Have you mastered paddleboarding in calm conditions and want to try something a little more challenging? If so, the next step would be to learn how to paddle board in the ocean. But before doing so there are a few things that you need to know and these include:

  • Choose an ocean-worthy paddleboard
  • Prepare for change with safety gear and supplies
  • Understand the wind and the waves
  • Find the proper entry point
  • Get past the wave break
Paddleboarding in the ocean

How To Paddle Board In The Ocean

Choose An Ocean-Worthy Paddleboard

The ocean is unpredictable. To paddle its rough waters, you will want a board that can handle any challenges. 

An ocean-worthy paddleboard should be durable & stable. Moreover, it should be suitable for long-distance paddling and watersports. Thus, the all arounder, sturdy and stable board is the best for ocean paddleboarding.

We recommend our overall favorite ocean board, the Bluefin Cruise SUP 12′.

A versatile, stable board with high carry capacity is a must in the ocean for a beginner paddleboarder. These SUPs are customizable and require little skill to manoeuver.

The iROCKER All-Around Inflatable SUP 10′ is the ideal ocean board for beginners.

All ocean SUPs are not expensive. For a more cost-effective board, look for one with a wide surface and sturdy build. Checking the PSI level is an excellent way to pick your ocean board. After all, a board that supports 15-20 PSI will be rigid on water and have decent durability.

For a budget board, the SereneLife Inflatable SUP is surprisingly broad, sturdy.

The ocean is vast, which is ideal for extended paddling trips. A hybrid nose SUP with a sturdy build and multiple cargo areas is fantastic for these activities.

Peak Expedition Inflatable SUP is suitable for long ocean expeditions.

Paddlers who love to travel would want an ocean board that is lightweight, portable, and durable. Military-grade Ultralight construction and a removable fin should make traveling more manageable. 

Atoll 11′ Foot Inflatable SUP the ideal SUP for traveling ocean paddleboarders.

For more details on ocean paddleboards, check out “Best Paddle Boards For The Ocean.”

Get The Right PFD And Safety Supplies

Safety is the priority when paddling board in the ocean. A PFD, safety leash, whistle, and emergency supplies may save your life out there.

Ocean paddle board PFD

For paddleboarding in the ocean, you should go with a reliable, lightweight, and comfortable PFD. Your vest should have reflective materials for high visibility and an attached whistle. It is even better to pick a U.S. Coast Guard certified Type III personal flotation device.

The Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest is our favorite for ocean watersports.

For more information on PFDs, take a look at “Best PFD For SUP.”

Falling off a Paddle board in the ocean

A coiled leash with a padded ankle cuff will save you from chasing after your board in case you hit the water. Most ocean paddleboards include a safety leash in the package.

Paddling rough waters can dehydrate the body fast. Therefore, bringing drinkable water is a must when SUPing in the ocean.

Ocean paddleboarding

Understand The Wind And The Waves

Paddleboarding in the ocean requires you to deal with the wind and the waves. Better understanding these two will help you paddle your board efficiently in the sea.

If you are on an iSUP, your body will work like a sail. The sea wind can easily knock you off the balance if you are not vigilant. If possible, it is better to paddle with the wind in your back.

In the sea, the tide will change every day. Knowing when the tide goes out and comes in will aid you in steering your board. Tide charts often indicate an outgoing tide with the ebb and the incoming one with a flood.

The knowledge of tides, currents are necessary to avoid accidental injuries in the ocean.

Find The Proper Entry Point

It is better to scan the water before picking an entry point. Areas with a lot of swimmers, surfers, are not optimal for launching your paddleboard.

Firstly, do not hold your board parallel to the waves. Put on the PFD and safety leash while entering the water. Next, carry it under the arm until the water reaches waist level. Once there, put the board on the water and secure the paddle. 

Get Past The Wave Break

When paddleboarding in the ocean, you should cut through the waves rather than letting them hit the sides of your board. Furthermore, it is easier to kneel on your board while you paddle past the break.

The break is where you see the white caps above the water. You want to get past it for better stability on top of your board. The best way to do this is to wait for the wave to pause and power stroke through it.

Once you are past the wave break, you can start to paddle smoothly.

Tips To Paddle Board In The Ocean

What To Look Out For When Paddle Boarding In The Ocean

Keep an eye on the weather conditions. Even light rain or slight winds can make the sea unstable. As such, paddling in the ocean can take a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye if you are not aware.

People paddle boarding in the ocean

Look out for the swimmers, surfers, and fast-moving boats. Maneuverability on a SUP is not the greatest, so you need to be careful on the ocean.

Rocky shores can easily damage your SUP and injure you. Prepare proper gear and protective coating for your SUP if you will paddle your board in one of these.

Seek out an experienced guide or local paddleboarder to know more about the beach and the water. A bit of prior knowledge will save you a lot of time and hassle when you are out paddling. 

How To Efficiently Paddle In The Ocean

Paddling in the ocean requires more energy than SUPing in calm water. Therefore, it is best to use an efficient paddle stroke strategy to conserve energy. 

How To Efficiently Paddle In The Ocean

Keep your head up and look forward to maintaining balance and visibility. Grip the paddle with both hands. Place one hand at the top of the paddle to use your body weight for extra power while paddling.

Engage the core, paddle in a vertical line, and you will lose less strength with each stroke. Reach out towards the board’s nose with your paddle and catch as much water with the paddle blade as you can. Only reach out as far as you can without breaking balance.

Breath when the paddle is out of the water. The extra oxygen will aid in delivering more power to your paddle strokes. Furthermore, kneeling or taking rest from time to time will drastically improve your paddling efficiency.

Bottom Line For Paddle Boarding In The Ocean

Paddleboarding in the ocean can be exciting. However, it is necessary to keep a sharp awareness when paddling the rough waters. Once again, we would like to emphasize the safety and basics, for they are your lifeline in the ocean.

Starting with short trips will help you to learn to paddle your board in the sea. With each trip, you will become more accustomed to the winds, currents, and tides. Once you understand these, the knowledge and the experience will help you become better at SUPing in the sea.

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