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How to balance on a paddle board

Today we have an important topic to cover: Balance in paddleboarding. This topic is vital for those new to the sport and struggling with balance. However, the principles we’ll cover remain relevant even to professional paddleboarders. Balance can be a tricky beast to master, but we’ll guide you on how to navigate this challenge.

So let’s jump right in!

Our first tip: Selecting the Right Board. You might notice that Michael, despite being athletic and possessing good balance, is struggling on his board. The reason is simple – his board is too narrow. Regardless of his strength or agility, the laws of physics always come into play. What Michael, and others having trouble balancing, needs is a wider board. A common suggestion for someone Michael’s size is a board at least 34 inches wide. As Michael demonstrated, a wider board significantly improves stability.

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Remember, when it comes to standing up on your paddleboard, it’s not about the volume or weight capacity. These factors are rather irrelevant in this context. The width of your board is crucial. For the average paddler unhappy with their balance, a 34-inch wide board should do the trick. If you’re taller or heavier, like Michael, board width becomes even more important. Therefore, if you’re finding it difficult to balance, check your board’s width; it might just be too narrow. Choose the right inflatable paddle board.

The second tip involves Proper Foot Position. Standing correctly significantly impacts your balance. Avoid standing with your toes outward, or what’s commonly known as the ‘duck stance’. Instead, visualize standing on railway tracks with your heels and toes aligned along the board’s longitudinal centerline. When I stand this way, I’m able to achieve maximum stability. Remember to get your feet in the right place before attempting to stand up.

Our third tip is about Proper Head Position. A common mistake beginners make is focusing on the nose of the board. You wouldn’t stare at your bike’s handlebars or your car’s steering wheel while driving, would you? Similarly, don’t focus on the nose of the board. Keep your head up and your gaze forward, which automatically lowers your center of gravity, improving stability.

The fourth tip, the Third Point of Contact, involves using your paddle. It’s perfectly fine to place your paddle on the board and use it as an extra point of contact. Once your feet are in the right position, use the paddle to help yourself up. This added contact point can provide additional stability when you’re just getting started. As soon as you’re standing, get your paddle into the water and start paddling – it’s a great stabilizer. Avoid ‘hula dancing’, or wobbling, by keeping your paddle in the water and your head up. This keeps your legs relaxed and enhances balance.

Hopefully, these tips will make your paddleboarding experience more stable and enjoyable.

In conclusion, we hope you’ve found these paddleboarding balance tips useful. For more insightful information on paddleboarding, check out knowledge base section for paddle boarding tips and tutorials. If you have any questions about paddleboarding, don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy paddling!

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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.