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Paddle boarding is a watersport that has massively grown in popularity over the years. Most people believe that paddle boarding is easier than surfing, but there is actually a lot of skill involved in paddle boarding.
The sport requires a lot of balance and strength so that you can move the board, but it is also extremely fun and allows you to see the view from a different perspective.
One of the skills involved in paddle boarding is how to get on the board. It can be tricky getting on the board in the first place, but it can also be incredibly hard getting back on if you fall off, especially as a beginner.
We have a guide that will help you get safely back on your board so that you can continue paddle boarding.
Find our guide below on how to get on a paddle board so that you can get back to exploring the coast!
Table of Contents
What Is Paddle Boarding?
Paddle boarding is a sport where you stand or kneel on a board and push yourself with a paddle. You can sometimes use your hands to move the board, but a paddle is most commonly used.
Paddle boarding combines skills from surfing and kayaking to help move the board so that you can explore places from a different perspective. Paddle boarding usually takes place in deeper waters, so it is important that you are able to get back on the board properly.
How To Get On The Board
When beginning paddle boarding, it is best to begin in waist deep water so that you can easily get on the board. If you are a beginner, it is also advised that you start in calm waters.
Firstly, stand next to your board. Place the paddle across the deck with the paddle in the water and the grip by the edge of the board. You can use the paddle for support when getting onto the board.
When getting on the board, use one hand to hold on the grip of the paddle so it doesn’t fall in the water. Next, jump onto the board and land in a kneeling position in the center of the board.
You will need to find the balance point of the board so that the nose of the board remains in the water at all times. If the nose begins to rise when you are paddle boarding, you haven’t found the balance point and will need to locate it.
You can also transition into a standing position if you wish. If you are uncomfortable trying this in the water first, practice on land so that you can become aware of the space you have on the board.
Once you are standing, your toes should be pointing forward and your feet should be shoulder-width apart so that you can equally distribute your weight across the board.
Slightly bend your knees to improve your balance and aim to balance from your hips, not your upper body.
Falling off your board in deeper water can be daunting as there is a lot to be aware of in the ocean. If you fall off your board in deeper water, it can be difficult to get back on the board for beginners.
If you fall off the board in deep water, use the carry handle to pull you back onto the board from the side. If you are trying to get back onto the board from the back, you can pull yourself up and slide your chest down the board.
Once you are back on the board, stay lying down and paddling until you reach calmer waters. Keep the paddle across the board in front of you.
If you are ready to stand up, use the paddle for stability. Keep the paddle in front of you and bring your knees up so that you are in a squatting position with your feet flat on the board.
Slowly bring yourself to stand up straight and begin paddling straight away once you are stood up so that the paddle can help you keep your balance.
How To Stay Safe
There are a few things to be aware of when paddle boarding so that you can keep safe. These will help you safely fall off the board and get back on.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
If you are paddle boarding in the ocean, it is important to be aware of your surroundings so that you can keep safe. You will need to be far enough away from the coast so that you don’t fall on rocks but close enough to get help if you need.
When you feel yourself falling, push the board away from you so you do not fall on the board and injure yourself. The hard exterior of the board may cause you to hurt yourself.
Choose The Board Over The Paddle
If you get caught in a current and find the board or the paddle slipping away from you, always try and stay with the board over the paddle. The paddle is a lot easier to replace and you can rest on the board until you find calmer waters.
To conclude, it can be extremely difficult to get back onto your board once you have fallen off it, especially as a beginner.
You need to have a good level of strength to help you back on the board as you will need to be able to pull up your own weight. It can be difficult to get onto the board in the ocean, but you will have the board carrier and your paddle to help you.
Once you are on the board, it is important to find your balance point so that you can remain on the board. This will help you keep your balance and feel more secure on the board. The more that you are able to practice balancing on the board and getting back on, the easier it will become for you.
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I’m an Colorado native, who learned to surf in the Pacific Northwest, and SW Canada. I live inland near the mountains now, and love to get out on my SUP. It’s weird, but I love windy, choppy days as no-one is out and I like the challenge.