Recreation


 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).

    Mind         Body         Soul    

 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 & 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
Rookie
Class 2
Novice
Class 3
Intermediate
Class 4
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.

 Safety

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 .

 Paddle Board Racing


 Racing Paddleboard Design

  • Racing SUPs are designed for 1 thing, speed & directional glide.
  • To maximize speed – narrower (26″ – 28″ wide typically) & longer (12′ – 20′ typically) boards are used.
  • To max out directional glide – displacement hulls & pointed noses are used, which cut through the water smoothly rather than glide above.
  • Typically race boards are made from carbon-fiber with a hollow core….making them as light as possible.

 Racing Classes


Surfboard SUP Class
12' 1`` & Under
Stock Class
12' 6``
Advanced Stock Class
14'
Open Class (no size limit)
16' - 20' Typically

The Battle of the Paddle (CA) had a record 985 participants in 2011!

SUP Racing Facts
  • 1 of the most rapidly growing SUP applications
  • There are recreational & competitive races all over the world
  • Races typically range from 2-30 miles & sometimes involve obstacles (buoys), land racing segments, relays, etc.
  • Competitive racers typically travel at speeds between 4 & 6 mhp.
  • Training is an excellent way to get in great shape…cardiovascular, core body, arms, legs, back, etc. = FULL BODY FITNESS

SUP Racing Paddles

  • Typically full carbon shaft & blade construction
  • Range between 10″ – 15″ above riders height, depending on preference & whether or not the course involves turns or not. Longer paddles allow more aggressive turning but add weight.
  • Blades usually have a dihedral, contour back design – this allows for a smoother catch & more efficient blade process through the water.

 Paddle Board Fitness


    Mind         Body         Soul    

 Yoga & Pilates

  • Pretty straightforward, Yoga / Pilates on a Paddleboard!
  • Yoga inside a gym pails in comparison to yoga on the water in the sun.
  • It provides a deeper level of balance & an internalizing connecting with nature.
  • Paddleboards provide a perfect non-slip yoga mat with their EVA Foam deck pads.
  • Planks, Up Dogs, Headstands, Wheels, etc. – SUP takes Yoga to a whole new level.
  • Many gyms & paddleboard companies are starting to offer SUP Yoga classes as the popularity continues to grow!

 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 & helps prevent &/or treat these conditions.

Stand Up Paddle Surfing


 Learning to Stand Up Paddle Surf

Paddleboards are much easier to surf with than traditional surfboards. Once you get a feel for the balance of a paddleboard, transferring those skills to surf become much easier & enjoyable.

Paddle out around 20′ past the whitewater line where waves are breaking. Since you’re already standing, the challenge of getting up is eliminated. Waves around knee height are good starting out. Spot one in the distance & get ready…

Turn toward the shore & begin paddling (forward stroke technique) when your wave of choice is about 20′ away.
Once the wave begins to push the board, position your feet sideways & keep paddling. This position will offer balance.

Keep you knees bent through the process for balance & keep paddling…you’ll improve noticeably with each attempt.

 Paddle Surf Paddles

Paddles for SUP Surfing are typically preferred to be a few inches shorter than when Flatwater paddling. This accommodates the more crouched stance & fluctuation between water levels.

Some SUP surfers go as short as 6″ or up to 15″ above their height. Typical flatwater paddles range from 8″ – 15″ above height….the vast majority go 8″-10″ as a good all around length (see Paddle Length Guide). Adjustable paddles offer flexibility here.

 Paddle Surf Board Design

SUPs are more bouyant than surfboards, allowing riders to paddle out further to start catching waves.

Surfboards typically range from 5′ – 8′ or so, while paddleboards are typically 9′ – 14′.

More stable SUPs are easier to surf on – 30″ or more is a good width (see Paddleboard Guide for more info).

 Paddle Surf Fins

Fins come in various sizes, shapes, materials & set ups. Some prefer a tri-fin set up, or a long, single center fin. It all depends on your preference, type of waves & board size.

Our best advice is to play around with different set ups until you find one you like. It really comes down to preference until you get into more advanced paddle surfing in large waves or competitions.

Keep it simple to start – just use the fin you have & go from there.

 Paddle Surf Leashes

Leashes are optional in flatwater conditions but necessary when Paddle Surfing since you’re more likely to be thrown from the board…especially starting out.

Get a nice coil leash with rotating (pivoting) joints at both ends (see leashes in the Accessories Guide section).

SUP Fishing


Paddle Board Fishing Overview

  • Paddleboards are excellent for fishing.
  • They are can go where boats don’t (i.e. shallow water, narrow passageways, etc.).
  • Similar to kayak fishing, but while standing up you have a much better view perspective of the water.
  • Larger paddleboards are very stable, allowing fishermen to reel in small or large fish.
  • We recommend boards 30″+ wide, 11’+ long & 4.5″+ thick (center).

In the 2012 Destin Fishing Rodeo: SUP Division,

Captain Moss caught a 65.8lb sailfish

…arguably the largest ever recorded!

 SUP Fishing Accessories

  • A plethora of SUP fishing accessories can transform your paddleboard into a full-fledged fishing vessel.
  • Coolers / Tackle Boxes: Available with tie down straps or pilot hole connections. Allow users to sit on while fishing & use for storage.
  • Fishing Pole Leashes & Holders (including outrigger pole holders)
  • Cargo Storage Nets
  • Utility Poles