Standup paddle boarding can take a paddler on numerous adventures, through various bodies of water, and even in far-off countries.
It can take you down the face of a screaming wave as you maneuver in and out of waves on a hot summer day.
It can take you over white-water river paddling where you will inject adrenaline into your veins as you face treacherous waters, navigating rocks and sudden drop-offs. It can take you down a windy bay, riding bumps on a downwinder.
Or it can take you on a gentle bay cruise where you will share laughter and spend time with friends as you gently paddle through calm waters on a beautiful evening. While the main ingredient, that being water, stays the same, the environment and locations of where you can enjoy paddling make the sport dynamic in nature.
This attribute of the sport has led many pioneers to look beyond the normalcy of just paddling on flat water. Instead, paddlers decided to create a bevy of activities to keep people excited and interested. And through these innovations, shops and outfitters over the globe have begun to understand the potential SUP has to offer people unique opportunities to spend time outdoors beyond the norm.
Besides surfing, racing, river paddling, and flat-water paddling, which are all wonderful activities to undertake, paddling can take you, your friends, and your family into the unknown through these additional activities. For those born with the adventurous gene, that can be incredibly exciting.
Host a Race
Racing a SUP can be a difficult endeavor. It takes effort, training, and most important, consistency. Participants must be prepared to push their bodies beyond their normal limits and reach farther than they thought possibly if they wish to succeed.
The thrill of overcoming your self-doubt as you cross the finish line is something to be cherished forever. The team at Perfect Paddles has participated in many races and each time we do, we are still struck by the looks of exaltation paddlers have when they themselves cross the finish line, and even more so, when they greet their friends cross the finish line. It’s a beautiful expression to witness. Which is one of the many reasons why racing has proliferated throughout the country and beyond.
Shops, outfitters, board companies, and even major brands such as Red Bull have begun to put their major resources into hosting races. The location dependent events will usually consist of a short, intermediate race and a long, advanced race for amateurs looking to progress and professionals within the sport. Alongside this, most races have tents set up for local companies and shops to show their products, make some sells, and most importantly connect with fellow paddlers. Additionally, food and drinks are served at the end of the race to allow participants to chat about what happened on the course and how they can improve. Think of SUP racing as hosting a family BBQ with some light, friendly competition as its center piece. Overall, it’s a great afternoon to spend with friends.
So, if you are a local shop, outfitter, or company looking to host a race, please do not hesitate. Make some calls, get funding and sponsors, set up the location and watch as paddlers from across the country flock to your space to make a great event for everyone to enjoy. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us as Perfect Paddles or contact any of the shops listed on our website, such as:
- Stand Up Outfitters, New Bern, North Carolina
- Sea Trek, Sausalito, California
- Aloha Paddle Sports, Cornelius, North Carolina
And if you’re a potential racer and want to get into the scene, be sure to check out our racing section under Intermediate+. You will not be disappointed!
The ability to unplug from the world and of course, your phone, is invaluable in today’s fast-paced modern age.
Large swaths of the population find themselves constantly placing their faces on screens, deleting emails and flicking through social media. Overuse of these technologies can quickly become toxic. The brain can become stagnant, the body stiff, and your connection to the world and the people within it, ironically, becomes more distant.
Due to this oversaturation, depression has quickly begun to rise in large portions of the population, especially in younger adults and teenagers. The good news is though, this type of despair can be easy to alleviate. By getting back into nature, people have found their symptoms disappear and their happiness reinvigorated. One of the best ways of accomplishing this reset is by camping.
Luckily, most avid SUP fanatics, or even those looking to begin in the sport, are avid outdoor enthusiasts. They enjoy the simple aspects of life- laying underneath the stars, hiking through the wooded forest, fishing on a warm afternoon, and of course, camping. By combining both SUP and camping, individuals and families alike, can reconnect to themselves, detox their brains, and enliven their souls. By spending time underneath the stars at night, and paddling on the water during the day, the combination of limited electronic exposure and light, fun exercise have paddlers and campers alike raving about how their bodies feel just after a few days. And the good news is, most camping areas have a combination of outdoor living and stand up paddle boards available for renting at anytime during the day or even for the week.
