Rob Casey is the owner of SUP school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle, co-founder for the PSUPA and is the author of two paddling guides.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

How to use your SUP paddle like a kayak paddle

Ever get caught downwind and don't have enough energy or power to paddle upwind standing? Or maybe you're tired of standing and want to sit. The beauty of SUP is that we have so many options for paddling.

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.

Tips for Sitting
Sit on the middle of the board or 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, slightly arched or with legs crossed.

Holding the Paddle
If you're using a surf style board hold the paddle with your lower hand just above the blade and your other hand about 2' higher on the 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.

Since you're sitting and are thus 4-5" above the water, you don't need to hold the handle.  For displacement boards which often have thicker or taller rails, consider holding the paddle a few inches above the blade .

Paddling
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.

Turning
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.

Surfing
I also use this technique when paddling out against onshore winds in surf.  Once at the line up,  stand up and catch a wave in.  Lean back over incoming waves to raise your nose out over the sets.

Rivers
When in funk river sections with a lot of boils, bumps etc, if I'm tired or need a break, I'll sit paddle.

Confused?  Watch the video... 

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