What Is SUP (Standup Paddleboarding)?

SUP has its roots where all board sports have their beginnings, in Hawaii. Standup paddle surfing actually has ancient roots, but became popular in modern times among surf instructors and photographers trying to get a higher vantage point than the surface of the water.

Basically, SUP uses a surf style board and a long paddle. In that regard, it is a cross between canoeing and surfing. While originally made popular by surfer Laird Hamilton as he used the paddle to help him catch the big waves found in Hawaii, SUP is not only for surfing any longer. Standup paddling can be done in a variety of forms such as on flat water protected lakes to easy beach paddling, to open water paddling and all the way to surfing massive waves.

How old do participants have to be to get certified?

There is no age restriction for PacificSUP Paddle Canada courses or clinics, but we focus on children and families. If the participant is under 18 years of age, there is a Waiver that needs to be signed by them and their parents.  We are going to train kids that are 8 and older.  

Can I SUP?

Every week, I get asked once or twice how hard it is to SUP and could someone not too agile, younger, older, a little overweight, a little skinny, with back problems SUP? Over and over I see all the ads and social media postings show young and super-fit people doing things like yoga and headstands on their boards. The short answer is that almost anyone can have fun on a paddleboard. Standing on the water is a unique experience. You don’t have to be capable of wild acrobatics or even be particularly agile or athletic. And a bikini/board short body is not a prerequisite. I’m not saying that everyone should paddleboard, only you know if it looks like something fun to you, but I can tell you that almost anyone can learn this skill and I want to  change the image of who are SUPers. 

What is a PacificSUP Session

At PacificSUP, we are not just selling rentals, we are creating an experience and moment in time. A session is a 3-hour block of time.  It includes getting geared up, getting prepared, stretching and warm-ups, getting out on the water, paddling, having fun and then packing up and winding down with some healthy snacks.

How to become a SUPer

While you can just go to a shop and buy the first or cheapest SUP they have and head to the water. In my opinion, that isn’t necessarily the most effective way to get started in the sport. SUP Boards and SUP paddles range in price, design, and materials. Obviously, the better quality SUP gear is also going to cost more money, up to $3000.

Here is what I recommend for beginners. First, anyone wishing to learn to standup paddleboard should contact PacificSUP to get SUP Certified.  Take a couple lessons, try out our different boards and see what you like best. If you get hooked, you can continue purchasing sessions and using various boards, or you can buy a board.  We will have a program that will apply rental costs toward the price of new equipment so be sure to ask about that. Also don’t be afraid to buy our used equipment to start out.

How much time does Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUPing) take?

A standup paddle boarding session can be as long as you want it. PacificSUP prefers to do 3-hour sessions. We are in Victoria, we should all slow down and enjoy the day. A session will include getting geared up, getting prepared, stretching and warm-ups, getting out on the water, paddling, having fun and then packing up and winding down with some healthy snacks.

What do I need to bring to my PacificSUP Session?

PacificSUP wants to make sure that you have a great experience. Please see the below list:

Outdoor wear, made from wool or synthetic materials, such as polyester

Eyeglass retainer strap if you wear glasses

Sunglasses, sunscreen

A broad-brimmed sun/rain hat

Clothing like you might wear for a short hike

Bring a light rain jacket on days when there is a chance of rain

Running shoes or trainers

We cannot be responsible for damage to or loss of your items, so please ensure valuables are stored securely in watertight plastic bags or dry bags.

Is there a PacificSUP Paddle Canada certification card that students get upon completion of the course?

There is a PacificSUP Paddle Canada card that will be given upon completion of the course. This can happen in two ways:  digital certifications by email or hand delivered cards. One is the 8.5 x 11 Certificates or 2 x 3 inch business size cards.