Come early June, you see them everywhere: putting in at the boat launch, strapped to the roof of every Subaru on the highway, towering over you from the walls of your local outdoor gear shop. SUPs (Stand Up Paddleboards) are impossible to avoid if you're involved in water sports. If you're a late adopter of new water technology, you might be wondering why everyone seems to be paddleboarding these days. Here's why we think SUPs are a SUPerior addition to your outdoor adventure.
IT'S NOT AS HARD AS IT LOOKS
For the balance challenged, paddle boarding can be incredibly intimidating. As much fun as falling repeatedly into cold lake water is, nobody wants to spend more time doggy paddling than paddle board paddling.
The good news is, SUPs are actually quite stable. Their large size and wide standing area help keep the board flat on the water, and it only takes a little practice to get your board bearings.
First, start off in flat, calm water so you're not fighting waves. Second, just because it's a Stand Up Paddleboard doesn't mean you have to stand up! Start out on your knees until you get the hang of the "tippiness" of your board. Once you feel comfortable, grab your friends, strap on your camping gear, and attack the water.
YOU CAN SUP ANYWHERE
For their large size, SUPs are SUPrisingly easy to transport. Paddleboards strap easily to the top of any roof rack, and many have removable fins for multiple board stackability.
Even better, most inflatable paddleboards come with a stuff backpack, so you can SUP anywhere. Hike 10 miles into an alpine lake base camp or descend into a canyon - and paddle anywhere there's water. Inflatable boards mean you can SUP it up to hidden gems like boat access-only campgrounds your raft or canoe could only dream of getting to before.
SUPS PAIR WITH ANY WATER ADVENTURE
Kick your paddleboard game up a notch. You can take your paddleboard from the lake to the river to the sea for all kids of SUPreme fun - or turn a day trip on the water to an overnight paddleboarding excursion for more of a challenge.
SUPs are also great platforms (literally) for any summer activity. Here are a few ideas for SUP adventures:
- Try paddleboard yoga to push your balance skills to the limit (with a safe and splashy landing if you fail)
- Use your paddleboard to get to those hard-to-reach fishing spots and cast off the board with ease
- Challenge your friends to a paddleboard race or jousting competition to crown the best paddler on the lake - and celebrate with some post-boarding beers
- SUP picnic - tables are overrated! Spread out your meal on your board and dig in on the open water.
- Take a SUP-only backpacking trip by paddling to a water-entry only campsite. Tie on a mini raft for your cooler or other gear you can't strap to your board - make sure your knot is tight so you don't lose your precious cargo!
- Schedule your SUP trip for a full moon and paddle under the stars at midnight
- And if you have a well-trained dog, you can paddleboard with your pup! Don't forget a bowl for water and a canine life jacket.
NOW THAT YOU'RE STOKED TO SUP, DON'T FORGET TO BRING...
- Waterproof case for your phone and extra clothes if you take a dunk
- Water shoes
- Water Bottle
- Fishing pole
- Drinks for during and after - store in a convenient Wine Tote
If you're looking to step up your camping adventures, a SUP is for you. Whether you're a beginner water sports enthusiast or are looking for a way to make your water adventures a little more extreme, a paddleboard is the perfect SUP-lement to your gear collection. Now get out there and show everyone whatSUP!