Learn to Stand Up Paddle (3): Paddling Techniques in Stand Up Paddle

Pick up essential paddling techniques in order to manoeuver well while Stand Up Paddling


To the bystander, Stand Up Paddling may seem like an easy sport - afterall it is just getting onto a board and paddling right? How difficult could that be?

Well, it turns out that there is more to it than meets the eye. Apart from knowing how to keep your balance on what could at times be choppy waters while out at sea, knowing the right paddle techniques is essential to help you get around on the water.

In part three of our learn to stand-up paddle series, stand up paddle instructor Lilian Tong imparts more tips on how to execute four (4) paddle techniques that every beginner must know.

1. Paddling Straight

a. Hold your paddle with hand on the T-bar, with logo of the blade facing outwards

b. Execute a forward stroke by pushing the blade 45 degrees into the water in front of you

c. Keep both arms straight while executing this stroke

2. Steering the Board

Steering the board requires switching the paddle between hands while on the move in the water. To do this well, you may wish to practise this on land before heading out into the water.

a. Switch using the bottom hand by turning your wrist inwards

b. As the paddle goes across your body use the other hand to hold the paddle

c. Shift your now free hand up to the T-bar and continue to paddle!


3. Stopping the Board

Learning how to stop a Stand up Paddle Board is an essential skill as not being able do so and slow down may may result in you colliding with other surfers or rocks.

a. To stop or slow down, simply add resistance in the water by holding the paddle in the water

b. Remember to fully submerge the blade diagonally behind you at a 45 degree angle


4. Turning

In order to turn or change course while on a Stand Up Paddle board, imagine a circle around you while on the board.

a. Use either of back-to-front circles or front-to-back circles

b. Keep your centre of gravity low for more balance and stability

c. Keep the paddle on the same side which you wish to turn

d. For more immediate turns, bend your knees a bit and dig the paddle from back to front to form a big arc shape in the water

e. To turn in the other direction, do the opposite


Read Up About the rest of our Learn To Stand Up Paddle series here

Part 1: 3 Things You Must Know before your first Stand Up Paddle session

Part 2: Launching a Stand Up Paddle Board, Recovering from Falls

About this Project

This learn to stand up paddle series is done in collaboration with Project Ocean Therapy.

Project Ocean Therapy aspires to help individuals with autism hone water sports skills, build self-confidence, develop mindfulness, as well as raise physical, emotional, social and mental wellness.

Officially launched in April 2018 in conjunction with World Autism Month, the programme has since witnessed numerous milestones in the progress of its participants’ abilities.

In partnership with the Sentosa-based SUP club, SUPVentures, the programme is developed in a structured manner that allows participants to gradually advance in their paddling skills and water confidence, which could eventually lead to their involvement in competitive events.

Beyond SUP abilities, the programme also intends to train its participants for employment opportunities.

To learn more, visit www.instagram.com/projectoceantherapy

#SportPlusSG #StandUpPaddle #ProjectOceanTherapy #SUPVentures