One question that we’re regularly asked is how to improve your paddleboard stroke technique. Once you’ve mastered the basis of paddleboarding, the next thing that you can do is practice your paddleboard strokes to improve them and allow you to go faster, waste less energy and be more specific with your directions.
Having a good stand up paddle stroke technique is crucial to seeing results and improving your skill. Those who have mastered the skill of SUP’ing can’t stress enough that SUP paddle stroke is one of the most important, if not the most important, skills to master when paddling. If you’re struggling with your paddle stroke technique, then read our tips below to hopefully help you out and get you moving in the right direction (just a lot quicker this time!).
1. Have The Right Paddle For You
Ensuring you have the right paddle for your height, size and weight are so important when paddleboarding, and will play a huge part in improving your advanced sup paddle technique. Find a paddle that is the proper length in proportion to your height as well as the correct blade size for you. If you have a paddle that is too long or too short, or too big or too small, it can hinder your performance and make it harder to master your stand up paddle stroke technique.
2. Ensure You Have Proper Posture
Ensuring that your back is straight and your posture correct can not only prevent injury but will also keep you stable whilst out on your board. After all, the last thing you want whilst you’re trying to practice your SUP paddle stroke is to keep falling off! While it might not seem obvious, where you stand will also have an impact on the effectiveness of your paddle stroke. You can have a great stroke, but if you’re too far forward or back you’ll find yourself slower in the water, less stable and find it harder to manoeuvre.
3. Loosen Your Grip
This may sound against everything which you thought to be true, but actually making sure that you aren’t holding onto the shaft of your paddle too tightly and loosening your grip, will allow you to get a better reach when practising your advanced SUP paddle technique and will save you a lot of time and energy whilst paddling.
4. Get As Much Reach As You Can
If you only remember one tip from this post then make it this one! Getting as much reach as possible while paddling will make a huge difference to your paddleboard stroke. To get a good reach, use your body – not just your arms but really focus on your core and legs as well, dig deep into the water to help you get even further, quicker.
5. Watch Where Your Blade Leaves The Water
Your blade should exit the water around where your feet are or just behind them. While you’ll normally want to keep your eyes focused on the horizon, use your feet as an indicator of when to lift your paddle from the water while you’re perfecting your paddleboard strokes. If you lift before your feet, you won’t be making use of the full momentum of your paddle stroke. If you lift too late you’ll be wasting energy as you lift the paddle.
We hope these tips will help you next time you’re practising your paddleboard stroke technique. Let us know if you have any further ones in the comments!