Stand up paddle boarding has become a very popular hobby in North Idaho. Many people — tourists and locals alike — love renting a paddle board to see Lake Pend Oreille or even get a good work out. Using a stand up paddle board, or SUP, is easy, and has become a popular pastime for those young and old. If it’s your first time out on a board, we’ve compiled a few tips to make it a little easier.
Here are our top five tips for beginning paddleboarders:
- Start small – If you’re uncomfortable or feel shaky standing, try starting in a kneeling position. This will help you learn the proper way to SUP without worrying about balance.
- Use the right muscles – SUP is all about the core, not the arms. To do this, stand up straight and paddle by twisting the muscles in your stomach.
- Eyes on the horizon – Don’t look down at your feet, as this will cause you to lose your balance. Instead, pick a spot on the far horizon to stare at as you paddle. This will keep your back straight and your weight over your toes, which increases stability.
- Be aware – Lake Pend Oreille can get busy, especially in the summertime. Keep an eye on boat traffic.
- Fall away from your board – There’s always a chance that, no matter how good you get, you might fall in the water. Don’t worry! Just try to fall away from your board, and don’t try to catch yourself. Paddle boards are big and heavy and will hurt if you smack a limb on them.
Are you ready to try paddle boarding for yourself? Lake Pend Oreille is the perfect place to learn to paddle board — the water is calm and there are plenty of beautiful places to stop for breaks.