Getting started

Like all sports you must

KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS AND YOUR EQUIPMENT

Stand up Paddle Boarding is a sport, so you should know your physical limitations.

It is a water sport, so full respect must be given to this element.Even if you are already a water user, if you are new to this sport remember you must learn how to do it.

A. The board. These are 10´ and 10´6´´. The construction is  epoxy double sandwich, which makes it light and strong.

B. The deck pad. This gives you grip and protection for the standing zone.

C. Kick pad. This does not come with the board but is very useful for surfing. It tells you where the back of the board is and gives you extra grip for radical surf manoeuvres.

D. Fins. These boards can be used with a tri-fin set up or single fin. When using it in single fin mode it is advisable to use a larger fin.

E. 10´ big wave leash and plug. It is important to use a very strong leash.

F. Wooden paddle. These are custom made at a fixed length. The give a very good flex and are gentler on your joints.

G. Aluminium plastic blade paddle. This is an adjustable entry level paddle.

H. Carbon paddle. These come at 1 length and you cut it down to the size you want. They are very light and strong.

I. Carrying handle. This is in the balance point of the board so give you a good guide for where to stand.

J. Mast foot. There are 2 positions for you to use a windsurf sail. There are brass inserts for you to screw in your deck plate.

Preparations for going on the water.


1. Check your board for any damage and repair it.

2. If there is an air vent screw, remember to close it.

3. Check that your fins are attached firmly. the screws do come loose.

4. Check your paddle for any damage. Never use a damaged paddle. You need to check wood and carbon paddles very carefully.

5. Check all the components of your leash for damage. Never use a damaged leash, if in doubt buy another one.

6. If you are planning to go outside of the swimming zone, i.e.. More than 100 m from shore. Always use a floatation device.

7. You are doing physical exercise so make sure you have drunk enough before you go out. Always drink before you are thirsty.

8. Make sure you are wearing the correct clothing, either protection against the cold or the sun.

REMEMBER ALWAYS TELL SOME ONE YOU ARE GOING ON THE WATER, WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHEN YOU WILL BE BACK.


CHOOSING YOUR AREA FOR PADDLING.
As an inexperienced paddler it is very important to choose a sheltered area to practice. Until you have mastered the power strokes, always stay within swimming distance of a safe shore.Wind direction is very important. The most dangerous being Offshore winds. (Winds that blow away from the land.) Even though these give you the flattest water, you only have to go a short way out and it will be very difficult to come back onshore. Onshore winds are the safest but they also give us our most difficult sea state to paddle.Stay out of currents; it is impossible to paddle against them. So they are very dangerous.


ALWAYS PADDLE WITH A FRIEND.


CARRYING THE BOARD TO THE BEACH.

Stand up Paddle Boards are large and whilst you are manoeuvring them on the land, is when they are most likely to get damaged.Even though you will probably not be doing it in much wind, even the slightest puff can unbalance the board.Know the length of your board and avoid any objects, especially in car parks. A scratch to someone’s car can prove to be a very expensive session.Even though the boards come with a carrying handle it is only recommended for short distances and little wind. I.e. going in and out of the water. It is better to either carry it with 2 people or on a trolley.

REMEMBER ALWAYS LIFT HEAVY OBJECTS CORRECTLY


GOING IN AND OUT OF THE WATER


1/2. Before going into the water attach your Leash checking again that it is not damaged and it is attached correctly to the board. Make sure there are no knots in it.

3. When you are just paddling on flat water it does not matter which leg you put your leash.

4/5.Bring the Leash along the board to the handle; place your hand in the handle so you are holding the Leash as well. Hold on to the paddle with the other hand.

6/7. Lift the board using your leg muscles, not your back.


1.Walk into the water, far enough so the skeg does not touch when you get on the board.

2. Place the paddle down the centre of the board, blade facing the front.

3. Get onto the board kneeling down with the paddle between your legs. Paddle a little bit with your hands away from the shore into deeper water.

