Stand up Paddle Boards
The fast-growing sport of stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun, easy way to go play on the water. With a minimum of equipment, you can paddle anything from ocean surf to lakes and rivers—no waves required.
Paddleboarding offers an amazing full body workout and is becoming a favorite cross-training activity for skiers, snowboarders and other athletes. And since you're standing at your full height, you'll enjoy excellent views of everything from sea creatures to what's on the horizon. It's almost like walking on water!
You need just a few key pieces of equipment to enjoy this sport:
Stand up paddleboard: This is by far your most significant gear investment. Sizes are based on the paddler's weight and experience. More experienced and lighter paddlers can choose narrower boards. Novice paddlers should choose wider, flatter boards, which offer more stability.
- Paddle: Stand up paddles have an angle or “elbow” in the shaft for maximum efficiency. Choose a paddle that's roughly 6” to 8” taller than you are (though some manufacturers recommend an 8” to 10” differential).
- PFD (Personal Flotation Device): The U.S. Coast Guard classifies stand up paddleboards as vessels, so always wear a PFD whenever you're paddling navigable water.
- Proper clothing: For cold conditions where hypothermia is a concern, wear a wetsuit or dry suit. In milder conditions, wear shorts and a T-shirt or bathing suit—something that moves with you and can get wet.
- Sun protection: Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
Q: Why not just use a kayak?
A: Kayaking is great fun, but the beauty of SUP is that standing up allows you to enjoy much better views, both to the horizon and down into the water. It's a simpler sport to pursue than kayaking, with less equipment required. It also offers a fantastic core workout.