First iSUP paddle

This summer I had a chance to try out paddle boarding for the first time. I had a little experience with windsurfing and traditional surfing but had never tried stand up paddle boarding before. Not sure what to expect I decided to put in at Sandbar State Park in Vermont.

Because I was using an inflatable SUP I was able to transport the paddle board in the trunk of my car. Finding a grassy spot near my car I was able to inflate the board in about 5 minutes. The first surprise was how rigid the board became as it approached full inflation. By the time the board was ready to use it had the consistency of wood – incredibly hard. Carrying it to the water was pretty easy since there was a handle in the center of the board. Once in the water I found it initially harder to balance on than a surfboard – since you start out stationary on a paddleboard. It also took me awhile to get used to the stance. On a paddleboard you stand with your feet in line with the direction of travel as opposed to a surfboard where you stand in a traditional skate board stance. The trick I found was to start kneeling take a few strokes to get the board moving and then stand up into the upright position.

After sorting out the position and learning to take long steady strokes I found the paddleboard an almost perfect mode of transport. The upright position gives you a better view than from a canoe or kayak. The board can get into tight spaces and shallow water and is easy to get back onto if you do come off.

Next up – a family outing with my son!

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