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SUP for Beginners

Stand up Paddle boarding is a fun way to play while exploring the rivers, lakes or oceans of the world. Over the years, SUP has continued to grow in popularity – and maybe you too have been wanting to try it out?

We talked to the Colorado based SUP-queen, Alex Delvecchio, to get some tips on how to get started.

Why SUP?

It’s a fun way to get active, and to connect with nature and yourself. SUP offers something for everyone; regardless of body type, age and skill level. You can head out for a relaxing paddle on a calm lake or catch waves in the ocean. Or maybe you’d like to do SUP yoga or go for a fast-paced paddle to get a workout. Whatever your ambition is, nothing beats a day on the lake, surrounded by mountains, friends, and simple serenity.

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SUP YOGA: When you get the hang of things, you can start practicing yoga on your board to really challenge your balance.

What does it require?

All you need is a SUP board, a paddle and a life vest. You can choose between a solid or an inflatable board. Solid boards offer the best performance on the water; they travel faster, smoother and with less effort than an inflatable version. However if you have limited storage and want to be able to travel with your board, an inflatable version is a great and highly popular option. If you want to do SUP-yoga, an inflatable board also tend to be a bit softer, making them more comfortable for yoga poses.

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EASY TO TRAVEL WITH: if you have limited storage and/or want to be able to travel with your board, an inflatable version is a practical option.

How to Dress for SUP-boarding?

For the summer months, I recommend a sports bra or your swimwear combined with a sports shorts. For colder conditions where hypothermia is a concern, you should wear a wetsuit or a drysuit.

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SAFETY FIRST: Don’t forget to bring your life vest when SUPping.

How do we get started?

Get your board ready, if you got an inflatable one; pump it up to the correct PSI (pounds per square inch of pressure which is typically written on the board). Turn it on its side and grab the board by the handle in the middle to carry it onto the water, with the bottom of the board facing you.

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How do you stay balanced on a SUP?

You can start by standing on your knees while you paddle out and see how that feels. When you’ve got the hang of it, try standing up with a wide stance. Bend your knees slightly, focus on the horizon and believe in yourself. If you think you’ll fall, you will fall! So stare at the horizon, find your balance and firmly tell yourself you’re going to stay on the board. Whenever it’s getting really wobbly, drop down to your knees again to gain stability. It takes practice and time to get used to, but once you’ve cracked it, it becomes second nature.

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BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: Stand with your knees slightly bent, focus on the horizon and believe in yourself. Remember: If you think you’ll fall, you will fall!

What is the correct way to paddle?

Place your paddle in the water and have the angle of the blade facing outward (away from you) parallel to the board. Make sure your shoulders rotate towards the direction you want to go and pull the paddle towards you. 

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When on it, what do you actually do?

This is really up to you. You can do yoga, surf, race or just calmly paddle and take in the view. Just play with it at first and find out what is right for you. The most important thing is to have fun!

Happy SUPping!

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