How to Get Up on a Paddleboard – The Steps and Tips of the Basic Paddleboarding Skill

How to Get Up on a Paddleboard – The Steps and Tips of the Basic Paddleboarding Skill

I’ve been paddleboarding for years now, and I can tell you that getting up on a paddleboard can be a bit tricky at first. But with the right technique and some practice, it’s actually not as hard as it looks. First, make sure you are in calm, flat water to avoid any unnecessary mishaps. Start by lying on the board, then slowly raise yourself to a kneeling position. Once you feel balanced, slowly stand up, keeping your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. It’s important to distribute your weight evenly and engage your core for stability. Remember to keep a slight bend in your knees to absorb any waves. By following these steps and tips, you’ll be able to confidently get up on a paddleboard and enjoy this amazing watersport.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stance is key: Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent and your weight centered on the board.
  • Use proper paddling technique: Hold the paddle with one hand on the top and the other on the shaft, using your core muscles to propel yourself forward.
  • Balance is crucial: Keep your eyes on the horizon and engage your core to maintain stability on the board.
  • Start in calm waters: Practice in a calm and protected area to build confidence and improve your skills before tackling more challenging conditions.
  • Stay safe: Always wear a leash and a personal flotation device, and be mindful of other water users and potential hazards.

Types of Paddleboards

The paddleboarding world offers a variety of options when it comes to choosing the right board for you. The main types of paddleboards include:

Types Description
Inflatable Paddleboards Lightweight, portable, and easy to store. Ideal for beginners and for traveling.
Solid Paddleboards Traditional hard boards made from fiberglass, epoxy, or plastic, providing stability and speed.
Racing Paddleboards Built for speed and agility, these are designed for competitive racing on the water.
Fishing Paddleboards Equipped with extra features such as rod holders and storage compartments, ideal for fishing enthusiasts.
Yoga Paddleboards Wide and stable boards designed specifically for practicing yoga on the water.

Assume that inflatable paddleboards are versatile and suitable for beginners and casual users, while solid paddleboards are ideal for more experienced and serious enthusiasts.

Inflatable Paddleboards

When it comes to inflatable paddleboards, I highly recommend them for beginners. They are extremely portable and easy to store, making them ideal for those who have limited space or who want to take their board on their travels. The inflatable material is surprisingly durable and provides a stable and reliable experience on the water.

Solid Paddleboards

If you are looking for a more traditional and sturdy option, then solid paddleboards may be the right choice for you. These boards are typically made from fiberglass, epoxy, or plastic, offering stability and speed while out on the water. They are the preferred choice for more experienced enthusiasts who are seeking high performance and maneuverability.

Tips for Paddleboarding

While getting up on a paddleboard may seem challenging at first, there are several tips that can help you master this skill. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Start in calm waters to practice getting up on the paddleboard without the added difficulty of waves or currents.
  • Use a wide, stable board for better balance and a smoother learning curve.
  • Keep your gaze forward and focus on a fixed point to maintain steady balance.
  • Engage your core to help stabilize your body and maintain balance on the board.
  • Practice falling into the water and getting back on the board to build confidence and agility.

After mastering the basics, you can gradually challenge yourself with more advanced tips and techniques to further improve your paddleboarding skills.

Choosing the Right Equipment

When it comes to paddleboarding, choosing the right equipment is crucial for a successful experience. The paddleboard you select should be suitable for your skill level and the type of water you’ll be paddling in. Additionally, investing in a high-quality paddle and wearing a properly fitted personal floatation device (PFD) is essential for your safety on the water.

Finding the Right Balance

Having a strong sense of balance is fundamental for paddleboarding. When standing on the board, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and distribute your weight evenly to maintain stability. Engaging your core muscles and keeping your body centered over the board will also help you maintain balance while paddling.

Paddling Techniques

Mastering effective paddling techniques is crucial for efficient movement on the water. Learning how to perform proper paddle strokes, including the forward stroke and sweep stroke, will not only improve your speed and control but also reduce the risk of injury and fatigue during longer paddling sessions.

Step-by-Step Guide to Paddleboarding

Unlike other water sports, paddleboarding is relatively easy to learn and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started with this popular water activity.

Getting on the Paddleboard Standing Up
1. Start in shallow water 1. Begin on your knees
2. Hold the board parallel to the shoreline 2. Place your hands flat on the board
3. Straddle the board and kneel down 3. Push yourself up into a standing position
4. Use your paddle to stabilize yourself 4. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart

Getting on the Paddleboard

When getting on the paddleboard, it’s important to start in shallow water where you can easily touch the bottom. Hold the board parallel to the shoreline and straddle it. Kneel down on the board, using your hands to stabilize yourself. Once you feel balanced, you can stand up.

