How to stand up on a paddle board – Beginners Guide

Paddle boarding is a great activity that incorporates fun into a full body workout, perfect for people of all ages and abilities meaning it has significantly grown in popularity over the last few years. When beginning paddle boarding there are a number of things to get your head around, from choosing the best beginner paddle board to learning to stand up on a paddle board for the first time.

When people  start paddle boarding it can be a daunting experience, a key goal of many who start paddleboarding is to successfully stand up. There are some steps that you can take to help you stand up on your paddle board in no time, so what are they?

1.   Picking the right paddle board

You’ve picked an ideal place to paddle board, a nice calm and flat space of water, now you need to make sure you pick the right board. It can be tricky to pick the best beginner paddle board when you are first starting out. Good beginner paddle boards will be nice and wide offering good stability and build quality making them easier and comfortable to use.

2.   Adjusting the paddle size

So now that you have your perfect beginner paddle board, you will need to ensure your paddle is the right length for your height. Ideally, your paddle should reach between eight to twelve inches above your head, the easiest way to measure this is to put the paddle on the floor and reach to the top of the handle ensuring you can grip fully with your palm and fingers over the top. Adjusting your handle to the right height is important as it will allow for the most comfortable and efficient strokes when you are in the water.

To watch the correct way to measure your paddle see a video at the link:


3.   Start on your knees

The best way to get a feel for the paddle board’s movement is to start on your knees, position yourself in the middle of the width and length of the paddle board with your knees equally placed on each side of the centreline. Use this time to get the feel for the motion of the water and get used to steadying yourself.  

4.   Standing up

Place the paddle on the board in front of you so it is laying perpendicular. With both hands over the length of the paddle, look in front of you and begin leaning forward shifting the weight so you can bring your knees up to your chest so you are in a squatting position. Position your feet flat on the board, knee-width apart keeping in the centre of the board and slowly straighten up to standing. Keep your knees relaxed and dip your paddle into the water, this can help with extra stability. As you paddle make sure you are in the centre of the board and both the nose and tail of the board are parallel, if one starts to stick out of the water too much adjust your position more forward or backwards.

Standing up on a paddle board takes time and practice so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it straight away! Every paddle boarder started off as a beginner at one point.