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Intro to Stand-Up Paddling


With approximately 28,000 miles of Coastline, Washington is a state best explored by water. There are endless possibilities for adventure, from Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean and every river or lake in between. Washington is truly a paddler’s paradise.


What is Stand Up Paddling?


Stand-up paddling, or SUP, is a popular water sport born from surfing. It involves standing on a large surfboard-shaped board and propelling yourself forward by paddling with an elongated canoe-style paddle while standing in the center of the board.


Is Stand-up Paddling Safe?


While all water sports have risks, stand-up paddling is relatively safe. Stand-up paddlers should be capable swimmers and wear proper flotation while paddling.


You May Enjoy Stand Up Paddling if….


You enjoy being outdoors and on the water, or you like pushing your physical limits in nature.


Types of Stand-Up Paddling


All-Around Stand-Up Paddling


           All-around stand-up paddling is exactly what it sounds like, leisurely navigating calm waters on a board with plenty of floatation. All-around boards can be rigid or inflatable. 


Stand Up Paddle Surfing


Stand-up paddle surfing involves catching and riding waves on a specialized stand-up paddle board made for surfing. Stand-up paddle surfing requires high levels of paddle skills, physical fitness, and wave-riding prowess.


Stand-Up Paddle Touring


Stand-up paddle touring involves traveling long distances on open water. Touring is often downwind and involves paddling long distances one direction. Stand-up paddle touring requires specialized boards that are longer and narrower than all-around or surfing stand-up paddle boards. Touring boards are equipped to carry more weight, including camping gear for overnight adventures.


           Whitewater Stand Up Paddling


Whitewater stand-up paddling involves descending a river and navigating whitewater rapids while paddling a specialized river stand-up paddle board. Whitewater stand-up paddling requires a high level of physical fitness and paddle skills. 


Stand-Up Paddle Season in Washington


Washington has it all when it comes to paddling, from rushing mountain rivers to calm lakes, Puget Sound, and the Pacific Ocean. It’s possible to stand-up paddle year-round in Washington, but the typical SUP season runs from late spring (May) into summer (June, July, August) through early fall (September), when the weather is mild, and the water is at its warmest.


How to Start Stand-up Paddling


Getting started stand-up paddling in Washington is easy, all you need is the right equipment and to know where and when to go. Gearhouse has everything you need to start your stand-up paddling journey, like paddle boards, paddles, life jackets, and dry bags. Always pay attention to the weather and tide conditions when planning your stand-up paddling trip. The Gearhouse trip planning department is a great resource for new paddlers.


Stand-Up Paddle Gear


Stand-up paddling requires two essential pieces of gear, the stand-up paddle board and the paddle. Make sure your stand-up paddle board and paddle are sized correctly for your height and weight.And always use a US Coast Guard certified personal flotation device (PFD).  Gearhouse offers all the essential stand-up paddling gear you need for your next adventure on the water.

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