HOW TO SURF AND SUP ON A board
ONLY proper TECHNIQUES!
During our course “Learning to SUP”, in accordance with the methodology of the Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI), we will teach you how to stand up paddle properly. Familiarize yourself with the sample questions that you will find answers to during our course in the SUP Baza “Orłowo by the beach”:
- where to start paddling on a SUP board?
- what paddling technique is correct?
- what is the correct handle and height of the oar?
- how to move the weight when we catch a wave?
- how should balance be maintained?
- what should be the position and posture of the body?
- how to stand against the wind
- which board will be suitable for us?
- what is leash and what is fin and what to remember?
- what to pay special attention to while paddling?
Our course is aimed at both beginners and intermediates. We have the right knowledge and experience and we want to share it with you! Remember – always check the weather conditions before getting on a SUP board, do not be guided by bravado but use common sense! Especially at sea, measure your strength for your intentions! See our routes along which our SUP classes and courses take place!
At the beginning, during the "how to SUP" course, based on the ASI methodology, we will teach you the 10 most important things :
1. How to choose the right SUP board ?
The SUP board should always be selected individually. Satisfaction with the board will be the greater the more you take into account the current skills of the buyer as well as his expectations regarding paddling on the SUP board – what is it supposed to be used for, whether for surfing, racing or “all round” trips on lakes. In short, the first inflatable board for a beginner should be characterized by high buoyancy, significantly affecting stability when “walking on water”. If you use proven solutions, paddling or surfing on a SUP board will be much easier. At our SUP BASE you will also learn how to store, assemble and service a SUP board. More information about the board and equipment can be found below, on our website or at our base, on site in Orłowo.
2. How to complete the full equipment ?
Before you get on the SUP board, make sure that you have properly selected and completed equipment (always check it before entering the water):
- ballast (fin)
In our opinion, for safety reasons, you should already be able to swim. Regardless of your swimming skills and experience, you should always have a life jacket. You should choose a vest according to your weight. Keeping the basic safety rules is the most important thing. Depending on the water area on which you will be swimming, you should choose the appropriate leash that will prevent the board from floating away after capsizing. Another key element of the equipment is the oar, which should be characterized by the appropriate weight, size and bend of the “pen”. A good fin with a simple system that allows it to be easily mounted in the box is essential! In our SUP Base we always have the best and only proven equipment!
3. What clothes should I wear on a SUP board?
In the summer, when it’s warm, a swimsuit is enough. If it is a colder season, it is worth thinking not only about dry or wet wetsuit, but also about shoes, gloves or even a neoprene hood. Remember that you can use the SUP board all year round, it all depends on the right clothes! Regardless of the season, always wear a life jacket or life vest. Come to us for the course, we will show you examples of all the components of the appropriate SUP board clothing, depending on the season!
4. How to properly choose a "proper" body of water for learning ?
Before you get on the SUP board and start your learning, make sure that you will be paddling in a calm water, without strong wind or waves. Appropriate conditions of a calm reservoir will affect not only your learning comfort but above all safety! We recommend calm, flat water of a bay or lake. Avoid rivers or the open sea at the beginning. Our SUP base “Orłowo by the beach” has ideal, natural conditions for learning to stand up rowing. We are only 160 meters from the beach, we have a gentle descent to the beach, the beach is sandy without stones, the descent from the beach to the water is also gentle and sandy, the water at the shore is shallow and the bottom is sandy. We are in a bay so wind strength and wave height are usually suitable for beginners or intermediates. You are welcome!
5. How to choose the right paddle length?
It is best to have a paddle with adjustable length (it will be the most comfortable for you). The dominant rule for adjusting the length of a paddle is that it should measure about 10-15 cm above the height of the user. The optimal length of a paddle for a SUP board is when the arm is slightly bent at the elbow and the wrist rests on the end of the stick. Another technique is one “shaka” above your head and you’ll be fine too! Come to us, we will teach you everything and show you! Paddling on a SUP board in a standing position is not difficult!
6. How to hold the paddle correctly?
First, grab the oar and lift it up with one hand on the end of the oar and the other in the place that we naturally grip with both hands bent at right angles. Please note that the blade of the oar is bent towards the tip of the board according to the “logo” principle on the front. Eventually your arms and paddle will form a triangular shape and this will be the ultimate proof that you are holding the paddle correctly! What is the “triangle” of power? What are the 5 phases of paddling? What is J-Stroke? You will learn everything on the spot!
7. How to get on SUP?
First of all, in order not to fall into the water and not damage the board or fin, make sure that the water level in the reservoir will be more or less at the height of your knees, and only then can you step onto the board. Of course, we fasten the leash and fins before entering and placing the board on the water. Place the paddle on the board behind the board carrying handle (looking towards the bow). It is important that after entering, the knees are on both sides of the carrying handle. Make a few moves with the paddle so that the board floats and only then get up on the board. From a kneeling position, slowly move to a squat position, then stand up, keeping your back straight and looking straight ahead. Our instructor will demonstrate and explain everything to you. Thanks to the correct stand-up paddling with our instructor, you will get rid of bad habits! See you on the water in Orłowo!
8. Where to stand and how to maintain the correct posture on the SUP board?
The handle of the board is the perfect center, in this place, the board is the widest and therefore the most stable. The correct body posture on the SUP board is feet in the middle, on both sides of the handle, shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, back straight but torso slightly tilted forward. It is important that the feet flatly adhere to the surface, do not stand on heels or toes. It is important to remember that without slouching and keeping your head straight, you should also keep your eyes on the horizon. Good position, posture and technique is the comfort of rowing. With good paddling technique, even long distances can be covered without much fatigue.
9. How to paddle properly on a SUP board?
The most important thing is to row and keep your arms straight, because if you keep your arms bent and only row with your arms, you will tire quickly. The correct technique for paddling on a SUP board is as follows:
- immerse the oar blade vertically, holding the shaft from the top perpendicular to the water, with your back straight, lean forward slightly at the hips, keeping your knees slightly bent,
- vigorously pull the oar close to and along the side of the board, finish the movement at the height of the heels (paddling behind the feet is ineffective, what’s more, the board starts to turn);
- pull the paddle out of the water naturally effortlessly by turning the handle 90 degrees;
- repeat everything in the same order until the board starts to turn, then start paddling on the opposite side.
10. How to fall and get back on your board ?
You never know what’s under the water at the bottom, so try to fall flat, not on your feet or head. Hold the oar, try not to let it go so as not to fall on it or let it fall on you. Thanks to the leash, the board will not sail far. Grab the handle, preferably the other side of the board, and try to pull yourself up. Be careful with the position of the legs so that they are not too much under the board when ascending. You can also submerge the stern of the board and pull yourself in with your hands on both sides of the board! Good luck and see you on the water! Swimming on a SUP board is not difficult! Swim with us and relax in Orłowo!