Prone Paddle Boarding for SUP = Laying on Chest or on knees and paddling like a surfer with your hands

Why Paddle Prone?

  • Much easier to paddle upwind. On your knees, you’re still creating a lot of drag paddling against the wind.
  • Lost Your Paddle?  Prone paddle to get back to shore
  • Alternative method of fitness. Popular with surfers for building strength when not in surf.

I’ve always said the achilles heel of SUP is standing and paddling upwind.

Ya, sure no problem paddling in light wind, but when we’re talking 15 kts plus, then it’s time for plan B.

There are a few out there who insist that stand up paddling means never sitting or kneeling. To me there’s a certain point where common sense steps in. A friend once commented while paddling against 30 kts of wind “be a man, stand up.” Well, I got to our spot in about 20 min, he took 50 min and was fried.

In 2014, a guy from Seattle rented a SUP from a rental outfit in Waikiki.  It was blowing 20 knots off shore that day (out to sea).  Somewhere along the way he lost his paddle or it sunk.  Not knowing what to do, he got blown 11 miles out to sea.  The next morning he lucked, out, the on-shore winds blew him back to shore about 10 miles north of Waikiki.  A Coast Guard helicopter picked him up.

Here’s a shot of Chuck Patterson prone paddling in heavy wind at Steamer Lane a day before the Surftech Shootout in 2010.

Check out my SUP, kayak and surf ski lessons in the Pacific Northwest @..


Plus Online Courses in SUP 101, Touring SUP and SUP Water Safety. 

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This