Quick Tip: Stop Trying to Stack Your Shoulders
When I first started stand up paddle boarding, I had a voracious appetite to learn. To support my quest I searched and read everything and anything I could on HOW TO for SUP technique. I was constantly seeing “stack the shoulder” as a key element and it’s still being expressed today. Well folks, it can’t be done! As a student I tried and tried, but I could not do it, feel it, or really understand what the heck it meant.
As a coach, it's my job to use terminologies that are relevant, reproducible in scale, and easily understood by students. So if not stacking shoulders, what is a paddler to do?
Instead, focus and feel the STACK of the top hand over the bottom hand in a vertical line while engaging their paddle. This will allow you to go straight and put the power down for control and speed. Obviously, this hand alignment will be adjusted when turning, bracing, etc.
Shoulders play an important role in paddling via the shoulder joint and shoulder girdle complex. They rotate for power (torque) and can angle for efficient alignment and balance. Stacking in sports and body movements usually refers to a vertical column and or positioning. This is why focus on STACKING the HANDS for better power, control and efficiency makes more sense to most students and athletes.