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How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

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sandy, utah
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1,132 posts
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How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

My husband wants to try stand-up paddle boarding at Ala Moana Beach (free with Go Oahu Card). I'm wondering how difficult it is to do (I'm in my mid-50's, overweight and not in the best shape). If we choose not to do it for the 3 hours of our SUP rental, is there decent snorkeling at that beach? If it makes any difference in your answer, we'll be hiking Diamond Head early that morning.

Calgary, Alberta
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1. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

Weight will come into play when talking SUP. Boards are rated by weight and experience level, the higher the weight, the higher the level of difficulty. I know because I SUP and it was much more difficult when I weighed substantially more.

That being said, you can always sit on the board and paddle like a kayak, or to ride waves on your tummy.

La Mirada...
Destination Expert
for Kauai
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136 reviews
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2. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

I was nearly 60 (female) and not in great shape when I tried SUP. For me, the hard part was pulling myself back up (after I'd fallen off) on the board in deep water. I had just as much fun kneeling on the board. Make sure you wear a rash guard or a t-shirt to keep from rubbing your skin off or ruining a swim suit top. Go for it!

Kailua, Hawaii
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3. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

Rental boards are usually large and floaty so your weight won't be an issue, I'd think. Its easy to learn to paddle around, but SUP surfing is another matter entirely.

Ala Moana beach is a great place to try SUP for the first time because the area is surrounded by reef and the water is always calm.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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4. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

If you have never been on a surf board it won't be a pleasant experience. You have to have good upper body strength and good knees to get up on one!! Take a lesson, you won't regret it. Paddle boarding is in a restricted area at Ala Moana Beach Park so know where you can do this. I've never snorkeled at Ala Moana Beach Park so can't answer that question, but with all the swimmers and people surfing etc. it's pretty crowded.

Birmingham, Alabama
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39 reviews
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5. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

It isn't particularly difficult but it takes core strength to do it for long.

On your knees is fun, though, and that's not too hard.

Chicago, Illinois
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20 posts
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6. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

Last year we had the Go Card. Our first SUP was @ Kualoa Ranch---Secret Island . It was the morning of beach time with SUP's, surf boards, kayaks, snorkeling & don't recall what else. Before I got on the board, I talked to the "guy in charge" & he gave me plenty of tips.

I'm (60) in fair shape and yes it is about core work, I don’t know how to ice skate or roller skate and I managed to stay on board. It was tough being out on the open water and I had a blast. Second time we rented an hours worth on the Hilton Lagoon & it was almost boring. It was hilarious when DH fell off into 2 feet of water.

We had planned to do the 3 hour rental at Ala Moana beach, but just ran out of time. The SUP people said Ala Moana Beach was calm be cause of protected water (???)

Soooo. If you are doing Kualoa Ranch & have time to do Secret Island, try SUP there first, then decide if you want to invest more time at Ala Moana Beach.

sandy, utah
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1,132 posts
9 reviews
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7. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

Is a rash guard/t-shirt needed to protect your skin when you fall off the board or when you're trying to get back on one?

St. Paul, MN
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990 posts
19 reviews
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8. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

I'm 64 and took my first SUP lesson last summer on a lake where the water was very calm. After a couple early falls I got the hang of it. When I tried it in Hawaii on what seemed like a calm water, I fell frequently. I'd like to try it again, but it wasn't easy standing up. Knelling was fine.

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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9. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

Aloha,

Start doing some push ups and squats now.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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57 reviews
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10. Re: How hard is it to learn stand-up paddle boarding?

DH is pretty much like the OP. He says it's not hard to learn, but NEVER look down at your feet. You will end up in the water immediately.