What Is Paddle Boarding & How to Get Started (Win!)

May 9, 2023

Stand-up paddle boarding or SUP is a water sport in which you stand on an inflatable or solid board and use a paddle to move the board through the water. Paddle boards are similar to surfboards, but are more stable and typically longer than traditional surfboards. Below, find out how (and what you need) to start paddling, and get tips to give you confidence as you head out on the water for your first few paddles. —Emily Jones and Maddle

What equipment do I need to start paddle boarding?

Here’s a list of must-have gear you need to get started with stand up paddle boarding:

  • Inflatable or solid board
  • Paddle
  • Leash
  • PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
  • Manual or electric pump if using an inflatable boards
  • Water bottle

In terms of the board itself, stand up paddle boards come in a variety of materials and lengths, so if you’re wondering what size paddle board you should get, your best option is to start out with an inflatable board that’s between 10 and 11 feet long and wide and thick enough to give you good stability.

Another decision you will need to make is whether to go for an inflatable SUP or hard board. While each has its pros and cons, inflatables are easy to store and transport, more comfortable for your feet and knees when paddling or doing SUP yoga, lighter to carry and easier to repair if punctured.

When it comes to purchasing a SUP paddle, there are many different types of paddle shafts and sizes of the paddle blade, as well as different lengths. SUP paddles are longer than a canoe paddle and can be adjustable paddle, so they can be used by people of varying heights. It’s also key to have a paddle shaft that is made of lightweight, aluminum with a nylon blade for durability. Carbon fibre paddles are also available but come at a much higher cost. Maddle includes a paddle with the board so you don’t need to purchase separately.

How to paddle board

Before you head out on the water with your new paddle board, you should pump up the board at home and get familiar with your equipment. Consider practicing how to hold the paddle board paddle at home. Jump on a chair, placing one hand on the shaft and the other on the handle. Practice some forward strokes with a slight bend in your knees. The first few times you stand on your paddle board, you may feel like a fish out of water. It feels tippy, your paddling technique will feel inefficient and if you aren’t starting in calm water, you may fall off and get wet. But never fear, here are some beginner paddlers tips for how to paddle board.

  1. Pump up your board if using inflatable SUPs.
  2. Put on your PFD and attach a SUP leash to your ankle.
  3. Grab the centre grab handle and slowly raise the board off the ground.
  4. Grab your paddle.
  5. Head to the water and once in knee deep water, climb onto the board by kneeling on the traction pad.
  6. Holding the paddle perpendicular to the water, place the blade ahead of you on the side of the board and perform a forward stroke.
  7. Once you’re able to go in a straight line, try a reverse stroke.
  8. Once you feel you can paddle properly on flat water and move the board forward, now you can put the ‘stand’ in “stand up paddle”.
  9. Put one foot on the board and keep one knee on the pad. Once you feel stable, try and stand up fully.
  10. Now, place your paddle’s blade in the water. Adjust the paddle length accordingly. The top of the handle should reach your forehead.
  11. With your knees slightly bent, bend at the waist and reach forward trying to get maximum reach without feeling unstable.
  12. When doing a forward stroke, don’t paddle past your heels as it’s inefficient.
  13. Switch sides occasionally to stay in a straight line.

What are the benefits of paddle boarding?

Not only is stand up paddle boarding just plain fun, it has a ton of benefits that paddle boarders around the world know and love. The best reason to go paddle boarding is because it promotes a healthy and active lifestyle that gets you outside in the great outdoors. It builds muscular strength and endurance, can help you lose weight, calms your nerves, puts you in a good mood, and so much more. Here are a few more benefits of stand up paddle boarding:

  • Great workout: If you want a great workout, go paddling! Paddle boarding uses all your major muscle groups, improves your cardiovascular health and helps you lose weight. Depending on your fitness level, you can even do sprint sessions to really challenge yourself.
  • Improves mood: It’s been proven that exercise and nature improve your mood and elevate your mental health. With paddle boarding, you get the best of both worlds. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face when you’re paddling and this feeling lasts well after you get out of the water.
  • Enjoy nature: Since paddle boarding is done in the great outdoors, it’s the perfect way to take in all that Mother Nature has to offer. You’ll gain new vantage points and take in the beauty from different perspectives than you’d get from land.
  • Meet new people: The paddling community is large and it’s full of friendly nature lovers. Whether you meet people in the parking lot, on the beach, at the dock, or on the water, having a paddle board is a great way to strike up a conversation.

Is paddle boarding difficult?

