Training your balance while on land is an effective way to improve your suping performance. Additionally, balance training can help speed up the learning process for sup beginners.
How this guide is set up.
Stand up paddle boarding has split up into so many different styles I believe that different types of balance trainers are better suited for the type of stand up paddle boarding you do.
I broke this guide down into the following sections.
- Balance training for yoga suping
- Balance training for lake, fishing or touring stand up paddle boarding.
- Balance training for Stand up paddle boarding Downwind, Racing or Whitewater.
- Balance training for sup surfing.
Balance training safety
When starting a balance training program, the first thing you have to figure out is how much you are willing to risk taking a hard fall that could lead to an injury.
There are things you can do to help avoid taking falls, and there are ways to protect yourself when you do fall.
Read my guide to balance board safety to find out how to reduce your risk of getting injured while balance training
Keep in mind when looking to balance train for suping it would be best to find a product that is big enough to allow you to use a similar stance as you do while suping so you do not pick up any bad habits.
Different types of suping require various kinds of postures or switching to different positions depending on what you are trying to do.
General sup stance & Race stances and paddling
Balance training for Yoga Stand up paddle boarding.
Yoga SUPing is generally done on waters with little to no chop, wake or surf and in ideal weather conditions but can still be very challenging to your balance depending on what type of yoga poses or routines you plan to do.
The indo yoga board is an excellent choice for a balance trainer because it will simulate the instability of doing yoga poses on the water on a stand-up paddle board and it is large enough to do the majority of yoga poses on.
Another good thing about the indo yoga board is that you can continue to increase the challenge to your balance by placing indo flow cushions under the balance board.
What I like about the Indo Yoga balance board.
- Good for beginners to balance training because it is much safer to use than balance boards with rollers.
- This board will not make much noise or damage your floor when using it.
- Has a soft cork top laminate, so it is comfortable to use bare footed.
- Large size lets you practice many different poses.
- Board allows you to keep challenging your balance skills as your balance skills improve by using it with the indo flow cushions.
- If you are a practitioner of yoga this board is a good way to keep challenging yourself and keep things new.
What I don't like about the indo yoga board.
- If you are not into yoga or yoga suping you will probably not find this board challenging enough.
How to use the Indo yogo board playlist
By using the indo yoga board with the IndoFlo cushions you will be able to increase how hard the board is to use.
If you already own a stand up paddle board, you can save some money by using your board with the indo Gigante cushions for balance training work outs and yoga flows as seen in the video below.
Using your paddle board with balance cushions.
Keep in mind if you do use your paddle board with the cushions you probably have to remove the fins from the board. Also if you apply wax to your board, it may melt from getting too warm.
From my experience the longer it takes to set up a piece of training equipment the more likely I will put off training, so you may be better off finding an old beater board to use just for balance training.
Technical info of indo yoga board.
69" length x 16"width x 1 thickness
or in metric
175 Cm length x 40 Cm width x 2.5 Cm thickness
Top has a cork laminate.
Made in the USA
Balance training for lake, fishing or touring Stand up paddle boarding.
I think safety is the biggest issue when looking for a sup trainer to use with these styles of SUPing because they are mostly done in calmer waters, with a slower paced paddling, and in ideal weather conditions by an older crowd.
I recommend using a balance board with a balance cushion instead of a roller if you want to train your balance but want to reduce the risk of taking a hard fall.
Using the cushion will be less challenging than using the board with a roller, but will still be able to practice your heel to toe balance skills and board walking.
Balance pads allow you to pick a level of instability you are comfortable training with by changing how much you inflate them.
The less you inflate the cushion, the less challenging it will be, and as you increase the volume of air in the cushion, the unstable it will become.
Additionally, you can buy the indo board rollers on their own, so you can continue to challenge your balance skills if you out grown the balance cushion.
If you are more of a risk taker and are willing to take a few falls balance training, I would recommend getting or building your own parallel rocker balance board such as the goofboard.
(Check further down for more info on the goofboard)
What I like about the indo board pro for SUP balance training.
This board is larger than most other balance boards on the market.
A bigger board will better simulate suping by allowing you to use the same stance used during paddle boarding and will allow you to practice walking around the board.
This board allows you to keep on challenging your balance by progressing from the stability cushion with little air to a lot of air then to the roller.
The board is wide enough to place the roller in parallel to the board this will better simulate the feel of SUPing.
This should only be done by very advanced users because there is a greater chance of taking a fall when using the board like this.
What I don't like about Indo board pro for Sup cross training.
The roller of the board makes you sit high off the ground (around 9inches) this could lead to a harder fall if you lose your balance.
Using the board with the roller in the traditional position (placed vertically under the board) will not simulate the feel of SUPing as well as if the roller is placed parallel to the board
The board does not have stoppers on the sides so using this board with a roller parallel to the board is going to be much more challenging and dangerous because you can very easily loose control of the board and have it shoot out from under yo
Indo board Pro technical information
45 inches by 15 inches the roller has a 8.5 inch diameter
114.3 Cm by 30.4 Cm the roller has a 21.5 diameter
Balance training for Stand up paddle boarding Downwind,Racing or Whitewater.
