Quick Tip: How Foot Position from A Squat Can Improve Paddleboard Balance
Learning to walk the centerline of your paddle board seems elusive, scary and impossible for many paddlers. The problem lies not knowing where the balanced middle of the your board is in everyday paddling. Kelly Margetts, a retired top Australian professional paddleboard racer recommends the feet should be spaced and angled roughly 15 degrees out from parallel.
After I read his article I began to explore with my heels more toward the centerline whilst paddling in various degrees and it was astounding. At first it seems counter intuitive compared to a parallel stance, but the results were magnificent! It instantly made my 2022 14’x23” Starboard Sprint feel so much more stable side to side that it felt like a completely different board. Have I been looking for balance in all the wrong places? My answer is 100% yes!
Here's a list of observations that I felt;
1.) Side ways rolling boat wake and chop was so much easier to let roll underneath the hull.
2.) The issue I previously struggled with of that side to side wiggling ceased.
3.) Overall balancing by weighting my heels to center created a whole new appreciation for the hull design.
4.) The ability to connect with my paddle more efficiently was dramatically easier.
5.) The position of the feet is similar in the alignment to a squat position.
You’re probably asking what does this have to do with walking the centerline? By spending my paddling time feeling balanced to my board, I now have that innate sense of where and how it should feel. The transition of moving backward and forward while maintaining center awareness has become remarkably more comfortable. So basically you get 2 for 1 for this new stance; easier walking of the centerline and easier, more stable paddling.
Go explore play and have fun and i’m always available for private lessons or group performance clinics.