Finding stability is a concern and often a worry for many paddle boarders.  Stability can be found in a few different ways..
In this video, I demonstrate how to use the SUP paddle on or in the water to gain more stability in rough water, walking on the board, pivot turns and regular turns.

How to Get Stability –

  • Paddling will make your stable. Momentum is stability, like riding a bike or a surfer catching a wave.
  • Placing your paddle on the water at your side, blade flat on the water will give your stability.
  • Intermediate skills like Sculling which is like treading in water with your paddle will create stablity


Try it out..

Standing on the center of your board, hold the blade out of the water and rock the board with both feet (pushing up and down on the rails).  Or place your paddle vertically on the deck of your board, then rock your rails.

Now place the flat part of the blade (power face or back) flat on the water at your side. Rock the board again.  Which is more stable?  The paddle in air or on centerline or in the air, or flat on the water?  Most find that the blade on the water acts like an outrigger. or tripod.  I teach my beginners to stand up, then immediately place the paddle in the water, this really helps with their initial stability.

Tippy? Get that blade on the water!

It’s common for folks to try to balance when they’re tippy.  Instead, get low, slap the water or paddle for more stability. Forward momentum like riding a bike is stability.

Check it out…

In the extreme pivot turn clip, I use a Sculling Brace working the blade deep in the water back and fourth to maintain my stability.  I practice this move a lot for balance practice and it’s fun!  Be ready to fall in, good recovery practice too.  Note your board will launch, make sure no one is in front of you.

About Rob Casey – Named a pioneer in the SUP industry by Stand Up Journal, Rob is the author of “Stand Up Paddling Flat Water to Surf and Rivers” and “Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips.” Rob owns SUP and Kayak school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle. He also runs several paddling races.

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips