Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the most enjoyable water sports you can do in the Riviera Maya. But as a beginner, your enjoyment will often depend on how much control you have over your SUP board.
However, once you have the basics for proper for stand up paddle technique, it allows you to get out of your head, focus on paddling and relax into the experience.
Here are a few technique tips for more enjoyment of your SUP session:
- Stand centered on your board.
Feet planted wide on the board, either side of the carry handle. Knees slightly bent, hips slightly flexed. This gives you better balance. Very important: keep your back always straight, this in order to prevent injuries to your spine!
- Make sure your paddle has the inside of the curve facing back.
Seems obvious, but many beginners hold the paddle in the opposite direction, making it difficult to move forward in the wind or current that’s common here on the Caribbean sea.
- Deep, looong strokes.
Many beginners try to use quick, shallow strokes when paddling for the first time. This expends a lot of energy quickly while making you go nowhere fast.
Instead, slow down, insert your paddle into the water all the way up to the top of the flat part, and, keeping your arms perfectly straight in front of you, lower your arms, pushing the top handle of the paddle forward with your upper hand, using your lower hand in the middle of the paddle as a pivot point so that the paddle pushes you forward in the water.
- Paddle against the wind and current when heading out.
This makes it easier to return to your entry/exit point after you’ve finished SUPing, you’re tired, and you’re ready to flop on the shore and have a drink.
Tension in your body makes it harder to balance on a stand-up paddleboard. Release the tension. Breathe. Let your knees and hips absorb the action of the waves. Move with the water, not against it.
Now you can relax, look around, watch for turtles, wave at boats, and chat with your friends without falling off your SUP board. Have fun!