8 Tips for Performance Paddle Boarders
Performance paddle boarding has evolved in many ways over the years, but the fundamentals are still key. The marriage of technique and individual style is the key to enjoyment and development. There is no one way to paddle and a diverse portfolio of skills will help immensely. With that said, here are 8 tips that are consistent across all world class paddlers.
1.) Actively engaging your feet, ankles, and knees to facilitate fore, center, and aft pressure is a big part of stand up paddle boarding!
2.) Effective blade angle entry is created with top hand/arm positioning. Keeping the top hand behind the bottom hand is key to a good entry.
3.) Finish your stroke (pull the blade out of the water and start next stroke) BEFORE your board starts to lose acceleration and/or speed.
4.) A performance forward stroke is quick and may feel “too short” for many paddlers. This must be practiced on land both mentally and physically.
5.) Once your stroke is finished, get your paddle forward quickly to initiate your next sequence smoothly and efficiently.
6.) Experiment with creating downward force onto the paddle with top hand, arm, and shoulder.
7.) Wait to pull the bottom hand until the catch is fully submerged/anchored.
8.) Longevity and paddling sustainability requires strength, mobility, and energy/cardio system training.