How to Hold Your Paddle When Stand-up Paddle Boarding

May 23, 2023
Paddle Boarder in the Middle of a Wintry Scene with Water, Trees, Mountains, and Snow

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP-ing) may not look very tough, but, as you may already know, it can be draining, exhausting, and downright difficult. However, if you know how to do things properly, it can make an insurmountable difference. Rest assured, we’re not talking about any advanced methods or techniques; rather, it’s quite the opposite. The more you know the basics, the better you will paddle; it’s plain and simple, really. So, for example, do you know how to hold your paddle when stand-up paddle boarding? And yes, there is a right way and a wrong way. As always, our team of SUP experts has everything you need to know, so keep on reading below!

The Correct Way to Hold an SUP Paddle

So, without any further ado, what is the correct way to hold an SUP paddle? The right way to hold a paddle is with the blade bent or sloped forward. In other words, the blade should not be facing you. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re gripping the paddle properly. More specifically, how close together are your hands? You don’t want them too close together! Rather, one hand should have a light yet firm grip on the upper handle while the other one should hold the shaft with your arms wider than shoulder-width apart. By doing so, you reduce the drag and increase the power of each paddle stroke. 

Paddle Boarder in the Middle of a Wintry Scene with Water, Trees, Mountains, and Snow

Now, how do you know which arm goes on top of the paddle? In short, your upper hand should be opposite to the side of the board you’re paddling on. For example, if you’re paddling on the left side of your SUP, then your right hand should be gripping the handle at the top of the paddle. Needless to say, if you’re paddling on the right side of your board, then your left hand should be at the top of the paddle. Trust us, with enough experience, these things just click after a while. It may take some time, but you’ll get there eventually; just trust the process, listen to your body, adapt and adjust as needed, and—most importantly—keep going; it will all pay off in the end.

Of course, all of this is just the basics of SUP-ing. For more advanced, in-depth, and detailed paddling techniques, be sure to check out our official Atoll Boards blog. Once there, you will find several blogs all about various paddling techniques, including turning techniques, how to paddle through waves and choppy water, and so much more. 

Contacting Our Team at Atoll Boards

Now that you know the basics of how to hold your paddle when stand-up paddle boarding, what’s next in your quest for knowledge? In addition to our blog, you can always learn more by contacting our team at Atoll Boards. To do so, simply give us a call at 877-698-8581 or send an email to Or, if you’re a prospective partner inquiring about wholesale opportunities, please feel free to send us an email at In any case, we would be more than happy to assist you in any way we can. We hope to hear from you soon. Until then!

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