You have just started stand up paddle boarding and are wondering why your legs are so incredibly shaky? Don’t worry, this is completely normal in the beginning. I mean, think about it – you’re basically standing on water. Your body needs some time to get used to this feeling. The good new is: You can help to speed up this process and get rid of shaky legs while SUPing quicker.
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Why Are My Legs Shaking While Stand Up Paddle Boarding?
There are several reasons why a person’s legs could be shaking while stand up paddle boarding, including difficult conditions and an inadequate location, as well as the wrong SUP board, an underinflated paddle board or the wrong position.
Let’s take a closer look at each of those reasons and figure out what we can do to reduce shaky legs on a stand up paddle board.
Location & Conditions
For your first stand up paddle boarding sessions, you want to choose an easy and safe location. The perfect spot would be a lake, as the water is almost motionless on a calm day. If you travel or live close to an ocean, make sure you go out on a day with little to no waves.
Read also: Can You Use An Inflatable SUP In The Ocean?
Always check the weather forecast, and take a close look at the tide and wind conditions before you head out. Wind makes it much harder to balance on your board, which can cause your legs to get shaky.
Stand up paddle boarding beginners on the ocean should plan to practice during slack tide. Slack tides occur shortly before and after high tide and low tide. The term describes the moment when the tide turns and changes direction. When this happens, the water is moving minimally. Therefore, slack tide provides ideal conditions for stand up paddle boarding beginners.
Read also: Can You Stand Up Paddle Board in Rain?
Your SUP Board
As a paddle boarder who is just starting out, you’ll want a board that gives good stability in order to learn the basics. If you have been practicing on a very narrow board, it’s possible that this is the reason for your shaky legs. For beginners, I recommend you opt for a board with good width, such as this one.
The less width (and the longer the board), the faster it goes. Once you have gained more confidence (and fallen in love with stand up paddle boarding), you can consider upgrading.
In general, it’s always a good idea to try out different boards before you buy one. In case you decide to take SUP boarding lessons, let your instructor help you find the perfect match for you. Alternatively, you can hire equipment and decide for yourself. (Keep in mind to check what size paddle board you need for your height and weight.)
Read also: Drysuit For Paddle Boarding (Buyers Guide)
Your Board’s PSI Level
Another reason for the wobbly feeling could be that your board is under inflated. To avoid this, use the specially designed pump for your board and check the pressure indicator to see when it’s fully inflated.
If you use an air compressor (not recommended) or an electric pump instead of the hand pump, make sure that you don’t over inflate the board, either.
One common mistake that stand up paddle boarding beginners make is to not position themselves on the board correctly. The wrong posture affects your balance on the board significantly and thus causes your legs to shake easily.
To avoid this, always keep your legs slightly bent and your eyes on the horizon.
How To Get Rid Of Shaky Legs While SUP Boarding?
If you are sure that none of the above reasons are responsible for your shaky legs, you just have to keep practicing. It will get better each time. However, there are a couple of things you can do to stop you legs from shaking quicker:
1. Get Yourself a Balance Board
If you don’t have time to practice stand up paddle boarding every single day (fair enough – not many of us do) but want to stop your legs from shaking as quickly as you can, consider getting yourself a balance board.
Using a balance board will improve your balance (who would have thought? ;-)), build stronger lower leg muscles, improve posture and even help prevent injuries.
Here are some examples for balance boards that will change your SUP game:
2. Exercise Your Core
Stand up paddle boarding can demand lots of physical energy, which makes it a super fun workout. This also means that SUP boarding will feel much easier if your core is strong and firm.
Beginners often assume that the sport requires you to have strong legs and arms. However, most of the power is drawn from your core. That being said, exercising your core will help you improve your stand up paddle boarding skills quicker, and therefore help you get rid of shaky legs!
3. Position Yourself Properly
The best spot to stand on your SUP is over the middle point. Keep your feet parallel to each other and around shoulder-width apart. In this position, you are the most stable.
To improve your balance, always bend your knees slightly and never look down or feet, but ahead instead.
Read also: Costco Paddle Board (Is It Worth It?)
4. Relax Your Body
One of the most common beginner mistakes is to keep your body stiff. It’s a very understandable reaction to combat the wobbly feeling under your feet, but trust me, it’s not the way to go. Instead, try to move with the motion.
Read also: What Kite Size Do I Need? (Kite Size Chart)
5. Take Breaks on Your Knees
If you feel like you’re getting too shaky on the board, don’t force it. Remember that it’s totally fine to take breaks on your knees from time to time. It’s a great way to relax your legs while practicing paddling or just having a great time on the water.
Practice SUP Boarding Regularly
This might be annoyingly obvious advice, but practice makes perfect. Even though this is most likely not the first time you’ve read this (and even if nodoby ever told you, it’s quite an easy one to figure out), I can’t stress it enough.
Don’t expect to leave the water as a professional stand up paddle boarder after your first day. Give your body some time to get used to this new environment and be patient with yourself.
Read also: How Far Can You Paddle Board In A Day?
That said, I hope that you’ve found some useful advice in this article that will help you get rid of shaky legs when stand up paddle boarding. Everybody has to start somewhere – and I’ve been through this, too.