Top 5 Paddle Boarding Beginner Tips

So, you think you’re all set. You’ve got your board, you’ve got your paddle, and you’ve got a whole lot of motivation to hit those waves. What’s missing? Well, some stand up paddle boarding (SUP) tips!

Even as a beginner, it can be tempting to just jump in straight away. Before you do, ensure that you read our top 5 tips from our qualified instructors, as well as reading our other article on SUP safety (link).

Our stand up paddle boarding instructors in Pembrokeshire can transform you from a nervous beginner to someone comfortable on the waves! So, without further ado, let’s see what simple things you can do to make the most out of your SUP session!

practice sand

Tip 1 - Practice on the Sand!

Surely you don’t want to get soaking wet just yet? Sometimes, the easiest way to learn the best and safest technique is to practice on the sand. Check your balance, check your stance, and then when your paddle board hits the water you’ll be more comfortable than you would have been.

Better yet, if you are waiting on someone to finish getting ready, it’s the perfect opportunity to get some dry practice in!

sup west wales

Tip 2 - Face the right way

If you are a beginner, it may not be obvious which way the paddle board goes. For a nice smooth ride, you want to make sure that the nose is facing the front. For an easy way to tell which way is which, your paddle board will have ‘fins’ on it, ensuring that they are at the back.

Having your ‘fins’ on the back of your paddle board ensures that you have much better stability and helps to keep the board straight as you paddle. This is called tracking, which helps you to grip the waves

You’ll know that you’re facing the right way when you can keep your board straight while you paddle, rather than having a twitchy and stuttering ride!


Tip 3 - Give yourself space & keep your head up

Look around and keep your head up! This isn’t just so you can see the beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast, or wherever you may be, but it helps with your balance! Looking up, and relaxing helps to keep your legs flexible, ensuring that your ride is nice and smooth.

Give yourself some credit, if you’re this far then you’re already standing up! Keep your posture with a nice straight back and slightly bent legs.

Just as importantly, give yourself some space. There’s no need to be paddle boarding side by side with someone. Why would you want to be sharing the waves? Plus, there’s a greater chance that they could bump into you. So, unless you’re taking a lovely group picture together… then spread out! There’s plenty of space.

SUP West Wales

Tip 4 - Fall away from the board

Are you still dry? You need to practice falling in! No matter your skill, falling off is inevitable. So, let’s make sure that you’re falling correctly.

So, get into your stance, and practice a few times falling away from your board. Falling away from the board ensures that you don’t get hit by your board, potentially causing injury. This is so important when riding waves and currents as the board may move independently. As alluded to in our safety tips, ensure that your board has a leash so when you do fall, you can be determined to get up and keep going.


Tip 5 - Practice, practice, practice!

There truly is no better tip than to practice, but practice safely! The more you get out there on those waves, the more comfortable you will find your sessions to be. You will fall less, be able to adventure a bit more and have an even better experience.

At the West Coast Paddle Company, we want you to enjoy your stand up paddle boarding experience as much as possible. By booking a session with our qualified instructors, not only can you become a better paddle boarder, but we can show you some of the hidden gems of the Pembrokeshire coast.

Book a SUP Lesson With Us

So, take in our safety advice and beginner tips, then enjoy everything that the wonderful hobby of stand up paddle boarding has to offer. We have different sessions and classes for all different types of paddle boarders, no matter your experience. We can’t wait to hit the waves with you!