The Worst SUP Advice We've Ever Heard

Posted on September 11, 2019 by Doug Robichaud

Good SUP Advice Can Be Hard To Find

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but all paddle boarding tips don't have a happy ending. While there is a generous amount of good SUP advice being passed on in the paddle board community every day, there is an equal amount of bad SUP advice just around the river bend. It’s entirely up to you to isolate the good SUP advice from the bad, but how? Take it from the stand up paddle board experts.

Below, I list the worst paddle board advice the ISLE team has ever encountered. Take this awful advice and learn a thing or two about proper paddle technique, water sports safety, paddle board care, and more. If you end up a victim to any of the bad advice below, feel free to blame your friends, loved ones or the old guy at your local spot who thinks he’s a SUP god.

The 5 Worst Pieces Of Advice About Paddle Boarding

how to hold your paddle

1. The Worst Advice About SUP Safety 

‘Too cool for school Steve’ may have told you that leashes and PFDs (life jackets) are lame and for beginners only. However, Steve must have forgotten that a leash and PFD will save your life in an unlikely situation and they’re required by law in many bodies of water.

The U.S Coast Guard (USCG) requires that you must always wear a leash and have a USCG-approved PFD with you while paddle boarding. In the unlikely chance you fall off your SUP, a leash and PFD can literally save you from drowning. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been paddle boarding for over 10 years, water conditions can change in a heartbeat and waves become dangerous for even the most elite paddlers. 

Keep in mind that children 12 years or younger always need to wear a USCG-approved PFD while paddle boarding.

sup advice

2. The Worst Advice About How To Hold Your Paddle 

One of the most common SUP mistakes people make while stand up paddle surfing is using the wrong side of their paddle’s blade to generate speed. 

Your paddle’s blade should never be bent toward you when paddling. Many people think this is the correct way to face their paddle’s blade because it seems as if you’re scooping the water and enabling you to go faster. However, this is not the case. Paddling with your blade’s slight bend pointing toward you will give you less control of your SUP and will actually hurt your paddling efficiency, making you work much harder for the same movement in the water.

Your SUP paddle’s blade needs to always be bent away from you for the best paddle stroke. This side of your blade will provide you with optimal speed and control when you put your paddle in the water. An easy way to remember this on ISLE SUP paddles is to make sure that the ISLE logo is always facing toward the nose of your stand up paddle board.

sup advice

3. The Worst Advice About Inflating Your Inflatable SUP

I hear time and time again that it is not necessary to inflate your inflatable SUP to the suggested PSI in the instruction manual. Well, there’s a good reason why all ISLE inflatable boards have a label on the tail clearly stating that you should inflate your iSUP between 13-17 PSI. This range of PSI will offer you the best performance and rigidity out of your inflatable SUP. 

Inflating your SUP anywhere below 12 PSI will slow down your ride significantly. Keep in mind, your body weight and the gear you bring on board will also determine how much air you want to pump into your personal flotation device.

sup advice

4. The Worst Advice About Transporting Your SUP On Roof Racks

More often than not, I see people driving on the road with their epoxy SUP positioned incorrectly on their car’s roof racks. Believe it or not, incorrectly positioning your SUP on your car’s roof rack can be extremely dangerous to the safety of others on the road. 

Such a simple mistake increases the chances of your SUP flying off the roof of your car, damaging your board, and putting others’ lives in jeopardy. Another way to increase the chances of your SUP flying off your roof is strapping your paddle board on your roof rack the wrong way. 

best inflatable sups

Positioning your paddle board correctly on your car’s roof rack is simple. Position your paddle board deck down on your car’s roof racks with your fin(s) facing up. Make sure your paddle board’s tail is above your windshield and its nose is closest your trunk.

Reason 1: Placing your paddle board’s deck face down will exert pressure down on your SUP when driving and will make it much more secure to your roof racks. You will also notice that your paddle board’s rockers (curve) will naturally fit with the surface of your car’s roof.

Reason 2: Your fin(s) placed near your car’s windshield will act as a barricade to stop your SUP from slipping under the front strap.

sup advice

5. The Worst Advice About Paddle Board Care

There are many best practices for keeping your stand up paddle board looking brand new after years of ownership. However, if you leave your paddle board in the sun during those long days at the lake or in your backyard, the sun will begin to damage your epoxy or inflatable SUP. 

Prolonged sun exposure can de-laminate epoxy SUPs and can blow seams on an inflatable SUP. In addition, the sun can fade the colors on your paddle board if you leave it out baking in the sun for too long. 

A great way to combat direct sunlight to your paddle board is to use a day bag, UV SUP sock or find a shady place to rest your SUP. These two SUP accessories cover your entire paddle board and protect it from any outside elements including the sun.

get fit on your paddle board


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