Is Paddle Boarding Hard?

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No, paddle boarding is in no way a difficult sport to learn, do, and enjoy! On the contrary, paddle boarding is actually a really easy water sport to pick up. While sure you’ll need to practice, you’ll find that in no time, you get the hang of it and are on the way to being a pro!

It really doesn’t matter how old you are, or your fitness level or any other nonsense you might be thinking is in your way. With the proper instructions, Paddle boarding is something you’ll love to learn and thrive doing.

Before you hop on that board, we’re going to take you on a short crash course into what you need to know about paddle boarding. By the time we’re done, you’re going to be ready to hit the water and fall in love with this sport as much as we do!

Why Is Paddle Boarding Considered An Easy Sport To Learn?

Paddle boarding

Paddle Boarding is primarily considered an easy sport to learn for a variety of reasons.

For starters, paddle boards are usually designed to help provide a stable platform for users to stand on. When using your paddle board, you will quickly learn that it doesn’t require you to rush and pop right up into a standing position. Instead, you can relax and take a moment to get the right balance.

Secondly, when you get into that standing position, which you worked hard to achieve in the first place, the remaining steps become a simple pattern. It’s all about keeping your knees bent slightly, weight a little forward, and take that first stroke. It’s not rocket science, and once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

While paddle boarding is in-arguably easy to learn, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy to master. Don’t get upset when you have a bad go of it. Get back up on the board and keep trying.

What You Need To Start Paddle Boarding

things needed to start paddle boarding

If you’re seriously looking into starting paddle boarding, first, let me say welcome! Secondly, let me tell you all the things you’re going to need.

  • Paddle board
  • Paddle
  • Flotation device
  • Fin(s) for your paddle board
  • Leash
  • Rescue whistle

In the event of paddle boarding at night, we strongly recommend a headlamp to help make it easier to see in the dark. We also advise you to take the safety measures included seriously to avoid potential injuries.

How To Stand Up On Your Paddle Board: Basics

To paddle board, you’re going to need to follow a basic set of steps to successfully traverse the water.

  • Step One: The first step is to ensure you’ve got all of the necessary gear (as mentioned above) and it’s appropriately sized.
  • Step Two: As you begin entering the water, make sure to check the fins and clear away any sand, debris, or other obstructions while in the shallow waters.
  • Step Three: Place a knee on your paddle board and launch by pushing off.
  • Step Four: Get on both knees on the board and take a moment to get comfortable before attempting to stand up.
  • Step Five: Now that you’re comfortable, you feel balanced in the kneeling position, you’re ready to stand.
  • Step Six: Take your paddle and place it perpendicular in front of you and hold on to the sides of the board to help with stability.
  • Step Seven: Moment of truth, one at a time, you’re going to place your feet shoulder length apart in the center of your paddle board.
  • Step Eight: Grab your paddle as you stand up and just be chilled about it when you get up successfully. Focus on your balance and weight distribution.

There you have, not so difficult, right? If you fall off or fail, don’t beat yourself up. Just keep practicing until you’re fully comfortable standing on your paddle board. The next step on your Paddle Board Athlete journey is to learn the art of holding your paddle while your out there on the water.

For my readers who want some techniques that are more advanced, there are some great points in the short video below.

The Benefits of Paddle Boarding

There are countless benefits to paddle boarding that should make you want to get on a board today! Here are some of the main benefits you’ll find with this easy, fun, aquatic sport.


A great part about paddle boarding is that there are options within the sport so that everyone has choices. Recreational boarding, SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) surfing, racing, touring, or even SUP Yoga! All provide the benefits but are slightly different in what they actually entail.

Improved Balance

When you’re paddle boarding, you’re working with your back, core, leg muscles, and more to achieve and maintain a healthy balance. In the beginning, you’re likely to overthink this step just a little. Over time, however, you’ll find that it becomes second nature. As a result, you’ll benefit from an improved balance in and out of the water.

Better Relationship With Nature

Life can get busy, and we sometimes forget to enjoy this world we live in, which is never the intention but often the outcome. With paddle boarding, you’ll really get a moment to be more in tune with nature and appreciate the natural beauty of this world. It’s a really wholesome experience.

Stress Reliever

Talking about life being busy, what about the stress that comes with it? Paddle boarding is a great stress reliever. This is probably my top reason for being involved with the activity. Being out on the water, taking in some sunshine and great views, you’ll feel this serene sense of peace in between waves. You’ll really get a sense of appreciation for the little things.

Endurance and Stamina Booster

Paddle boarding can take a lot out of you, and over time, that will become easier. Why? With paddle boarding, you’re constantly building your endurance and stamina. These are great things to have out the water, just as much as it is to have in the water.

