Curious about catching some waves on your SUP? Here's four tips to get you started
Stand-up paddling is a great way to get amongst the surf but when learning make sure to practice away from other surfers and swimmers. To help you catch your first waves here’ s a list of some things we wish we knew when we first started.
To catch a wave, you need to paddle towards the shore ideally as fast as possible. We recommend sitting just beyond where the waves are breaking, parallel to the beach (so not facing it). As you see the wave coming, you use only your dominant side to paddle, which will help you build speed and turn you in an arc towards the shore. Because you’re not switching sides to paddle, it avoids the risk of missing the wave or falling off as you change paddle sides. For those just starting out, it might take practice turning the board quickly and timing the paddle strokes right.
Stand up and paddle
Foot placement is important for maintaining your stability on the board. When paddling through flat water, we recommend standing with both feet roughly parallel to each other, facing the front of the board. For riding waves, you’ll need to adopt the surfer stance and place one foot forward and the other behind. You can jump straight into the surfing stance from the parallel position; however, beginners might feel more comfortable catching the wave with their feet parallel, and then stepping or jumping into the surfer’s stance.
Keep your paddle in the water and under strain
Keep paddling as the wave comes under the board. The paddle acts as a handrail to keep you stable as you are picked up by the wave and gives you an added sense of control. Keeping the paddle in the water under tension literally gives you something to hold onto - and this works both for when paddling to catch waves (with the wave coming underneath the board from the tail) – and also when paddling out through waves (with the wave coming underneath the board from the front or nose).
A top tip once you are (mostly) catching waves
Once you have nailed jumping into the surfers stance, if you're going for a wave but not quite sure you are going to get it, try jumping into the surfer stance a little further forward on your board. This will tilt the board, tipping it down the front of the wave, making it a little easier to catch.
We’re sure that with these tips and some fun practising, you’ll be carving up waves in no time. When it comes to all things water sports, we’ve got you covered. Check out our shop for great deals on stand-up paddle gear and more.