Stand-up paddle boarding(SUP) is a great way to have some water-based fun while also getting a full-body workout. Since you’re standing at full height on the board, you’ll have an unobstructed view of what’s going on around you, both in the water and on the horizon.
Heading out on the water for the first time can be daunting, but it’s helpful to know what to expect and what gear to bring. To get started paddle boarding, you’ll want to learn:
- In order to get geared up for SUP, you’ll need the following items: a paddle board, a paddle, a life jacket or wetsuit (depending on the water temperature), and sunscreen.
- If you want to make sure you don’t end up going in circles while paddling your SUP, there are just a few basic techniques you need to master.
- A few useful suggestions for your first SUP outing.
Get Geared Up to SUP
SUP board: Your first SUP experience is an excellent way to determine whether you want to invest in your own equipment. If you decide you enjoy SUPing, consider purchasing your own equipment so you can do it more frequently! Borrowing or renting gear is a great way to try it out before investing in your own, but once you fall in love with the sport, it’s worth it to invest in your own gear so you can go whenever you want!
A few factors influence your hybrid paddle board selection, including paddler weight and skill, intended use, and local conditions. Different boards are better suited to various disciplines such as recreational paddling, surfing, touring, racing, and SUP yoga. If you’re renting, the staff at the rental shop will gladly assist you in making your decision. They want you to have a great time, and they understand that having the right equipment can make all the difference.
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Paddle: A SUP paddle resembles a stretched-out canoe paddle with a tear-drop-shaped blade. The blade is angled forward to maximise the paddler’s efficiency while paddling. When you stand the paddle up in front of you and raise your arm above your head, the correct length paddle will reach up to your wrist.
PFD (Personal Flotation Device): The United States Coast Guard considers a stand up paddle board to be a vessel if it is used outside of a surf or swimming area. That means you must have a PFD (personal flotation device) with you at all times. Adults are not required by law to wear a PFD, but children are. Before going out on the water, make sure to check your state’s regulations for age requirements.
Safety whistle and light: If you intend to be on the water after sunset, the Coast Guard requires you to have a light on board. It’s also a good idea to have a safety whistle to alert other boaters to your presence.
Proper clothing: When swimming in a warm body of water in the summer, most people choose to wear a swimsuit, board shorts, and a short- or long-sleeved rash guard to protect themselves from the sun.
Leash: A leash is a tether that attaches your SUP to you, keeping it close by in case you fall off. It is typically sold as an accessory. Because your SUP is a large flotation device, staying connected to it can be critical to your safety. Choose a leash designed for surfing, flatwater, or river conditions to ensure you get the right one for your needs.