Get Your Feet Wet: Learn How to Stand up Paddle Board (SUP)
Get Your Feet Wet: Learn How to Stand up Paddle Board (SUP)
Step 1 - Prep for Paddling
Feeling pumped and ready to make waves? First, make sure you have all the essentials to get started in your Maddle backpack:
- Inflatable paddle board
- Repair kit
As well as any beach accessories to make the best of your day:
- Life jacket
- Insulated water bottle
- Phone dry bag
- Small cooler with your favorite snacks
We also recommend that you bring a paddle board seat, an electric pump and a pump battery, and make sure to charge your phone and pump battery the day before your trip.
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Step 2 - Choosing the Right Day
Paddle boarding is easy to learn, but choosing the right day is important for your first adventure. The best setting would look like this:
Not too much wind, so that the water is calm and free of waves that could drag you too far away.
A lake not too busy with boats. Boats tend to create big waves that you’ll learn to appreciate, but let’s focus on keeping you up on the board for now.
Sunny and hot, so that you’ll appreciate the cold water in case you fall (you will, and it’s totally normal).
Bring a friend! It will be less intimidating and more fun to have someone to laugh with and help you along the way. And don’t forget to take photos.
Step 3 - Inflating Your Paddle Board
Start by laying your inflatable stand up paddle board onto a flat and clean surface.
Close the valve of the board by putting it in the upright position. If you leave the button of the valve pressed down when you remove your pump hose the air will come out and you will have to pump again.
Choose the way to pump up your paddle board.
You can use your manual Paddle board pump, which is included with your board. It takes approximately 125 to 175 pumps to fully inflate to 15 PSI, so about 10 minutes and a lot of elbow grease.
You can also buy an electric paddle board pump, which will inflate your board in about 10 minutes with a push of a button, automatically stopping at the desired programmed PSI.
Once your board is inflated between 15 and 20 PSI, make sure you close the valve cap to prevent water or dirt making their way into it.
*Make sure you inflate your board to at least 15PSI. Anything under that pressure will affect your experience. You will feel the paddle board becoming stiff at 1 PSI, so make sure you rely on the gauge on your pump.
Step 4 - Pick, Pack & Paddle
* If you want to keep it light and simple, there's a secret pocket in your leash where you can put your keys
Pick what you want to bring with you on your trip. A drybag is ideal to keep any non-waterproof items safe. You can secure it with bungee ropes by strapping them onto your board.
- Pack a soon to be well-deserved lunch in your small cooler and clip it onto your d-rings.
You’re now ready to bring your SUP close to water and install your paddle board fins. Don’t worry if you find it difficult to slide them in, they’re supposed to be tight. Once they’re completely in, insert the clip to lock them in place
Attach your leash to the handle at the back of your Maddle and the ankle strap to the middle handle. It’s gonna be easier to put it on yourself later.
Adjust your paddle board paddle. The best way to size your paddle is to extend your arm in the air and put your hand at a 90-degree angle. The ideal paddle length is the equivalent of the distance between your hand and the ground.
Step 5 - Getting Wet
Carry your board straight into the water. When you’re about knee-deep, set the board onto the surface and start by sitting with your knees on the board.
No rush here. Enjoy the sun and practice paddling on your knees until you feel comfortable enough to move to the next step.
Step 6 - Taking a Stand
Start by taking a table position by putting both of your hands in front of you. Then place your feet on each side of the middle handle, one foot at a time. Trust yourself and squat your way up, and that’s it! You might not start doing paddle yoga right away, but it’s a good start!
Step 7 - Tips for your First Adventure
To find your balance, you need to paddle. Think of it like riding a bicycle: it’s easier to keep your balance once you start moving.
Stand on the board with your feet shoulder width apart and parallel. Point your toes forward, bend your knees and look straight to the horizon.
Holding your paddle
The correct way to hold your paddle is one hand at the top handle and one hand holding the shaft. You won’t be able to control it well if you put your two hands on the shaft.
The blade should be angled away from you, towards the nose of the board.
Dip the blade fully into the water and take a long stroke, using your back and core muscles as well as your arms.
Falling is part of the fun. But make sure you practice in deep water so that you don’t fall onto hidden rocks or hit the bottom.
When you fall, try to control where you’ll land, and aim for the water.
You’re required to have a personal flotation device to use an inflatable stand up paddle board in Quebec and the rest of Canada.
Step 8 - Clean, Roll & Store
Keep it shiny and new
By now, you’ll probably be in love with your new paddle board and excited for your next adventure. Just make sure to clean it before heading home, using soft soap, clear water and a clean cloth to remove any trace of dirt. You can also use a cleaning kit with UV protection to prevent discoloration.
Begin by removing the paddle board fins
Make sure your board is completely dry. If you don’t have time to wait, make sure to dry it later at home.
Open the valve cap and then press the center pin to deflate your board. To speed up the process, you can use an electric paddle board pump or a manual pump placed in deflating mode.
Once your board is completely deflated, start from the nose of the board and roll it.
When you’re done, shove it in your backpack with the rest of your paddle board accessories and off you go!
When you get home, store your board in a dry and tempered environment.
If you plan to store it for a long period of time, carefully inspect it to make sure it’s completely dry and dirt free so that it stays in great shape, waiting for its next trip.
Starting a new sport can be challenging, but at Maddle, we believe that anyone can enjoy paddleboarding. That’s why we’re here to help you and answer any question that you might have so that you have the best experience possible. We’re happy to have you on board!