A Rough Guide to Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
15 September 2015
Well, for starters, the art of SUP has several key attractions. For one thing, unlike sailing or surfing, paddle board adventures can take place in most conditions, even when wind or waves are limited. Nor do you need the open sea, because lakes, estuaries and canals are all viable (although Woolacombe Bay does make a beautiful backdrop!). And equally, you don’t need to be any particular age, ability or physique to give it a try. It can be a relaxing hour on the waves- or a great day of adventure.
With its origins in Hawaii, stand up Paddle boarding is a variant of traditional surfing that relies on oar-strokes rather than harnessing wave power. There is probably also a natural connection with primitive canoes and boats worldwide, where users stood up to paddle or punt their craft, rather than sitting. For our purposes, it is an enjoyable way to take to the water with maximum pleasure, minimum hassle.
The simple answer is “not a great deal”, although getting started can represent some investment Here are the main SUP essentials:
• SUP Paddle- Were you to use a standard canoe or kayak paddle with a SUP board, you might have trouble bending down to make strokes. Hence purpose made paddles for paddle boarding are longer than other models. A suitable length paddle is from 2”-10” taller than the rider, who shouldn’t have to stoop uncomfortably in order to paddle.
• Wet Suit- Although SUP can be carried out in just swimming gear on balmy summer days, a wetsuit is important for much of the year, to keep body temperature stable.
Here at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel, we have the best possible location for short breaks and holidays in Devon, but some first class local tuition for newcomers to SUP:
Hunter Surf School: SUP lessons are increasingly popular with this excellent surf school: www.huntersurf.com/surf-school.html