If you and your family sound like they need a nature reset, be sure to check out these Buddy Deal shops for both your camping and SUP needs:
- Bluet SUP, Highland Village, Texas
- Petaluma Stand Up Paddle, Petaluma, California
- Napa Valley Paddle, Napa, California
Imagine this for yourself, the feeling of casting out a baited line into serene, calm waters. You slowly take a sip of a drink you have in your cooler as clouds drift slowly overhead. The sun is warm, and its far-reaching rays feel great on your relaxed body. You feel a slight jiggle on your fishing rod. You pull it off your lap and give it a gentle tug. Then the line winds out, screaming with the weight of the fish rushing off with your bait and the hook in its mouth. You pop up in excitement as you begin to quickly reel in your catch. The fish puts up a great fight, yet you are stronger. You reel and reel and reel and finally, you are rewarded with a large catch.
You feel jubilation sweep underneath your feet and you smile with the pleasure of spending an afternoon enjoying your favorite activity, on your own terms. Now continue to picture this splendid afternoon, but you are experiencing it not on a dock or a beach or even a boat, but on a SUP. This new twist on an age-old activity is an exciting innovation for paddlers and fishermen alike.
By naturally being a part of the aquatic environment, it was automatic for SUP enthusiasts to try and fish off their boards. Take into consideration the ability to traverse areas in the water which remain unattainable for those walking to fishing spots and boats, and you have a completely fresh way of fishing. Board companies, seeing the potential in combining fishing and SUP, started to manufacture fishing-specific boards to fill this need.
By making them up to six, seven, even eight inches thick, in combination with a wider, flatter surface the boards can hold the paddler along with a loaded cooler, rod holders, and additional gear specific for the activity of fishing.
With a loaded board, paddlers can make their way into shallow areas as well as the ocean to drop a line and secure a catch. In perfect symbiosis, fishing and SUP have created a new take on an old hobby, creating excitement through both the paddling and fishing worlds.
To try paddle fishing, be sure to check out these participating Buddy Deal shops:
- Oregon Paddle Sports, Eugene, Oregon
- SUP-Outfitters, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
- Lonestar Adventure Sports, Grapevine, Texas
While racing has the competitive advantage for SUP, other laid-back activities such as a few paddle games have the added benefit of fun. Often paired with a SUP race-day, companies putting on the events will often include obstacle courses, short sprinting races, or different ballgames all experienced on a SUP! These events are great for kids as they provide an interesting course to play on as well as an attention-grabbing benefit as they must balance on the board while playing. Also an excellent way to add to a summer kid’s camp, paddle games will keep them smiling and swimming for much of the day!
One of the most interesting innovations in this area has been the invention of SUP lacrosse. By attaching a lacrosse stick head to the handle of a paddle, participants have the ability to toss and catch a floating lacrosse ball on the water, while still having the ability to paddle towards the goal and shoot.
Challenging at first, the activity becomes easier as players gain spatial awareness of the bodies on the water as well as increased hand-eye coordination with paddling and tossing a ball happening at the same time. If this, or the idea of playing games on a SUP sound interesting to you, be sure to check out these Buddy Deal shops to see what they have to offer:
- East of Six SUP, Toronto, Ontario
- Demo Sport, San Rafael, California
- Dancing Trees SUP Yoga, Brevard, North Carolina
A unique way for corporations and other small businesses to introduce their co-workers to one another and create a cohesive atmosphere is by participating in a SUP team building exercise. By attending, learning and growing through a new activity, members of an organization naturally become closer on the water and in the office setting. SUP allows workers to develop a new skill by developing their balance, strength, and dexterity together. Once they find themselves standing on the water, watch as their confidence grows. This new-found strength will then translate to higher poise in the office, conducting their necessary duties at work with a greater efficiency.
Along with developing their paddling skills, team members will also likely be able to participate in fun games and team building exercises on land. This may include playing additional sports, competing in fun activities such as cornhole, or enjoying a nice meal and friendly conversation to take their relationships with one another from business only to friends. SUP, like many other team-building activities, provides a perfect canvas for co-workers to learn and more importantly, grow together.
