In this episode, Airhead SUP ambassador, Ryan Boettner, helps to demonstrate how to do a proper forward stroke on your board for maximum efficiency.
Paddle Orientation: Holding a SUP paddle is different from all other paddles you have ever used. The bend in the paddle right at the blade and shaft confuses many first time SUPers. The bend just above the blade allows for a more efficient stroke.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but the elbow of the bend should point towards the rear of the SUP while paddling. This allows the blade to slip up out of the water at the end of the stroke as opposed to lifting water.
Where to Stand: Be sure you’re standing near the middle of the board in a position that keeps both the front and back of your board from being submerged in the water, (for many, this means having your feet near the carrying handle on the board).
Standing too far forward, your nose will begin to dive, and standing too far back, your tail will submerge. These positions are useful for other techniques, but for the basic forward stroke, you want your board to stay level.
How to Stand: Keep your core tight, feed shoulder width apart, and knees slightly bent.
Paddle Stroke: Always be sure your paddle blade is fully submerged in the water before you begin the forward stroke.
Watch & Learn
This video will guide you through more in depth instructions on how to paddle efficiently using a forward stroke: