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How to Paddle Board

Standing Up & Turning Tips

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Published August 14, 2018 | Updated April 10, 2022

Paddle boarding is all about fun and exploration. You can explore beautiful lakes, bays and rivers and a little experience will keep you on top. You can also come up with a core workout while actually relaxing. You may even have room for your partner, child or dog. Learning how to paddleboard is quite intuitive, but there are things that you should know upfront or you will learn them the hard way.

How To Paddle Board – Standing Up & Turning Tips

How To Paddle Board-min

Standing up on a board

Figuring how to stand up paddle board is the hardest part in the process. It is imperative to begin this venture in calm waters. Also, if you are new, you need a wider board, as it provides more balance. When you stand up, the board must feel quite comfortable rather than unstable.

Make sure the fin cannot touch the ground, so get the board a few yards into the water. Begin this venture in a kneeling position. Go on your knees and paddle a little to get away from the shores. When you stand up, you have to go one foot at a time. You also need to ensure you are in the middle of the board.

Do not strengthen your knees. Keep them slightly bent. Keep in mind that you might fall a few times while standing or paddling in this position. It takes practice, yet lots of people manage to do it after a few attempts. You can even get over this problem before you even buy a board. Learn how to make a paddle board by using a simple board from around your house. If it floats, it can help you train for this venture.

Paddling forward

Learning how to paddle board involves going into all directions, as you will need to actually move while put there. The bottom arm must be kept still, but also straight. The top arm should go towards the core to extend the paddle in a forward direction. Rotate its shoulder for a wider extension.

The paddle must go into the water as far forward as you can. After all, the longer the stroke, the faster you will move. While most newbies imagine pulling the paddle through the water, you should see it as pulling yourself towards the paddle.

Keeping it straight is simple – one or two strokes on each side and alternate.

Turning techniques

There are a few ways to turn around – forward or reverse. When turning right, for instance, the paddle should be in the water on the left side. The torso should also turn into the right side. Pull to the left, but also lean slightly towards the same direction.

When learning how to paddleboard, you will also need to turn with a reverse stroke. To turn left, you will need the paddle close to the tail. Pull forward by shifting your core to the left. If you bend your knees, it will be a bit easier.


Bottom line, paddle boarding is quite intuitive. You do not always need an expert to teach you how to do it, as it is common sense. Make sure you have the right unit though. When not sure how to choose a paddle board for a beginner, go for width and length for stability.

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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