Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Boards For the Ocean
Open ocean paddle boarding was the earliest incarnation of the sport, and what many people still think of when they think of SUPs. This includes distance paddling or racing. There’s nothing quite like paddling out to a calm, open ocean and gliding along the shoreline; especially here in beautiful San Diego, where the Pacific is at our fingertips.
Beginner Tips for Open Ocean Stand Up Paddle Boarding
- Scout the waves so you know where to paddle out. If it’s your first time SUP surfing, avoid crowded areas and look for a spot with gentle waves. Some surf spots have an official or unofficial protocol where SUP surfers must stay out during crowded conditions.
- Keep an eye out for other hazards including submerged rocks, shallow beach break, or swimmers.
- Walk your board out to about waist-deep water and then hop on. It will be easier to paddle out on your knees, or even lying prone with the paddle blade under your chest and the handle sticking out over the nose.
- If you prefer to stand, remember to bend your knees and keep your feet staggered – similar to your surf stance – to help keep you balanced, especially when paddling through whitewash.
- The key is to paddle hard into the whitewash, putting weight on your back foot to pop the board over the foam, and then use your momentum to punch through to calm water. You’ll find leaning back substantially helps you mount and then overcome the whitewater.
- For catching waves it’s actually better to take small, fast strokes instead of long deep ones.
- To not lose your balance focus on something on shore and then begin to paddle towards that object.
- If you’re going out for distance paddling, make sure to stay 100 yards outside of the surf zone.
- Always wear a leash so you stay connected to the board. Paddles do float, so if it falls out of your hands it’ll be easy to find it floating nearby.