HOW TO KEEP YOUR PADDLEBOARD STRAIGHT

HOW TO KEEP YOUR PADDLEBOARD STRAIGHT

October 22, 2021

HOW TO KEEP YOUR PADDLEBOARD TRACKING IN A STRAIGHT LINE FROM THE PAU HANA SUP SCHOOL

Learning to paddleboard can be a steep learning curve and a wet one at that! But once you have mastered the art of standing it then becomes a challenge to learn proper paddling techniques so you can start to take advantage of the open water and adventures that lay ahead. Many new paddlers often struggle to maintain paddling in a straight line, forcing them to switch paddling sides more often, which can lead to fatigue and frustration pretty easily. Learning the correct paddling technique can reduce the number of side switches you need to make in order to keep the paddleboard straight, and can increase your ability to paddle longer and faster.

 

Ideally, you want to practice your stroke on calm, flat water, away from winds that can push you around. Make sure you have a good foot positioning on the boards with your feet evenly spaced around the center of the board.

 

Start initiating the stroke by placing the paddle blade as close to the paddleboard as possible with an outstretched arm. You'll want to have your hands stacked, meaning the shaft wants to be in a straight line running from your top hand to the water and the hands placed one under the other along the paddle shaft. Drive the blade deep into the water until the majority, to all, of the blade is covered. You want to position your chest away from your paddle to start, and as you move through the stroke your chest will rotate back to a forwards position. Remember to keep your abs engaged, back straight, and keep the knees soft through the whole stroke. As you pull the blade back towards you, make sure to keep the blade running in line with the edge of the board, and as close as possible. Twist back with your core to release the blade from the water when the shaft runs in line with your hips. The majority of the power in the stoke is lost by the time the paddle reaches your hip, so for an efficient stoke make sure you release the paddle when it's in line with your hips. You are also giving the board more opportunity to turn once the blade has passed you.

 

You may also find it useful to focus on where you want to go. Pick a focal point on the horizon or a bouy out in the water and you will find if you keep your eyes on the prize your body and board will follow.

Woman paddling a paddleboard in front of palm trees on a lake

Start by stacking the hands one over the other and driving the blade into the water.

Woman paddling a paddleboard in front of palm trees on a lake

Release the paddle from the water when it reaches your hip.

Ideally, you want to practice your stroke on calm, flat water, away from winds that can push you around. Make sure you have a good foot positioning on the boards with your feet evenly spaced around the center of the board.

 

Start initiating the stroke by placing the paddle blade as close to the paddleboard as possible with an outstretched arm. You'll want to have your hands stacked, meaning the shaft wants to be in a straight line running from your top hand to the water and the hands placed one under the other along the paddle shaft. Drive the blade deep into the water until the majority, to all, of the blade is covered. You want to position your chest away from your paddle to start, and as you move through the stroke your chest will rotate back to a forwards position. Remember to keep your abs engaged, back straight, and keep the knees soft through the whole stroke. As you pull the blade back towards you, make sure to keep the blade running in line with the edge of the board, and as close as possible. Twist back with your core to release the blade from the water when the shaft runs in line with your hips. The majority of the power in the stoke is lost by the time the paddle reaches your hip, so for an efficient stoke make sure you release the paddle when it's in line with your hips. You are also giving the board more opportunity to turn once the blade has passed you.

 

You may also find it useful to focus on where you want to go. Pick a focal point on the horizon or a bouy out in the water and you will find if you keep your eyes on the prize your body and board will follow.

Woman paddling a paddleboard in front of palm trees on a lake

Start by stacking the hands one over the other and driving the blade into the water.

Woman paddling a paddleboard in front of palm trees on a lake

Release the paddle from the water when it reaches your hip.

Heres a good video curtosy or REI:

Written by Jennifer Chrimes

Written by Jennifer Chrimes

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