Updated: Oct 1, 2018
*I wrote this post earlier this year.. re-posting here, as the domain it was posted to has changed.*
If you’ve never been stand up paddle boarding, you need to give it a try. You might be nervous about trying it for the first time. You might even be thinking “What if I fall off of the board?”.. So let’s discuss falling off of the paddle board (and getting back on).
First of all, in my experience, falling is not a common occurrence while paddling or even while practicing SUP Yoga on the water. The boards are typically larger in volume than a surfboard and they have a nice grip on the surface of the board. If you feel like you are going to fall off of the paddle board, you need to commit to it and fall away from the board. Don’t try to fall ONTO or grab a hold of the board, as this could result in some painful injuries. So, FALL AWAY from the board!
Next, fall as flat as you can (think belly flop or back flop). Yes, that might hurt a little, but it will keep you from sinking down too far into the water and possibly hitting something that you can’t see underwater. Also, if you wear a board leash, be extra careful as the board can come back to you in a hurry.
Now that you’re in the water, you may be wondering how you are ever going to get yourself back on the board. Swim back to the board, and find the center handle with one hand. Reach the other arm up and grab the opposite rail (what the sides are called) of the board. Let your legs float up to the surface and then kick to pull yourself up and slide your body back onto the board. Take a breath, laugh at yourself, and continue on!