How To Get Back On A Paddleboard After Falling

by Kyle
How To Get Back On A Paddleboard After Falling

Since paddleboarding is a watersport, it is natural to accidentally fall in the water from time to time. Even if you are a seasoned SUPer, you still might take that occasional plunge in the water.

Here at Paddle Board Nation, we frequently face the question, “How To Get Back On A Paddleboard After Falling?”

PaddleBoarding Safety Measures

paddleboard safety

When you are out on the rough water, things can go very wrong very fast. Remember to plot your safety measures just in case.

First of all, make sure that you are wearing your ankle safety leash. With a proper leash, you won’t have to chase after a SUP that is floating away.

If you are a good swimmer or not you should put on an inflatable belt pack or wear a paddle board PFD just incase.

When you are bound for cold waters, make sure to get a wetsuit ready for the occasion.

Usually, most SUP paddles float on the water; however, if your paddle doesn’t float, then get one that does.

Don’t forget to carry an emergency whistle, and it just may come in handy out in the rough waters.

What To Do When You Are Falling Off Your Paddleboard

What To Do When You Are Falling Off Your Paddleboard

Human instinct is sharp. You will most likely receive a warning when you are about to fall off. 

Once you get this warning, try to shift your weight to one side. When you are falling, this weight shift will push your board and you apart from each other. After all, you wouldn’t want to fall on the sides of your board.

When falling, try to keep your head up. It may seem unnecessary, but you don’t know what’s under the water, and it is better to suffer some skin scratches than a fatal head injury.

Throw your paddle a bit far from you. Landing on your paddle can be quite a painful experience. Moreover, your focus should be on the board first. You can get your paddle with your SUP afterward.

Take note to throw your paddle away only when you know that the paddle floats. If not, try your best to hold onto it!

How To Get Back On Your Paddleboard

When you fall off, do not panic and stay calm. Start to tread water to keep yourself afloat.

Now you will need to look around and spot your SUP.  Swim towards the side of your SUP. You can also aim for the tail section, but it is much harder to get back on from the tail end.

If you are wearing an ankle leash, you can pull the leash, and the SUP will come to you.

Once you have reached the side of your board, reach out with your non-dominant hand and grip the central carry handle. Afterward, put your dominant hand on top of the board. Lay it in a way where the forearm is in contact with the deck. Place your palm facing down.

Grip the SUP with both hands. Use the dominant arm to push down on the board while the other hand holds the carry handle.

Don’t try to put your body weight on the board, or it may just flip. Only push down a bit to get your feet on the surface of the water. 

Once your feet are up, start kicking the water. This method will give you the majority of the strength to get back on the board.

Keep the hand that’s holding the carry handle steady. Push with your dominant hand in tandem with the kicks. This way will help you to raise your body a bit higher than the board’s surface.

With a raised body, your PFD or floatation belt won’t get caught on the board’s side.

Use the force generated by the kicks to get your upper body on the board. Once up, face the nose of your board and hold the side rails. Now, you can slide up your legs on top of the SUP.

Lay prone to your board and paddle with your hands, just like in surfing. Once you manage to reach your paddle, retrieve it. You can secure the paddle under your upper body until you get past the dangerous rapids.

Once you are ready, lay the paddle in front and get to kneeling. Then, stand up by placing both feet shoulder-width apart. This stance will aid you in keeping your balance.

Now, you can start paddling once again!



Now and then, every paddleboarder will fall in the water. Because of this you will always want to be prepared. If you manage to follow some safety measures, you will have no problem getting back on your paddleboard. 

That is why mastering the basics of SUPing is the best way to stay safe and enjoy paddleboarding. So, keep on practicing!

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