1. Start on a SUP that is long and wide. Many beginners fall into the trap of buying a small surf SUP as they believe these boards will make the learning process easy. This is the complete opposite. A large stand up paddle board will give you greater stability and the larger SUP will help you generate more speed when paddling for small waves. This tip can be the difference between paddling around on your knees super frustrated compared to paddling around catching some crackers with a smile on your face!
2.As a beginner don't buy a SUP with too much rocker (curve of the board from nose to tail). A board with a lot of rocker is harder to paddle than a flatter board. A flatter board will allow you to gain maximum momentum when paddling for waves resulting in you catching heaps of waves with ease. Just remember on a flatter SUP you need to get back into your surf stance quickly when the wave picks you up to avoid nose diving!
3. Try to avoid transitioning your stroke to the other side of the board when paddling for a wave. If you transition your stroke just before the wave picks you up you will lose all that very important momentum and you will be sure to drop off the back of the wave.
Most importantly, always remember to treat everyone in the water with respect.