Stand up paddle boarding can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. Some people find it relatively easy to get the hang of, while others may struggle at first. It can be helpful to start in calm, shallow water, where you can get comfortable with the feeling of standing on the board and using the paddle. As you gain confidence and skill, you can try paddling in more challenging conditions such as choppy water or catching waves. To catch waves you can use an all around board on the open ocean but having one for both surfing and flat water is better.

Are Maddle Boards hard to paddle?

No, they aren’t. Maddle boards are made to be one of the best all around boards on the market at an affordable price. When you’re stand up paddle boarding, you can feel confident no matter how or where you decide to paddle—whether you’re a beginner or expert. Maddle’s 10’6 inflatable boards are built with high performance durability in mind. They include a bag, pump, leash and repair kit with all their inflatable stand up paddle boards. And, they sell directly to you and deliver right to your door in Canada. Happy paddle boarding!

Win! A $700 Maddle Paddle Board!

Congrats Jenna S. of Vancouver, BC, who will receive $700 Maddle paddle board prize pack, including the board of their choice and all the accessories (pump, leash, bag)! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.


  1. Cathy erdle

    May 10th, 2023 at 9:15 am

    I love swimming, and wd love to try paddleboarding! @cathyerdle

  2. Velma Sandry

    May 10th, 2023 at 9:18 am

    I’ve only had the opportunity to try paddle boarding once and wow! What a workout and at the same time zen experience.
    Having my own would be awesome!

  3. Julie F

    May 10th, 2023 at 9:41 am

    I love paddleboarding, it would be great to have my own! @julielaura1

  4. Lucas nupponen

    May 10th, 2023 at 9:53 am

    My favorite water sport along with SUP is definitely kayaking @nuppluc

  5. Iris Nixon

    May 10th, 2023 at 10:04 am

    My fav watersport is swimming! @muckymoo2

  6. Vanessa Telfer

    May 10th, 2023 at 10:07 am

    I love SUP and swimming- instagram: vanessaT716

  7. Patricia Leggett

    May 10th, 2023 at 10:23 am

    Swimming is my current favourite water sport. I’m hoping to replace that with paddle boarding!

  8. Patricia Leggett

    May 10th, 2023 at 10:26 am

    Oops! My Instagram handle is trish_l_l

  9. Bev Goertz

    May 10th, 2023 at 10:54 am

    I absolutely love paddle boarding!! I’ve tried it a few times and would love to have one of my own…oh the adventurers would be amazing!!! Thanks for this AWESOME contest and chance to win this AMAZING GENEROUS PRIZE!!!💖

  10. Lana Hood

    May 10th, 2023 at 11:18 am


  11. Florence Cochrane

    May 10th, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Swimming 🏊‍♀️ Amazing opportunity! @fcochrane2019

  12. Barbara Boileau

    May 10th, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Paddle board looks like fun . I would definitely need to try at the cottage.

  13. laurel jones

    May 10th, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    i love kayaking and floating on my back in the lake

  14. Yvonne Lukowski

    May 10th, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Currently water parks but can’t wait to take the kids out for swimming again and along the rivers now that the baby is growing up!


  15. Carole Wilson

    May 10th, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    I would love to try paddeboard. I like swimming.

  16. Risa Y

    May 10th, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    Surfing I wish!

  17. Brinda

    May 10th, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    Have gone kayaking a few times but would love to try paddle boarding.

  18. Teresa H

    May 10th, 2023 at 1:47 pm



  19. AN

    May 10th, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    Love swimming! But always wanted to try paddle boarding! @apukinkakludi

  20. Marilyn

    May 10th, 2023 at 3:58 pm

    Swimming 🥽

  21. JOANNE Elford

    May 10th, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    My favourite water sport is kayaking, but I would love to try paddle boarding! 💝

  22. Tara Fillion

    May 10th, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    My favourite water sport is definitely wakeboarding! But I don’t always have access to a boat, so paddle boarding is definitely a second favorite!

    IG: @crazeeTbird

  23. Jenness M

    May 10th, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    I love swimming! @jennyjennjenesis

  24. Adrienne

    May 10th, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    Boogie boarding! @adriennstagram

  25. Caryn Salageanu

    May 10th, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    I love to swim! @carschick

  26. Cheryl Ing

    May 10th, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    I love sup! @tazgirlvancouver13

  27. Christina Cumayas

    May 10th, 2023 at 7:08 pm

    I ❤️ paddleboarding!!!!


