SUP 101: 2 Things You Need to Know Before You GoDecember 18, 2015
2 Things You Need to Know Before You Go
Standup paddling is for everyone, and it is a fun, easy way to go play on the water. With a minimum of equipment, you can paddle anywhere from ocean surf to lakes and rivers. But before you get into the water, make sure you know the safety basics and have the right equipment. Start with 2 things you need to know before you go.
1. Flatwater is the best place to start.
Head to a flat river, bay or lake. Start with flat water with as little wind and current as possible. This is because there is no outside influence like waves or boat wake to knock you into the water or for you to worry about. And basically don’t go out in wind. Wind creates choppy conditions and can push first-timers far downwind. The trick is always paddle upwind first since it is likely that you won’t get caught too far out downwind. If you are caught in a distance downwind, it is extremely tough for those first timers whose stroke are not strong enough. And you certainly are going to need lots of energy to return home in that instance.
2. Have the Right Gears.
For beginners, lots of width, thickness and length is never going to hurt. A beginner’s board must be large enough so that you can safely stand on it even in choppy water. Narrow race boards are not recommended as a good way to start. And the paddle length should be at least 6 inches over your head. The right length of paddle will help you paddle comfortably and not strain your shoulders when you paddle.
Once you have your board and paddle, and a buddy, let’s roll.