How Hard is it To Do Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)?

Winners of #1 Best Inflatable SUP last year, we certainly know our stuff when it comes to paddle boarding.

Here at Bluefin, we believe there’s a stand up paddleboard (SUP) for everyone. And we’re here to give you the definitive answer to one of the most popular questions we see: how hard is it to do stand up paddle boarding? 

The answer is simple. Not very hard at all! Stand up paddle boarding may look a little tricky, but it couldn’t be easier to master. No matter your ability or fitness level, we believe anyone can become an expert SUPer in no time.

So, if you want to discover exactly why paddle boarding is hailed as one of the easiest watersports around, this blog is for you. 

Why So Easy?

When compared to pretty much all other watersports (we’re talking surfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, sailing…), stand up paddle boarding is by far the easiest option. 

Virtually anyone can master it in just a few hours, regardless of fitness level. Provided you’re willing to put in the effort and spend a little time practicing, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t become a SUP master!

The vast majority of newbies are able to stand and paddle during their first few times on the water. Sure, it may take a little practice to get it right, but you certainly don’t have to spend weeks upon weeks struggling. Give it just a few hours, and you’ll have the basic technique down. 

Better still, our entire paddleboard collection has been expertly designed with durability in mind. Guaranteed to provide sturdy rigidity at all times, you’re sure to feel safe and secure when using our SUPs. To learn more about our boards, check out this handy guide.

Top SUP Tips for Beginners

Even though we’ve established it’s really not that hard to do stand up paddle boarding, many are still a little nervous about giving it a go.

To help boost your confidence, here’s some top tips for giving yourself the best chance of speedily mastering the art of SUP.

Get the correct size board

Any SUPer knows the importance of using the right size board. If you start with one that’s simply not suitable for your height, weight or ability level, you’re heading for disaster before you’ve even started!

Here at Bluefin, there’s a board for everyone. For beginners, we recommend our Cruise range. A total all-rounder, this board comes in three sizes to suit virtually all heights and weights. And for kids just starting out with paddle boarding, our Cruise Junior is the perfect choice.

Start with calm waters

This might seem like a no-brainer, but we’re talking to our more ambitious budding SUPers here. Especially if you’re already pretty fit and active, it can feel tempting to throw yourself in straight at the deep end (literally!) with waves and currents. 

But this is the worst thing you can do, as you simply won’t have the skills to deal with such conditions just yet. As a SUP beginner, starting on calm, relaxed waters is essential. Lakes are a great option, oceans not so much.

Slow and steady definitely wins the race here. And once you’ve mastered the art of standing up (and staying up!), you can begin trying out your new-found paddling skills in more challenging waters. 

Don’t stare at your feet!

A super common mistake beginners make, staring at your feet often feels unavoidable during your first few times on the water. And you might think you’re doing yourself a favour, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Keeping your eyes fixed on your feet is certain to disrupt balance. It’s important to look ahead at all times, keeping your core engaged and your body upright. Plus, if all you’re looking at is your feet, you’ll probably crash into a fellow paddler you just didn’t spot! 

Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

As well as being one of the most fun (and Instagrammable!) watersports out there, did you know paddle boarding is great for your fitness too?

Able to improve balance and coordination, SUP is a great cardio activity. Super low impact, paddle boarding doesn’t put pressure on your joints either. A great alternative to jogging! 

Providing a full-body workout as multiple muscle groups are engaged, paddle boarding helps boost endurance and core strength. And as a solid SUP session can burn plenty of calories, it can aid weight loss too. 


A great way to introduce yourself to watersports, stand up paddle boarding definitely isn’t as tough as it may look. You could become a SUP pro in no time, paddling your way around oceans and lakes like you’ve been doing it for years!

Allowing you to experience the calming joy of being on the water, your fitness levels are likely to get a serious boost too. So, if you’ve always been wary of stand up paddle boarding, maybe now’s the time to get yourself a board and try it?

Reading next