The Finla team had an interesting conversation recently with one of our new customers. They knew they loved the water, had bought the board, but didn’t know where to go from there. Having perused our blogs they said they were keen as you like, but what were the fundamentals? We had to put our hands up. We had never thought to do a step by step, ultimate beginner’s guide before!
Here, we intend to properly hold your hand and help you through the basics.
STEP 1- KEEP WARM
Firstly, make sure you’ve got all the layers you might need to stay warm and comfortable. If you’re out at sea, you’ve fallen in three times and all you’ve brought are your boardies, you’ll soon get sick of the experience and retreat to the car. That’s no way to learn! We recommend a good wetsuit and boots, and for the post-board warm-up, take a dry robe. They are not essential, but they are oh-so delicious to warm up in. Layers are key, and it’s always better to have too many than too few. Tog up! (For a full guide to your clothing, read our blog here.)
Keep-warm tip – take a flask!
STEP 2 – YOUR KIT
Secondly, we recommend you check over your inventory before you go, and make sure everything is in good condition. You ought to have your board, paddle, leash, pump, and bag. Though you’ll rarely need it, it pays to take your repair kit with you as well, as you just never know. This step sounds like a no-brainer, but take it from us, it really is a pointless exercise to drive an hour to a great beach only to have no paddle…
Kit tip – keep a check list!
STEP 3 – WHERE TO?
Next, don’t plan something out of your comfort zone. We completely understand that hidden alcoves, majestic cliffsides and the wilds of the sea are part of the appeal of paddleboarding, but all in good time! Have a look for somewhere protected from the elements and suitably public, as your safety is always a priority, but especially while you learn.
Where-to tip – join a paddleboarding Facebook page for location advice near you! If you’re Pembrokeshire based, check out our page here.
STEP 4 – SO…HOW?
We recommend taking your board in it’s bag to the water’s edge, as limiting the wear and tear of the car park tarmac is ultimately better for your board. Ideally, find a nice flat surface. Your pump will be with you (because you made sure to check, nice) so now, you can start to inflate! Make sure your board is inflated to the correct PSI and that your leash is attached to your ankle firmly. Allow your board to float in the shallows, and do your best to get your balance. Push off firmly with your paddle and from there, we wish you luck!
How-to tip – get yourself a lesson!
STEP 5 – TAKE YOUR MATE
Finally, take a friend! This is a great idea on so many levels. While you’re learning, it’s sensible to have someone to keep an eye on your safety, but also, it’s your mate! It’s so much more fun to learn something new with a friend. You can make half the mistakes each, learn from each other, and discuss what’s going on in the process. And it doesn’t need to be as technical as all that, you’ll probably learn by accident while you have a hilarious time.
Take-your-mate tip – link them to this blog… they’ll know what you mean ;).
We hope we have given you a bit more of a flavour of how your SUP career may begin with our beginner’s guide to paddleboarding. If you need to ask any other questions before you take the plunge (so to speak) contact us by clicking here.