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amber champion March 25, 2019

SUP Tips & Tricks

SUP stand up paddle

The first thing you should know about SUPing is that anyone can do it – it’s not limited to the millennials – the best thing about SUPIng is how accessible it is to everyone… Dogs included!

You see, a SUP is just like a raft, but with less flotation, it can be rigged however you need. Here are a few things to help you out if you are looking to hop on and give it a try.
 

SIZE

 
Make sure the first board you hop on is the right size for you. Your ideal SUP volume can change depending on your weight, skill level and whichever discipline you wish to explore. At the intro level we are usually looking at flat-water SUPing. To work out the ideal SUP for you and as you progress can be calculated using this equation;

Weight (kgs) x Experience = Litres.

New: x2
Intermediate: x1.5 to x1.8
Experienced: x1.3 to x1.5
Genius: x1.3 downwards.

Biggest mistake is “too small too soon”. Start bigger and slowly work your way smaller. I often recommend the Red Paddle Co Ride 10’8 Inflatable to our beginners, this board is suited for anyone up to 125 kgs so it’s about 296 litres. It works well if you want to paddle with small children or dogs or even large backpacks.

“it’s important to take the time to learn the proper techniques before you develop bad habits “

LESSON

 
Take an introduction course, learn what safety equipment you should be carrying, how to launch and land. Most often the excitement of getting out on the water is overwhelming and the last thing you want to do is to take a course. However, it’s important to take the time to learn the proper techniques before you develop bad habits and most courses now are really hands on and actually teach you valuable lessons. Paddle boarding has some technique aspects that will make it more enjoyable and also less tasking on the body.
 

PADDLE PARTNER

 
It is really easy to try it once and not do it again for ages; I recommend connecting with a community that will help you get on the water, moving and exploring uncharted areas. If you do take my advice and take a lesson or course, it’s important you practice and get out there using your newly acquired skills or it will be more challenging in the future.

TIME

 
The only way to get better, travel further and try new things is with time and experience. Get out there, push your limits! Don’t get put off because you were sore after your first try. Start in small distances or small amounts of time and work your way up.
 

DISCIPLINES

 
There are many different routes you can go on a SUP. There is SurfSUP, down-winding, touring, flat water, white water, etc. If one of the disciplines doesn’t give you what you are looking for don’t be afraid to try another one. I do however, recommend starting at a basic flat water level. Build up your confidence and then push your limits.

LOCATION

 
Chose a location that will be calm and sheltered, I wouldn’t recommend learning in a place that is busy with boat traffic. I would consider learning and starting in places you feel safe and would be ok coming off your board. If you are worried about falling off or being knocked off, you are preventing yourself from becoming relaxed which will ultimately make learning and enjoying more challenging.
 

WATER TREATMENT

 
Be open to what the water has to teach you. There are many ways paddle boarding can benefit our lives such as simply by being immersed in nature and being close to the water. The proximity to these things often promotes healing and relaxing, giving you time to shut off from the business of your daily life and experience the moment.

For more specific advice please email me at achampionadventure@gmail.com

Amber was born in the UK, she moved to Ontario, Canada at the age of 5 where she spent most of her youth swimming competitively and climbing trees. When she was 13 she was introduced to the Whitewater kayaking world, where she fell madly in love with the adrenaline rush of big water and being upside down. When Amber was 15 she sustained two severe head injuries that changed her life. She was advised to quit the world of Whitewater and choose a more mellow hobby. From there she fell into the Sea Kayak and SUP instruction world, after taking her L1 instructors course she taught 32 courses in two months along with Advanced Flatwater SUP courses. This fuelled her passion and pushed her to be where she is now; Paddle Canada L3 Instruction (working on her L4 instructor mentorship), L1 Instructor Trainer (working on her L2 instructor trainer) and Level 4 skills, placing her as one of Canada’s top female instructor and youngest L3 instructor. Last year she attained her SUP instructor trainer certification and SUP multi-day touring instructor status. She is currently representing the following companies; Nigel Denis Kayaks (NDK), Lendal Paddles & Stohlquist Waterwear. Currently runs Blue Dog Kayaking, Vancouver Island & spends her winters guiding in the Abel Tasman National Park, NZ.Passionate about life & everything on the ocean.She is delighted to be part of this team, stay tuned for some of her upcoming blog posts.

Take a course

Boat in the water with people sitting aboard
Hunter with a bow in tall grass at dusk
Man on yellow ATV riding through dirt tracks
Person on snowmobile riding through snowy trail
Person paddling in white water rapids
Three individuals backpacking across a yellow, grassy plain
Boat in the water with people sitting aboard
Hunter with a bow in tall grass at dusk
Man on yellow ATV riding through dirt tracks
Person on snowmobile riding through snowy trail
Person paddling in white water rapids
Three individuals backpacking across a yellow, grassy plain

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LET'S WORK TOGETHER

 

Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

CAMPFIRE STORIES

Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.