In this section we’re going to cover the basic paddling techniques
The key start to paddling is making sure you fully extend your arms in front of you.
Next drive the paddle into the water and pull back. Make sure the whole head of the paddle is buried before pulling back.
A common mistake people do is not keeping their paddle close to the board during their stroke. You want it as close as possible because if you paddle too wide you lose traction which is the ability to maintain a straight course. A lot of new paddlers zig zag because of this.
You’ll do 3-5 strokes on one side then switch hands and do 3-5 strokes on the other side.
Make sure you trade hands each time you switch sides. Don’t cross your arms with your paddle. This makes it extremely inefficient and hard to do.
Braking on a paddle board is very simple. All you have to do is place the paddle behind you towards the tail and bury the entire head into the water.
Again make sure the whole head is buried. If you only have part of the paddle in the water, it won’t be very effective.
There are two main ways to turn on a paddle board. Each one is used for different purposes.
This technique is done while you are moving and gives you a wider turning radius.
When you want to turn, place the paddle head in the water in front of you. Now make a big, wide stroke. Think the bigger, the wider, the better. If you do small strokes, it will take you much longer to turn.
To turn to the left place the paddle to the right and vice versa. Think of it like place your hand on a wall and pushing off from it. You’ll always turn in the opposite direction of your push.
This technique is done while you are stopped. This technique slowly spins the board on an axis and gives you a more narrow turn in small spaces. Don’t try to do this one while you are moving because you have a good chance of falling off.
In order to do the U-Turn, place the paddle behind you near the tail exactly like you would if you were braking. Once the paddle has fully stopped, pull the paddle forward towards the nose. You may need to do this a couple of times until you have the desired amount of turn.
That’s it! That’s how you paddle on a paddle board.