*What is Stand Up Paddleboarding?**

*Paddleboarding is a fast growing water sport, especially here in Wilmington. It is a fun way to enjoy the water and all of the beautiful, natural habitats here in Wilmington.

  • It requires little equipment, all you need is a paddleboard, a paddle, a personal flotation device, and yourself!
  • Paddleboarding is a great full body workout that can help improve your cardiovascular endurance as well as help build muscle. After paddleboarding, you'll be sore all over!

How to Get Started

  • When you're a beginner, it's easier to kneel on the board rather than to stand directly upright. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
  • Standing alongside the board, place your paddle across the deck of the board and use it as an outrigger. The paddle grip is on the rail (edge) of the board; the blade rests on the water.
  • Hold the board by the rails. One hand will also be holding the paddle grip.
  • Pop yourself onto the board into a kneeling position, just behind the center point of the board.
  • From that kneeling position, get a feel for the balance point of the board. The nose shouldn't pop up out of the water and the tail shouldn't dig in.
  • Keep your hands on either side of the board to stabilize it.
  • Once you're ready, stand up on the board one foot at a time. Place your feet where your knees were. You might also bring a friend to wade out about knee-deep with your board. Have your friend stabilize the board as you get the hang of standing on it.

Techniques on the Water
A few tips to help you keep your balance as you stand upright on the paddleboard:

  • Your feet should be parallel, about hip-width distance apart, centered between the rails (board edges). Don't stand on the rails.
  • Keep toes pointed forward, knees bent and your back straight.
  • Balance with your hips—not your head
  • Keep your head and shoulders steady and upright, and shift your weight by moving your hips.
  • Your gaze should be level at the horizon. Avoid the temptation to stare at your feet.
  • t's much like bicycling: When your forward momentum increases, your stability increases as well.

Common Beginner's Mistakes

  • A hunched posture. Keep your back straight, shoulders level.
  • Staring at your feet instead of the horizon.
  • The elbow (bent angle) of the paddle facing in the wrong direction. It should point away from you.
  • Having both hands on the paddle shaft. Your top hand belongs at the very top of the paddle, on the grip.
  • Standing straight-kneed. It's much easier to balance with bent knees.

The SUP club (Stand Up Paddleboarding) here at UNCW is brand new this year and is looking for new anyone interested in starting paddleboarding as a new hobby. Dues for the club are $50 and the Carolina Paddle Board Company is affiliated with the club. If you are interested in learning how to paddleboard, visit their website at


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License