Learn how to kayak your paddle board so you can take a break from standing, help in going up wind and more!
Ever get caught downwind and don’t have enough energy or power to paddle upwind standing?
Learning to surf and not ready to stand yet?
Or maybe you’re tired of standing and want to sit?
The beauty of SUP is that we have so many options for paddling and you’re not required to stand.In this video I show how to use your SUP paddle like a kayak paddle while sitting.  This allows for an even stroke and for those from a kayaking background, a familiar technique used in a different setting.

Start by Sitting Comfortably

Not everyone is comfortable sitting on a board so it may take some practice and/or conditioning until it feels better.

  • Sit on the middle of the board over your handle.
  • If paddling into wind waves or surf, sit back a bit to raise the nose of the board so it goes over waves.
  • You can sit with your legs in front of you, with knees slightly arched up or with legs crossed.

Holding the Paddle

  • Hold the paddle with your lower hand just above the blade and your other hand about 2′ higher on the shaft.  Other hand maybe in the middle of the paddle shaft.
  • Use the Paddlers Box to determine hand spacing – Place the paddle on your head, both elbows should be angled 90 degrees creating a box between your hands. Or hands shoulder width apart

Don’t hold the paddle handle – Since you’re sitting and are thus 4-5″ above the water, you don’t need to hold the handle.


With the paddle across your lap, stick the blade in the water at one side, then the handle end in the water on your other side pulling both out at your butt or just beyond.

If you’re holding the paddle near the blade using the Paddler’s box, you should have enough extension or surface area on the shaft and handle to place in the water.

Watch the video… 


Use a forward or reverse sweep on both sides to turn the board. Certainly you will get more power on the blade side but try both.

Sweep: Place paddle blade or handle in water at your feet, curve it around the board in a semi circle or rainbow shape to turn the board using an extended arm, but not changing hand positions on shaft.  Watch the handle or blade with your eyes from nose to tail for best effect.


I also use this technique when paddling out against onshore winds in surf.

Great or beginner surfers not ready to stand.

Learn more with my online instructional videos for all levels! 

Or contact me for an in-person lesson in the Pacific Northwest!

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips

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