The influence and accessibility of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is booming. Most of us are used to seeing surfers on powerful ocean waves, kayakers on whitewater rivers, and canoeists on serene lakes; but, where do paddleboarders fit in?
Everywhere. Where there is water, there is paddleboarding. The versatility and accessibility of this sport explains the dramatic increase in popularity seen everywhere we turn. I spent this past weekend checking out the SUP scene at PaddleFest, an annual paddling festival in Buena Vista, CO, hosted by Colorado Kayak Supply (CKS). Men, women, kids, and even dogs were eager to try their hand at paddleboarding, whether it was in the flatwater or whitewater. Here are 6 reasons you may want to SUP on your next vacation or adventure.
Fun for the Whole Family
Paddleboards come in many shapes and sizes, so you are guaranteed to have options for wide, stable and sturdy boards that create a nearly zero-learning-curve activity. You don’t have to have specialized skills or training to get on a SUP and have a blast. As seen at PaddleFest, kids can hop on to either help
paddle or hitch a ride, and beginners of all ages just need to know how to stand and paddle. Paddleboarding offers peerlessly intuitive watersport fun!
Get Started With Only Minimal Gear
Unlike some sports that require a big investment in specialized equipment, SUP only requires clothing that can get wet. With the increased popularity of the sport, all necessary equipment is easy to find for rent wherever you plan your next adventure—be it mountain valleys or the beach. If you opt to have your own SUP, it’s just a paddleboard, a paddle, and PFD (personal flotation device) needed to get you out on flat water safely.
If you like to travel, the inflatable SUP is a great option. When deflated, inflatable paddleboards fold up easily to fit in any compact car, and never incur airline baggage fees. When inflated to the correct pressure, you will find all the necessary board rigidity to feel stable on the water and ride the waves.
SUP can take you to from roaring whitewater rivers to serene lake paddle tours; from towering ocean waves to flatwater fishing. Paddleboarding is engaging for all ages and all ability levels wherever there is water. Mike Harvey, designer of Badfish Paddleboards, provided a knowledgeable presence at PaddleFest, suggesting an inflatable paddleboard for your next fishing adventure, as SUP offers both stability and maneuverability. While there are specialized types of paddleboards for those who wish to take their skills to the next level, you need no more than a basic board for everyone on your vacation to get started and have a blast.
Most paddleboards come with a bungee cord system built into the surface of the board. This enables you to embark on long day-trips, or to just strap an entire cooler to the paddleboard! Whether you’re packing a cooler for your fishing catches or bringing extra layers to watch the sunset from the calm of a river, paddleboards offer supreme flotation to accommodate your adventure accessories.
Simply by having fun on your paddleboard, you will be engaging many muscles that stabilize your core and hone your balance… not to mention firming your arm muscles by paddling. Fitness comes with the SUP package, but all you have to worry about it having a blast! To maximize this benefit, many people enjoyed fitness clinics, such as yoga, at PaddleFest… you guessed it—done atop a paddleboard.
You don’t need to know how to roll a kayak, you don’t even need to know how to catch a wave. You just need to get out and try this incredibly intuitive and accessible sport that is popular for a reason. Be sure to enjoy your paddling adventures safely by always wearing a PFD, and wearing a helmet and protective water shoes in rough waters or near rocks. Remember to always use sun protection so that you can maximize the enjoyment of your adventure: sunscreen on all exposed skin, clothing with UPF protection, and either a helmet with a visor or a wide-brimmed sun hat.
Now, go stand up and paddle!