One of the first things you need to know as a new inflatable paddleboard owner is how to size and hold your adjustable paddleboard paddle. Adjusting and using your paddle correctly will make for more efficient and enjoyable paddling.
Adjusting your paddle to the best length – Most paddles are adjustable, which is great as length to some degree is personal preference and at times even if you are the only one using a particular paddle you may wish to adjust the length depending on conditions, style of paddling or changing between boards. A good starting point is to adjust the length of your paddle so that when the blade is touching the ground near your foot, the T-grip of the paddle will land in the palm of your hand while your arm is comfortably extended above your head.
Adjusting your hand width on your paddle – The hand positions on you paddle may also change depending on conditions and style of paddling but a good neutral position is a good place to start. Hold your paddle horizontally on your head and adjust your hand width so that your elbows are at 90 degrees and you have created a square on each side of your head with your paddle and arms.
Hand position – when paddling on your right-hand side, your left-hand will hold the T-grip your right hand will hold the shaft. When switching to the left side change your hands grips as well with the right hand now on the T-grip and the left hand on the shaft.
Hold the paddle the correct direction – Paddle board paddles generally come with a blade that is angled away from the centerline of the shaft. This angle should extend towards the front of the board or away from your body. When held correctly it allows for the blade to pass by your feet in a vertical position. A paddle with out this angle will start to pull up in the water very early in the stroke and is far less efficient
Now that we have our paddle in hand it is time to get on the water and get comfortable Balancing on our inflatable paddleboard