Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Standup PaddleboardThe fast-growing sport of stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a fun, easy way to go play on the water. With a minimum of equipment, you can paddle anything from the Brigantine Ocean Surf to the Back Bays of Brigantine and best of all—no waves required. Look at the pictures of paddleboarders having a great time at the Brigantine Cove..

Paddleboarding offers an amazing full body workout and is becoming a favorite cross-training activity for skiers, snowboarders and other athletes. And since you’re standing at your full height, you’ll enjoy excellent views of everything from sea creatures to what’s on the horizon. It’s almost like walking on water! So grab those boards and head to Brigantine Pristine Waters….

Paddle Boarding Gear

You need just a few key pieces of equipment to enjoy this sport:

  • Stand up paddleboard: This is by far your most significant gear investment. Sizes are based on the paddler’s weight and experience. More experienced and lighter paddlers can choose narrower boards. Novice paddlers should choose wider, flatter boards, which offer more stability.
  • Paddle: Stand up paddles have an angle or “elbow” in the shaft for maximum efficiency. Choose a paddle that’s roughly 6” to 8” taller than you are (though some manufacturers recommend an 8” to 10” differential).
  • PFD (Personal Flotation Device): The U.S. Coast Guard classifies stand up paddleboards as vessels, so always wear a PFD whenever you’re paddling navigable water.
  • Proper clothing: For cold conditions where hypothermia is a concern, wear a wetsuit or dry suit. In milder conditions, wear shorts and a T-shirt or bathing suit—something that moves with you and can get wet.
  • Sun protection: Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.

Techniques: Getting Started

Carrying Your Board to the Water

If your stand up paddleboard has been designed with a built-in handle, carrying it is a breeze. Just lean the board on its rail (edge), reach for the handle and tuck the board under one arm. Carry your paddle with the other hand.

For longer distances, or if your board has no handle, you can more easily carry your paddleboard on your head. Here’s how:

  • Stand the board on its tail (end) with the deck (top of the board) facing you.
  • Lay your paddle on the ground within easy reach.
  • Grasp the rails (the edges of the board) with both hands.
  • Walk yourself under the board so that your head is about midway between the nose (front) and the tail.
  • Stand upright with the board overhead, still holding it by its rails.
  • Now bend down and pick up your paddle and carry it alongside the board.
  • Head for the water.

Paddleboarding on Calm Water

When you’re learning the sport, it’s best to start out in ideal conditions: flat, calm water that’s free of obstacles like boats and buoys.

Mounting the Paddle Board

When you’re a beginner, it’s easier to kneel on the board rather than to stand directly upright. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Standing alongside the board, place your paddle across the deck of the board and use it as an outrigger. The paddle grip is on the rail (edge) of the board; the blade rests on the water.
  • Hold the board by the rails. One hand will also be holding the paddle grip.
  • Pop yourself onto the board into a kneeling position, just behind the center point of the board.
  • From that kneeling position, get a feel for the balance point of the board. The nose shouldn’t pop up out of the water and the tail shouldn’t dig in.
  • Keep your hands on either side of the board to stabilize it.
    Once you’re ready, stand up on the board one foot at a time. Place your feet where your knees were. You might also bring a friend to wade out about knee-deep with your board. Have your friend stabilize the board as you get the hang of standing on it.

Techniques: On the Water

Paddleboarding Stance

A few tips to help you keep your balance as you stand upright on the paddleboard:

  • Your feet should be parallel, about hip-width distance apart, centered between the rails (board edges). Don’t stand on the rails.
  • Keep toes pointed forward, knees bent and your back straight.
  • Balance with your hips—not your head.
  • Keep your head and shoulders steady and upright, and shift your weight by moving your hips.
  • Your gaze should be level at the horizon. Avoid the temptation to stare at your feet.
  • It’s much like bicycling: When your forward momentum increases, your stability increases as well
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