the surrounding banks - this way you can keep track of things while paddling. You can tick off our checklist very easily. Once you have checked all the points, nothing stands in the way of your SUP tour including fun and cooling off.
Tip: It is best to print out the checklist, this is the most practical. After checking off, you can then stow the list in your backpack and look at it at any time.
Checklist for your stand-up paddling tour
Assess your swimming performance realistically. If you are not a good swimmer, you should wear a life jacket at all times. Otherwise, life jackets are mandatory if you paddle more than 300 meters from the shore.
Check the weather: Is there a storm or rain forecast?
Find out about the body of water: is it suitable for paddling at all? You are not allowed to drive in and out of nature reserves, restricted zones and ports.
Tell a friend/family that you are paddling and where/to where you are paddling. In an emergency, they can provide information about your whereabouts.
You should go on a paddle tour with at least one other person - that's the safest ;-).
Only ride as far as your condition allows. Remember, you still have a way back to go.
Wear enough sunscreen to avoid sunburn. A cap protects your head from the sun.
Wear paddle-appropriate clothing: fabrics that do not soak up water are ideal.
There is a leash on your SUP board, the board leash. Clip this to your ankle when paddling - especially when it's windy or you're paddling on the sea.
Write your name and phone number on the SUP board with a permanent marker. If your SUP board has been borrowed, you can find out about the labeling of the board at the rental point - most of the time, these boards are verifiably marked with a company logo.
For longer tours, pack a small backpack or a fanny pack:
- enough drinking water
- small first aid kit
- Mobile phone in a waterproof case
Right of way in stand-up paddling: Who is allowed to pass first on the water?
You've probably already figured it out: there are traffic rules on the water. Unlike driving a car, there are no signs that regulate traffic on the water, just very simple rules of priority that you can learn in no time at all. Take your time to read the right of way rules - don't worry, they're really easy!
Checklist: Give way when stand-up paddling
As with driving a car, the same applies on the water: right before left
Large ships, sailboats, professional fishermen and ferries have the right of way
If a police ship or rescue ship is deployed, they also have the right of way
If two paddlers come towards each other, both deviate to the right side seen from themselves
Tip: Buoys are used for orientation
Blocked areas are marked by buoys that you can use to orient yourself. In German waters you will mainly find red-white-red buoys. In the picture below you can see a red-white-red buoy snake. So you are not allowed to drive in this bathing area.
Stand-up Paddle tricks: How to get (back) on your board
You usually start in a shallower area of the water and can easily get on your board. Losing your balance sometimes during your SUP tour on the lake or the river is quite normal - especially for beginners. So if you fall into the water, there is a very simple technique for getting on your board.
This is how you get on and off the stand-up paddle board:
1. Swim toward your board. That can't be far away as the board leash connects you to your board.
2. Now climb onto your board by placing your hands in the middle of the board and pushing yourself up. Bend one knee to pull the rest of your body up. You probably know this technique from pushing up at the edge of the pool.
3. Is that too difficult for you? No problem! Then position the tail of the board under your stomach and pull yourself onto the board with your stomach and arms.
4. Now it's time for your paddle. Don't worry, the paddle will float on the water surface. Swim toward your paddle. Now you can easily grab the paddle. And we can continue :-)!
Moving on the SUP - this is how you paddle properly
You managed to get on the board safely? Then you can continue with the right movement on the stand-up board. For a stable and upright position, stand in the middle of your board, your feet are shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other. The knees are very slightly bent. Your body is forward - as is your gaze: when paddling you look towards the horizon. Now hold the paddle with both hands. With one hand you hold the shaft and with the other the handle, so you ensure a stable and controlled paddle stroke. Depending on which side you are paddling, the paddle grip changes. When paddling on the right, your right hand is on the shaft and your left hand is on the handle. For paddling on the left side, this time your left hand is on the shaft and your right hand is on top. The upper arm provides the guidance, while the lower arm "pulls". When paddling, your arms provide enough paddling momentum, but the power to paddle should come from your whole body - a full body workout! To move forward, you now paddle 2 to 4 times on each side by leaning your upper body slightly forward and performing the paddle stroke. The paddle should dive in when your hand is stretched out on the top handle. Now you pull the paddle along your body - your hand remains vertical. Balance your paddle strokes with the other side to go straight. To get a feel for it, try it out a bit here. With a little practice, it will soon work quite intuitively.
Here you can see how to hold the paddle correctly:
You need help? The emergency signal for stand-up paddling is called "tired fly"
If you do end up needing help while paddling, you need to make those around you aware. There is a special emergency signal for water sports: the tired fly.
For the tired fly, stand in the middle of your board. Your arms are close to your body. Now stretch your arms out to the side. Now start circling your arms sideways up to your head. When your arms have reached your ear or your head, let your arms circle back to the sides at shoulder height. Repeat these circular motions slowly and cleanly until someone catches your eye. Roxi shows you how to do it right :-). If you carry a whistle in your backpack, you can also use it to whistle for help.
Now you are well prepared for your next SUP tour. Perhaps stand-up paddling will become your new leisure and relaxation sport on summer days. And if you realize that this is not for you, then you can try other water sports. Cooling off and fun are guaranteed with all water sports. Have fun!