How to fall off a paddle board may seem strange for the title of an article about paddling board however, there is an art to falling off your board which will minimise the risk of injury. We also take a look at how to get back on it as well!
Paddle boarding is a water sport
Let’s be honest, paddle boarding is a water sport and therefore involves water which means at some point you are going to get wet. You may be lucky and not have had the misfortune yet but at some point it’s gonna happen. Conversely you may be a pro at falling off now and actually have trouble staying on your board preferring to paddle sitting down instead. Whatever your tendencies and skill for staying upright, we take a look at what to do should you fall off and how to fall safely and more gracefully from your board.
How to fall off your SUP
At the moment you feel that you losing your balance and the battle to stay upright, start thinking about how you are going to fall. Try to fall away from the board and into the water with your body flat against the water. While the temptation may be to grab the board as you fall this can hurt! You may injure yourself in the process. Falling flat will stop you going head or feet first into the water and hitting anything that may be below the surface.
Tips for falling off your SUP
Falling off a paddle board safely probably requires you to fall off a few times before you get the hang of it but let’s take a look at how to fall off a paddle board – safely:
- Hang on to your paddle. If this isn’t possible don’t panic. Focus on getting yourself back on the board then you can paddle with your hands to retrieve it. It’s not designed to sink!
- Keep an eye on the board. Don’t forget you are tethered to the board with a leash. If the board wants to spring back towards you, you may end up with a face full of board. This is not good so keep an eye out for a travelling board that might be aiming at your face!
- Don’t panic – this will just make everything so much harder. If you have fallen off, you now have to focus your attention to getting back on again.
How to get back on your board
OK so if you fall off and are able to touch the bottom, it’s going to be easier to get your balance and grab a hold of the board but… if you are in deep water, here’s what you should do:
- Tread water and get your breath back. You should be tethered to your board so it’s not going to be floating away from you.
- Next, once you have gathered your sense, pull the board alongside you so you are at the side in the centre of the board.
- Grab the board by the handle in the centre of the board and pull yourself up until you can reach the other side of the board.
- Grabbing the opposite side, kick your legs and pull yourself back onto the board.
That’s it – if you have to retrieve your paddle then paddle with your hands to get it otherwise, don’t let it put you off and get paddling again. Remember, balancing on your board takes strength, balance and a little bit of skill. Focus on planting your feet just apart just forward of centre of the board and bend your knees slightly. You can read more about how to stand up on a paddle board here.