Some tips for stand-up paddleboarding, from top pro Danny Ching:
The paddle: Generally, it should be your height plus 8 to 10 inches. Too short a paddle will make you hunch over and hurt your back. Too long can hurt your shoulders.
Stability: Stand in the center of the board with feet shoulder width apart, using the handle as a reference point. Look forward and keep an erect torso and a slight bend in the knees. Think of the paddle as a third leg of a tripod and a stabilizing tool. If you lose balance, lay the face of the blade on the surface of the water to gain more leverage.
Reach: Put the paddle in the water before beginning the pull. Plant the blade in the water at a forward angle (45 degrees or less), keeping the paddle shaft on a vertical plane. Leaning it sideways wastes effort. Keep the bottom arm straight.
Pull: Let your body weight and your core, not your arms, do the work. Pull the paddle back by untwisting your torso. Commit all your weight to the paddle blade, pushing forward with your top hand while keeping the bottom arm straight. Keep the blade deep enough so that you see no bubbles in the water as you are going forward.
Exit: Remove the paddle from the water before it reaches your toes. Otherwise, you could tip backward.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun