Can you teach yourself to paddleboard?

One of the questions we often get is if you can teach yourself to paddle board or if they need to take a class. The good news is you can easily teach yourself to paddle board, no paddle-boarding lessons are needed at all.

I normally would say no, a paddle boarding lesson is not something you should take. This is due to the cost involved when it is otherwise so simple to learn. That being said their are some times when taking paddle boarding lessons is recommended. If you have a group of friends who are all wanting to try paddle boarding then stand-up paddle boarding lessons can be a fun group activity as you all get to laugh and encourage each other. Going this route you may even have the option to try different boards and have an instructor know where the calm waters are that help most beginners. An instructor will also be able to help anyone who is falling behind the learning curve and do so in a fun way.

The other time that I would recommend lessons is if you have gotten the hang of paddle boarding and can paddle straight, do forward stroke, reverse stroke, and sweep stroke but want some personal advice on how to improve, especially with rapid turns or if you are becoming interested in stand up paddle boarding racing.

The fun of learning stand-up paddleboarding without lessons.

Learning paddle boarding on your own is an easy and rewarding way to go, to start out I recommend that you launch your paddle backwards so the tail and fin are away from you. You can then either walk out a bit with the board and get on at that point. Or get on the board at the nose and work your way slightly forward so the tail lifts a bit and then paddle out on your knees.

Once you are knee-deep water or so you can then turn around and start paddle boarding on your knees. Once you get the feel for how the board moves and rocks on the water it is time to see if you feel comfortable enough to try and stand.

If so slowly stand with your knees bent with your feet forward and shoulder width apart. For now, concentrate on remaining on your feet and keeping your balance. You can then reach forward and start doing a basic stroke. Keep your mass centered over the carry handle of the board as you first learn.

Do not be discouraged when you fall, it happens to everyone and at this time it is not important to maintain good posture.

Do what you can to stay on the board, have fun, and paddle with basic strokes. If you need to stay in a kneeling position for a while that is ok, don't give up on paddle boarding you will get the hang of it.

For a more detailed article on how to start to stand up paddle boarding please check out this article. You will also find other articles on our website. no matter what paddle board you are paddle boarding with we at Glide hope you have an amazing time with lots of laughter. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out. And share your first-time paddle-boarding stories with us at #glidesup on Instagram.