A Great Workout

Paddle boarding is an exceptional workout, and you’ll question your gym membership after a few goes. You’ll get a full-body workout with paddle boarding and will burn more calories than you would be playing almost any sport.

Why? Paddle boarding incorporates your body’s key elements such as core, balance, and endurance. All together, you’ve got a well-rounded workout that is so much more enjoyable; let’s be honest here.

A Whole Lotta Fun

There is no denying that one of the greatest parts about paddle boarding is just how fun this sport actually is when you’re out on the water. It doesn’t really matter if you’re new to the sport or a pro. It can provide endless fun to anyone who takes it upon themselves to learn.

An Excuse to Spend Time With Friends and Family

Paddle boarding can be a great way to spend some time with your friends and family. Enjoy this fun activity together and make a beach day infinitely better with the inclusion of this fun sport. Learn together, or just mess around on the water and enjoy the company, scenery, and activity.

Tips For Beginners!

You’re new to the sport, and for every newcomer, there comes a set of things they need to know to help guide them to an enjoyable first time hitting the water. These are some tips for you to help make the beginning of your paddle boarding experience great!

Take Some Lessons

If you’re not so interested in winging it alone or getting the help of someone you know, then take some lessons from a pro. There’s zero shame in taking on a lesson or two to get you started, familiar, and a bit more comfortable with paddle boarding.

Start With The Calmer Waters

Don’t go out first time looking to take on challenges you simply aren’t ready to handle. Instead, look for the calmer waters, get familiar with your board, surroundings, and get comfortable standing on your board and going through the motions.

Learn How To Fall

Sounds weird, we know, but there really is an art to falling off of a paddle board. First, you need to understand that paddle boards are actually pretty bulky. While falling off sucks, getting hit by a rogue paddle board is far worse. So as weird as it sounds, practice falling away from the board. This is also why we strongly advocate for a leash to ensure you never lose your board in the process.

Look Out, Not Down

We always see with beginners that the fear of what they’re doing on the paddle board causes them to focus on looking down instead of out. Besides missing out on the view, you’re also not getting the proper stability. You need to keep your head held high, back straight, and body weight over your toes.


Everyone has questions, and here are some of the frequently asked questions we’ve come across about paddle boarding.

Is Paddle Boarding Harder Than Kayaking?

The short answer is yes, but it’s far more nuanced than a simple one-word answer.

The comparison is incredibly unfair, as kayaking and paddle boarding differ spectacularly on the physical requirements. Kayaking doesn’t require standing, whereas paddle boarding does for the most part. While both are physically demanding, where that physical demand lies is different. Cramping and fatigue are more expected in paddle boarding than they are in kayaking.

Is Paddle Boarding Harder Than Surfing?

Yes, paddle boarding is considered to be easier than surfing. The reason behind the assessment is because paddle boarding can be enjoyed on calm flat water. There doesn’t need to be wind, or waves, just you and your paddle board.

Surfing, on the other hand, is a demanding sport. It requires natural intervention from wind and waves and needs the surfer to have incredible balance, reaction, coordination, and agility skills.

Should I Be Wearing Shoes When I Paddle Board?

This is an entirely optional aspect of paddle boarding. It’s not required or promoted to enjoy paddle boarding overall. However, we strongly advise against the use of standard shoes and recommend that if you intend to wear shoes for paddle boarding that they’re specifically designed for aquatic activities.

Is There a Weight Limit?

On average, a paddle board can hold between 200-300 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it stops at 300. Beyond the average, you can find boards that hold 500 pounds and sometimes even more than that! What is important to note is that you need to ensure you’re board fits your size.

Paddle boarding is inclusive, and we want everyone out on the water benefiting from this great sport. Still, to do so, you need to take special consideration into what board you use and how it relates to your body.

Final Thoughts

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to hit the water! The verdict is in, and it’s a resounding NO; paddle boarding is not hard. It’s an easy-to-learn sport that’s enjoyable. It holds many beneficial aspects making it well worth the time and effort.

So what are you waiting for?

If you found this article helpful and are looking to rope in a few friends and family members to join you on your quest for paddle boarding, be sure to send them this article.

Is Paddle Boarding Hard?


Paddleboarding has been one of the few activities that's allowed me to take a mental break from life and just be in the moment. Whether you're looking for an outlet, a method for physical fitness, or even just a way to meet new people, paddle boarding can put you on a path to achieving all these goals. Every article I post on this site is made with the intention to spread sup love and get more people to stand up and paddle!

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