Sup | basics sup tips for beginners! let’s get on a sup board

Have you ever tried stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)? It's the most accessible water sport there is and it lets you cruise around on the water easily and at your own pace. It’s time to get on a SUP board!

stand up paddle

A stand-up paddle board is exactly what it sounds like: a big board on which you paddle, standing up. As a sport, it has really taken off because it’s easy to learn, you don't have to be particularly fit to do it, and it can be done on any inland body of water or in the sea. So there's no excuse not to get on a SUP board!

The basics of sup boarding

To start SUP, you need a wide board for good stability (preferably inflatable as it's easier to transport), a paddle and flat water without any wind or current..

For safety, a cord (leash) connects the board to your leg. If you fall in, the board will never be far. For added safety, you can wear a buoyancy aid. If you take your child on the board with you, they must always wear a life jacket..

When you set off for the first time, start on your knees to get your balance on the board and then stand up with your knees bent for more stability. Start paddling on one side with the blade of the paddle open to the front. Then when the board begins to turn due to the row effect, paddle on the other side by changing hands with the paddle.

And that's it, now you know how to SUP for beginners!

What are the benefits of stand-up paddle boarding?

The nice thing about SUP beginners to start stand-up paddle boarding is that you're doing physical activity without even realising it. Paddling while standing on the board, even at a slow speed, is a good workout for the cardiovascular system but also for several muscle groups :
- your legs work to provide stability (proprioception),
- your core transmits the paddling force to the board
- your upper body (shoulders, arms, back) are used in the paddling motion.

If you are using an inflatable board, using the pump for a few minutes to reach the correct inflation pressure is also a good way to warm up before you start.

And all of this in the open air, enjoying the scenery and cruising on the water in the peace and quiet of nature!!

Is stand-up paddle boarding for you?

No worries! Every SUP beginners can safely on flat water with no wind or current. Children can start by sitting at the front of their parent's board before standing up alone with the paddle adjusted to their size (arms stretched over the head, the handle should reach the wrist).

And the only risk then is becoming completely addicted to this sport, going out for longer and longer trips or trying to go faster by getting better at paddling, or even having fun surfing small waves.

If you SUP alone, we suggest beginners wear a buoyancy aid (some come with a water bladder to easily stay hydrated), a waterproof pouch for your phone if necessary, and always check the weather before you get in the water. Headwinds, tide and current can seriously disrupt your trip.

The equipment for sup beginners

For easy transport and storage, we recommend using an inflatable SUP board and a paddle that is both adjustable (for several people) and detachable (to fit in the inflatable SUP bag). Add a buoyancy aid for safety and a dry bag so that you can take your belongings on the water and you are ready for adventure!


There are extremely rigid and very strong inflatable models available that use a special high-pressure technology. So you can choose an occasional touring, regular touring, racing or surfing board that fits in a big backpack when it is deflated and inflates in a few minutes with a high-pressure pump.


To avoid choosing the wrong size, choose an adjustable-height paddle that can be used by the whole family. Its weight can be of enormous importance, especially for long trips. Aluminium models are sturdy but heavy (1kg), carbon ones are much lighter (up to 500g). If you want to be able to store the paddle in the inflatable SUP's bag, choose a two-part detachable model.


To inflate your board in a few minutes, you can choose a double-action high-pressure (manual pump (inflates on both the up and down strokes) or even triple action (larger and faster than the double action). If you are finding the inflation stage too difficult, opt for an electric pump that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter. While you get changed, the board automatically inflates to the correct pressure—easy!

You have to admit, there is no reason not to try this oh-so-easy new water sport without delay! So, see you on the water?



Decathlon team editor (itiwit image & content leader)

I first got into stand-up paddling 10 years ago and ever since I have been lucky enough to do it every day at racing speed on flat water or in the waves in Hendaye right next to my office with Itiwit equipment.

All in all, I am a lucky man, and I remind myself every time I go on the water....