  28. jan

    May 10th, 2023 at 9:17 pm


  29. brooklyn

    May 10th, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    LOVE to kayak. All though, I have wanted to learn to paddle board so this is a fun contest to enter!! 🌊 @herthe.wildflower

  30. Pnina Lutwak

    May 10th, 2023 at 9:45 pm

    Love the water this would be amazing

  31. Carole D

    May 10th, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    Swimming 🏊‍♀️ is my favourite water sport.


  32. Toni Marie Fernandes

    May 11th, 2023 at 12:04 am

    I love surfing!


  33. Kristy Mb

    May 11th, 2023 at 4:54 am

    My favorite water sport IS SUP!


  34. Beth

    May 11th, 2023 at 6:07 am

    I love paddle boarding but I dont have my own.
    Id love to win this amazing prize

    I love kayaking


  35. @hylandshike

    May 11th, 2023 at 6:48 am

    Love to kayak and paddle board!

  36. Cindy Matsui

    May 11th, 2023 at 7:08 am

    Love to paddle board! Looking forward to doing it more!


  37. Amberleah

    May 11th, 2023 at 8:27 am

    I love paddle-boarding, it would be great to have my own! @AmberleahHolmberg

  38. MaryM

    May 11th, 2023 at 9:06 am

    favorite water sport is floating 🙂 @maryandcedar

  39. Monique L.S.

    May 11th, 2023 at 9:18 am

    Swimming is my favourite. IG @minty_mo2020

  40. Stefanie G

    May 11th, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    Fav watersport is going out on the sea-doo and using my SUP

  41. Stefanie G

    May 11th, 2023 at 8:53 pm

    Fav watersport is going out on the sea-doo and being on the SUP

  42. chantal Seguin

    May 12th, 2023 at 2:18 am

    One of my favourite things to do in summer

  43. Tabby72

    May 12th, 2023 at 6:51 am

    I like to swim! @tabby_1972

  44. Sheena Hatcher

    May 12th, 2023 at 8:14 am

    I enjoy going out in kayaks when have the chance.

  45. Mary

    May 12th, 2023 at 11:46 am

    Love paddle boarding!

  46. Stephanie Mac Isaac

    May 13th, 2023 at 7:53 am

    #2 swimming @stephaniemacisaac

  47. Kelli Brost

    May 13th, 2023 at 5:32 pm



  48. Jill MacAulay

    May 13th, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    My favourite water sport is water skiing. Following on IG @jillmacaulay8883

  49. Rachel C.

    May 14th, 2023 at 4:07 am

    kayaking, but i’d love to try SUPing!


  50. Penny Gilman

    May 14th, 2023 at 11:47 am

    following @maddleboards and on Instagram. What a fantastic prize. Thank you for the chance to win.

  51. Penny Gilman

    May 14th, 2023 at 11:49 am

    My favourite sport is swimming. Great exercise and fun to frolick in the water

  52. John Leung

    May 14th, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    Nothing beats sitting in the water at any hot beach with the family.


  53. Aristides Neto

    May 14th, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    I love swimming


  54. Wayne S

    May 15th, 2023 at 6:18 am

    We love just swimming in the waves! @guelphwayne

  55. Suzanne Giroux

    May 15th, 2023 at 6:56 am

    I love to swim. @suzannegiroux

  56. Amanda Masters

    May 15th, 2023 at 9:25 am

    I love tubing. Paddle boarding looks a blast cant wait to try it with my kids.

  57. Melanie Camirand

    May 15th, 2023 at 5:24 pm


  58. Jiajie Dong

    May 16th, 2023 at 8:57 am

    My favourite is swimming


  59. Nina

    May 16th, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Swimming 🏊‍♀️

  60. Shirley O

    May 16th, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    Swimming is my favorite water sport. @backinbloom2

  61. Julia

    May 16th, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    I love paddle boarding and being in the warm. My handle is

  62. Aixin Zheng

    May 16th, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    I like swimming


  63. Michelle

    May 17th, 2023 at 1:01 am

    I love kayaking but I really want to try SUP! And I would love to bring my dog with me!


  64. Lizzy Chow

    May 17th, 2023 at 2:33 am

    I grew up taking swimming lessons so that will always be my favourite, but my cousin and I would both love to try paddle boarding this upcoming summer ! 😍


  65. Shiwei lin

    May 17th, 2023 at 9:26 am

    My favourite water sport is swimming


  66. Laurie Collins

    May 17th, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    We love boating


  67. Colleen Rose

    May 17th, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Swimming 🏊‍♀️ 💦
    IG handle @shoelessjoegirl

  68. Jenelle Fraser

    May 17th, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    My favourite water sport is swimming! @jenelleefraser

  69. Lianne Dearle

    May 17th, 2023 at 7:35 pm



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