Frequent Stand Up Paddle Boarding Mistakes

Key Highlights

  1. The Backward Paddle Conundrum: Holding your paddle correctly is fundamental. The blade should angle away from you for efficient movement.
  2. Direct Sunlight Damage: Protect your SUP from the sun’s harmful rays to prevent delamination and color fading.
  3. Paddle Angle Precision: Ensure your paddle stroke is perpendicular to maximize efficiency and showcase proper technique.
  4. Pre-visit SUP Spot Research: Familiarize yourself with your destination to avoid hazards and understand conditions.
  5. Correct Inflation: An under-inflated iSUP compromises performance and safety. Aim for at least 12 PSI.
  6. The Essential SUP Leash: Always use a leash to keep your paddleboard within reach if you fall.
  7. Secure Board Transport: Properly strap your board to your vehicle to avoid damage and ensure safety during transport.
  8. Board Positioning: Stand in the correct position, using the carry handle as a guide, for optimal balance and control.
  9. Keep Your Gaze Horizon-bound: Maintaining your focus on a distant point helps with balance.
  10. Proper Paddle Grip: Grip the paddle’s end with your top hand for better stroke control and comfort.
  11. Mindful SUP Surfing: Choose less crowded surfing spots and respect surfing etiquette.
  12. Weather Watch: Check the forecast before heading out to avoid being caught in bad weather.
  13. Hydration and Snacks: Paddleboarding is demanding. Stay hydrated and energized with suitable refreshments.

Paddleboarding offers a unique blend of challenge and relaxation, adaptable to your preferences. Whether you're aiming for high performance or seeking tranquility on the water, avoiding common mistakes is crucial to enjoy the sport fully and not to be sidelined as a novice.

    Common Paddleboarding Pitfalls

    Even the most seasoned paddlers can slip up, making errors that range from minor faux pas to major blunders. Below, we highlight 13 common mistakes in the world of SUP, paddleboarding, and paddle board activities that could lead to more than just embarrassment.

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    1. The Backward Paddle Conundrum

    A rookie mistake is holding your paddle backward. Remember, the paddle’s blade should angle away from you, ensuring efficiency and speed. A simple tip for Glide paddle users: keep the logo facing forward, much like ensuring the screen of a smartphone faces you.

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    2. Direct Sunlight: A Paddle Board’s Nemesis

    The sun's rays, while life-giving, can wreak havoc on your SUP, causing delamination and damage. Always store your paddleboard, whether hard or inflatable, away from direct sunlight to prevent damage and color fading.


    3. Paddle Angle Precision

    A good paddle stroke separates beginners from the experts. Expert paddleboarders know the importance of a perpendicular paddle stroke. Angling your paddle incorrectly not only slows you down but also showcases a lack of technique.

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    4. Pre-visit SUP Spot Research

    Venturing into unknown waters without prior research is a recipe for disaster. Familiarize yourself with the conditions, potential hazards, and access points to avoid any unwelcome surprises.

    What is the forecasted wind condition? Will the tide be in or out during your stay? Do Piranhas frequent this ecosystem? Just be smart and do your SUP research before you head out.

    Also, if you have a hard paddle board, it’s important to figure out if you can park near your paddle destination. No one wants to schlep a SUP board a mile from their car to a water access point.


    5. Correct Inflation Is Key

    An under-inflated board is a sunken board. Ensure your iSUP is inflated to at least 12 PSI for optimal performance and safety. Also, remember, non-inflatable boards do not need air!


    6. The Essential SUP Leash

    "Pet a pup, leash a SUP." This catchphrase should remind you of the importance of using a leash, ensuring your paddleboard remains within reach if you fall off.



    7. Secure Board Transport

    Transporting your board incorrectly can lead to damage and danger. Use proper straps and ensure your board is securely attached to your vehicle.

    Here is an informational “how-to” video that explains the process.


    8. Board Positioning

    Standing too far forward or back can hinder your balance and board control. Use the carry handle as a marker for the ideal standing position.


    9. Keep Your Gaze Horizon-bound

    Looking down while paddleboarding is a common mistake that can lead to falls. Focus on a fixed point in the distance to maintain balance.

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    10. Proper Paddle Grip

    Ensure your top hand grips the paddle’s end for effective stroke control and comfort, switching hands according to your paddling side.

    11. Mindful SUP Surfing

    Respect surfing etiquette by avoiding crowded lineups. Choose less crowded spots to enjoy the waves without tension.


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    12. Weather Watch

    Always check the weather forecast before heading out to avoid being caught in undesirable conditions. If meteorologists issue a blizzard warning you should consider rescheduling your SUP outing.


    13. Hydration and Snacks

    Paddleboarding is an intense workout. Stay hydrated and energized with water and snacks suited to your taste.

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    Conclusion: Becoming a SUP Pro

    Embarking on your SUP journey with awareness of these common mistakes positions you for success and enjoyment on the water. It's time to take your new knowledge beyond your room and onto the water, showcasing your enhanced paddleboarding skills.

    There's a lot of important information to know before you become a SUP champion, but we help you breakdown that process more here.

    There's no point in waiting and practicing these things in your room, take it outside and prove to yourself that you can paddle better than anyone else with your new knowledge.


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