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Fanatic’s video guide to inflatable stand up paddle board basics

We’ve recently started selling Fanatic inflatable SUPs, but Fanatic has been around for quite some years. Founded in 1981, Fanatic has been at the forefront of windsurfing for many years, and now also a leader in hard and inflatable stand up paddle boards.

Fanatic SUP Academy – Fundamentals

The Fanatic video above is about SUP fundamentals, using one of their inflatable paddle boards.

Today, SUP boards vary in many different sizes, shapes and constructions.

Picking the right board is essential, and depends mainly on conditions, discipline and the level of the rider. 

As a starting board, we chose the Fanatic Pure inflatable 10’4″ all round board, due to it’s easy handling and great range of use.

Here is how to set up your inflatable SUP board. When you connect the hose, make sure that the pin of the valve is in the upper position. Follow the instructions regarding the recommended air pressure precisely. With the Fanatic pump, inflating your board is made easy. For the final strokes, turn the switch of your pump to reduce the resistance. Insert the fin and tighten the screw, no screw driver needed.

Set up the paddle, and you are good to go.

In order to be safe, choosing the right spot is essential. Avoid entry and exit areas covered by stones or reef. Tiny ponds or puddles are incredibly safe, but not much fun. Wide sandy beaches with stable weather conditions with light or no wind are ideal for your first SUP experiences. 

Although stand up paddling is easy, a few tricks will help you to jump start your paddling career.

Set the paddle to the correct length by placing your hand firmly on top of the handle while having no or only a slight bend in your elbow. Determine your most comfortable and effective hand position on the paddle by holding the paddle above your head while keeping a 90 degree angle in your elbows. You hold the paddle correctly if the blade is bent forward. 

Place your feet in the center of the board, right and left of the grab handle, shoulder width apart.

Your paddle stroke will provide propulsion and helps you also to maintain balance on your board.

Every stroke can be divided into 3 major parts: reach, power phase and recover.

  • Part 1, Reach. Bend your hips, lean forward, extend your arms and place your paddle as far forward into the water as possible.
  • Part 2, Power Phase. Submerge your blade and move it along side the rail of your board. Do so by keeping your arms straight and using your core muscles.
  • Part 3, Recover. Once the blade levels with the position of your feet, exit the paddle from the water and swing it back forward to reach again. The correct paddling position is indicated by the triangle of power. 

Obviously, you want to alternate between paddling on the right and left side of your board. This is how you change your paddle. 

To focus on balance while practicing the correct stroke technique might be challenging, we recommend developing the correct stroke technique while paddling on your knees. Once you have gotten your stroke technique dialled in, standing up and maintaining your balance is easy. 

Enjoy stand up paddling, your Fanatic SUP team.

We would also like to add to this video, the safe use of a leash and/or a PFD. We are strong supporters of using a leash, especially the right leash for your situation, and the use of PFDs. Some places require PFDs by law, so check what local rules are before paddling out.

For more about using the right leash, visit our article here. Then go to this article for more info about using PFDs on SUPs.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.