Standing Up

Standing up on a paddleboard can be a bit tricky at first, but with practice, it becomes easier. Begin on your knees, then place your hands flat on the board in front of you. Push yourself up into a standing position, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart to maintain stability. Always use your paddle to help stabilize yourself as you transition from kneeling to standing.


Once you’re standing on the paddleboard, it’s time to start paddling. Hold the paddle with one hand on the handle and the other on the shaft. Dip the blade into the water and pull it back towards you, using your core and upper body to generate power. Alternate sides with each stroke to maintain forward momentum. Keep your knees slightly bent and your gaze forward to maintain balance and stability.

Factors to Consider When Paddleboarding

Keep weather and water conditions, your safety precautions, and your physical fitness in mind before heading out on your paddleboard. These factors can greatly impact your experience on the water and your overall success as a paddleboarder. After all, being prepared and aware of these factors will ensure a smoother and more enjoyable paddleboarding experience for you.

Weather and Water Conditions

Before heading out on the water, it’s essential to check the weather forecast and assess the water conditions. High winds, strong currents, and unpredictable weather can make paddleboarding more challenging and potentially hazardous. Always remember to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and be prepared for any changes that may occur while you are on the water. Also, familiarize yourself with the tides and currents of the area where you plan to paddle to avoid unexpected surprises.

Safety Precautions

When paddleboarding, it’s crucial to prioritize safety precautions. This includes wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), carrying a whistle or other signaling device, and considering wearing a leash to keep you connected to your board in case of a fall. Be mindful of other watercraft and always follow the local rules and regulations for safe paddleboarding. Additionally, consider taking a safety course to learn basic rescue techniques and how to handle unexpected situations on the water.

Physical Fitness

Your physical fitness plays a significant role in your paddleboarding experience. Paddleboarding can be physically demanding, requiring core strength, balance, and endurance. Before heading out, assess your own fitness level and be realistic about your abilities. You should also be prepared for the potential of falling into the water and be confident in your swimming abilities. Regular exercise and maintaining good physical condition will not only enhance your performance but also reduce the risk of injury while paddleboarding.

Pros and Cons of Paddleboarding

Not everything about paddleboarding is all sunshine and rainbows. While there are plenty of benefits to this activity, there are also some drawbacks that are worth considering. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of paddleboarding in the table below.

Pros Cons
Great total body workout Requires good balance
Relaxing way to enjoy nature Weather and water conditions can be unpredictable
Low-impact exercise Initial cost of equipment can be high
Accessible to all ages and fitness levels Risk of injury from falling or colliding with objects in the water
Opportunity for social interaction May be challenging to transport and store paddleboard

Benefits of Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding offers a wide range of benefits. Not only is it a fantastic full-body workout, but it also provides a great way to connect with nature while engaging in an activity that is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. The low-impact nature of paddleboarding makes it an excellent option for those looking to improve their fitness without putting stress on their joints. Additionally, the social aspect of paddleboarding can provide opportunities to connect with others who share a love for the water.

Drawbacks of Paddleboarding

While paddleboarding has many advantages, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. Notably, the need for good balance and the risk of injury from falling or colliding with objects in the water can be significant concerns, especially for beginners. Additionally, the initial cost of equipment and the challenge of transporting and storing a paddleboard can be barriers for some individuals. It’s also important to remember that weather and water conditions can be unpredictable, making it essential to always be prepared for changing circumstances on the water.


Upon reflecting on the steps and tips of the basic paddleboarding skill, I hope you feel confident and motivated to give it a try. Paddleboarding is a fun and rewarding activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. By following the proper techniques and safety precautions, you can master the art of getting up on a paddleboard and enjoy the experience of gliding across the water. Remember to practice patience and persistence, as with any new skill, and soon you’ll be paddling like a pro. So grab your board, head out onto the water, and have a great time exploring the world of paddleboarding!


Q: What is paddleboarding?

A: Paddleboarding is a water sport where the participant stands on a large board and uses a paddle to move through the water. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise at the same time.

Q: What are the basic steps to getting up on a paddleboard?

A: To get up on a paddleboard, start in a kneeling position in the center of the board. Then, place your hands on the board and push yourself up into a standing position. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart for balance.

Q: Are there any tips for maintaining balance while paddleboarding?

A: Yes, it’s important to keep your knees slightly bent and your core engaged to maintain balance. Look straight ahead and keep your weight centered on the board. Practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if you wobble at first.

Q: What should I do if I fall off the paddleboard?

A: Falling off the paddleboard is completely normal, especially when you’re first starting out. If you fall, try to fall away from the board to avoid hitting it. Then, just climb back on and continue practicing. It’s all part of the learning process.

Q: Are there any safety tips to keep in mind while paddleboarding?

A: Absolutely. Always wear a personal flotation device while paddleboarding, and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid crowded areas and stay clear of boats and other watercraft. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast before heading out and to let someone know where you’ll be paddleboarding and when you expect to return. Safety should always be a top priority.

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