6 Reasons to Take a SUP Lesson

Whether you just bought a board or are renting one from a local shop, it is a great idea to invest in a lesson first, let me tell you why!

SUP instruction

Equipment Knowledge

Thankfully, this sport doesn’t require much equipment to get started! However, it is still important to know what kind of equipment you should be using and what equipment is required. In Washington state all paddlers are required, by law, to have a life vest and a whistle on your board at all times (just like a boat!). Other types of equipment such as leashes and paddles are often used incorrectly. The type of leash you use, as well as how to wear it, is different depending on the type of water you are paddling in. As for paddles, almost all first time paddlers, or anyone who hasn’t been taught otherwise, holds their paddle backwards! How silly right?! Not really, I didn’t know how to hold mine either at first. Sizing your paddle is important too, we will show you how tall your paddle should be based on how tall you are to help you prevent injury and stroke more efficiently! Paddleboards themselves vary in many different sizes, some wider, some longer, some heavier and all of those are factors to consider when choosing a board to use.

Paddle Efficiency

Stand-up Paddleboarding is a very easy to learn sport, in fact, most people get the hang of it within their first 60 minutes. However, just as with every sport, there are tips and tricks to learn how to get better. Stroke technique is important to learn to prevent injury and to learn how to paddle more efficiently. Turning is one of the main struggles first time paddlers have and we will go over many different types of turns and how to use them in different situations. Reaching, hinging, rotating, there are so many different ways to improve your paddling, whether you are preparing for a race or just enjoying a paddling adventure.

Water Conditions

There are so many different bodies of water! It is essential to know what you are getting into. Are you paddling on a lake? On the ocean? In a river? There are high tides, low tides, currents, you name it! Northwest Paddleboarding is located on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, so we have a current. If you are out in the middle of the river, the current will sweep you away before you know it. If it is windy, the current is much stronger and sometimes it will take you in the wrong direction. Our area also has a large boating community, so it is important to know how to yield to them and know where they are and when. We are out on our water all the time so we schedule classes accordingly and are aware of the weather conditions. We would love to show you the best places to paddle and how to navigate our river safely!


All of the information listed above will help prepare you to stay safe when you are out on the water. In addition to those tips, we also teach all of our students’ self-rescue techniques. From getting back on your board if you fall off, to proper use of your safety equipment. The best safety advice we can give anyone is to never paddle alone! When you are in a SUP lesson you are in a safer environment to learn, as all of our classes have a lifeguard on duty and instructor trained in SUP rescue.

We can answer your questions!

If there is something we didn’t go over in class, you can always ask! This is our industry and we love to share(: If you are interested in buying a board we can give you all the info you need to pick one that is right for you. We can teach you about the different anchoring systems if you want to get into SUP yoga. Whatever is on your mind about SUP we are the ones to ask, so sign up for a class and take advantage of your instructor’s knowledge.

Join the SUP community
When you join a SUP class, you join a community. You have the opportunity to meet people who share the same passion of adventure! You get the chance to learn about SUP events, such as races, open paddles, tours and other classes.

Adventure awaits! Join us for a class this summer, try something new, we will see you on the water! Northwestpaddleboarding.com

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