Why is SUP becoming so popular?

Stand up paddle boarding is easy to learn. Whatever your age, gender or experience, just give it a go! After only a short simple tuition you can be up standing and loving it! More advanced techniques can be picked up in following sessions, but the basic skills you need to just get out and paddle are easily picked up.

The great thing about it is that there are so many different things you can do on them for fun that you can't on other crafts. From fishing to fitness, there's such a variety of exciting activities to enjoy whilst on the water. Whatever your interest is, you can probably try it on a SUP!

Stand up paddle boarding is so versatile, diverse and a great alternative to white water rafting, kayaking or canoeing.

It's better for those worried about getting trapped in a kayak upside down after capsizing and you feel so much more free to move around the board rather than being stuck in the same awkward position like in a kayak or canoe. Especially for those with back aches and leg pains, it's a lot more comfortable so you can enjoy the experience for longer.

You can get up close and personal with the wildlife like Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury did on the Fen's on Countryfile.

Fish for SUPper

Because you’re standing higher above the water you are able to see further across the surface to what’s around you. You can also see deeper into the blueness of aquatic life within. This in general is pretty cool but it's also very useful for fishermen to view their catch from above. Instead of traditionally fishing from the bank or getting yourself damp walking in to the river to fish, why not SUP? 'The Wizard Angler' is a phenomenal board designed for just this reason. It comes in a disguised sand colour for a camouflaged look. Complete with large hatches for easy access to the inside (enough room to store some types of rods), fishing rod holders, a flip up seat-back and heel rests so you can paddle it seated and deck bungees for storage. It makes it so easy and fun to fish.

Fitness and Health

Stand Up Paddle boarding is a holistic workout that is very beneficial to many aspects of health, especially your body and mind.

Some assume it's just your arms that get a work out from paddling, however it's your entire body. When your paddle comes into contact with the water, the force you apply to your blade needs to transfer from the water, through your paddle, yours arms, body, legs and finally to your board so it glides across the water. In this time, all of your muscles are under tension, initiating a great body workout!

By learning the correct technique, you can activate your core muscles in every stroke. This strengthens your core and the muscles around it to develop an overall healthier physique, making you feel so strong and invigorated! It's a brilliant way to keep fit and prevent/improve spinal problems, such as sciatica. SUP is not a weight bearing activity so it's nice and easy on your joints and also the perfect way to practice your balance and co-ordination! SUP can be a paced workout that you can take your time with, it's gentle on your cardiovascular system which is great for those who are a little out of shape and want to ease their way into a healthy lifestyle.

SUP can also be extremely relaxing and spiritual with many psychological benefits. It has become immensely popular with those who love Yoga and meditation. Being stable with a large flat surface, the 'Surfer' is the perfect board for trying out balances and poses. Let us know if you would like to join our new fitness classes coming soon!


Different types of SUP

There are various different types of SUP paddling. Boards range in shape and size, and technique changes depending on which kind you are taking part in. Here's a little bit about each.

Touring/Flat water

This is one of the most popular and widely adopted forms of stand up paddle boarding across the world. It mainly takes place on flat water. This can be on lakes, canals, a calm river, in a Marina or anywhere with peaceful waters. It's the starting point to SUP, where you can learn all the basic strokes on the flat before entering rapids, surf or racing strokes.

Touring is something you can enjoy with others. Go on trips, splash around on a summers day with friends. Combine it with an afternoon of snorkelling. Drift along the coast or glide downstream. Ravish your partner by taking them out on a romantic float for two! Why not take the family on a day out. And don't leave the dog at home! Follow the new trend and bring your pooch along for a ride too. It's fantastically fun for you and your furry friend. Head to our doggy paddle boarding page for more information on paddling with your pooch.

"Imagine a still, glassy lake in front of you, just waiting for you to drift in to the middle of. The sound of your board gliding on the surface and the drips tinkling from your paddle blade is all you can hear. Simply you, and the water."

Extreme SUP Paddler Bobby Thatcher paddled the Thames on a 44 mile trip circling London. 



SUP racing as a sport is fast growing and becoming especially popular along the Southwest and South coasts. Races can be on inland waterways or on flat water oceans. There are various types of races from sprint races and long distance races to relay races.

A number of canoe and kayak races have now started to include a new SUP race to the event! One in particular is The Conwy Ascent who added SUP in 2009. The course is a 15 km stretch of tidal estuary from Conwy to Dolgarrog.



This is an extremely popular form of the sport. SUP, having originated from the surfing world, has drawn in surfing fans from coast to coast. Many surfers have converted to Stand Up because of it's versatility and ease of catching waves. This advantage comes from having a paddle to gather speed more efficiently before the wave. Also the larger, heavier board is more easily taken by the wave. All of this gives you the chance to catch more waves in a set and spend more time surfing and less time waiting!

More and more beginners have started to learn SUP as an alternative to surfing as it is easier to learn and the board is more stable. What's pleasant is being able to see further across the surface to what’s around you. Being higher up on your board is very convenient for viewing the oncoming swell over the horizon. For surfing instructors they can see and manage groups more easily.


White Water

This form of SUP is still new and relatively untouched. It's becoming more well known in the paddling world and is growing rapidly in popularity. Want to give it a go yourself? Check out our white water courses