How to Get Back on Paddle Board if You Fall Off: And How To Fall Safely

You have to know how to get back on a paddle board after falling. Falling when you are learning how to paddle board is very common.

In this short post, we will look at very simple tips to help you “hop” back on your standup paddle board in a jiff. Fun gotta go on, right?

If you are worried about floating on the water after falling, you could wear a U.S.C.G approved Type III life jacket.

It is especially important if you will be paddle boarding in an area outside the designated zone for swimming, surfing or bathing.

They are:

  1.       Finding Your Board And Getting Close
  2.       Grab The Handles/Rails
  3.       Float  and Slide Slowly Onto The Board
  4.       Straddle The Board
  5.       Stand Up So Slowly

Don’t assign this “accident” to newbie stand up paddle boarders. Even the most experienced paddle boarders fall off their inflatable or solid paddle boards from time to time.

Therefore, you can see that knowing how to get on a paddle board is a skill that every enthusiast for this water sport needs to master.

How to get back on a paddle board after falling

How to get back on a paddle board after falling

If you are not a beginner, it can be a bit hard to fall off the paddle board too often. But it will still happen, especially if you are paddle boarding in waves.

Climbing back on the paddle board is a skill you have to learn on its own. You have to practice it a few times.

If you do not know how to get back on your SUP board, you could struggle a lot.

Try these tips:

1. Find the SUP board and get close

When you fell off the board, did you fall close or far away? Did it float away from you? If your answer is yes, you need to find the board.

When you look at different sources, you will find advice on how to do the correct paddle board falls.

Mostly, experts recommend that you make sure you fall far from the board to prevent injuring your face or body.

Therefore, this is why we recommend that you find your board and swim closer to it. If it was leashed to your foot, it won’t go far, but it also poses the risk of coming back fast to hit you.

When you find the stand up paddle board, move to the opposite side of your dominant hand. Therefore, you will maneuver to the left of the board if you are right-handed and vice versa.

2. Grab the handles/rails correctly

The keyword here is “correctly.” To achieve this, you have to hold the SUP board by the carry handle, with your dominant hand.

You can then reach across and hold the rails by the dominant hand. The reason for doing this is so that you do not put all of your weight on the board.

You can also see that you will pull yourself up from the middle of the board. That way, you will not slip back into the water.

3. Float and kick your legs behind you

Take a breather and with your hands on the board. Do not get onto the board just yet. Kick your legs behind you and float.

Both you and the SUP board are floating. As you float, kick your legs behind you and slowly slide across such that your stomach is on the board.

While you are still keeping one hand on the handle and the other on the rail, slowly maneuver the rest of your body onto the board lengthwise.

4. Straddle the paddle board

When your body is lengthwise on the board, you can now maneuver yourself in such a way that your legs hang in the water, so that you straddle the board, preferably on the middle of the board.

Give the water some time to calm down. When it is steady, move to the next step as outlined below.

5. Standing Up On The Board

If you did everything for how to get back on a paddle board after falling correctly, this is the last step. Place your paddle across the board, in the middle or slightly towards one end.

Image of Paddle board falls

With your hands on the paddle and board, slowly hoist your legs on to the board, taking the stance of a frog where your hands take all the weight.

Take your time in that position, squatting as runners do just before the gun goes off. When the water calms down, rise up slowly with your feet flat on the board and with your paddle in your hand.

Wait for the water to steady up and you are good to go, on the board!

Getting back on a paddle board after falling: FAQ

Choosing the best paddle board for beginners is not enough. You still need to know the basics of SUP.

They include knowing how to climb back on the board after falling. See the questions and answers to get more information:

Do people fall off paddle boards?

When you are learning how to paddle board, you will fall off several times. But after gaining some skill, especially how to balance on the SUP board, you will not fall off too much.

Because of the high likelihood of falling, it’s vital to learn how to fall off the board safely, so that you don’t hit your head on the stiff board.

Once you learn how to fall off the paddle board without sustaining injury, you can then learn how to climb back.

It becomes easier with time! Keep practicing.

How hard is paddle boarding for beginners?

It is actually one of the easiest surface water sports to learn. It is even easier than surfing! You need to know how to swim to paddle board.

You will need the swimming skill to swim out to the spot that you have picked to paddle board. This skill also comes in handily when you fall off the board and you need to get back on.

Most of your success in learning how to SUP starts with choosing the right board. It should be broad, at about 34 inches, 10 to 13 feet long and rounded at the nose and tail. The more contact the board has with the water, the more stable it is!

You can find a trainer to teach you how to paddle board. You could also learn the skill on your own.

On the first days and weeks of learning this sport, you will feel exhausted after paddle boarding.

Don’t panic. It is normal! Usually, it happens because you don’t know how to stand on the paddle board correctly.

Is it common to fall off paddle board?

It happens to beginner as well as advanced paddle board lovers. It is so common such that we even teach you how to fall safely, without hurting your ribs, limbs or head on the SUP board.

If you have advanced paddle boarding skills, you will fall off when you ride in rough waters. When you are a beginner, you fall into the water for many reasons, including lack of courage.

So yes, falling is common. But you don’t stay fallen! You get right back up and ride your board again, following the tips we have shared in this post.

Wear the best life jacket for paddle boarding if you are not too sure of your swimming skills. You can be sure you won’t drown when you drop into the water.

Is it easy to fall off a stand up paddle board?

It is easy to fall into the water when you are a beginner. As a first-timer, falling is just one of your worries.

You will also experience shaky legs after paddle boarding. You could also experience a bad back from paddle boarding, especially when you do not know how to stand properly.

So yes, it is easy to fall in the water when you are paddle boarding. Choose a calm day to have fun. When the water is not too wavy, you stand a better chance of not falling off the paddle board.

Success in anything starts in the mind! Therefore, stay courageous. Build your confidence on the water and most importantly, learn how to swim.

If you do not fear water, you can learn new water sports, including surfing or stand up paddle boarding, faster.


Paddle board falls should not cause you any injury if you fall flat and far from the board.

The important thing is to get back on the board as soon as possible. Practice standing and balancing on the paddle board. That is how you learn how to maintain your stance on the board.

I hope these iSUP tips for how to get on a paddle board will come to mind when you fall next time.

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