Home News and Events News What’s SUP at Seabrook: Tips from a Paddle Board Instructor For Catching Waves

What’s SUP at Seabrook: Tips from a Paddle Board Instructor For Catching Waves

Posted 09/23/2020


Photo Credit: Water Dog Paddle Co.

Embrace the natural beauty of our idyllic barrier island with one of the unique ways to experience South Carolina’s coast: stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)! Bookmark this article before your next coastal adventure to easily access everything you need to know about paddleboarding throughout the pristine tidal marshes that wind throughout the heart of Seabrook Island near Charleston, SC.

Everything You Need to Know About Paddle Boarding on Seabrook Island, SC

Not only is stand-up paddleboarding a fun, socially-distant way to enjoy the outdoors, it’s also a great full body core workout for people of all ages and skill levels. Stand-up paddleboarding engages your core muscles and builds lean muscle tone while strengthening your arms, back, legs, and shoulders. Not to mention, you can take along your favorite four-legged friend or small Seabrooker – there’s plenty of room on board for dogs and kids alike! Just remember life jackets for the whole crew.

Paddleboarding gives you the freedom to explore our beautiful waterscapes at your own pace, making it a favorite activity of many local Seabrookers. Our tranquil island provides several places to put your paddleboard in the water where currents are light and safe for new SUP boarders. Some of our favorite spots include Bohicket Creek, Cap’n Sam’s Spit, Kiawah River, the Seabrook Island crabbing dock, Deveaux Bank, and along our pristine Seabrook Island beaches.

Tips and Tricks from a Local Seabrook SUP Instructor

Proper SUP technique involves placing one hand on the top of the paddle while allowing your bottom hand to act as a pivot point. Following these basic guidelines will help you become a SUP expert in no time:

How to Paddle Forward

  • Keep your grip on the paddle a shoulder-width apart to give your strokes more power.
  • Keep your bottom arm firm, straight, and still for greater resistance against the water.
  • Pull your top arm toward your body to move the paddle forward.
  • Extend your reach by rotating your top shoulder forward.
  • Put the paddle as deep in the water as you comfortably can for a bigger push against the water. This will help you pull past your paddle and move a greater distance.
  • To avoid turning, make sure you switch sides with your paddle every few strokes and reverse your hand positioning when you shift.

How to Stand On a Paddle Board

Stand-up paddleboards come in all shapes and sizes; however beginning paddleboarders should stick with a wider, longer, and thicker board for greater stability. When you are first learning SUP techniques, start in calmer water and keep these tips and tricks in mind!

  1. Place your board out in the water so that the fin doesn’t hit on anything underneath.
  2. Once you mount the board, take a few strokes on each side in a kneeling position.
  3. Slowly stand up, one foot at a time, in the middle of the board. Make sure your feet are about a shoulder-width apart facing towards the nose for greater balance.
  4. Once you feel stable and confident, try taking a few more strokes on each side while standing up.
  5. Make sure to keep a slight bend in your knees, with your core centered over the board.
  6. It may take a couple of tries to get the hang of it. Just hop back on your board and try again! Remember, it’s all about having fun and making memories.

How to Turn Your Board

Use a forward sweep stroke to turn your board left in the water by twisting your core and leaning to the left while simultaneously paddling towards the back of your board on the right side. A reverse sweep technique will allow you to move your board to the right by placing your paddle near your board’s back end and pulling towards the front left as you shift your core to the right.

Remember to keep a firm stance with your knees bent to make your board easier to turn! To make sure you make the most of your paddleboarding expedition, avoid making these common SUP mistakes:

  • DON’T: Hold the paddle with both hands on the pole section of the paddle.
  • DON’T: Take a surf stance, as it makes paddling and maintaining balance much more difficult.
  • DON’T: Only use your arms to move through the water. Engage your core and back muscles to paddle more efficiently and avoid tiring out.

Once you have mastered these techniques, there are so many things you can do on your paddleboard. In addition to being a great way to relieve stress and exercise next to the water, there are so many exciting activities to try on your board. With so many possibilities like SUP surfing, fishing, and yoga, you are bound to find your new favorite hobby!


Photo Credit: Water Dog Paddle Co.

Where to Rent Paddle Boards at Seabrook Island, SC

With Seabrook being located just outside of Charleston, SC, you won’t have to travel far to find great SUP rental options.  A few local companies we recommend include Water Dog Paddle Co., Island Bike and Surf Shop, and St. Johns Kayaks & Paddleboards.

Ryan Kennedy, a local kayak & SUP specialist at Water Dog Paddle Co., is very familiar with all that Seabrook Island offers the Charleston stand-up paddleboarding community. A native Seabrooker who grew up on Cap’n Sam’s Creek, Ryan returned to the island from corporate life to share this beautiful part of the world with others.

Ryan says, “As a native of the island, I enjoy teaching Seabrook visitors and residents alike about our vital ecosystem, natural resources, and local Charleston wildlife from fish and birds to dolphins and other marine mammals. At Water Dog, our mission is to help families enjoy quality time on the water while taking a step back from technology and the stress of everyday life. We specialize in introducing people of all skill levels and ages, from 7 months old to 84 years old to paddleboarding and kayaking. ”

No matter where you start your SUP trip, you can guarantee that the local guides and professionals are equipped and ready to take on the waves at Seabrook Island! If you aren’t entirely confident in your SUP skills yet, opt for a two-hour SUP tour with Water Dog’s lifeguard-certified guide and all of the equipment you need.

For more information about paddleboard rentals and eco-tours near Seabrook Island, SC, click here.

Book Your Next Vacation: Seabrook Island Rentals

If you are ready to catch some waves, browse our inclusive range of Seabrook Island rentals, from townhomes and cottages to larger family-sized homes. While you are here, make sure to enjoy all of the unique amenities that the Seabrook Island Beach Club has to offer. Our serene oceanfront community truly has it all – delicious fine dining, convenient shopping, award-winning golf courses, scenic beach rides with the Seabrook Island Equestrian Center, and much, much more. We hope to see you there!

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