#TrailheadTips: You’ve got a SUP! Now what?

You’ve treated yourself to a Stand Up Paddle Board, now what do you do? We talked to our staff here at Trailhead Paddle-Shack and asked what tips they have for the first time out on a Stand Up Paddle Board. With their feedback we’ve got some quick tips to get you comfortable on the water and out enjoying your Paddle-board.

Before getting out on the water on your Stand Up Paddle Board there are some essentials you will need:

Some other must haves to keep in mind:

First time out do a visual check of your board make sure the fin is fashioned properly and you have all your safety equipment (PFD , Marine Essentials Kit , Board Leash). Once fitted with your PFD and leash you’re ready to hit the water, but always remember to dress for the water temperature not the air temperature. Once ready to get on your board position yourself in knee deep water. The first steps on your board can be the trickiest. Getting up: position your knees on either side of the carry handle and paddle out into deeper water, then lay your paddle across the board and one leg at a time lift yourself up. Once on your board place yourself in the centre of the board, your feet should take the same position as your knees on either side of the carry handle. See image below.



Getting Comfortable with the board under you, getting the most out of your paddle strokes and building your confidence on the water is the next step with your Stand Up Paddle Board. Let’s start with the basics that every Paddler should know:

  • Standing your feet should parallel and hip-width apart on the board, slightly bend your knees keeping your back straight to increase stability.
  • Moving around on your board: Use the Paddle to balance – place the blade on the board and use it to keep yourself balanced when moving around.
  • The Blade of your paddle should be angled away from you and towards the front of the board. This design makes water drain off the blade faster and give you consistent power.
  • Paddle Strokes reach your paddle forward and push the blade completely underwater then move the paddle back until it is lined up with your ankle then lift the paddle out of the water. Turn your torso through the stroke and you will have to alternate sides to keep a straight line. The more vertical you hold the paddle the straighter the line.

Falling off will happen – so it is best to know how to do it properly to prevent injury.

  • Fall away it is better to fall away from your board as opposed to onto the board. Falling onto the board is harder on you and the board.
  • Fall flat try to fall flat into the water this will make your fall shallower so your don’t hit the ground underneath.

Getting back On use the handle when you are getting yourself back on, start by grabbing the handle  with one hand and then reach across the board with the other hand. (Your PFD helps make this process smoother) Use your elbows to help pull yourself up and bring your legs close to the surface, in one swift motion swing one leg onto the board   . Once you’ve got both legs on the board move to have the carry handle between your legs and slowly raise yourself back up.


See you out there!