SUP Basics & Safety

A Quick Guide to Stand Up Paddleboarding

This article is meant to give first time SUPers an understanding of how to safely use a SUP board, and does not in any way replace a proper lesson.

The Bare Bones Basics on How to SUP

PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE VERY VERY BASIC AND ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN AS ANYTHING BUT THE BARE BASIC MINIMUMS ON HOW TO SUP. A LESSON SHOULD BE TAKEN BY NOVICE RIDERS A.S.A.P. A PROPER LESSON THROUGH AN ACCREDITED INSTRUCTOR WILL COVER: ALL BASES OF SUP SAFETY, BOARD TYPES AND DESIGNS, PADDLE DESIGN AND TECHNIQUES, WIND, WAVE AND TIDE CONDITIONS AS WELL AS THE DOS AND DON’TS…DID I MENTION SAFETY SAFETY AND SAFETY!

  1. Carry your board downwind from yourself (so the wind will push the board AWAY from your body, not towards it).
  2. Walk your board out to minimum knee deep water. This will save you from buying a new fin.
  3. Get off your board in knee deep water. Never ride the board up on to shore.
  4. Never start off on a dock, pier or rock.
  5. When trying to stand up, keep your eyes on a far away focal point. This will aid in your balance.
  6. If you’re going to fall, fall forward and land as flat as you can. Never feet first and never dive.
  7. If going out in windy conditions, start off by going into the wind.
  8. Know the weather conditions for that day…”when in doubt don’t go out”.
  9. Always inspect your leash for wear and damage. ALWAYS wear your leash.
  10. Transport Canada requires all SUPs to have a DOT approved life jacket on board. The fine is $200.00 for not having one.
  11. Do not use your paddle to push off the shore, rocks, docks, boats or bottom. A damaged paddle repair/replacement is expensive.
  12. If you do put a hole in the board though the epoxy, stop riding the board immediately and get it out of the water. A hole left unattended could ruin a board in a short amount of time and this board is YOUR responsibility.
  13. Never assume a boat or jet ski sees you. Live to ride another day.

Feel free to call or email with ANY questions.

Mahalo, and be SAFE