What’s SUP?

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is the fastest growing water-sport on the planet, take to the ocean, lakes and even rivers. Standing on a surf type board and propelling yourself along with a single ended paddle essentially gliding across the water. With its Hawaiian heritage, it is easy to learn and within just one hour most can become comfortable on the water.

My first experience with SUP was about 6 years ago. While in Kauai on vacation I just had to give it a try. It was love at first SUP. This is a picture of my daughter on one of the maiden voyages. It was so incredible to see turtles, rays and all the tropical fish.

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Even though living in Idaho, far from the ocean, I easily found ample opportunity and friends to SUP with. My first SUP’s were the inflatable type. The advantage of these are that they are light weight and you can carry them easily in a canvas bag (and don’t need a truck or vehicle racks to transport as you do with a hard board). The downside with some of the inflatable type is that for me personally, I have a difficult time inflating the SUP as much as I would like to because I am not strong enough and if it is under inflated the SUP collapses in the center making it less stable. The inflatable types are a blast to ride down a river on and the Boise river is an excellent river to float.

I have subsequently acquired hard boards made of both fiberglass and carbon. Carbon is lightweight but the downside it can be easily damaged and great care needs to be taken ensuring it doesn’t get knocked around and chipped or gouged. One of my favorite summer paddles is about a nine miler around an island. Packed in my dry bag are my phone, a waterproof speaker, sunscreen, chapstick, water, and a snack. It is a beautiful adventure in solitude or with friends and besides, what a great workout!

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If you are in the market of getting a SUP board for yourself, visit my friends at Idaho River Sports. They are super knowledgable, friendly and you can even test drive them on Quinn’s pond right next door!

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