It is safer (and more fun) to paddle with friends, and on longer distance missions to have a support boat nearby and work out a safety plan. As with all outdoor adventures, always tell someone where you’re heading and when you’ll be home.
Pick a large stable board, such as the Big Easy or The Whopper, and a small-bladed paddle such as the Enduro, about 6-8” taller than you. Wearing a safety vest (PFD) and SUP leash is important - then if you fall in the water, your board can’t get away from you. A mobile phone in waterproof case is essential on longer paddles.
Know your own capabilities. SUP will improve your strength and fitness, but you need to take in to account your physical fitness, mental state, and any medical conditions you may have before you head out on the water.
Master your balance and technique on the flat water. The boards are bigger, heavier and harder to control than a surfboard, so they can be dangerous in surf. Learn how to control your board (and keep hold of it if you need to bail) where there’s no one else around. Let the fun begin!
Check the weather forecast, tide and wind direction before heading out. An easy 40-minute paddle in a light NE breeze can quickly become a grueling endurance slog with strong tidal currents in a 15-knot SW wind. If you’re having difficulty upwind try paddling in a kneeling position to reduce wind resistance.
Book a Stand Up Paddle lesson or Give-it-a-go session HERE
For your best chance of success choose a calm piece of water with no tidal current and a day with little or no wind... read on and let John Hibbard from Team Starboard guide you through the basics of SUP.
Dave Kalama shows how to catch your first wave
Awesome downwind SUP racing tips with Todd Bradley
SUP Tricks with Zane Schweitzer