5 Ways to Improve Your SUP Balance


    Maintaining balance and staying on your board while water moves beneath you isn’t easy. It takes time and plenty of practice to perfect balance on a SUP, but there are certain things you can do to help improve your technique. 

    We take a look at some of the ways you can improve your balance so you can gain better control over your paddleboard. 

    Engage your core

    During your stroke, try to brace your torso rather than release the tension. Otherwise, it can throw you off your center point, causing instability. If you’re finding it difficult to maintain that tension, then it may be worth attempting to strengthen your core through additional exercise.  

    There are plenty of exercises you can do that not only improve the strength of your core, but also your legs, both of which play a major part in keeping your balance. Try squats, yoga, pilates, skateboarding, or trail running.  

    Use a balance board 

    Balance boards provide excellent core training while giving you a chance to practice keeping your balance without the need to head into the water.  

    The feeling you get standing on one of these is pretty similar to being on a paddleboard while it tips from side to side, as this board rocks back and forth from a central balance point.  

    Try practicing your paddle stroke technique while you’re on it; it’s a great way to challenge yourself further and better prepare yourself for rough waters and board wakes.  

    Don’t shrug and keep your legs dynamic

    When you’re paddleboarding, you really need to pay attention to your body. Besides keeping your core engaged, you also want to avoid shrugging, as this will make it more difficult to adapt to changes in condition and strain your shoulders and neck. As for your legs, don’t stiffen up, as this will make it tougher to maintain balance. 

    Practice pivot turns

     You see the above video? That’s a paddler practicing pivot turns in choppy and windy conditions. You basically step back towards the tail of your paddleboard causing it to sink into the water slightly, and then spin around in place using your paddle. 

    It’s a great way to work on your balance, especially because it’s actually fun to do. The better you get at it, the more challenging you can make it by stepping out further and further until you can barely stay on the board.  

    Ride in rougher waters 

    Once you get good at balancing yourself on calm waters, try taking things up a notch. Next time it’s windy out, get your board and ride. Now, we’re not talking extreme weather conditions here, but you want the water to crash into the side of your paddleboard a bit to help test your balance. Plus, it will give your legs a great work out! 

    The other option is to paddle through boat wakes, by paddling across them or parallel to them. To help absorb the waves, be sure to spread your feet and bend your knees.  

    Remember, the best way to improve is to keep practicing. So, get out there, keep the above tips in mind, and most importantly, enjoy yourself! 

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