When paddle boarding there are several different body positions you may want to use depending on conditions and what you are trying to accomplish. Prone, kneeling, standing and surf stance all offer specific benefits. Lets take a look at when and why you may want to switch to another position.
Prone paddling is when we lay down on our paddle board and "swim" the board. This is your most stable position on your board and where you have the least resistance to the wind. A great time to use this position is if you get unexpected winds and chop. This stable low position will allow you to maintain stability and make progress against the wind.
Kneeling is your next most stable position, it offers less wind resistance than standing and is a little drier than prone paddling. Paddling in this position however is generally more awkward and less efficient. This typically is the position most people use when they first get on the board before standing. It is also great if you suddenly feel less stable or want to take a break from standing
Standing is where we ultimately want to be for most comfort and efficiency paddling, and the reason we call it "Stand Up Paddling". From this position we utilize the full length of the paddle and are able to engage all of our body to power our stroke.
The Surf Stance or Pivot Turn Stance is useful to change our balance forwards and backwards as opposed to side to side. When heading into waves it can offer better balance and will lift the nose of the board up over the waves. While paddling in front of a wave it prevents the nose from diving under water and gives better balance forward to backward. Another use for this stance is to weight the back of the board to allow for faster turning "The Pivot Turn"
So different positions offer varying benefits to stability and efficiency. Choosing the best body position for the circumstances can help manage changing conditions.