Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has taken the watersports world by storm over the last decade. Known informally as SUP, it is regarded with both interest and trepidation by those who love the water but doubt their skills. The reality is that SUP is a safe and fun activity that supports fitness while letting you explore our beautiful waterways. What’s not to love?

We understand that you may be intimidated by SUP, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the misconceptions surrounding the sport – as well as why you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.

  1. Stand Up Paddle Boarding Takes a Long Time to Master: Any new sport requires a learning curve, and success typically depends on the conditions surrounding your education. When learning SUP, it is important to learn in a conducive environment. In other words, don’t make your first attempt on a windy day and on rough water. Instead, go out on a day with light breezes and find some calm water. Ask someone proficient in paddle boarding to help you choose a big stable board and provide some basic instruction, and you should be up and paddling in no time. Like many before you, you’ll likely discover that SUP is a lot easier to learn than you expected.
  2. Normal People Lack the Physical Strength to SUP: Sit along the banks and you are likely to see some muscular folks paddling by – and you may think that you need to be in peak physical condition to try paddle boarding. But SUP doesn’t require the strength of a fitness fanatic. In fact, SUP is more about proper technique than strength. Participants, from young children to senior citizens of all sizes and fitness levels, enjoy paddling – which, as a bonus, the activity will make you stronger as you participate.
  3. You Need a Large Body of Water to SUP: You can use a paddle board anywhere that water is more than knee deep—you don’t need to be in an ocean or even in the Gulf of Mexico. For most people, the calmer water is preferable anyway. The good news is that in the Sarasota area, the sheer number of bays, inlets, lakes, and rivers gives paddle boarders plenty of options to try out their new sport.
  4. Paddle Boarding is a Dangerous Sport: Virtually anything you do has some level of peril, based again on the conditions surrounding your activity. However, if you learn to SUP utilizing the right equipment and understanding the proper safety measures, it is a very safe sport in general. The majority of paddle boarding accidents involve someone being reckless, going out in dangerous conditions, or ignoring the basics of water safety. To have a safe and enjoyable day, be sure to always wear a PFD, attach a leash, never paddle alone or after dark, and don’t be under the influence of any drink or drugs.
  5. Paddle Boarding is Expensive: Although a new paddle board can be a little pricey, once you own the board, paddle, and any gear, there are no additional fees – just get out on the water! For those just learning to SUP, it is recommended that you initially rent equipment. For one thing, you don’t want to make a large purchase and decide you really aren’t interested in pursuing the sport. You may also want to try different size boards to determine which you are most comfortable with. Also, if you rent a stand up paddle board from a local company familiar with the activity and the area, you can benefit from professional knowledge and expertise.

Considering how much you can gain from learning to SUP, why not try it today? Ride and Paddle is based in Sarasota/Siesta Key, but we can deliver paddle boards to your vacation property located from Anna Maria Island to Venice. Are you a local just looking to try out a new water sport? Call us today, and we’ll get you started.