Once the proper SlingBoard stance has been achieved, the next step in SlingBoarding is to learn how to paddle. As with standing on the board, this may seem to be a rather obvious part of the sport, yet like the stance techniques, there are often small adjustments that a rider can make to achieve the most ideal exercise.
Pushing or Paddling
Paddling is a significantly different for both longboarders and skateboarders. They will likely have become quite accustomed to propel boards by their feet, a technique called “kick pushing”. So, switching to a paddle may not be the most natural change. Land paddling mimics the sport of paddleboarding but has differences from even this sport as well in the form and methods that should be used. Kick pushing a SlingBoard like a longboard is a perfectly acceptable use of the product. It is an all-terrain board that can be used in numerous ways. However, these technique descriptions will be focused on the land paddling aspect of the SlingBoard.
The first step in paddling is where to place one’s hands on the paddle. This is a rather simple task considering the top of the SlingStick is designed for grip and the upper tube is made so that it can be held anywhere. Really the only instruction that need be given is that the paddle is held in a comfortable manner. Holding the stick too low will result in the rider having to bend over too much, and holding the stick too high will lead to less control and less propulsion results. Therefore one hand should be at the very top gripping the handle, and one hand should be at about the middle or just slightly above the middle on the upper tube.
How to Land Paddle
The technique of land paddling is rather simple especially for those who are familiar with paddling in the water. However, as simple as it is, it is often performed improperly on land. The reason for this is that people often end up putting the foot of the paddle down on the ground parallel to their feet. The propulsion then comes from them pushing back against the paddle as the board drifts ahead of the foot’s placement. This is wrong though. Land paddling should be performed by the paddle being set down out in front of the board (but to the side so the board can ride by). The reason for this is comparable to the reason paddles are put into the water ahead of the paddler. A rider can gain a greater stroke and thus, greater results from starting the paddle farther forward. From there it is critical to keep the paddle foot in contact with the ground throughout the entire stroke. With a SlingStick the work is half of that needed with a conventional land paddle, as the SlingStick takes over about halfway through the stroke (aligned with your side) and the propulsion is delivered from that point to the very back/end of the stroke. A SlingStick delivers twice the power with one half of the work!
A land paddler should also be able to switch sides. This is beneficial for a number of reasons such as providing a symmetrical workout and allowing a rider to correct any over-estimated leaning. Doing so is usually a natural motion but may be new for some. The rider should have one hand at the top of the stick and one hand in the middle. To switch hands, he or she should make sure the stick is held high enough to avoid hitting the ground or board. A rider should also be aware enough of his or her surroundings to ensure nothing will get hit by the paddle switching hands. To start, the top hand should be brought to the middle part of the stick. Then the hand that was originally holding the middle is switched to the top. The hands can be readjusted then to obtain an ideal positioning, and then paddling can be resumed on the opposite side.