Flatwater Paddle Ups & Shoulder Pain

Been doing lot’s of flatwater PUPs on the no wind days. A downwind board and the PNG 1300 can actually be pretty fun in the flats.

Only issue is, after 5-6 attempts (2-3 sessions per week) it feels like I’ve torn just about all the soft tissue in my left shoulder. After taking a few days off, it generally seems to subside.

Other than rest, anybody have tips on how to avoid / recover from this kind of pain?

Look for some paddle techniques videos online. Might be happen that you’re leveraging most of the stroke power on your arms and shoulders, and not the bigger muscles (back, laterals and core).
Anyway, pumping up is like doing lots of sprints, and it’s gonna have a toll on your joints.
Take care!

Also… what size of blade in correlation with your weight are you using? I’ve seen the new idea of bigger blades are better, but not necesarily, I come from a SUP racing background, and bigger blades can also hurt your shoulders and cause injuries.

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Shoulder hurts, shaft to long. Lower back hurts, shaft to short. That’s the rough rule I’ve heard. I am not a doctor.

I have had the exact same issue. It has gotten better over time, I think that is partly improvement in technique but also limiting session length and only doing what you think your shoulder can handle. I use my core a lot more than I used to in flat water pop ups as well as pop ups in waves which is also making it easier to get up.

Cutting my paddle down to approx forehead height helps also.

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A couple thoughts, as someone who has experienced a variety of issues after SUP…

  1. Are you warming up and stretching before/after?
  2. Ensure you are using your core and scapula and upper back to pull the paddle. If you are stressing your arm/shoulder then you will put too much pressure on your shoulder girdle
  3. Are you activating all the way through your feet? Think about how strong your legs and hips are. Can you push with them even more.

Hope that helps a little!