Stand up paddle boards (SUP) offer a fun, relaxing way to play on the water. With a minimum of gear, you can paddle ocean surf or placid lakes and rivers. Learn the basics here on the lakes and perfect your technique so you’ll be ready for your next ocean adventure.
Paddle boarding delivers a full-body workout and thus has become a popular cross-training activity and can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. We have a couple of great reserviors nearby to cool down in. Deer Creek Reservior and Jordanelle are both a short drive where you can also rent other toys for the lake.
SUP Techniques on the Water
Standing Up on Your SUP
When you’re new to the sport, it’s best to start out in flat, calm water that’s free of obstacles like boats and buoys.
At first, you may find it easier to kneel on the board rather than to stand upright. Here are the steps to get you started:
- Standing alongside the board in shallow water, place your paddle across the deck of the board and use it as an outrigger. The paddle grip is on the rail (edge) of the board; the blade rests on the water.
- Hold the board by the rails. One hand will also be holding the paddle grip.
- Climb onto the board in a kneeling position, just behind the center point of the board.
- From that kneeling position, get a feel for the balance point of the board. The nose shouldn’t pop up out of the water and the tail shouldn’t dig in.
- Keep your hands on either side of the board to stabilize it.
- Once you’re ready, stand up on the board one foot at a time. Place your feet where your knees were. You might also bring a friend to help stabilize the board as you get the hang of standing on it.
To maintain your balance as you stand upright on the board:
- Your feet should be parallel, about hip-width distance apart, centered between the board rails (edges). Don’t stand on the rails.
- Keep toes pointed forward, knees bent and your back straight.
- Balance with your hips—not your upper body.
- Keep your head and shoulders steady and upright, and shift your weight by moving your hips.
- Your gaze should be level at the horizon. Avoid staring at your feet.
- Much like bicycling, when your forward momentum increases, your stability increases as well.
Once you’re comfortable balancing on the board in flat water, it’s time to take off on a longer excursion—where the real fun begins.