Stand Up Paddleboarding is currently the fastest growing water sport in the world, and here in Bend it is literally exploding in popularity. Our women’s SUP nights have been selling out every week, and we had to borrow an extra fleet of boards from Sunriver to accommodate the crowds. Our SUP race series on Wednesday regularly has dozens of paddlers competing, including surfing legend and Bend resident Gerry Lopez. Jen Kjellesvik of Adventure Fitness has recently started a SUP fitness class on Tuesday nights, which already has a bunch of sign-ups for the first week!
Here is the first of a series of instructions on SUP. Next week will post a how-to video staring Jen : ) If you are new to the sport, come down and rent a board – it is easy to learn – or if you are in the market for a board, we always offer free demos.
How to SUP – the forward stroke:
1. After placing your board in the water making sure that the back fins do not get bent in the sand, find the balance point on the board. It is usually right in the middle. Sit there on your knees and then push yourself up onto your feet, with both feet parallel and facing forward.
2. Bend your knees and straighten your back.
3. Grasp the paddle with both hands: When paddling your SUP Board on the right side, your left hand should be the one holding the top handle of the paddle and vice versa.
4. Plant the paddle as far forward as possible while simultaneously keeping a loose grip with your lower hand and a straight elbow on the lower arm.
5. Lead with your top shoulder and pull the Stand Up Paddle along side the board and downward with the top hand. Make sure the paddle blade is completely below the surface before applying pressure.
6. Keep the paddle vertical throughout the stroke by ensuring that the top hand is outboard.
7. Try to keep your blade as close as possible to the centerline of your SUP Board by running it close to the side of the board in a straight line.
8. If your board is straying off course, switch the paddle to the other side of the Stand Up Paddleboard to correct the motion and keep you moving forward.
9. Create a J-shape with your paddle, and finish your stroke just below your heels. It is less efficient to paddle behind your legs.
10. Have a blast!