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).

 SUP Cross-Training

  • 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.

Class 1
Class 2
Class 3
Class 4
Class 5
Class 6

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 .