3 Golden Rules - SUP Technique
No matter where you paddle, learning proper technique is going to allow you to paddle the most effectively, safely, and comfortably. In this episode, we're going to talk about four golden rules that apply to pretty much everything you do on your board. Following these rules will assure you're using good technique and will help you advance your skills and get the most out of Stand Up Paddleboarding.
The first golden rule states, "Plant your blade fully in the water before you start to pull." This applies to every stroke you take. The reason we want the blade fully planted in the water, is because it gives us the most power out of our blade. It also acts to stabilize you, because when the blade is fully in the water, you have an extra point of contact with the water. Which is basically acting as a brace for you while you're paddling.
Golden rule number two states, "Always assume the ready position when paddling." The "ready position" starts with your feet shoulder width apart, your knees lightly bent, and your back straight. Keeping your knees bent turns your legs into shock absorbers that keep you balanced over your board. Keeping your back straight and not hunching over allows you to engage your core muscles when you're paddling, which makes your strokes much more effective and it helps to avoid back injury.
The third golden rule states, "Use your core muscles for all your strokes." Think of your body as broken into three major power sources; your arms, your core which are your lats and abs, and your legs. Most beginner paddlers use only their arms to power their strokes and they tire very quickly. By getting your core muscles involved with your strokes you're accessing a much larger power source than just your arms, which means you'll be able to paddle much harder, for much longer. When you do this properly, you're going to feel it in your abs and in your lats, so you're going to know when you're paddling using the third golden rule.
The fourth and final golden rule states, "Keep your board as quiet as possible." Maintaining a quiet board on the water means your board is going to be most efficient on the water. When you're thinking of keeping your board quiet, think about engaging the muscles in your feet, and your lower legs. This is not only going to help you keep your board quiet, but it's also going to help you stay more balanced. Next up, we're going to look at how this applies to specific strokes, starting with the forward stroke.