Do you have a tendency to paddle into waves on flat water to be more stable?  Have you been told this by an instructor?  

I see this a lot in my classes where students have been told to do so in previous classes.  With large stable SUP boards there’s no reason to do so.  Here’s a few tips of how paddle over waves easier.

When a wave appears, do the following..

– Bend your knees and keep paddling.  Don’t turn into the waves – Keep your course.

– As the waves begin to go under you, again keep paddling with knees bent.  Forward momentum makes you more stable (like a bike) and bent knees act like shock absorbers allowing for the wave to pass under you (similar to skiing).

– If at a stand still, place a flat paddle blade on the water at your side with knees bent, even in a squat. The paddle acts as a brace or outrigger making you stable, again knees are shock absorbers letting waves pass under.

Why you shouldn’t turn into waves:

– If in a busy boating area or boating channel (note green/red buoys), turning into the waves means you’re turning into the boating channel and possibly in the route of another oncoming boat.

– Why change your course?  If you do, you’ll have to correct and go back to your starting point after (or if ) the waves pass.

Summary – The manuever above is super simple and easy.  Waves are unavoidable, learn how to paddle with them vs avoiding them.  Learn to take waves on all sides of your board without changing course.  We let them pass under us, then turn to surf them!

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips