How To Plan Your Portland SUP Adventure

July 6, 2016

It is the time we all have been waiting for… the glorious Pacific Northwest summer! The sky is blue, the days are warm, and we want to encourage you to use this summer season AND your hard earned fitness to the best of your abilities by trying a new fitness adventure: STAND UP PADDLING! Read on to learn how to plan your Portland SUP Adventure.

Stand Up Paddling has a very interesting and worldly history that dates back to 1778 or earlier when Captain Cook was the first European to witness the Hawaiians surfing in canoes or special, ritually carved boards. These items were so large that people needed paddles! Stand Up Paddling has other roots around the world, but with the first SUP only store being opened in California in 2007, the sport has grown immensely! In 2001 1.2 million people had tried the sport, and by 2012 9.6 million people had experienced it!

This sport has grown dramatically, because it is a fun activity that most anyone can enjoy at whatever pace they want. You can paddle hard and make it a great workout, take it to the ocean and surf some waves, or you can glide around and chill on the water on a hot day. Children can paddle themselves, since they are simply moving their own body weight, OR you and a your youth can share a larger board. If participants are nervous to stand, the paddle board can be used kneeling. Be warned that falling in is a given!!! No matter your experience level every, you might just lose your balance once in a while, so don’t be surprised if (when) you get wet! You can paddle barefoot or some people prefer using water shoes. It is a personal preference also sometimes governed by the bottom of the body of water one will be paddling in/on.

Other First Timer and Family Tips:
* A lesson is always a great thing, but if you can not get a lesson and will be renting a board, check out this great video.

* Your board will have bungee cords on it for a dry bag. Your rental company should offer dry bags, OR you can purchase one and stash a snack, a long sleeve (protection from sun OR wind) as well as water. Dry Bags are a great idea!

* When you plan your first SUP adventure, plan a time of day, or day of the week during which the body of water you pick will be the least crowded. I would not suggest heading out on a Saturday or Sunday at 2pm until you feel very comfortable and confident navigating yourself around.

* You will need a life jacket! You can have it strapped to your board, BUT they are required. A lot of SUPpers wear an around the waist device, BUT they are spendy and for your first adventure, the rental company you get your board from should provide the PFD. If you decide to purchase a board, you will need to make sure you and anyone on the board have a PFD.

* If you purchase your board, before you get out on the water to use it, be sure to get an invasive species permit for it. You can purchase one on-line. They are less than $10.

If you want to avoid the transporting of the boards, Alder Creek is your show up, get your board, and get on the water place. Alder Creek has a location at Jantzen Beach and at Lake Oswego. They have lessons as well. This is your one stop shop. They also have sales and you might just find yourself walking away with a board!!!

Scappoose Bay Paddle Center is connected with Next Adventure, and while I haven’t been there , the location seems to have a large offering of paddling programs as well as SUP yoga! It also appears that the boards are already at the location, but please check first. Being in a secluded bay is also a treat, because you do not have to compete with boat traffic.

Gorge Performance also offers rentals, lessons and is conveniently located near Willamette Park off of SW Macadam, so if you are NOT getting a lesson you can easily get your board to the water.

You might wonder if there is anything that you can do to get your body ready for SUPping….well as much as you might dread standing on the bosu trainer, it is one of the best things to do to challenge your bodies balance. Also, your FAVORITE Portland TEAM Fitness classes can get you SUP ready in no time!

As always check the weather and wind conditions and be cautious when out on the water. We look forward to hearing about your SUP adventures!