Stand up paddle for beginners

Published on 08/11/2022

Do you want to go stand up paddling in the Landes during your holidays? Here are some tips and tricks to get you started. With the right equipment and the right basics, anyone can manage to glide across the water on a SUP from the first session.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT STAND UP PADDLE BOARD

Whether you are buying or renting, follow the advice of a professional to choose the board that is best suited to your body type, your level of experience, and your practice. Today, almost 90% of the models sold in France are inflatable boards. Beginners will opt for a wider and longer board, which offers better stability on the water.

ADJUSTING THE SIZE OF YOUR PADDLE

The choice of paddle is very important. A paddle that is too short or too long requires more effort for a limited gliding result. It must be adapted to the size of each person. To find out if your paddle is the right length, place it vertically on the ground. Then raise your arm above your head. The top of the paddle should be level with your wrist. To make sure you always have a paddle that fits, you can opt for an adjustable paddle.

ATTACHING YOUR LEASH

When riding, racing or surfing, the leash is the main safety accessory when riding a SUP. This cord connects you to your board. In case of a fall, it prevents you from losing your paddle board. We advise you to always wear it.

WEAR A LIFEJACKET

If you are sailing within 300 metres of the beach, a lifejacket is not compulsory but is recommended. It will allow you to float and be visible if you fall in the water. Note in passing that it is imperative to know how to swim to go paddling. It may seem obvious, but it's always good to remember.

PRACTISING PADDLING ON YOUR KNEES

When you start paddling, it is advisable to start on your knees. In this position, your centre of gravity is lower and you will find it easier to balance. The technique for paddling on your knees: always look far ahead with the paddle. As soon as the paddle reaches your knees, lift it up to maintain your stability and stay upright.

THE ULTIMATE GOAL: STAND UP

From a kneeling position, you must then try to stand up... without falling into the water. You can train alone or with an instructor. In general, one hour of training is enough to become independent.

To find the right balance standing on the paddle, you have to adopt the same posture as a skier, feet apart and legs bent. Then you start paddling. Look at a point on the horizon far away and start paddling far ahead of you and bring the paddle up to your feet, putting all your weight into the movement. Of course, you will often fall off on your first attempts.

GETTING BACK ON THE PADDLE

On your first paddling experience, you will fall into the water more than once. To get back on your paddle, put your paddle on the board, pull yourself up onto the middle of the boat using your arms, and then stand up slowly.

WHERE TO STAND UP PADDLE IN THE LANDES?

Like a tightrope walker on the water, you have mastered the paddle stroke? All that's left is to discover the best spots for stand up paddling in the Landes! Beginners will choose the calm and quiet waters of the lakes of Vieux-Boucau, Soustons, Azur or Hossegor. The more experienced will come and test themselves against the Landes waves in "paddle surf" mode, in Seignosse or Labenne.

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