How to Paddle Straight and Improve Tracking

We know how much fun paddle boarding can be and like many activities, the more you do it the better you’ll get. Learning the tips and tricks of using a stand up paddle board can make your paddling experience a great one. Did you know that steering your SUP can be a lot easier by angling the blade and shaft of the paddle? By shifting your body position and angle of the paddle, you can go straight for a lot longer and improve your tracking and speed. Once this technique becomes familiar and mastered you might notice less strain on the shoulders considerably! Below are 5 simple tips to help paddling straight on an iSUP board the next time you hit the water.

1. Vertical Strokes to Track Straight

Think of your blade as a steering gear to paddle in a straight line. The paddle shaft should be completely vertical the moment it enters the water. If the blade goes in at an angle, your stroke will also be at an angle making it more difficult to track straight.

2. Stacked Hands Brings Power

A vertical stroke form means that one hand is stacked directly above the other. Both hands should be placed right outside the edge of the inflatable paddle board. To attain this position without leaning onto one which creates instability, you will only need to rotate the upper body. Think about turning to the other side from the waist up.

3. Rotation is Best

We all have a dominant side, so it’ll make paddling straight on one side easier than the other. By practicing our body rotation equally on each side will help tracking on the SUP board much easier. Try the below and let us know if it’s helped.

a) Soften knees and keep them slightly bent
b) Turn your chest away from the paddle
c) Lower the shoulder on which side the paddle lies
d) Rotate until both hands

4. Arms Straight!

Remembering to keep your arms straight while planting your paddle into the water is key. This will provide the ability to paddle through any water condition. Use your core to pull the paddle along the rail of the board to take some of the work out of the arms and shoulders. The motion of scooping water towards your feet is what you want to achieve.

5. Short Strokes Equals Faster Pace

Pulling the paddle towards the back for a longer stroke will slow you down instead of attaining the distance and speed you crave. Short strokes are best for speed and control of the iSUP.

If you are experiencing any struggle with speed r tracking on your stand up paddle board, you might want to consider a lighter SUP paddle. A Pro Paddle made with carbon fiber will be substantially lighter allowing more distance and less work.

Carbon Fiber Pro Paddles to Consider

We want your paddling experience to be a great one, so we’ve created some Pro Paddles specifically for paddlers who want to take it to the next level. Choosing the best fit blade will help in your future paddling adventures.

1. The 86 sq in paddle has a smaller size blade ideal for long distance and paddlers between 94-145 lb. It has a soft and comfortable grip to ease each stroke.

2. The 88 sq in paddle has a medium blade to provide the ability for higher cadence without burning out. It is great for paddlers between 140-190 lb.

3. The 94 sq in paddle has a big blade for stronger paddlers looking to glide through the water with powerful strokes. We recommend this for paddlers 185 lb. and up.

Please feel free to share any questions, tips, or tricks you may have by commenting below. We love to hear from our NIXY family. Stay safe and happy paddling!

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