The Power Phase of the Paddleboard Stroke


Paddleboarding is a lot about developing a more efficient stroke. This means getting more power and speed with less effort and strain on your body. In the last two posts we covered the catch phase and the release and recovery phase. For this post we will cover the power phase of the paddleboard stroke.

The power phase of the stroke begins right after the catch phase. It starts the moment that your paddle blade is totally submerged. The idea is to load the entire blade with a full “catch” of water without any pockets of air. Air does nothing for your paddle stroke except create unwanted turbulence. If you begin the power phase before your paddle is completely submerged then you will splash and bring air down into the water. A splashy catch is the first sign that your stroke needs adjusting.


It’s impossible to talk about the power phase without going over the catch position. Your bottom arm should be straight out with no bend in your elbow. Your top arm can be ever so slightly bent to stack your top hand directly over your bottom hand- this keeps the paddle shaft straight up and down as it should be, and not angled to the side.

Next, you should be leaning forward with your back completely straight and your weight over the front section of your paddleboard. Hinge forward at the hips and not your knees. Now, move your hips forward to meet your lower hand. You want to visualize your hips moving forward towards your hands, and NOT your hands moving back to your hips.


Think about sliding your paddleboard past your paddle. Think of your paddle as a post that you’re using to thrust yourself forward by hinging at the hips (knees slightly bent) and pumping them forward. You can practice by bumping your hand with your hip so you know you are bringing them far enough forward…a little hip thrust to finish off the power phase.

In addition, you want to try and keep the path of the paddle through the water as straight as possible. Paddleboards have curved sides with the widest part in the middle of the board. If your paddle follows the curve of your board then your stroke will curve with it and this will make you start to turn when you want to be going straight. To compensate for this, place your paddle in the water a little off to the side of the nose of your board and then bring it straight back towards your feet.


And lastly, keep your head up! You want to see where you are going, and it’s nice to enjoy the view from time to time. If you are looking down during your power phase all the time you’ll might find yourself zigzagging quite a lot. Try it out keep it fun!


Tags: paddleboard stroke, standup paddleboarding stroke, paddle board stroke, efficient paddle board stroke, sup stroke technique, Power Phase of the Paddleboard Stroke, paddleboard stroke catch phase, paddleboard stroke power phase

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