With more and more Prone classes in established paddle races popping up all the time, you may have noticed that Prone paddling is an entire discipline in its own regard, but it is also an epic way to cross-train and has multiple benefits to other sports and activities. Whether you are an elite level Triathlon competitor, a surfer looking to stay paddle fit or are just looking for a new way to keep active and get outside, jumping on a prone board gives you a whole new way to cover distance on the water and get a great workout.

When prone paddling, you can alternate between lying flat on the board and popping up to your knees, giving your body some variety and rest for different muscle groups – working hard on your core and upper body.

prone paddle fitness training with red rescue inflatable prone rescue boards

Swim Event Training

If you are used to open-water swimming and take part in triathlons or Ironman/woman events, a prone board offers a whole new way to train for that swim leg of the race. You still get that ‘close to the water feeling’, but being elevated above it on your board, you cover your distance much more quickly – which is great for that sense of achievement and exploration.

I train weekly on the Prone board throughout the year to maintain my surf fitness”

Jamie Harman – Red Paddle Co – UK Brand Manager

Lower Body Injury Rehab’

If you are coming back from an injury to your legs/ankles/feet, then a prone board can offer you an awesome way to get back on the horse and out of the shackles of a gym machine long before your injury may allow you to get back to other activities.

Great Safety Practice for any Stand-Up Paddleboarder

It’s widely accepted that a strong headwind is the most tricky and dangerous condition that a stand-up paddleboarder can find themselves in. Winds can change easily and without warning, so it is always possible for even the most experienced paddlers to get caught out. When paddling a SUP into a headwind, the most efficient way to tackle it is to get down and prone paddle, reducing the drag your body creates and allowing you to make ground upwind

If you are unaccustomed to the body mechanics of prone paddling, it can be hard and uncomfortable work. With a small amount of regular training, your body becomes accustomed to the motions required and you are much more able to self-rescue if the conditions change when out on a SUP.

For the Joy of it

As we mentioned above, prone paddling is a huge sport in its own right, particularly in countries like Australia. There si good reason they love it so much. Whilst prone paddling, your eye level is right down by the water, so you feel like you are connected to it. When you get a good rhythm, the board glides through the water beautifully and you can cover distance quickly – it feels fast and there is a great sense of achievement.

Don’t worry if you don’t get far on your first few outings – these are probably new muscle groups and techniques – you will be flying in no time!

Take a Tip or Two

The movements and balance on a prone board can be a little different to other board sports, so here a couple of tips to help get you going:

Momentum is king. Try and build up a smooth, regular rhythm rather than a stop-start approach.

It is easier to transition between lying down and kneeling when moving, so keep that momentum going: think about riding a bike – if you stay still, it’s way less stable.

When knee paddling, try not to sit back onto your heels, it is more tiring, but get your bum up in the air, and really reach forward. Use your thighs to rock yourself back and forward to add some ‘spring’ to your paddles and you will really start motoring along.

Which Prone Board is best for me?

Being inflatable, our prone range can be rolled up and taken wherever you want to go, meaning you can sneak in a session whenever possible. Our 10.4 Prone Sprint is super fast and agile and for anyone up to 95kg, is the perfect board for you. If you are 100kg plus or are less concerned with speed and want a more stable platform, then the 10.6 Prone Rescue is epic.

Happy paddling.