I Started Standup Paddling During the Pandemic, Now What?

If you’re someone who is relatively new to standup paddling, welcome to the paddling family! You have joined a very supportive community and sport that will provide range of benefits, both physical and mental.

As lifelong paddlers and watersports athletes, we want you to experience that same passion that inspired us to get into the paddlesports business over a decade ago. To help you take the next stroke in your SUP career, we’ve put together a few tips to optimize your equipment and maximize your stoke.

Invest in a Lighter, More Flexible SUP Paddle

You already know that using a cheap, overweight paddle will not only hamper your on-water performance, but can lead to a range of other issues including fatigue, injuries and bad habits. But it’s not just the bargain bin equipment that’s turning your paddle sessions into a grueling slog.

There’s three common misconceptions about SUP paddles: bigger blades equate to more powerful paddle strokes, longer paddles provide better leverage, and stiffer shafts are more efficient. We’re on a mission to dispel these myths and educate people about the Benefits of Smaller, Softer and Shorter SUP Paddles. Black Project paddles are meticulously designed and thoroughly tested to produce a more efficient, powerful and easier stroke––from our entry-level Ohana our industry-leading Hydro FlowX.

Learn more about our science behind our SUP paddle philosophy.

Practice Your Paddle Stroke Technique

Just like any new sport, mastering your technique is going to take time, dedication and persistence. While standup paddling’s initial learning curve is relatively easy, tinkering with your stroke to maximize your performance is a lifelong pursuit. To help you get there, we have compiled technique tips and tricks from Black Project athletes including SUP World Champions Seychelle Webster, Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer and Fiona Wylde.

Our Resources page features professionally curated, researched and edited articles that cover various topics including stroke technique tips, beginner guides for SUP surfing and racing, SUP-specific stretching routines, and much more. Additionally, our Youtube channel is your go-to spot for our athlete videos, how-to tutorials, and our just-released 4K close-ups of our  – Lava, Surge and Hydro FlowX paddles.

Meet Your Local SUP Community

Paddling with a buddy is not only safer, it’s more fun! The SUP community is both welcoming and supportive, you just need to find your tribe. One of the best ways to meet fellow paddlers is to stop by your local standup paddling outfitter. Not only will the friendly employees be able to share the best places to paddle in your area, but they can also clue you in to local paddling clubs and grassroots events. To find the local paddle outfitter, check out our shop directory.

Set Achievable Goals

The best way to stick with standup paddling (or any sport, for that matter) is to set some achievable goals for yourself. Your goals could be simple, like paddling once a week or completing a one-mile loop around the lake. Over time, these goals can grow into larger objectives such as competing in a SUP race or going on a SUP surf trip with friends. The point is, having goals is important to progressing as a paddler.

While the early days of standup paddling offered relatively few training accessories to keep you on track, nowadays there are several ways to train and track your progress. For example, the Paddle Logger is an award-winning app that allows you to track your paddle sessions, share those sessions on social media, and allow loved ones to track your location via the PaddleLIVE feature. When you’re not on the board, the Whipr is a brand new home fitness solution that realistically simulates standup paddling, allowing you to train in your living room.

Final Thought 

At the end of the day, our ultimate goal is help people enjoy their time on the water and improve their physical and mental health. We believe standup paddling is the perfect sport to achieve that goal, it just takes the right equipment, knowledge and community. We hope you’ll join us on our endless search for perfection.

We’ll see you on the water.