These types of suping are done in a more challenging environment with larger chop, surf or white water in ideal to poor weather conditions.
Furthermore, these styles require you take on more risks and will you will need to have more cardio, strength and balance skills
I think the indo board pro with the Gigante cushion would be a good choice if you are looking for a safer method of balance training because you are more likely to lose control of the board using a roller.
Also I like that the indo pro board is a little wider and longer than most other balance boards on the market giving you more room to practice moving around the board and shifting to different stances.
If you are more willing to take a risk sup training than I think there are better sup trainers if you are into these styles of suping.
The goofboard is a good choice in a trainer because the board profile is long and wide, this will allow you to practice board walking from nose to tail and switching to different sup stances.
More importantly is that this board will better simulate the feeling of actually suping because this board is made to be used with the roller placed in parallel with the deck.
Combining Resistance training and balance training for an even better work out
While the video above shows an expensive machine used to provide resistance on the paddle you can do similar exercises as seen in the video above by using a cheap elastics training band.
You can tie one end of the resistant band to your paddle or broom stick and the other end to a door or pole, and you can perform the exercises seen in the video above.
Balance training Stand up paddle board Surfing
Sup surfing can be the most challenging of all these different styles because it requires paddling out in the surf, board walking skills and you have to perform maneuvers while surfing.
There are a few types of balance trainer for Sup surfer that can be used depending on what kind of skills you want to develop and level of risk you are willing to take.
Typesskills to develop for SUP surfing
- Boardwalking, cross stepping, changing stances, walking from the noise to tail of the board
- Maneuvers such as cutbacks, bottoms turns, ect. that require powerful rotations while maintaining balance.
- Overall balance and balance recovery skills.
The Goofboard for sup surfing balance training
Goofboard Technical Information
44 inches by 15 inches the roller is 37 inches long and has a diameter of 4 inches
74.9 Cm by 38.1 Cm and the roller is 68.5 Cm long and has a 12.7 Cm diameter.
The goofboard is a great balance board for overall balance and balance recovery and board walking for suping.
It is unique because the balance board roller is placed parallel under the board, this will better simulate the feeling of being on a stand-up paddle board than traditional balance boards.
The goofboard is more challenging than using balance cushions but a bit safer than traditional balance boards because you do not sit that high off the ground when using the board.
Also, the board has stoppers on both edges of the board that will prevent it from shooting out from under you.
The new version of the goofboard come with U-blocks make the board easier to use.
The U-block system is great because they allow you gradually increase how challenging the board is to use.
What I like about the goofboard for Sup balance training.
- It sits lower to the ground when placed on top of the roller then traditional balance boards, so it feels a bit safer to use.
- The parallel roller makes using the board feel more like suping, so the skills you developed using the goofboard will transfer better to suping.
- It is broad and long enough to practice skills like boardwalking, cross stepping, hang 5 or 10, and changing sup stances.
- The U-Block system makes it easy to get started using the board.
What I don't like about the goofboard
- It lacks the ability for you to practice more advanced maneuvers because you can not spin the board on the roller.
If you are a handy person it is simple to build a goofboard like balance board, check out my guide to building a surfing trainer.
The Vew-do boards for sup surfing
Vew-do board is unique in that on the bottom of the board there is a track that the roller sits in, this allows you to perform spinning maneuvers that will help transfer to moves like bottle turns and cutbacks.
This board is an advanced board that would be best for working on overall balance, balance recovery and surfing maneuvers.
There are a lot of similarity's in sup surfing and longboard surfing, check out my guide to balance and cross training for longboard surfing to learn more ways to cross train for sup surfing.
Vew-do Longboard Safety
These boards are an advanced level balance board, so you have to be ok with knowing you will take a fall from time to time.
What I like about the Vew-do boards for Suping cross training.
- These board can help improve performance in moves like bottom turns and cutbacks by allowing you to quickly spin the board they help you work on your rotational balance skills.
- The tapered ends of the rollers will let you ride the board on a steep angle simulating the feeling digging the rail in for a hard carve.
- This advanced balanced board is great if you feel you have outgrown a different type of balance board and are looking for a challenge.
What I don't like about the Vew-do longboard for sup surfing balance and cross training.
- You can not work on board walking skills.
- You can not use a traditional sup stance when using this board.
Who this board would be best for.
- This board would be best for intermediate level sup surfers looking who already owns a goofboard or similar type board and is looking for another board to improve performance in surfing maneuvers such as bottom turns and cuts backs.
- For all other styles of suping I think a goofboard or indo board pro be a better choice because they will allow you to train your balance using a proper sup stance.
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If you have done any type of cross training that you felt improved your sup skills I would love to hear about in the comment section below.
I will be continuing to update this guide as new training or products become available, so check back often.