You can stand up paddle, so what now?

Pics: Tracey Bright, Bob Mawson.

The May Bank Holiday weekend, 2021 (just gone) was a bright, sunny, warm and bang on the money one for SUP. Beaches were packed, river and lakesides full and everywhere you looked paddlers were afloat. One observation take away from the weekend is the majority don’t go anywhere, instead tickling the water mere yeards from where they launched. Now don’t get us wrong, we appreciate there are a good number of newbies just getting to grips with SUP and that’s fine. Likewise, if you don’t want to go any distance then all fine. But we suspect a large proportion of those on the brine don’t really know what to do with their new fangled toy.

SUP can be as extreme as you make it. But that’s not the point for the % masses no practising stand up. One way to use your SUP, however – and an easy one at that, that any competent paddler can achieve – is to go somewhere. This can be just along the coast a mile or so. Nothing to =o marathon esque and all within touching distance of the beach. If you’re a tentative SUPers then this means you’ll never be far from dry land should standing on Terra Firma be required. But by paddling that short mile (and back) you’ll feel fulfilled and a sense of pride having achieved something.

Essentially what’s described above is coined by the stand up paddle board industry as touring SUP. That description lends a grandiose angle to the phrase when actually covering a short amount of distance on your paddle board doesn’t need to be so. Of course, there’s still an achievment angle to not be sniffed at but the point is going from point A to B can be done at your pace and still deliver a sense of ‘nailed it’. On from that, your confidence will increase and before long longer distances – perhaps overnight or days long SUP sojourns – may become your thing.

Another term you hear banded about is adventure SUP. As with touring SUP this doesn’t need to be all Bear Grylls. Nobody’s expecting you to hunt for food and live off the land with just a rusty nail, paddle and board your tools. Adventure paddling could be about loading up your board with a picnic and sauntering downstream a little way for a nice spot of lunch in the sunshine.

Nomenclature and pigeonholing what we do (across life in general) can mean our perceptions become skewed. To some degree, it’s the marketing dream we’re being sold when what actually happens on the ground (or water) couldn’t be further from the truth. We’d certainly suggest that any new or progressing intermediate stand up paddler would do well to explore what their craft can help you achieve but don’t be fooled into thinking it has to be something it isn’t. So next time you’re up for a session have a thing of where would be an easy point to paddle to. Not too far away but far enough and head there. You’ll be glad you did…

For all your adventure SUP needs click the following link –

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