One of the most enjoyable things for any sport is to share and exchange knowledge in a way that everyone gets better and has more fun, and with Stand Up Paddling it’s no different. Doesn’t matter if you just paddled for the first time yesterday or if you are a professional with years of experience, everyone has something to learn and everyone can teach something new. So here are 5 ideas that I think will help you share what you know about SUP with your friends and will make their learning curve faster, doesn’t matter their level.
1 – Most of the times it is better to explain it out of the water first
Usually, the best way to start talking about some new paddling technique is on land, where you will have much more comfort and will be able to go through the basics and the details more calmly. Doing this you will make sure that your friends will focus totally on your explanation, in opposition to the environment on the water, in which they will be worried about many other things at the same time.
2 – Make sure the conditions are the best possible for what you are trying to teach
It’s better to learn in favorable conditions and they slowly try to make it work in harder and harder situations. If you take someone to learn downwind on a 45 knots wind day or a flat day it will be very hard for your friends to read the bumps or even stand on the board! Better looking for the perfect downwind conditions. The same thing for buoy turns in choppy conditions and so on. You don’t want to make anyone scared or unmotivated.
3 – Step-by-step
It’s important not to rush when teaching someone, as people have different learning curves and the key is to respect that. If your friends or kids are still not comfortable on the waves, first make sure they can balance and turn very well on a lake for example. Sometimes it’s better to take one step back before giving two big steps forward.
4 – The right equipment
Just like point number 2 in this list (environment conditions): the right equipment can change everything. If someone wants to get better on technical beach races but their board is very narrow, it can be a problem. Same thing with starting to do downwinders on a very flat water-oriented board. If you want to help someone, make sure they are choosing the right equipment for what they want to learn.
5 – Make them want more
Never push your kids, friends, girlfriend or boyfriend to learn something they are afraid of or just not interested in yet. Instead, chose the right words, praise their development and explain to them how much fun they can have if getting better to catch waves, glide in downwind or just cruise paddling to the next beach. Indeed, someone interested will always learn faster. Observe them and give some tips to change this or that.
I hope these ideas can be useful for you in helping people to enjoy Stand-Up Paddling even more.
See you on the water!