by Laura St-Cyr Labbé

KOOK ALERT: The ''Dont's'' of Paddleboarding

You want to get started with paddleboarding and know all the golden rules? We’ve put together a little list of the don’ts for your SUP outings: some friendly reminders that help keep you away from being featured on the Kook of the Day Instagram page!

1. LEASH DRAGON: Letting your leash drag behind you when you walk around with your paddleboard. 

It’s not uncommon to see newbies dragging their leash behind them while they head out to conquer the waves. Not only does this damage the leash, but it will bring with it anything it picks up on the ground … small rocks, sand, grass, old leaves, cigarette butts … yum.

Although it’s not be all or end all, we suggest simply taking care of it by holding it in your hand whenever you’re moving your board. You can even slip the leash loop over your hand and on your wrist so that you can still have a solid grip on your board. It’s a small detail, but dings can easily happen if you’re not thinking about it!

Photo : Renata Juszczuk

2. BACKWARDS PADDLE: The most common mistake among beginners!

The paddle itself is 50% of the sport and for this reason, it’s important that you know how to use it properly.

Take a look at the attached pictures to understand the correct way to hold it. Do you see the angle of the blade? When you want to move forward, you need to use the propulsive (or active) side, not the retropropulsive (or passive) side of the blade.

We also invite you to pay close attention to the feeling of having the handle (also called the “olive”) in your hand. You’ll feel that it has designed to fit the grip of your hand. Try flip it around, it won’t feel as comfortable!

Photo : Maxime Messier

3. BACKWARDS WETSUIT: “Uhm... your zipper goes in the back!” 

Depending on the season, you may need to wear a wetsuit. For it to be comfortable and to do it’s job, it’s important you know how to wear it. It’s not complicated, but considering putting it on is a workout itself, it’s best you know to put it on properly in the first place!

Some wetsuits have a zipper down the back, others along the chest, and some don’t have one at all!

Wetsuits with a zipper all along and down the chest and stomach are still unheard of; excpet for those who don’t know what they’re doing and end up wearing their wetsuit backwards ;) (we’re not talking about rashguards!)

For the more adventerous who enjoy paddleboarding in the cold, very cold, water, you’ll likely want to wear a thicker and much warmer wetsuit (5/4mm-6/5mm) which will have thicker padding (often coloured); this padding are made from specific thermal fabrics designed to keep you warm. They should be in direct contact with your skin … not on the outside!

Don’t be shy to ask questions when shopping for a wetsuit!

Photo : Renata Juszczuk

4. INSTALLING YOUR FIN BACKWARD: The tip of your fin is facing the wrong way!

Fins have their own unique characteristics. They can come in all shapes and sizes, so evidently, it can be confusing. If you’re looking to learn more about TAIGA fins, check out our blog debunking the confusion around them.

One aspect that is simple and remains the same for all fins: how you install them.

Both SUP and surf fins are installed the same and are similar to dolphin fins: The tip of the fin should be facing towards the back of the board.

To help keep this image in mind, here's what it should look like!

Photo : Maxime Messier

5. WRONG POSITIONING: “Where on earth do I put my feet?” 

We’re not here to practice ballet, you can relax. But, it’s still important that you know where to place your feet. Ideally, you want to have your feet on either side of the handle of the board; the handle marks the center.

Too far forward and you’ll pick up some water over the nose of your board (not very efficient if you want to go fast!). Too far back and you’ll find that you’ll have a real hard time moving forward and in a straight line!

Photo : Maxime Messier

Now that you know the details, the ins and outs, the golden rules, you can be on you’re way out from Kookville. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making mistakes, we’ve all been there at one point or another!

We’re always here to help if you’re looking to learn more! Yes, we specialize in making paddleboards, but we embrace an all-around surf lifestyle. No question asked is a bad question, we’ll be there to help!