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10 tips on how to enjoy SUP

10 tips on how to enjoy SUP

Stand-up paddle boarding, or more casually called SUP, a fast-growing popular activity on the Gold Coast, is a very pleasant and addictive form of water sport. It is also a safe and healthy activity provided you have fairly simple and important basic instructions, such as the position on the board, correct use of the paddle, and correct posture.

Here are 10 simple tips to get you started.

  • It will be of course a lot easier to get into SUP if you are not afraid of getting wet.
  • On your first attempt, start on your knees as this will give you the ‘feel‘ of the board. Place your knees either side of the deck grip about shoulder width apart as this is usually the centre, widest and most stable part of the board.
  • Make sure that before you mount the board you are at least in knee-deep water. This ensures that the fin is not hitting the sand and cause the board to stop abruptly, which can result in a fall. While in that position, practice paddling technique, turning and stopping the board.
  • When you feel more comfortable and confident, place the paddle across the board, put your feet where your knees were one foot at a time and slowly stand up, bringing the paddle up with you.
  • It is important to try to stand in a relatively relaxed position with your knees slightly bent, and your legs and feet as relaxed as possible.
  • It is advisable to move to deeper water when standing—at least one-metre deep—as this will help prevent hitting the bottom if you do fall.
  • Always fully submerge your paddle blade as this gives you more power and control of the board and helps with your balance.
  • While paddling, if a boat passes, it is safer to try to go directly onto the wave. It is also advisable in such a situation to keep the paddle blade fully submerged as this helps to stabilise the board.
  • Try not to use your upper body to balance. Balance with your hips and knees and keep your upper body as central as possible. This is extremely important for heavily-built and tall people.
  • It is always a good idea to check the weather report on tides and wind.

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Paddling the creek

Tallebudgera Creek is a beautiful place for paddle boarding and is an ideal way to explore the creek. The pristine water conditions and the ever-changing colours of the creek can be amazing. Being framed by the Burleigh Heads National Park on one side you will definitely find yourself among nature. With the natural surrounding scenery emanating, you gain a feeling of calm, and the experience of a different perspective while standing on your board can be a tonic to the soul.

Viewing the marine life with crystal clear water, from above can leave you constantly in awe. Whether you leisurely cruise along on a board or get into an energy-packed fitness workout, either way can be exhilarating. It is an enjoyable activity for families and friends to get together and enjoy the great outdoors, suitable for most ages even up to the 80s age group.

So often, before people go out on a board, they ask, ‘Is it difficult?’ After a lesson and instruction, and returning after their hire, they have grins from ear to ear telling us how they had so much fun. And if you are really lucky, the friendly dolphins that seem to like human company may also come for a visit!

Get paddling on your SUP board or hire one, and experience the natural surroundings found here.

By Leanne Wyman, All Coast Paddle Boat Hire

Photos by Jon Blackwood