How to SUP- learn to Stand Up Paddleboard in 5 minutes

How to SUP- learn to Stand Up Paddleboard in 5 minutes

How to Stand Up Paddleboard- learn to SUP with Blue Planet founder Robert Stehlik

In this video we cover the basics of Stand Up Paddleboarding in just 5 minutes.

Covered are:

1) Board handling

2) Paddle handling, technique and

3) Safety

How to SUP topics

Here are some screenshots from the video and more detailed tips that will make learning to SUP a breeze:

how to sup board handling

1) when lifting the board always lift it up onto the rail away from you first, then use the carry handle to lift it, don't try to lift it flat off the ground or off the water, protect your lower back!

How to SUP -center weight on board

2) Kneel on board with knees on either side of the carry handle, make sure bodyweight is centered over the board both sideways and lengthwise.

How to SUP- balancing

3) To stand up, put the paddle across the board in front of you and put your feet where your knees were.  Avoid looking down at your feet or board or water, try to look forward.

How to SUP look forward

4) Look forward at the steady horizon or something that does not move to find your balance and let your legs balance.  Your brain does not react fast enough to balance, you have to let your nervous system control your balance.

If you are really struggling to find your balance and standing up, this video will be helpful:

Stand Up Paddleboarding for the complete Klutz:


How to SUP holding the paddle the wrong way

5) Most beginners think they can "scoop" more water by holding the blade backwards but this is the wrong way.

How to SUP wrong way to hold paddle

6) When you hold the blade backwards, you shovel water upwards, which compresses you down onto the water instead of creating forward propulsion.

How to SUP- holding the paddle correctly

7) The correct way to hold the paddle is with the blade angled forward away from you.

how to stand up paddle holding the blade correctly

8) The correct paddle angle will create lift and forward propulsion throughout the stroke.

How to paddleboard- lower hand grip distance

9) Most beginners place the lower hand too high on the shaft.  Use the "paddlers box" to find a good grip height, make right angles with elbows and place paddle above head, the lower hand should be about half way down the shaft.

how to sup holding paddle diagonally

10) Most beginners hold their paddle too diagonally and paddle too far away from the rail, causing the board to yaw (zigzag through the water) instead of going straight forward.

How to SUP forward stroke

11) To propel yourself forward, hold the shaft perpendicular to the water and pull it straight back, ending close to the rail.

how to sup use paddle for balance

12) Keep the paddle in the water for balance, like a third leg or walking stick.

How to sup pulling water up

13) Beginners often start their stroke close to their feet and pull back and up, shoveling water behind themselves.  This creates very little forward propulsion.

How to SUP forward stroke

14) To paddle efficiently, reach forward, fully plant the blade in the water before pulling, and don't pull past your feet.

How to SUP using only tip of blade

15) Beginners often don't use the whole blade, and just skim the surface with part of the blade.

How to SUP use full blade

16) Plant the whole face of the blade in the water at the beginning of the stroke to pull yourself past the blade that's planted in the water with minimal slippage.

How to stand up paddleboard weight in center by handle

17) Maximize glide by placing your weight in the center, usually close to the handle, where the gliding surface of the board is parallel to the water surface.

how to sup trimming weight on board

18) If the weight is too far forward, the board creates unnecessary drag.

how to sup weight too far back

19) If the weight is too far back, the tail sinks, the board is less stable, yaws more, and drags through the water.

how to sup not wearing a leash 

20) Always wear a leash for safety.  Even light winds can cause your board to drift off faster than you can swim to reach it.  SUP is very safe if done responsibly, most fatalities could have been avoided by wearing a leash.

How to SUP have fun and be healthy physically and mentally

21) Stand Up Paddling is a great exercise for your body and mind.  Don't forget to have fun, be happy, live long and prosper.

We hope you find these tips helpful, for more detailed and advanced instructions, please review the videos in our SUP Tips playlist below.  Thanks for watching, have fun and see you on the water.

Aloha, Robert Stehlik

Some of the things not covered in the video:
Use right board for height, weight and ability level, for more information on choosing the best board for your needs, check out this page and watch the video:

Paddle handling and technique:
not covered:
steering strokes, watch this video to learn how to steer the board:
choosing the right paddle and length, for more information on this topic, please watch:

ALWAYS wear a leash, and a personal floatation device if required (not required in Hawaii if using a leash)
Use the buddy system, don't go out in dangerous condition, beware of strong offshore winds.
If you can't swim, learn to swim first, then learn to SUP

If you are really struggling to find your balance and standing up, this video will be most helpful:

Part 2:

More tips:
be safe, have fun and watch all the videos in our SUP Tips playlist here:

Here is a newer video titled "How to Paddleboard for the first time", filmed at the new Blue Planet Adventure Company location in Hale'iwa on Oahu's North Shore:

Did you know that Blue Planet offers free air cargo shipping to any major US airport on most boards ordered on our website? Our board are an excellent value and we offer boards for all skill levels.

The board featured in the video is the Blue Planet 9'10 x 33 Turbo model:
The paddle I'm using is my favorite, the BP Kai Zen V2 with 82 square inch blade:


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