Or at least a skilled amateur. It all comes down to a few basic principles that will have you exploring the waters in no time. Once you master the basics, you can move up to the balance-challenge activities like aqua yoga, SUP racing and kayaking. Stay tuned for your go-to guide on how to paddle board like a pro this summer and beyond.
Real SUP Skill Starts with the Basics
If you scroll through Instagram or read the many paddle board blogs floating around the internet, it’s easy to become enamored with fancy SUP moves. But before you run, you must learn to walk. (Or stand, in this case.) Once you’ve found a paddle board you love, the natural next step is learning how to use it.
Invest in an at-home Balance Board and hit the gym for some ab work before braving the open water. Pilates, yoga, squats and lunges are great ways to hone your balance and abdominal strength at the same time.
Tip: be sure remove your board’s fins first!
Lie belly-down on your SUP and slowly bend one knee at a time to reach a crouching position. With your hands and feet firmly planted on the board, propel yourself into a standing position.
Once you stand up, it’s important to pay attention to your stance. Make sure your feet fall in the center of the board, hip-width apart. Slightly bend your knees to avoid cramps and to better maneuver your SUP.
To find the right length paddle, stand the paddle upright so the blade touches the ground. Extend your arm above your head until you can grab the handle. The ideal paddle length allows you to comfortably grip the top of the paddle without straining your wrist.
Kick Your New Skills Up a Notch with SUP Surfing
Turn your paddle board into a surfboard to put your balance and paddle skills to the test. Before you brave the waves, we recommend experimenting behind boat wakes and in choppy water.
Stand up paddle surfing combines the toughest aspects of paddle boarding with the thrill of traditional surfing. We don’t want to deceive you, SUP surfing is hard. It takes hours and hours of practice, and then you’ll still need more practice.
If paddle surfing is your goal, start with the right board. A board built for touring will do nothing but stifle your success. The BLACKFIN Model X has the perfect elements for a perfect day of surfing. We’re talking the perfect length, just the right amount of buoyancy and prime maneuverability.
If it’s your first time surfing, it’s important to head out in an area free of people and potential hazards. Walk out into the water until you’re waist-deep then hop onto your iRocker. Balance on your knees and use your paddle to paddle out through the whitewash.
Now to the good part — catching your first wave.
Paddle surfing is actually easier than using a traditional surfboard, but not so much in the beginning. When you scout out a wave, be sure to give yourself enough time to turn your board toward shore.
Once you paddle toward the sand and feel the momentum of the wave, use your paddle to guide yourself into the tightest part of the wave.
Paddle Yoga is for Beginners and Experts Alike
Namaste your way to a peaceful day on the water with a laid-back aqua-yoga session. SUP Yoga is one of the top fitness trends all across America. It perfectly combines the relaxed atmosphere of your local waterway with the core-strengthening instability of the water.
Before you propel into a headstand into the open water, it’s important to master the fundamentals of this modern yoga practice.
The first step to your SUP yoga success is to purchase a paddle board optimal for yogees. The perfect board strikes the right balance between width and length — that’s where the iRocker Cruiser comes in. Sitting at 10’6” long by 33” wide, this board can support your Chaturanga, Kapotasana and every pose in between.
It’s important to treat SUP yoga differently than your traditional vinyasa practice. When you move through your poses, take it slowly and focus on complete breaths.
Finding your center on the water will be achieved at a very different pace than in your studio, so it’s important to be patient with your body.
If you’re just getting started with aqua-yoga, there’s one pose guaranteed to get you off on the right foot. The simplest form of yoga is the forward fold.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart in the center of the board with the paddle resting in between. While maintaining a slight bend in your knees, drop your chest toward your thighs. Let your head hang toward your toes and grab onto each elbow with the opposite hand. Aaaaah.
If You Want to Paddle Board like a Pro, You Must Start with the Right Gear
The board and paddle you use for your SUP practice are just as important as the knowledge you gather. Whether you’re just starting out or on the journey to SUP mastery, the iRocker shop is sure to check every box. Check out our selection of best-selling boards, must-have accessories and lifestyle gear.
Head over to iRocker’s Facebook and Instagram pages for some inspiration to kick off your #SummerofSUP. Tag us in your pictures for a chance to be featured on our page with your new iRocker gear or send us your success stories using the fields below.