Coming back into the beach it is important to be aware of other water users, especially in surf.When you are in waist depth of water sit down near the back of the board. If you cannot slow down with the paddle, sitting down with your legs in the water will. Get off the board place your hand with the leash in the handle and lift the board out of the water.  Walk carefully out of the water and place the board on the beach, then take off your Leash.

NOW FOR THE WATER


REMEMBER YOUR PADDLE IS YOUR FRIEND.

This is your means of propulsion, so the golden rule is

NEVER LET GO OF YOUR PADDLE.

The recommended length for your paddle is 15cm over your height. However this can vary depending on the discipline you are doing, shorter for surf, longer for distance.

When holding your paddle your hands should be just over shoulder width apart.

The top hand controls the angle of the blade and the power of the stroke. The bottom hand controls the position of the blade through the water.

It is important to look at the angle of your blade and hold it the correct way round.

You should never have to grip the paddle hard, it should be just resting in your fingers.

THE BOARD


First you must find the balance point of the board. It will be around where the handle is. The board must be lying flat on the water.To stand up, place your paddle across the board, take the paddle in both hands and stand up.

Standing on the board, your feet will be at shoulder width apart, with your whole body facing forwards. Your knees are slightly bent and you’re back straight. You should be totally relaxed, with your knees and ankles flexing with the movement of the water. Your paddle blade should just be resting in the water on the side you choose, with your arms and shoulders relaxed.

A BASIC SUPPORT STROKE


1/2/3. Whilst the paddle is resting in the water you can use the back of the paddle, just stroking it across the water. This will give a little resistance for you to balance against.

4/5. You can do a gentle sweep forwards from the back of the board using the back of the blade, then without bringing the blade out of the water, sweep it backwards using the front of the blade.

It is good to change sides often so you are used to doing it on both sides as this is often used when you have a problem after a forward stroke.

 

FIRST FORWARD STROKE


When you hold onto your paddle you will feel the most comfortable side to hold it. This will be the side you start on.With the blade at 90º to the board, about 1m in front of your feet, place the blade into the water as near to the board as possible. Draw the blade in a straight line back to your feet.

1. Notice the bottom arm is straight and only the tip of the blade is in the water.

2. The bottom arm stays straight as you draw the blade back, making the blade go deeper into the water and giving more power. The top hand is pushing forwards creating the drive.

3. Once the paddle reaches your feet the power goes of the stroke and you start to bring the blade out of the water.

4. As you bring the blade out of the water you roll your hands forward giving a slight correction stroke and making it easier for the blade to come out of the water.

5. You change the paddle over to the other side, bringing the blade over the front of the board.

6/7. Then start the paddle stroke on the other side.  Once you are comfortable at taking a stroke and changing sides, do 2 or 3 strokes per side.

TURNING AROUND USING A FORWARD STROKE

If you paddle on one side the board will go in a big arc and turn around. The further away from the board the blade is the faster it will turn.

Place the blade close to the front of the board; sweep it away from the board until it is level with your body.

1.Again notice that the bottom arm is straight. To angle the blade correctly the bottom hand is rolled forwards.

2. As in the forward stroke the bottom arm is drawn back straight but this time going away from the board. As the stroke comes back you are rolling your bottom hand back and pushing forwards with the top hand.

3. Once the blade has reached your feet, start to bring the blade back into the board.4. Like in the forward stroke roll the hands forwards to bring the blade out of the water.

TURNING THE BOARD AROUND USING THE BACK STROKE


You are drawing the paddle in a big semi circle from back to front using the back of the blade.

1. Place the blade near to the back of the board, again with the bottom arm straight.

2. The movement is done more with the shoulders as the arms do not change position. It is just the shoulders rotating.

3. as the blade travels past your feet, roll the hands forwards to change the angle of the blade.

4. Continue the stroke until the blade reaches the front of the board and comes out of the water.

Now you have the principles to get into the water and practice.

See you in the next part. Getting the power.

 

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