Touring / Cruising
For extended trips, flatwater conditions are ideal. All things equal, the longer the board the faster you will go. Once you get some speed going, a longer board will have more momentum & glider easier than a shorter board.SUP boards are now made with designs similar to kayaks in regard to the hulls, tails & noses. These boards will cut through water smoother & faster compared to the design of a traditional surfboard. (see Paddleboard Guide for specific info on the designs).
- Combine various exercises with paddleboarding to create an excellent cross-fitness routine.
- Swimming: Using a leash attached to the board & your ankle…switch between paddling & swimming for a great cross-fit routine.
- Land (Beach) Training: Paddle to an area where you can get off the board & perform on-land exercises (push-ups, sprints, crunches, burpees, etc.).
- On-board Training: While paddling on the water, periodically stop & perform squats, push-ups, crunches, planks, etc. on-board.
- Strong arms & legs with a weak core will leave you very vulnerable to lower back pain, hip strains & groin injuries.
- Paddleboarding strengthens your core and helps prevent &/or treat these conditions.
River / Rapids Paddle Boarding
River Classification System
Rivers are classified by level of difficulty…or danger essentially. The classes range from 1 (easiest) to 6 (most difficult). Sometimes a +/- is added to the # indicating a more specific class. Start out with a 1 or 2 but avoid anything 3 or above until developing your skills. Class 3 is considered intermediate typically with faster currents, narrow passages. Some descent maneuverability skills are required. Class 4 is considered advanced, Class 5 expert & Class 6 extreme.
Inflatable Paddle Boards are Ideal for River / Rapids Paddle Boarding…
Inflatable Paddle Boards
- Inflatables endure impact with hard surfaces (rocks, coral, etc.) much better than fiberglass boards.
- Typically have rubber fins, which are essentially required for any class 2 river or higher.
- Less rigid and thus, slower compared to fiberglass boards…making them more maneuverable and ideal to navigate through narrow river conditions.
- When traveling or camping, inflatables roll up into a backpack or bag making them extremely portable. They can even be used to sleep on at night in place of an air mattress. Just deflate the board a little & nighty night.
- Plastic SUPs are also suitable for River Paddling as they are also impact resistant.
Always go out with a group. Research / scout the river before going out so you can take the proper precautions & make the proper arrangements. It may be necessary to have transportation down river unless hiking back to the launch point.
Never wear a leash, being attached to the board may hinder your ability to avoid injury if thrown off. Consider wearing a helmet & PFD, depending on class of river & experience level. We recommend both regardless…but we’re not your mom!
Many companies offer river paddleboarding lessons – take one, it’s worth it.
River SUP Paddles
- Typically the same paddle you use normally is fine for river paddling.
- A longer paddle is sometimes preferred to help brace off of rocks or other structures, but not a necessity in general.
- In higher class rivers we recommend using a fiberglass paddle over a carbon paddle.
- Fiberglass paddles are more flexible & resistant to chipping .