If you are new to paddle boarding and struggling to keep your balance, we share some top tips to help keep you upright. Standing up is one thing but how to balance on a paddle board for longer than a few minutes is a skill that takes some longer to master than others.
Position Yourself Correctly
Standing too far forward, or too far backwards on the board, will hinder your ability to balance on a paddle board. Knowing your board’s centre point is important. The key is to find the middle of the board. This is the point where your board lies completely flat on the water. Too far forwards or backwards and the board will tip slightly. Not useful when you are trying to stand upright. Once you know your centre point, you can place your knees here, moving your feet to the place where your knees are when you stand up.
Look at the Horizon
Don’t look down – look ahead. This is a familiar trick in all kinds of balance whether you are trying to balance on a log or on a paddle board. By finding a point ahead on the horizon and focusing on that, it should help you to keep your balance. If you look down, you may soon find yourself in the water.
Focus on Core Strength
A strong core is really useful when you are trying to balance. You may be lucky enough to have a very strong core but if you don’t then there are some exercises you can try. We like to work out outdoors – it goes with all of our other hobbies including trail running.
We spend most of our time working out in the great outdoors. you don’t have to be in a gym. Planks, sit ups, press ups and other core exercises can be done anywhere and will all help you to develop a stronger core which in turn will help with your balance.
Keep Your Knees Slightly Bent
Flexing your knees and not locking them out will help with how to balance on a paddle board. It isn’t as easy as it sounds and you will need to keep reminding yourself to bend and flex. It will also help if your centre of gravity is closer to the board
Use Your Paddle
Using your paddle in the correct way will help you to maintain your paddle board balance. At the same time as flexing your knees to lower your centre of gravity, you can hit the water with the face of your blade. Use it lean over the side that you are more likely to fall over to recover your composure and balance.
Easy as it can be to totally tense up when you are on the water, you will be much better steadied if you are relaxed. Being relaxed will remove the tension from your muscles and help you enjoy the experience much more.
Focus on Breathing
When you are anxious or nervous, you can tend to hold your breath, or your breathing can become erratic. Focus on your breathing as this will help you to stay relaxed and focused on the task at hand.
Have the Right Gear
Having the right equipment is a must when you are on a paddle board. The paddle should be set at a correct height for a start, this will help you to maintain the right stance and get enough depth when stroking.
You must always focus on safety. Make sure you have a leash so that you are attached to your board. Some people prefer a waist leash rather than an ankle leash – there are safety reasons for this. Also, make sure you have a floatation jacket. This is all to make sure that you remain safe if you do fall in. Even the strongest swimmers van get into difficulty unexpectedly.
Use the Techniques On Dry Land
Before you put your board in the water, it is a good idea to stand up on the paddle board on dry land and practice your techniques. Another top tip is to use a Bosu ball to improve your balancing technique. A Bosu ball is an inflatable balance ball aimed improving balance and core strength. Not only will it help with how to balance on a paddle board, it will also help with general strength and fitness training.
Practice, Practice, Practice
At the end of the day, like riding a bike, the more we do it, the better we get. Get out there on the board and practice your paddle board techniques. In no time at all, you will be confident standing up on the water without losing you balance.