Red Paddle Co ambassador and SUP Instructor Trainer Sam Ross has produced a great series of videos on how to get started with SUP looking at the basics all the way up to advanced paddling technique and turning. Sam also runs coaching clinics and instructor courses, to find out more about him and to book yourself onto a course check out his website here: www.sam-ross.co.uk
Set Up and Launching
Set Up and LaunchingWhen learning how to paddle board it’s important to familiarise yourself with your SUP equipment before you hit the water. This video guides paddle board beginners through everything they need to know to about their paddle board and paddle including how to set them up correctly and how to launch safely.
This video also demonstrates one of the most important paddle board techniques – the prone position. This position is used when launching and landing, as well as for rescue and also if we have any problems on the water. Once the basics of prone have been learnt you can progress to. This video guides paddle board beginners through everything they need to know.
Paddling on your Knees
Paddling on your KneesOnce launched, the next paddle board technique to master is paddling on your knees. This video guides you through your first few paddle strokes on your knees, introduces you to the basics of paddle technique and also how to turn the board.
Once you are comfortable with knee paddling and have control of the paddle board you can progress on to your feet and begin basic paddling.
Basic PaddlingHaving mastered the basics of paddle technique whilst paddling on your knees, you’re ready to progress to standing and finding your balance on your stand up paddle board. In this video we look at basic SUP techniques which form the foundation of everything else to come.
The key elements of the basic paddle stroke are the same as on the knees and expert SUP instructor Sam Ross guides you through the essential stand up paddle board techniques which will ensure you have both a fun and safe time on the water.
Step Back Turn
Step Back TurnOne of the more advanced stand up paddle board techniques, the step back turn is a great way of turning around quickly. In this video, Sam Ross demonstrates the key elements of this manoeuvre and gives you plenty of tips to help you master it.
Before you initiate the step back turn, ensure that the paddle is on your leash side. Your non-leash foot moves into the middle of the board and you step back with your leash foot. To make the board turn, take wide strokes on the leash side, the more you weight the back foot the sharper the turn.
Also known as a pivot turn or buoy turn, the step back turn is a sharp way of turning round and is great in every water environment. Spin the board on the spot with style.
Paddling Using Your Core
Paddling Using Your CoreOnce you have the basics of paddle board technique we can really start to look at improving efficiency and power within the paddle stroke. In this video we start to do this by looking at using larger muscle groups to power the board along. Using your core muscles will mean you will be able to keep the board paddling for longer at higher speeds and more efficiently.
To use your core effectively you need to let your hips rotate and your shoulders turn with the blade as you reach for the catch. As you reach forward let the hips follow and the shoulders turn away from the stroke. As the blade moves through the water the hips and shoulders return to square.
To use your core well, ensure you maintain a nicely extended bottom arm. The less this is moving the more you are engaging your core muscles whilst paddling.
Reverse Paddle Turn
Stand up paddle board technique guru Sam Ross demonstrates the reverse paddle turn, a great way of turning your paddle board without moving the feet or effecting the trim of the board. There’s no need to change your hands or paddle on to a different side. It’s quick, efficient and a good way of controlling speed.
From a normal paddling position, bring the paddle out in front of you and the top hand into your hip. Rotate your upper body, shoulders and hips to bring the blade over the nose of the board with the logo facing towards the tail.
Slice the blade into the water and start pushing water towards the nose.
The paddle slap is a paddle board technique that is a form of brace to give extra stability. It is used when moving around the board, in choppy conditions or in the surf. In this video we guide you through the key elements of this SUP technique.
To initiate the slap, smack the logo side of the blade onto the water. Keep the knuckles down and break at the knees to keep the body weight low. The further the blade is from the board the more stability it will provide. Try and lower the handle as well as the blade to help provide width and stability.
Once the basics of how to paddle board have been mastered we can begin to add a little more power to the stroke. In this video SUP technique expert Sam Ross demonstrates how to improve your paddling and increase your speed across the water.
The main thing to remember is that the board moves past the paddle so the most important thing is to place the blade where you reach.
The entry of the paddle is called the ‘catch’ and we need to make sure we bury the blade here. Keep the paddle vertical. The more the top hand is over the bottom hand the straighter the board will go. Lastly, make sure the blade comes out of the water at the feet. Drag will be created if you go past the feet.
The Nose 360 is a great paddle board technique to pull many skills together. In this video we look at this fun flat water SUP technique and how it not only builds the use of the paddle as a brace but also starts to improve board trim. It’s a great skill to help push your paddling and prepare you for different paddle board kit and more challenging environments.
The paddle starts on the leash side and sweeps around the nose of the paddle board. From here, you need to use the same skills as in the step back turn - take lots of strokes on your toe side and put weight on your leash foot to lift the fins out of the water and allow the board to spin around. Once the 360 is complete, return to a normal paddling position by sweeping the paddle around the front of the board once again and moving your leash foot back into a parallel stance.
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