Six SUP Tips for Beginners

Something I asked about often is tips for beginners, in fact many of you voted for this blog piece but before I get any further with this blog, I want to remind you that I’m no coach. So instead I wrote this for myself, for the slightly scared, apprehensive but excited individual I was when I first started SUP. You see, I was worried what people might think of me, I was nervous about failing or falling too much but above all about making a fool of myself.

TIP 1 – GO FOR IT!

This might seem like an obvious one but it is so easy to procrastinate. Despite always wanting to try paddle boarding, it actually took me over a year to actually take the dive. I’d spend time watching others paddlers, wanting to try but make excuses on why i couldn’t do it. drop that fear and commit to it – it might be the best thing you can do!
My first time on a paddle board

TIP 2 – FALL IN

For some of you, that might be a given… it was for me anyway, the idea of standing seemed impossible at the beginning. For others, you might find it easier to stand up and stay dry but falling in helps us learn so much more. My coach says, if you don’t fall your not trying hard enough.

Just remember, fall 9 times, get up 10.
Falling in is half the fun!

TIP 3 – FIND A FRIEND

Join a club or even just a facebook group but finding someone to buddy up with can be a game changer. Not only does it make it safer but it makes it so much more fun – i’ve never laughed so much as when i’ve been learning a new skill with friends. Then when something goes right, it’s like having your very own cheer squad. For me, this has been such a huge part of falling in love the sport.
Friends make failing fun

TIP 4 – GET A LESSON

Now many of you might put this as number 1 and if i knew, what i did now, i’d put this as number one too. The thing is, i’m writing this for people who like me, think the idea of a lesson to start is too intimidating. If i waited till i was ready to take a lesson to start, i probably would still be waiting BUT Lessons are invaluable. If you have already paddled a little they can correct your technique and if you go for a lesson to start off with, you won’t have bad habits to break. It’s 100% worth it.
Lessons are invaluable – if in Dorset I couldn’t recommend Elaine Farquharson more.

TIP 5 – GET COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE

You see, the best things come from moving out of your comfort zone. You soon become comfortable in what was once something you couldn’t imagine for yourself. I actually love being a beginner because every day you see a little more progress!

TIP 6 – ENJOY IT

You can find endless videos and different advice on technique. You might post a picture of you and be bombarded by advice, especially in some of the Facebook groups – take it with all with a pinch of salt. If you’re looking to improve technique, get a coaching session but really when all is said and done – If you’re enjoying it, you’re doing it right.

Now you might think that these aren’t that helpful, they’re mostly about attitude rather than skills but for me, getting my head in the right space has been the most important part of the journey. You see, while many blogs will tell you how to get up, how to hold your paddle or the best paddle technique – none of this matters if you don’t have the confidence to get out there and try it.

As you fall off over and over or you challenge yourself to paddle further, each time you’re improving and although it can be frustrating, incredibly so at times, at some point you will look back and realise just how far you’ve come, how much you’ve improved and maybe how much you’ve learnt about yourself.

For me, the lessons SUP have taught me reach much further than I ever imagined – it’s not just about the board and the water. – it’s about confidence, resilience and drive to do more. But hey, if you’re reading my blog you’ve probably already realised that!

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