This quick start cheatsheet will help you learn how to stand up paddleboard in no time! Stand up paddleboarding is a great water sport because anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter how old you are or your current physical ability. All you have to do is get out there and give it a try. This guide is built to get you out on the water fast and easy.

Not only is stand up paddleboarding fun and easy to learn, it’s an incredibly healthy form of exercise that’s a lot of fun. Regardless of your skill level or interests, there’s something for everyone when it comes to stand up paddleboarding. You can practice yoga, fish, snorkel, cruise, surf, and go on all sorts of adventures with a SUP. Don’t let your inexperience hold you back. Use this quick start guide to learn how to SUP and you’ll be out on the water enjoying yourself.

Family on Thurso Surf Max Multi-purpose SUP

Knee paddling the whole family to some fun!

Paddleboarding Cheatsheet – Learn How to SUP Fast

Quick Tips: Before You Hit the Water

Before you hit the water, here’s a list of the essentials. These tips are important to follow because they’ll make your learning experience more fun and safe. Best of all they’ll help you learn how to stand up paddleboard fast and easy.

Man pumps up Thurso Surf Waterwalker All-around SUP

Always inflate your stand up paddleboard to the correct PSI.

Practice on calm waters. Learning how to SUP is a lot easier if you practice on flat and calm waters. Look for a sheltered area of water like a lake or a bay.

Check the weather. It’s good to get into the habit of checking the weather before you head out. Not only for safety purposes, but simply to better enjoy yourself. BONUS TIP: Winds tend to be weaker in the mornings and evenings.

Wear a PFD and Leash. Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) – also known as a life jacket. And be sure to attach your leash. Leashes help to keep you and your board safe.

Learn on the appropriate board. Boards come in all shapes and sizes. The variety is due to the many different types of activities you can do with a SUP. When you’re learning to SUP, it’s best to find something long and wide. This will help increase your overall stability and balance.

Adjust your paddle correctly. We’ve covered this in detail in a previous article so have a look. Getting your paddle sized right will make things easier on you and improve your overall stroke.

Avoid common SUP mistakes. Skip some of the most common mistakes stand up paddle boarders make by checking out this article “8 Things You Should NOT DO with Your Paddle Board.”

woman attaches paddle blade to other end of SUP paddle to transform it into a double-bladed kayak paddle

Adjust your SUP paddle so it fits you properly.

How to SUP in Four Simple Steps

  1. Inflate your board up to the correct PSI. Inflatable stand up paddle boards are great because of the ease in transporting them. Just make sure to pump yours up to the correct PSI. A properly inflated board will make paddling a lot more fun.
  2. Put your board in the water. Your board’s pumped and you’re ready to go. Now take it down to the water and climb on. It’s recommended you start from your knees just to get the hang of it. Knee paddling gives you more stability and can help you focus on your stroke. BONUS TIP: Walk your board out into knee deep water. Before getting on you always want to make sure your fins will clear the bottom.
  3. Practice your stroke. From your knees practice your stroke by paddling on both sides of your SUP. This will give you a feel for what it’s like when you’re turning and moving at speed while standing. BONUS TIP: Learn more about knee paddling “Paddle Board Technique – How to Paddle Board on Your Knees.”
  4. Stand Up. Once you feel comfortable on your knees you can stand up. Simply place your paddle horizontally across the board in front of you, so you’re on all fours. Next bring your knees up into a crouching position (hands still out in front of you on your paddle) and then push up with your hands and legs. BONUS TIP: See the “How to Stand Up on Your SUP” article for a detailed run down.
Man falls off Thurso Surf Waterwalker All-around SUP

Falling in is part of the fun!

Quickly Learn How to SUP: Practicing is fun!

That’s all it takes to get up and paddling on the water. Don’t worry about falling off; it’s part of the fun! As you go you’ll continually improve your stance, stroke, and overall ability. You don’t have to obsess about having the perfect stroke; just keep these tips in mind each time you head out and you’ll improve gradually. By following this quick start guide you already have a solid foundation to build on. So get out there and give it a try…HAPPY PADDLING!

Keep Improving Your Stand Up Paddleboarding Skills.

As you can see from this paddleboarding cheatsheet,  learning how to SUP is pretty simple and quite straight forward. If you’re curious about other areas of interest or want to dig deeper into specific topics check out the other articles posted on the Thurso Surf Blog. From planning a paddle boarding trip to perfecting your stroke, we’ve got you covered!

Share This Story!

About the Author: Matt G.

Matt Gelgota is a traveler and all around digital marketing guy. His greatest adventure to date was the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile unsupported on and off-road saga from Sweden to Mongolia. He has visited more than 50 countries and has been paddling a Thurso Surf Expedition since 2018. Since then he’s had a chance to paddle board in Nepal, Thailand, Japan, and the US. When he’s not on the road he divides his time between Tokyo and Atlanta, Georgia.

Leave A Comment



Be the first to find out about the exclusive offers, latest news, tips and more…