Standup paddleboards are a great way to stay in shape, feed your adrenaline junkie needs, and explore the great outdoors. It’s no wonder so many people are asking about our boards and trying to SUP for the very first time!
However, you can’t just hop on your board and start tearing it up from day one. In this blog, the SUP gear specialists at Hydrus will provide some words of wisdom for the adventurers looking become SUP experts. As expert SUPers and adventurers, we know a thing or two about making rookie mistakes and finding our way in the SUP world—read on for the best beginner SUP tips!
Get in shape.
You don’t have to be a physical freak to learn how to work a SUP—but it does take a certain degree of core strength, balance, and flexibility to handle any SUP situation thrown your way. If you’re planning for an overnight SUP trip that’s a few months away, or just want to have an easier time hopping on the board for the very first time, get yourself in shape with some full-body, abdominal, and balance-related exercises.
Yoga is a great way to prepare yourself for full-on SUPing, as it often works the abs, arms, and legs while helping you improve your balance. With that said, there’s no better way to learn how SUP than to spend some quality time on the water.
Choose the right board.
You’d be out of your mind to go down a Class-5 rapid on a tube—it’s just not the right boat for the job. The same philosophy goes for paddling. If you’re taking a trip down a technical rapid on a SUP, you’ll probably want to choose a SUP that can take a beating (or if you’re more advanced, a lighter board that turns on a dime). The same goes for lake paddling—beginners might want to choose a wider board that provides them with a bit more balanced so they have an easier time standing.
Whatever the case, it’s important to choose a board that feels right for your body, and can properly handle the type of water you’re cruising through. Talk to one of our reps about choosing a great Hydrus board and other SUP supplies—we’re happy to help!
Care for your board.
Hydrus SUPs are virtually indestructible—but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be taken care of. Whether you’re renting a paddleboard or have invested in one yourself, it’s important to practice proper inflation, cleaning, and storage techniques, and understand the hazards that might put your board at risk.
There are plenty of resources on the web about how to clean and care for your board. Do a little research, and keep your board in great shape for years to come!
Know your limits.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your 100th time on the board—knowing your limits is the difference between safety and danger, and the difference between a great day and a rough day. One of the most common predicaments beginners put themselves in is thinking they can hang with more experienced SUPers, or letting those with more skills peer pressure them into going on more advanced river runs. This only leads to trouble.
If you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of SUPing, it’s important—required, even—to let your group know if you’re uncomfortable, and to bow out if you know you’re not quite ready for the adventure ahead. Your group members will understand—and if they don’t, they’re not good adventure buddies to have in the first place.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Stand-up paddleboarding is a lot like stand-up comedy—when you’re just starting out, you’ll have no idea what you’re doing and you’re going to embarrass yourself. It’s all just part of the process! Learning how to paddle involves a lot of slips and falls, failed eddy parking attempts, strainer collisions, and struggles while trying to get back on your board in deep water. Take it all in stride, learn from it, and reap the benefits in the long run.
Think about it: every single master paddler started out falling, flailing, and failing—and look at them now! They’re tearing up rivers and lakes, moving their boards around the water like puppeteers, crushing rapids, practicing yoga poses, and parallel parking in eddies with ease.
It takes a long period of stinking at something to become slightly better at something, and that process repeats itself until you’re a master of the craft. This goes for just about anything you’re trying to learn and master. Enjoy your tiny improvements over time, laugh at your mistakes and mishaps, and watch yourself transform into a killer paddler!
At Hydrus, having fun is why we do what we do. We’re just as passionate about making high-quality standup paddleboards as we are about getting outside and exploring the backcountry—that’s why we spend all of our limited free time testing out our boards and seeing some of the most beautiful lakes, rivers, and mountains the world has to offer.
If you’re going to be a tried-and-true paddler, you might as well have fun doing it. Enjoy the scenery, enjoy the company of your adventure buddies, and choose the fastest and most durable paddle boards and SUP gear from Hydrus today!