AN URBAN ADVENTURE ON THE ALLEGHENY, MONONGAHELA AND OHIO RIVERS

Original Urban Paddlers   


BASIC PADDLE BOARDING INSTRUCTION

Select a Stable Paddle Board •Select a wide 30"+ and stable 11'+ board to start. Always start in calm, flat water •The board should feel comfortable and not tippy when standing without forward motion. If after several attempts to gain your balance it still feels too tippy then try a larger, wider board.

•Many people start out on a board much too small and can never seem to gain balance and become disheartened. Don't let this be you. Choose the right size board to start out and when in doubt always go wider and thicker.

Follow these helpful tips for holding the paddle

•Always grip the paddle with one hand on the top of the paddle and the other on the center of the shaft. Hold the paddle in front of you with elbows bent at 90 degrees. This should give you comfortable spacing for paddling.

•The blade will be angled and when paddling remember to keep the blade angle facing away from you. •Paddles float so if you fall and must let it go - it won't sink.

How to Stand Up on your Paddle Board Always start out in calm flat water

•Get the board out into in water so the fin is free from hitting the bottom •Start out on your knees and take a few strokes on each side of the board •Slowly stand up with one foot at a time and stay in the middle of the board with feet parallel to the stringer about should width apart •Keep a slight bend in the knees and your core centered over the board.

Basic Strokes:

Forward Stoke there are a few basic philosophies on paddle technique, but all revolve around using your paddle as a lever. Your top hand will be driving the lever and the bottom hand will act as the fulcrum point. So with that in mind we provide the following strokes and tips.

•Keep your bottom arm straight and relatively still  •Pull your top arm toward your body to extend the paddle forward •Rotate your top shoulder forward and extend your reach •Insert the paddle into the water as far forward as possible and bury the paddle into the water •Rather than pulling you paddle through the water, think about pulling past your paddle. •To stay in a straight line take a few stokes on one side then switch to a few strokes on the other and always remember to switch the position of your hands when your paddle changes sides. Basic Strokes: Turning with the Forward Sweep Stroke •To turn left place the paddle in the water on the right side at the same time turning your torso to the left side. •Keep a low stance and pull to the right towards the tail with the paddle while twisting and leaning to the left with your torso and feel the board shift to the left quickly. Basic Stokes: Turning with the Reverse Sweep Stoke •To turn right place the paddle near the tail and pull toward the nose while shifting your torso to the right. •This will spin your board's nose to the right hand side. The more you bend your knees the easier it will be to turn the board.

Beginners Beware: Don't make these common mistakes •Always hold the paddle from the top of the handle. Lots of people always want to hold the paddle like a broomstick with both hands on the shaft. Don't do it! Always grab it from the top handle with one hand and the other on the shaft. •Keep your feet parallel and spread shoulder with apart. Everyone wants to get in a surf stance and it makes paddling on the flat water ten times harder and you will fall. Save your surf stance for the surf and keep your feet parallel with toes pointed toward the nose. •Make sure your grip on the paddle is shoulder width apart. Short grips will give you a powerless stroke. •Dip the blade fully in the water and take a long stroke letting your large back muscles do the work. Many people put the full brunt of the stroke on the arms. Let the back muscles do the work.