Learn How to Stand Up Paddle Board on the OBX

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is one of the most exciting sports to hit the waters in recent years. Often referred to as SUP, this exciting sport lets you explore the local waterways while also providing a great full body work out. Some think it looks hard, but we assure you young and old alike, athletic to non-athletic can learn how to SUP. This week we'll tell you everything you need to learn how to SUP during your Outer Banks beach vacation

Finding The Best lessons On The OBX

The Outer Banks is loaded with places to take SUP lessons. From Corolla to Ocracoke you'll find the local instructors to be friendly and passionate about sharing their love of stand up paddle boarding. If you're looking for a place to learn to SUP, we have a few recommendations below. 

Outer Banks Stand Up Paddle 

1446 Duck Rd

Duck, NC 27949

(252) 305-3639

Farmdog Surf School

2500 S. Virginia Dare Trail

Nags Head, NC 27959

(252) 255-2233

Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School 

6150 N. Croatan Hwy.

Kitty Hawk, NC 27949

(252) 261-0145

Buying Your First SUP

Stand up paddle boarding offers something for everyone. You can head out for a relaxing paddle on the calm waters of the ICW, glide along salt marshes, explore rivers,  or catch waves in the ocean. Whatever your passion is, having the right board is key to your enjoyment.

Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a SUP:

Hull type: Your two main choices are a planing hull and a displacement hull; the type you choose will be based on the type of paddling you plan to do.

Solid or inflatable: Do you want a solid board or an inflatable one? Your answer will be based on things like board performance, portability, and your storage options.

Volume and weight capacity: You want to pick a board with the volume and weight capacity that’s right for your height and weight to ensure good stability and paddling performance.

Length, width, and thickness: The dimensions of a SUP play a big role in determining how it handles on the water.From there, you’ll consider a board’s fins and any extras or accessories that work for yo

10 Tips For Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Use A Leash

This actually goes for all stand up paddle boarders, but the sooner you're aware of how vital a leash is regardless of the water conditions, the safer you and everyone else will be when you are paddling. Be safe, wear a leash.

Make Sure You're Using The Paddle The Right Way

We’ve all done it because it seems right at the time. You want the paddle to scoop the water as you try to balance and paddle without falling. However, as we all eventually find out, the paddle goes the other way as it works more effectively when in the standing position. It also results in a smoother paddle stroke and less stress on your shoulders and elbows. Keep the blade in a vertical position which provides the best angle of attack for the paddle. 

Face the Right Way 

To non-surfers or regular water-goers, it's not immediately obvious which end of the SUP is the front/nose or the back of the board. Many beginner boards have a large round nose and tail. These boards have excellent stability but can be confusing to beginners. So before you jump on the board, check where the fins are and make sure they are in the back when you paddle! 

Paddle With Your Core

Don’t use your arms. This may sound a little weird at first but paddling is best done by your core. These are the strongest muscles of your body and provide the most effective power for your paddle stroke. 

Stay Out Of the Way

Stand up paddle boards are big and they can hurt when they hit you. Be mindful of other water users when you’re learning the art of SUP. Make sure you have plenty of room to practice standing, falling, and paddling.

Fall Off The Right Way 

Just like you can practice tricks and wave riding, practicing falls, or at least being aware of how to fall safely can ensure your session is not cut short by injury. Stand up paddle boards are big and can hurt if it hits you when you fall. You want to fall away from your board.

Only Ride The Waves You Can Handle

Mother Nature is a powerful being and you need to respect that and know your limits. Be smart, and ride waves only appropriate for your skill level. 

Look After Your Paddle and Board

Look after your board and paddle. They are fragile when thrown around on land and can easily be damaged. Your board will thank you!

Watch The Wind & Weather

It’s important to know the conditions when you head out on the water for the day. Take a look at the forecast so you're aware of any possible changes coming. Remember when you’re standing on your SUP, you're like a sail in the wind. If you’re ever caught in strong winds, lay down with your paddle tucked under you and paddle the board like a regular surfboard.

Look At The Horizon

When you first start paddling the natural temptation is to look down at the board. You'll enjoy watching the water lapping at the sides and hope you don't fall in! However, for the best stability, you want to keep your head up, back straight, and your body weight evenly distributed over your toes. It sounds silly, but with your head down watching your toes, you are likely to rock back on your heals and then hello water!

Are you excited to get out on the water and learn to SUP? If you are, we can help you find the perfect Outer Banks beach vacation home to start your adventure.  To begin planning your SUP adventure give us a call at 866-760-3526 or click on the button below to see all of our fantastic vacation properties. 

Do you SUP? If so leave us a comment with your tips for a successful day on the water. 

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