It may not look particularly extreme but land paddling/SUPing (whatever you want to call it) – basically pushing yourself around on a longboard skateboard with a stick/pole/paddle – really does help improve paddling surfing. Riding ramps and skate parks really makes you focus on paddle placement and how to manoeuvre the board as you would on a wave.
Skate ramps are static so the opportunity of repeating similar movements, over and over, allow muscle memory skills to develop and be consolidated. This means when next out on the brine and confronted by swell your autopilot can be engaged and riding level increases.
I appreciate this isn’t for everyone, and let’s be honest, hitting the concrete deck is far more painful than splashing into water. If you really want to develop your SUP surfing, however, then land paddling is definitely worth a look. In particular, trying to get up to the top of the ramp and turn on the most vert part is exactly the same feeling as a big lip hit on the water.
If the thought of stacking it turns you off then there’s always land paddle crusing which doesn’t result in so many bruises!
The March issue of SUP Mag UK features an in depth feature on land paddling – check it out: www.joomag.com/magazine/sup-mag-uk-lo-res-free-to-readers-march-2015-lo-res-free-issue/0712655001428518728?short
Thanks to Shoreham Beach Land Paddle and Land Paddle UK.