Improving Stability on Your Stand-Up Paddleboard
You know how great of a workout you can get on your stand-up paddleboard. You know how fun your stand-up paddleboard can be on the water. You know you just bought the best stand-up paddleboard from Hydrus. But one thing you don’t know—how to stand up!
Yes, even keeping your balance on your standup paddleboard can be a workout. However, if you’re raring to go but get tripped up with staying on your board, you need to improve your stability. If you’re struggling with balance and stability on your SUP board, this post addresses what you can do to enhance your stability so you can get out and go on your stand-up paddleboard.
Factors That Impact Stability on Your SUP Board
Of course, you could improve your physical balance and stability, but those aren’t the only factors that affect the stability of your board. You can control many of the factors that enhance the stability of your board, which means you have a lot of things you can do now to gain better stability while you work out to improve your core stability so you can confidently stay on your stand-up paddleboard.
Stand-up paddleboards come in many shapes, widths, and materials, all of which affect the stability of your board. Follow these tips to get the most stability on your solid as well as your inflatable SUP board:
- Select the right width for your body and experience. Typically, wider boards offer more stability, and beginners definitely want to stick with wider versus narrower boards. If you’re a beginner or have trouble with stability on a stand-up paddleboard, then aim to purchase a SUP board that is at least 32 inches wide. As you get more experience and stability, you can go narrower, but if you plan to do activities on your board, such as fishing, you can get an even wider width.
- Choose the right length for you and your environment. Shorter boards handle the waves better, but you won’t even get a chance to maneuver through the water if you can’t stay on your SUP board. If you’re a beginner, select a longer length for added stability. Just know that shorter boards improve your maneuverability in waves. So keep that in mind while shopping for boards. If you plan to stick with calm water touring and want to let a friend ride your board while you paddle, go with an even longer board.
- Consider the buoyancy before you buy. You have to be honest with yourself about your weight—not your desired weight or the one listed on your driver’s license from a couple of decades ago. Your weight affects the buoyancy of your board, and boards have specifications that list their weight capacity. Do yourself a favor and stick to those guidelines. Typically, the higher the weight capacity, the more stable the board will be, especially for beginners. Hydrus not only lists the weight capacity of its stand-up paddleboards but also often recommends whether you can add cargo, people, or animals safely to your board.
- Check out the board’s shape. If you’re a beginner or struggling to remain stable on a paddleboard, go with a rounder, wider nose and tail. Boards of this shape tend to offer more stability than their narrow-nosed counterparts.
- Understand the board’s construction. While every manufacturer may have a unique method for construction, generally, finding the best stand-up paddleboard means avoiding cheaper versions. Each layer adds cost to a paddleboard, but in reality, because layers add stability to your board, layers don’t add cost. They add value. So finding boards that are well constructed with solid materials is key. Inflatable SUPs from Hydrus include the same quality, multi-layer construction as its solid stand-up paddleboards. So you can’t go wrong with construction or materials from a Hydrus SUP board.
If you have experience on a paddleboard, stability probably isn’t an issue for you unless you’re sizing down to a board for specific goals, such as surfing. So if you’re sizing down, keep in mind that stability may reemerge as an issue just because you’re changing to a different size and shape of the board, not to mention you might be using it in a different way. The tips listed above can help not only beginners but seasoned SUP enthusiasts who are changing the way they roll on the water.
Improving Your Physical Stability to Balance Better on Your SUP Board
Once you get the hang of standing up on your board, you can still make improvements. If you want to do anything more than tour on your board, you will want to improve your physical stability to improve your performance on the water. Once you’ve selected the best stand-up paddleboard for your size and level of experience, you can get to work and make changes that can improve your physical stability and balance while on your board.
Of course, you can incorporate core stability exercises into your workout regimen as well as do Pilates or yoga to build better stability. If you want to make stand-up paddleboarding a regular occurrence, you definitely should work on your core stability both on your paddleboard and off the water. However, while you’re building that core strength and stability, you can use these tips right away to improve your stability on the water, especially if you’re just starting out on a SUP board:
- Practice on land. Divers don’t hit the high dive in week one and perform the perfect pike. They do it small and practice on land in a foam pit first. The same goes for you, but the sand on shore will do. Trace your board in the sand so you have the right size and width. Then practice going from your knees to your feet while on the shore. You can practice getting up to your feet in a small space before you do it on the water with additional forces working against your balance. If you have knee or mobility issues, try using your paddle to brace yourself when standing up. When you think you have your form down, get out on the water and give it a go.
- Then paddle some more. Once you get the hang of getting up into a standing position, begin paddling, and then keep on doing it. Think about when you learned to ride a bike. When you were slowly pedaling, you had a more difficult time staying balanced. The same is true on your stand-up paddleboard. Momentum helps you maintain stability. If you begin paddling immediately and maintain your momentum, you have a greater chance of maintaining stability.
- Stand properly. While you’re on a SUP board, keep your knees bent, stand squarely on your board, and stand in the middle. This may sound obvious, but once you’re on the water, especially going into the standing position after being on your knees, it’s easy to get off a bit. Even the tiniest angle in the wrong direction can affect your stability.
Many things from your physical capabilities to the size and shape of your board can affect your stability. The good news is that you can change all these factors to ensure you get out on the water safely and enjoy your stand-up paddleboard everywhere you go.