In recent years, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has become a phenomenon and holds appeal for a variety of people. Maybe you’re trying to enjoy some time in the sun, maybe you’re looking for an active rest day, or maybe you’re trying to strengthen your core and improve balance. Whatever the reason, SUP is a great summer activity for yourself or the whole family.
Yoga and SUP
Yoga enthusiasts are also embracing SUP with open arms and were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Utilizing SUP, yoga is given an exciting twist and can be performed (depending on your balance) on the water. The combination of water and a slight breeze helps teach balance and harmony while strengthening your core muscles. The flat surface of the SUP allows you to stand or sit while trying out a variety of yoga poses.
At nearby Alice Lake, SUP yoga classes are available through North Yoga and a number of private instructors. All skill levels are welcome and board rentals are available if needed. We highly recommend experiencing SUP yoga at least once. There’s no better way to wake up in the morning then stretching out on the lake, with the breeze in your hair and surrounded by passionate, active, like-minded individuals.
Where to Go SUP in Squamish
Alice Lake’s pristine, warm and calm water is an ideal place for newbie SUP activists to get their water legs and learn the ins and outs of the sport.
Brohm lake is a little larger (and colder) then Alice lake, which is all the more reason to master your balance and not fall in. There is a little more to explore around Brohm lake and ensure you paddle out to the cliff jumps and rope swings on the other side.
Nexen Beach to Britannia Beach
If you consider yourself an experienced SUP’er then you might want to paddle from Nexen Beach to Britannia Beach. Be aware of the oceans currents, weather and wind warnings for the day (and only tackle this when you’re ready). This is a beautiful way to explore the shores of the Howe Sound, catch a glimpse of sea life and experience a unique perspective of the mountains.
If you have never tried SUP before, you may want to consider lessons. Local guide, Norm Hann offers SUP lessons and tours for every skill level. He’ll teach you everything you need to know and have you enjoying the water in no time.
If you’ve tried SUP and are completely hooked then it’s time to invest in your own equipment.
SUP equipment and rentals are available at Valhalla Pure.
When it comes to buying your board and choosing between a hard or inflatable one, there’s a few thing’s you’ll need to consider in order to determine what is right for you.
Do you want to go fast?
The inflatable and hard SUP boards differ very little in speed or number of strokes required and most recreational SUP enthusiasts will often not be able to tell a difference in the speed of the two boards.
Is it important to have a light board?
Inflatable boards tend to weigh a large amount less then hard boards and have the ability to fit in cars, storage and your house very easily. They are far easier to travel with also.
Are you on a budget?
Usually, inflatable boards will be cheaper then a hard carbon fiber board. Saying that, technology is improving and you can get state of the line inflatable boards for a fraction of the cost the used to be. Have a look for deals in store and ask around for second hand gear.
One of the key things you need to enjoy SUP is a paddle that does not wear you out. You should be able to hold the paddle all day long without excessive fatigue.
Carbon Fiber — Carbon fiber paddles are the lightest.
Aluminum — Aluminum paddles are normally inexpensive.
Plastic — Plastic paddles are economical but may not last.
Wood — Wood paddles are lovely and somewhat lightweight.
Fiberglass — Fiberglass is lightweight and offers a good balance.
Paddles come in different lengths, so you will need to choose one that fits your distinct body size and reach. Some paddles are adjustable and great for growing children.
Some SUP paddles are also bent which creates an efficient stroke. With a bend, the paddle slips effortlessly out of the water.
SUP is a great sport for families or singles and there is no better place to enjoy the popular outdoor water activity than Squamish.