The rising popularity of using a longboard land paddle is getting people talking. Land paddling owes everything to the combination of two sports which are also relatively new. The incredibly relaxing sport of hitting open waters on a stand up paddleboard, mixed with the worldwide phenomenon that is longboarding.
With a slight design modification, people have taken a rowing paddle and added a road grip to the bottom, creating a land paddling stick. In doing so, they have been able to hit the streets as if they were riding on a paddleboard, giving it the nickname of land sup board. This gave birth to the term land SUP. In many aspects of skateboarding, riding with a longboard land paddle comes with many improvements. For example, you solely rely on upper body strength to move your board. Many riders enjoy the ability to travel across their entire town in one session without being completely wiped.
We are here to give you an introduction to how you can get started.
Basics of Land Paddling
The first thing you will do is get yourself standing on your board. Next, you will be holding your longboard land paddle. This step involves that you make sure that the size of your land paddle is going to work with your height.
Hold the stick up and have it resting on the pavement. You will want to compare your height to the height of the land paddle. You know the paddle is good if the handle is anywhere between your chin and your forehead. Anything higher or lower will give you a ride that isn’t so comfortable.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and keep your knees bent. This is the best technique for staying balanced on a longboard. Experienced riders that aren’t concerned about balance display their own techniques. As you get more comfortable with riding, you too will be able to ride more creatively.
One of the most important notes about land paddling is the way you hold your paddle. It is often overlooked, but the position of your hands can make a world of difference. The position is different for every person. This is because it is based on your shoulder width. The best way to find your position is to hold your paddle in front of you, horizontally. Put one hand on the handle, and your other hand should be one shoulder width length down the shaft.
How To Use The Land Paddling Stick
With the stroke, there is a definitive way to get the most out of every stroke. It is recommended to start with slow, small strokes. As you become more comfortable, you can start pushing the boundaries to get a larger stroke.
Here is the technique:
- Reach out as far as you can with your longboard land paddle
- Keep your arms straight
- Keep your eyes forward
- Plant the land paddle stick into the ground
- Put some weight into it and pull yourself forward
5. a) Keep the stick about a foot away from the board to avoid clipping the wheels
5. b) Maintain pressure in your grip with both hands for added balance
- As you move past the paddle, push all your weight into the paddle.
Once you have done a full stroke enough times, you may find that you are developing your own technique that you are comfortable with. Remember, this is about finding what works best for you. You should be able to paddle well enough to gain some speed. That brings us to the next part.
Learn How To Brake, Slow Down, And Stop
Now that you are able to gain some significant speed with your land paddle, you will need to learn how to get control of any situation. Using the land paddle is the easiest and safest way to stop.
How to stop:
- Gently place the ground grip on the pavement behind you
1. a) You want to keep the paddle away from your wheels
1. b) It is better to place the grip gently, then add pressure
- Holding the paddle with a firm grip, slowly add pressure
- The more pressure you add, the harder you will brake
It is good practise to pick up some speed with the basic paddle stroke, followed by using this braking technique. One of the most important things you can learn at this stage is to learn how to stop on a longboard. Since you can pick up speed pretty easily on a longboard, you will be glad that you took the time to figure out this step.
One little note about slowing down, you will find that making a turn will greatly reduce your speed. This is a method that many riders use to keep their speed at a manageable level.
How To Turn On Your Land SUP Board
Turning on a longboard comes down to how and where you distribute your weight. There are only two types of turning, and they are made easier with the help of a land paddle.
First, being the toe side turn. This is used for turning in the direction that your toes are facing. To do this, you simply put your weight onto your toes. If done correctly, your board will dip a little bit and you will find yourself going in that direction. Second, being the heel side turn. Similarly to the first type of turn, you are going to add your weight to one side of the board. This time, all your weight is added to your heels.
It is important to remember to keep your knees bent. The wider the turn, you more you will need to lean into it. This becomes a game about keeping your balance. Completing a wide turn and straightening out successfully is called carving. If you have trouble with turning too wide, simply use your longboard land paddle to act as an extension of your arm to keep yourself upright.
You will quickly find your way to doing a comfortable toe side turn and heel side turn. Now you can add some difficulty by adding a little bit of speed.
Land Paddling Technique Part Two; Paddle Side Switch
You should now have have a fair understanding of the core concepts of land sup. The next step in furthering your technique is to learn how to make a quick, fluid switch to change sides that you are paddling from. Much like rowing in a kayak or stand up paddle board, will start to see some real benefits from being able to paddle from any position.
Here is how you do it:
- Changing sides starts with end of completing a full stroke
- You should now be moving at a comfortable speed
- Take a quick note of where your hands are positioned
- Quickly trade where your hands’ positions
- Bring the longboard land paddle to the other side of your body
- Now use the original paddle stroke technique you learned at the beginning
- Switch back
If done correctly, this should all happen in about one to two seconds. After enough practise, you won’t even need to think about it. You will quickly notice that you can gain a lot of speed with this improved method. Before you know it, you will have done such an intense workout without hardly feeling a thing.
After enough practise you will find that you have developed your own rhythm. The more you work on keeping a good form, the better your experience will be. A land sup board can be any skateboard, but it most commonly used on a longboard. The most important part is to remember to keep it fun and keep it fresh. Play around to find your own riding style and remember to stay safe.