Foot Pain While SUPing

I have been SUPing since 2012, but in the past 5 years have had to significantly cut down on my time on the board because within 5-10 minutes I’ll get really intense foot pain.

If I stretch my calves and feet beforehand, I can maybe get 20 minutes of paddling, but this pain is really hindering my ability to paddle and enjoy it.

Has anyone else experienced this and/or have any tips on strengthening your feet to paddle for longer bouts?

I am not a SUP’er but can offer a few things. Does your present shoe and deck pad combination offer confident and non-slip grip? Just wondering if you are “gripping” the board too tight witth your toes to maintain balence? Has anything else changed with paddle, board, your vision or sense of balence?

I’m willing to take any suggestions, so happy for the reply!

I have a few different SUPs (two inflatables and one rigid) and have this problem with each of them, they all have perfect fine deck pads, easy to grip, and feel stable on. Previously, people have suggested doing yoga, but I have the same issue with yoga, so I don’t think it’s SUP specific for me. just hopeful others have foot strengthening exercises or something!

Do you wear shoes while on the SUP? Since most of us wear shoes the majority of the time we are walking on land, your feet might not like being without the support they are used to. I know I’d last about 5 minutes without shoes. Supportive water shoes like Chacos or something similar might help.

I agree with Brodie on the need for footwear. Pretty simple to test. I am 63 and suffer from neuropathy in both feet attributed to low B12 levels now resolved. I have pain in both feet, especially in bare feet and with occasional night-time cramps. My poditrist says poor hydration is main cause for cramps and I agree. So, drink lots and get your B vit levels checked.

I have tried wearing shoes, but find it interferes with my balance on the board and the foot pain still exists regardless. (I also am barefoot most of the day since I work from home)

If your deckpads are not the issue, I wonder if you are not tensing up your muscles without realizing it. I paddle on very unstable surf SUPs and it is a bit of an effort to move my feet without losing balance. When I started out I found myself with my feet almost frozen in place before changing to the surf stance. How often do you move your feet significantly when paddling?
A couple of things to try — every ten strokes move your feet … closer to the center line, further apart, leading with one foot more than normal, then back to a centered stance,

Can you you stand like you would paddling but just in your house for 20 minutes watching TV or listening to music or something else — shifting your weight and moving your feet?

Have you ever tried using a bongo board? You don’t need to do tricks but you can learn to carefully move your feet closer together and further apart. I like the original INDO Board, it’s a bit pricey, I’m sure there are less expensive ones out there.

Indo board

I have one SUP that has a no slip deck that kills my feet and legs if I need to kneel, so if the decks are similar to each other I would not rule out the deck.

That’s interesting! I don’t know how much I’m moving them, definitely worth paying attention to and trying out.

I do have one of those balance boards, literally got it thinking using it off my board would help with the foot pain, so I’ll try moving around on it and see if i can tell a difference.

I hope your problem gets better.
It’s not often I see a hedgehog in a basket. Ranks up there with a woman I met walking up Mt. Mitchell. She had her parrot in a backpack cage.

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Are you familiar with the condition known as sore heel? How about fallen arches? You might want to check on that.

I’m not, I’ll check it out, thanks!

Rather than try and guess at a condition that is obviously affecting your enjoyment of life, I’d strongly suggest a visit to a qualified podiatrist or doctor specializing in sports medicine. Ignoring this or playing around with various solutions risks having the condition worsen or becoming permanent.