To check out Team Building exercises on a SUP for your office, be sure to check out these Buddy Deal shops to see what they have to offer:
- East Coast Paddle Sports, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
- Paddle Works, Manasquan, New Jersey
- Lake Life Paddle, Belle Isle, Florida
Eco & Wildlife
A common theme surrounding the sport of paddling is the ability to immerse yourself in and reconnect to nature. This can be accomplished in any facet of the sport- from surfing to paddling flat water to even participating in a SUP yoga class. But through partaking in an eco and wildlife tour, paddlers will be able to push this experience even farther.
Most tours start with a short beginner lesson on the basics of SUP so even newcomers are welcome to sign up for these events. From there, paddlers are guided on the water and taken to locations where there is a high probability of seeing wildlife from the water. This usually includes different bird species as they are the easiest to encounter, but depending on where you are located on the map, there is a good chance paddlers will be able to see other creatures such as dolphins, manatees, and even whales if they are lucky. Guides will also provide interesting information about the local ecosystem and the wildlife found within it. This is a great way to spend some time on the water while learning about the system which makes that area unique!
To find a participating Buddy Deal shop and sign up for an eco-tour be sure to check these out:
- Vela Baja, Los Barriles, Baja California Sur
- Paddle Diva, Northwest Harbor, New York
- Paddle Method, Marina del Rey, California
Along the same lines of experiencing a tour, being able to hire a paddle guide will also offer paddlers a deeper understanding of the sport and the area they find themselves in. Having a personal guide will give newbies the chance to understand the mechanics involved in proper paddling technique while at the same time allowing advanced paddlers the freedom to roam the course and converse with an experienced paddler about the sport and the natural environment.
This may include a guided tour down a winding river, through the ocean to spot wildlife, or on a back-bay tributary where an abundance of wildlife and local fishing activities may be taking place. Consider this activity a SUP adventure with a personal touch as your guide will take you wherever you want to go with the added benefit of having a qualified paddler to keep you safe and informed.
This can be a great activity for large families as a guide can help keep an eye on younger children who might otherwise be dependent on the sway of the tides and weather conditions. To hire your own personal paddle guide for your next adventure be sure to check out these Buddy Deal shops:
- Mike’s Paddle, Alameda, California
- Wildwater River Guides, Peshastin, Washington
- Paddling Paradise, Palm Bay, Florida
Location Info Guide
As a location specific sport, SUP can offer paddlers unique environments across the world to explore and enjoy. From the serene shores of California, to the swamps of Florida and all the way to the rocky shores of Thailand, the ability to paddle has exploded on every shore.
But what if you are not sure where to go? Or maybe you don’t know what shops you need to contact to rent boards. Or, what if you are looking for a tour but don’t even know where to begin looking? Well, that is why Perfect Paddles exists! We are here to answer all questions regarding SUP. And one of the best ways we do this is by having a comprehensive database for information regarding the sport across the world.
By searching our Location Info Guide section, you will be greeted with plenty of information and lists on the best places to SUP, rent boards, and sign up for tours. As an example, under this section we have listed under the United States, and more specifically California, an article entitled, “Paddling California: The Absolute Best Locations for Your Next SUP Adventure.” Be sure to check this article out if you are planning on visiting Cali! Or search our other articles where we have listed information about paddling experiences wherever your next trip takes you!
And be sure to check out these further examples to give you an idea of which beach to hit next:
- 9 Best Places for Long-Distance SUP Adventures
- Best Stand Up Paddle Boarding Beaches
- Our SUP-er Favorite SUP Spots!
SUP is a sport about progression- whether it be the paddlers skills or the activities in which we can participate in. And through this progression we have the ability to take SUP in many different avenues to keep ourselves excited and entertained. By searching through Perfect Paddles participants can see how far they will be able to go with the sport. Whether you are a novice or experienced, be sure to check out activities such as paddle fishing, guided tours, camping, and more! Through the love of nature and the sport, our spirits soar with gratitude for the time we spend outside with loved ones. And the best part? We have no idea how far the sport can progress. But we are certainly grateful to be along for the ride!