Author Topic: Tips for Beginners  (Read 23169 times)

blueplanetsurf

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Tips for Beginners
« on: April 12, 2012, 01:13:10 AM »
Most of us here on the Zone are not beginners, but some of us may still remember what it was like.
Share what you learned here and give some helpful tips to the first timers looking online for help.

I'll get it started:

Some tips for beginners:

If you can, take a lesson or ask someone experienced to help you.

Make sure you have a board that is stable enough for your height, weight and conditions and a paddle that is the right length.

Find some calm, protected water to learn how to get up, balance, turn the board and basic steering and forward strokes. 

Don't attempt to surf waves until you can do these very basic things.

Watch this video and have fun. 

Warning: SUP is highly addictive



http://zenwaterman.blogspot.com/2012/04/introduction-to-stand-up-paddling-for.html
Robert Stehlik
Blue Planet Surf Shop, Honolulu
Hawaii's SUP HQ
http://www.blueplanetsurf.com

SUPsurferFL

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 08:44:50 AM »
Find the "sweet spot" on the board and place your feet about shoulder width apart making sure to stand relaxed and not stiff, usually on each side of the hole where the handle of the board is, sometimes a little forward or a little backward from the hole depending on the board and conditions, but the goal is to get it to plane smoothly across the water with as little drag as possible, this also will increase stability

kneecap

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Re: Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 10:51:24 AM »
Get in the water as often as possible, even if the conditions are horrible, as long as it's not dangerous. Paddling more often, especially when it's tough will make you better more quickly. Plus, it's more fun to paddle than to not, even when it's difficult.

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Ucycle

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 12:58:56 PM »
relax and breath (very important).  At the beginning when i was going out on rough condition, i was so tense, i forgot to breath which makes it worse.  So everytime my legs are wobbling/shaking the board, i tell myself to take a couple good breathe.
Whenever you stated paddle surfing, use your paddle to turn, lean on it.  seen too many beginner use it as a holding stick once they are on the wave.  My paddle save my ass couple times on late take off, i was able to brace myself without pearl my nose.
"Surfing is not fashion, it is passion... F*CK YOU surf industry!!!!" -SL

Bulky

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 01:14:01 PM »
1.  Look at the horizon, not the nose of your board.  Look around as much as you can--this helps develop water sense and instinctive feel of what the board/water are doing.
2.  As soon as possible, move your feet--even if it's just stepping up and down.  Breaking the habit of having your feet glued down is among the hardest to break.
3.  Practice 180 pivot turns in flatwater (stepping to the back of the board) until they're 2nd nature--it will make your foray into the surf zone much easier.
4.  Laugh when you fall off and get back on again--you're much less visible from shore than you think you are.
5.  Time on water!  Time on water!  Time on water!
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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 01:24:44 PM »
Don't lock your ankles, knees, or hips. Let the board "swim" under you. Especially in even small waves.

Eyes up!

Keep your hands and paddle in front of your hips, most beginners don't fall off the side, they fall on their bum and then over. Keeping your hands forward helps prevent that.

Relax, smile, have fun!

Old School 213

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 01:35:50 PM »
1) Have fun, relax
2) Have fun, no need to be hyper critical, you're doing this to have fun
3) Have fun, look around - but not down! Look down, go down!
4) Wider is not better - You may find it easier to balance with your feet *closer* together rather than wider apart.
5) Don't get in over your head. Don't go into crowded areas if you doubt your ability to control your board.
6) The paddle goes the other way!
7) Have fun!

pdxmike

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 01:42:23 PM »
Read standupzone.

Don't be afraid to post questions.  Also, use the "search" button at the top of the page.  There is now several years of accumulated knowledge on just about every topic imaginable. It's the best SUP advice available anywhere.  Just type in your topic in the search box.  You'll also find all sorts of answers to questions you hadn't even thought of asking. 

blueplanetsurf

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 12:32:14 AM »
If you want to buy your first board:

Try a bunch of boards before you buy one.

Don't buy just on price.  It's better to get a used beginner board than a cheap new board that's not right for you.  Get a good paddle.  Do some research, like pdx said, use that search function.

I see too many beginners wanting to buy a board to fit inside their car/ elevator/ room, not because it is the right board for them.   
Robert Stehlik
Blue Planet Surf Shop, Honolulu
Hawaii's SUP HQ
http://www.blueplanetsurf.com

stoneaxe

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2012, 07:52:49 AM »
You want to get better? Once you have the basics down go out in anything (that you can safely handle). In fact, look for days that are wind blown and choppy to advance your board handling skills and balance faster.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 07:54:32 AM by stoneaxe »
Bob

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tahitijack

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2012, 09:44:39 AM »
Three thing to gotta know:

1.  Paddle into boat wakes at a 90 degree angle, don't look at the wake look beyond it and relax you leggs, let them be shock absorbers.

2.  The faster you paddle the smoother/more stable the ride

3.  When you launch, push off as fast as you can, so when you go from hands and knees to crouch to stand up the board is moving quickly as you stand up (see #2).  Start to paddle as quick as possible to maintain momentum.

Hope this helps..
Happy Sunsets!
Tahitijack

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2012, 08:12:25 AM »
Lot of great tips!  This should be a sticky thread or at least a must read for new SUP'ers.

headmount

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 11:27:09 AM »
BulkyBiker... I have troubles with "4.  Laugh when you fall off and get back on again--you're much less visible from shore than you think you are."

No one can see me where I go but I hate falling and swear vehemently when I do because no one (except for maybe PBill) can hear me.  I just pissed at myself but I also enjoy swearing loud.

In this politically correct world I can use all those wonderful swear words that have so much nostalgia attached to them.  

Bulky

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 03:55:36 PM »
Point taken, headmount.  Good boy that I am, I forgot about the visceral satisfaction that comes from screaming expletives on the high seas.

In the spirit of Peter Venkman "Actually, it's more of a guideline than a rule." ;)

Happy f@#king paddling, Pottymouth!
Santa Barbara, CA

Infinity Blackfish 14'
King's 14'
Naish Glide 14' (2012)
SupSports Hammer 8'11
Starboard WidePoint 10'5
Ke Nalu Mana, Konihi, Maliko

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2012, 06:58:04 PM »
Forgot an old favorite, blow your dough on a decent paddle to start.

Buy a beater for your first board... you WILL ding it! Once you're confident move up to that shiny new board. There's a reason board for sale ads outnumber used paddle ads about 10:1.