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Falling From Paddleboards [ And How to Get Back Up ]

Paddle boarding is an awesome hobby to take up. But, when you’re a novice at this, keeping your balance and staying on the board can be difficult. So, for beginners the most important thing to learn is how to get back on a paddleboard after falling.

You have to approach the board from the rear or side, then carefully slide yourself on it. Then slowly work to get on your knees, then on your feet.

I will further explain the whole procedure in detail in the rest of this article. I will also shed some light on improving your balance and teach you how to properly fall from paddleboards as well. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

How to Get Back Up on A Paddleboard?

Getting back on the paddleboard isn’t like climbing back on a boat or something like that. It isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.

There’s a specific and proper method to doing everything. And the same goes for getting back up on your paddle board. 

Here is how you can get back on a paddleboard after falling into the water:

  • Locate the Board and the Paddle

You have to locate the paddleboard fast once you fall in the water. You will also need to find the paddle because you will need it later. If the water is wavy, you’ll have to find the board fast before losing it. However, if the paddle and the board are already far from each other and you have to pick only one, go for the board. The paddle alone cannot bring you to the shore.

Some boards have a leash to be attached to your leg. This to ensure that you can get to the board fast after falling and don’t lose it. Some do not prefer the leash because it won’t allow you to swim freely.

  • Approach it from the Side or Rear

Try to get back on the board from either side or rear. You have to locate the carrying handle first and use it as a grip. You have to approach it from either side or real because then it will be easy for you to position your body correctly.

If you get back on the board from the front, you will have to turn yourself 180 degrees in this congested space which is next to impossible.

  • Slide Your Belly onto the Board

Grab the carry handle with your dominant hand. Then kick the water in a swimming motion. This will propel you forward on the board. Place yourself on your stomach on the paddleboard.

If you try to get back from the side, this might be a bit tricky. That’s why I suggest approaching from the rear of the board. You will get more space and the entire procedure will be much easier.

  • Place the Paddle Across the Board

You will need something to push against to get back on your feet. The paddle shall work as your leverage here. Place the paddle across the paddleboard. Make sure you place the paddle in the center so that your body mass spreads equally across the paddle and the board.

  • Get on your Knees

Think of going to the kneeling position then tilting your body forward in a ‘Z’ shape. You have to do the reverse here. After you place your belly on the board, move your body backward keeping the knees in the same place.

Keep your knees steady and position your upper body vertically. Now you are in a perfect position to get back on your feet.

  • Carefully Stand on Both of Your Feet

Place both your feet flat and side by side on the board. Do a squat-like move to get on your feet. Make sure your feet are parallel to each other.

This will help you to regain balance quickly. If one foot is ahead of the other, your mass will be spread unevenly on the board. Try to avoid this.

You may also wonder how to get back on a paddleboard in deep water. The process is the same. You just have to act fast in deep water because the chances of losing the board and the paddle are a lot higher.

Tips for Safely Falling from a Paddleboard

It may come to your surprise, but there are safety tips for falling into water from a paddleboard. It’s unlike falling from a tree or cliff, where death is inevitable.

But here, you are falling in the water which if anything, is not detrimental. Rather, resisting the fall can be injurious. But it is an instinctive reflex, so knowing the best way to fall is the key. Let’s go:

  • Let go of your balance completely. If you feel like you’re losing balance, let it happen.
  • Fall away from the board. Push the board away with your feet as far as possible. This will prevent hitting the board.
  • Fall flat on your back. This will protect your face and chest from any underlying structure in the water. The back of your head is a sensitive part of your body as well. Try to save it by placing your palm on the back of your head.

Do not dive into the water. If the water is shallow, you will hurt yourself. Also, you will go deep into the water by diving, risking losing the paddle and the board, both.

How to Improve Your Balance On A Paddleboard?

Now, you’ve learned how to get back on a paddleboard. But prevention is better than cure. So, you should really put some focus on learning how to actually keep your balance on it.

As a beginner, you should not head on to restless water trying to conquer the tides. Instead, here are some things that you should do to improve your paddle boarding skills first.  


Maintaining balance on the water, even if the water is calm can be difficult. For beginners, this is particularly troubling because it requires a lot of practice.

This can be achieved with experience and that comes with practice. The more time you spend paddle boarding, the more you will learn.

Maintain a Stable Posture

You have to remain still on the paddleboard with a firm stance. Position your feet, at a hip-width distance and parallelly. Keep them centered between the edges of the board.

Make sure your toes are pointed forward and knees slightly bent. Your head and shoulders should remain steady and in an upright position. Keep your back straight and shift your weight by moving your hips.

Paddleboard in Stagnant Water

Paddleboarding provides the best experience in the slack tide. The water remains calm and steady during slack tide. But as a beginner, you should practice in calm and confined water where there is no tide, before or after.

Start practicing in a small lake or pond for starters. When you get a hold of it and learn to maintain balance, you can move on to more choppy water for a greater experience.


Paddle boarding is fun, but knowing the safety measures can make the fun tenfold. If you know what can go wrong and how to salvage it, you can stay relaxed the entire time. You can fall from the board at any time. So, you should learn how to get back on a paddleboard after falling.

I have discussed the procedure step by step. I’ve also added some information about landing safely, plus some ways you can improve your balance on the paddle board. I believe this write-up will be able to make your paddle boarding experience much smoother and safer.

If you are just starting to look into paddleboarding we have a wide selection of guides to help assist you in finding the best option to suit your needs, check them out here!