8 Things Everyone Thinks During Their First Time On A Stand Up Paddleboard

"How do people stand up on these things?!"

While surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding are all high impact action sports, stand up paddleboarding is a much more serene and chilled out member of the boardsports family. While it is possible to get gnarly on a SUP board, for the most part they’re used more regularly for exploring coastlines and sailing across glassy ocean bays.

Stand up paddle -boarding looks oh-so-simple from the shore and is a relaxing way to workout and explore beautiful islands, but be warned, it’s not as simple to master as you might think and your initial session may feel a little frantic. If you want to give  it a go, here are nine things that are sure to go through your mind!…..

1) “This Board Is Heavier Than It Looks!”

Don’t be fooled! SUP boards are wider and longer than surfboards and most people end up dragging it along behind them (apparently, this is not the correct technique).

Placing the board on the top of your head appears to be the most efficient method. If you can’t manage this the first time, remember you’re not alone!  On the plus side, the epic arm workout you’re about to endure from carrying it on your side will mean you’re stronger for your next session.

2) “I’m never going to be able to stand up…”

Smiling woman paddle boarding on the mountains lake

Everyone thinks this to begin with!

You’ll first lie belly-down and paddle with your arms (surfing style) to build momentum and cruise away from the breaking waves on the shore. From here, rise to your knees and begin using your paddle.

Once you’ve picked up speed, place your hands flat on the board and hop up onto both feet simultaneously. This is more of a balanced movement than rising up to one foot at a time. The first few goes, you’ll probably fall off, but trust us, you’ll get there in the end.

3) “It all looks so easy from the shore”

Two figures standing on a paddleboard.

Once upright,  it will feel like a battle to stay sure-footed.

Each tiny movement you make feels like it’s creating epic ripples below. But stick at it, you’re up now and that’s the hardest part. Keep your eyes focused on a forward point – in other words, don’t keep looking down – and don’t try anything too fancy just yet!

4) “My arms are on FIRE”

A lone woman paddles her stand up paddle board through the waves as the sun rises.

As with surfing, SUP will give your arms a great workout. If you’re paddling with the right technique, it’s also a brilliant session for your core and even your butt too, so give it everything you’ve got! Remember, the harder you work your arms, the more of the coastline you’ll see along the way.

5) “I’m working up quite a speed! This is a breeze…”

Ha! Don’t be fooled.

If you’re paddling with the current or with a slight wind behind you, you’ll pick up a pace and cover an impressive distance. But if you’re paddling back the way you came make sure you store enough energy for a harder journey: fighting a current or wind can be a challenge, especially with tired arms.

6) “How do people do yoga like this?!”

A woman practicing yoga on a stand up paddle board.

This one still stumps us.

Trembling mountain pose or wobbly downward dog is about as far as our imaginations can stretch. How people pull a crow pose, manage a headstand or even an entire yoga sequence without an unexpected dip or two is seriously impressive.

7) “I think I’ve got this!!”

You might be surprised to find that one session is enough to pick up the basic technique of SUP. Keep your concentration though, a mid-paddle conversation or unnoticed wave might be enough to throw you of course, you’re not a pro just yet!

8) I’m converted. Where do I sign up?

A paddle board rest on the sand at sunset. Cádiz, Spain.

We’re not surprised if you’re ready to SUP your way around your favourite coastline by the end of your first session!

SUP boards are widely available to buy online and can be purchased for fun/fitness or racing/touring purposes. The British Stand Up Paddle Association  is chock full of further information.

Our advice? Grab a wetsuit and get yourself down to the Jurassic or Pembrokeshire Coastlines and get in some practice while you appreciate the breathtaking views.

You May Also Like

Kayaking in London | 5 of the Best Kayak Adventures in and Around London

Surfing in Lebanon | We Look Behind The Scenes At Beirut’s Embryonic Surf Culture

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.