Updated April 21st, 2023
Stand up paddleboarding is a lot of fun. Sometimes you want something more relaxing. For some people balancing on the board is a real challenge. If you don’t want to stand up on your paddleboard, you can sit, kneel or lay down on your paddleboard. There is no rule saying you have to stand up on a stand up paddleboard. You can enjoy it in many different ways. Can you sit on a paddleboard? The answer is a definite yes. Let’s look at some of the ways you can have fun on a paddleboard without standing.
- 1 – Sitting on your paddleboard
- 2 – Kneeling on your paddleboard
- 3 – Laydown and relax on your paddleboard
- 4 – Add a kayak seat to your paddleboard
- 5 – Do yoga on your paddleboard
- 6 – Fish from your paddleboard
- 7 – Take photographs from your paddleboard
- 8 – Go for a swim off your paddleboard
8 Fun easy ways to enjoy your paddleboard without standing
Standing on a paddleboard isn’t easy for everyone. My first experience with a paddleboard or surfboad was trying to learn windsurfing. I had a 200 liter board that was maybe 20 inches wide. That was a long wide board back then. I must have fallen off the board a hundred times that day. 4 hours trying to stand up and 5 minutes successfully standing on it. Modern boards that are 30 inches or more wide make standing much much easier.
Don’t feel bad if you fall in a lot the first time you get on a paddleboard. It can take some practice to get used to standing on it. Even if you can’t stand on it you can still have a lot of fun with it.
1 – Sitting on your paddleboard
If you don’t want to stand up anymore on your paddleboard or find standing a challenge, you can always sit down. You can still paddle your paddleboard from a seated position. If you happen to have a kayak paddle it makes it work even better. Even with a stand up paddle it will still work. Shortening it to it’s shortest possible length will help make it a little less awkward.
2 – Kneeling on your paddleboard
The next step up from paddling seated is kneeling on your paddleboard. Kneeling only requires a little bit more balance than sitting. It can be a good way to learn the paddle strokes and get used to paddling without standing. Standing adds a level of balance and challenge. The below video demonstrates how to paddle from a kneeling position.
3 – Laydown and relax on your paddleboard
Sometimes you just don’t feel like going anywhere. Paddleboards can be a really nice place to relax and take a nap. The rocking motion from ripples on the water can be really nice. If your worried about drifting away you can tie your paddleboard to something or use a small anchor.
4 – Add a kayak seat to your paddleboard
If you want to be more comfortable than sitting on your paddleboard, there is an answer. You can add a kayak seat to your paddleboard. Some paddleboards come with d-rings installed already so you can just add a seat. If it doesn’t you can easily add more D-Rings to your paddleboard. Use the D-Rings to attach the seat. This will give you a seat cushion and seat back for some back support. If you use a kayak paddle, this will work just like an inflatable sit on kayak.
See our article on converting a SUP into a Kayak to learn more.
5 – Do yoga on your paddleboard
SUP Yoga has become a popular way to do Yoga on the water. It adds an extra element of balance. Not only do you need to balance in the yoga posture but you need to balance on the paddleboard at the same time. If you haven’t tried it yet you should. It’s a great way to get exercise on a paddleboard without paddling. It will really help improve your balance skills.
6 – Fish from your paddleboard
Fishing is another great way to spend time on your paddleboard. Paddleboards can be easier to stand on than kayaks. They are also easier to get back on if you fall in the water. A wide paddleboard designed for fishing with lots of accessory mounts makes it more fun. The Blackfin series of boards are great for fishing.
You can also use a folding seat on your paddleboard to make fishing fun without standing.
7 – Take photographs from your paddleboard
Your paddleboard is a great way to check out nature and scenery from the water. Taking photos while standing up is not that easy. It’s difficult to steady yourself enough to get a clear, in focus photo. Sitting or kneeling improves your chances of capturing an in focus image.
8 – Go for a swim off your paddleboard
When you want to cool down a bit, jump in the water and have a swim. Paddleboards make great platforms to swim from. You can jump and dive off of them. They are stable enough to be easy to crawl back on. They are far easier to get back on in the water than a sit in kayak. Next time you are hot, jump in for a dip and cool down.
Can you sit on a paddleboard FAQ
Q: Can you sit on a paddle board?
Yes, you can sit, kneel, stand, lay down, squat, do yoga poses or jump off a paddleboard and swim. There is no rule saying how you have to use a stand up paddleboard. Use it in whatever way you are comfortable with.
Q: Is it hard to stand on a paddle board?
If you get the right size paddleboard for you, it is not very difficult to stand. If your new to paddle boarding, get an entry level board that is wide (at least 30 inches) for extra stability. The wider and more floaty the board, the easier it is to stand up on. If you are a heavier or taller person, you need a board with more volume or flotation. If you are over 6′ tall look for a board at least 10′ 6″ long and 32″ wide.
Q: Why is stand up paddle boarding so popular?
There are several reasons stand up paddle boarding has become so popular. It’s easy to do. Even if you can’t stand, you can still sit or kneel and paddle it. Inflatable paddleboards are easy to transport and store. You don’t need a garage or large amount of space. They are lightweight and easy for almost anyone to carry. It’s fun. It’s good exercise. They are very versatile. You can paddle, fish, swim or do yoga from a paddleboard.
Q: Is paddle boarding harder than kayaking?
They are different. Kayaking is easier in that you paddle sitting down. Standing up on a paddleboard and paddling takes more balance and coordination. You can always kneel or sit and paddle on a paddleboard also. Paddleboards are easier to get on and off of than a kayak. A sit in kayak can be a real challenge to get back into out in open water. A paddleboard is easy. Both kayaks and paddleboards have reasons they are easier and harder than the other.
Q: Do you wear shoes when paddle boarding?
I personally almost always wear some form of water shoe. I don’t trust the bottom where I’m at to be free from broken glass and other garbage. If your paddling somewhere with nice clean sand and clear water going barefoot is fine. Wearing shoes on a paddleboard is a personal preference.
Q: What’s the point of paddle boarding?
It’s fun and it’s good exercise. Does paddle boarding really need anymore point than that? If you’ve never tried it you should give it a try.
Q: What should I look for when buying a paddle board?
The biggest thing to consider when getting an entry level paddleboard are it’s size and cost. You need a paddle board that is big enough for your size and weight. You need a paddle board you can afford. The more you spend, the better a board you can get. Lighter, stiffer, more durable. See our guide to the best under $500 inflatable paddleboards and our guide to the best cheap inflatable paddleboards for more information.
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Staff Writer | Paddling
Stacey moved to Michigan from Seattle. She loves to paddleboard, kayak, snowboard and is also an avid runner. She goes paddle boarding almost every weekend during the summer on the lakes and rivers in Michigan. She been known to abuse an Epic and Ikon Pass doing trips out west with her college friends. She is also an electric vehicle enthusiast and loves riding around on e-bikes, scooters, and electric cars.