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Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) for beginners

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) for beginners

09.05.2024 | Expert Advice

Britain’s well-anticipated warm weather and a nationwide lack of swell are the perfect conditions for stand-up paddleboarding. To help you get started, we teamed up with Tiki Surf, one of the Mountain Warehouse Marketplace sellers, to share their ultimate beginners’ guide.

From how to stay safe to what to wear, check out below everything you need to know to begin your SUP journey:

1. Choosing a SUP: 

When it comes to choosing a SUP it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Depending on your experience and intended use there are a range of factors to account for. A key tip is to make sure you’re choosing a SUP with enough volume for your height, weight, and any other requirements for use, for example having two people on at one time. As a rule of thumb, longer SUPs are preferable for long-distance travel, whereas shorter SUPs are more suited to remaining agile around rocks & crevasses etc. If in doubt, contact us to find a SUP that ticks all your boxes.


2. Safety Advice: 

As with all water sports, SUPing has its risks. Our most important piece of advice for anyone going on a SUP would be to check weather conditions before heading out, keeping a look out for large swells or strong winds. Conditions can change fast, so it’s key to be prepared and know when is safe to go, and most importantly, when it’s not.

Be sure to let a friend or family member know when you are going out on a SUP and what your plan is. If you’re travelling far make the HM Coastguard aware of your plan and follow their sea safety guidelines, otherwise try to remain in sight of lifeguards and rescue personnel.


3. What To Wear: 

Dress for the weather AND the water. It might be a beautiful day but if you end up in the water and there’s a breeze, you’ll find your body temperature dropping rapidly. With that in mind, always wear some form of wetsuit, even if it’s just a top. Sunscreen if it’s sunny and bring appropriate footwear if you plan to land anywhere.


4. Safety Equipment: 

When it comes to safety equipment, we’d highly recommend taking a communication device for contacting the emergency services if necessary. Seems unlikely, but accidents happen! A personal floatation device (buoyancy aid, lifejacket etc) is very important. Be sure to use the leash so you don’t lose your board – it’s your biggest lifeline if things go wrong. And finally, but importantly, don’t forget hydration and nutrition.


5. Perfect Weather Conditions:

  • Swell under 2ft (0.5m)
  • Wind under 8mph (less the better!)


Final Expert Tips:  

  • Make sure you have your paddle the right way around – sounds simple but you’d be surprised how often you see it!
  • Have a lesson or at least get some coaching tips from YouTube before your first solo SUP adventure.
  • Research the areas you are planning on exploring, keeping an eye out for routes, tips, and safety information.


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