5 Paddleboarding Tips to Stay Standing

Group paddleboarding to the scene of a sunset

Paddleboarding has been gaining popularity in Florida both as a pastime and as a form of exercise, and the gentle waters of the Gulf of Mexico are perfect for beginners. If you’re a first-time or beginner paddleboarder, falling is a natural part of learning. However, losing your balance isn’t as fun as gliding across the water, so follow these simple tips and you’ll stay upright longer, and become an expert sooner.

1. Pay attention to your stance

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart, with your back straight and your knees bent. Your stance will keep you stable, and bending your knees will keep you from locking up and falling over when you hit any waves. If you do start to fall, just let it happen and fall away from your board to prevent injuries.

2. Paddle from your stomach

Many beginners will paddle using their arms and find themselves quickly out of energy. Don’t strain your arms; paddle from the bigger muscles in your core and you’ll not only be more stable, you’ll be able to paddle harder for longer.

3. Don’t look down!

It’s natural to want to look down at your board to try to balance yourself, but pointing your head downward will throw off your balance and likely throw you off your board. Keep your head up and look straight ahead – you’ll stay up and you’ll have a much better view!

4. Practice in calm waters

While the pros might head to the East Coast for the rough seas and big waves, they’re not great if you’re just starting out. The warm, gentle waters around The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel are perfect for beginners. Unlike traditional surfing, you don’t need waves to get going at a decent speed, so there is still a lot of fun to be had.

5. Use the right gear

Beginner boards are larger, lighter and more stable than those used by advanced riders, so make sure you ’re getting the right board. Many outfitters in the area such as Sea Dog Paddle rent paddleboarding equipment.

Go for it! First-time paddleboarders, don’t be shy! Paddleboarding in Fort Myers & Sanibel is the perfect addition to your health and fitness vacation. Add paddleboarding to other adventurous beach activities Southwest Florida has to offer, other adventurous beach activities, and you’re prepared to have a splashin’ good time.

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