Common SUP FAQ’s
Stand up paddle boards (SUP) offer a fun, relaxing way to play on the water. With a minimum of gear, you can paddle ocean surf or placid lakes and rivers.
Paddle boarding delivers a full-body workout and thus has become a popular cross-training activity. And since you stand at your full height, you can enjoy unique views of everything from sea creatures to what’s on the horizon.
To get started, you just need some basic SUP gear and techniques.
Standup paddleboarding requires you to stand upright on the board, which requires a lot of core stability and leg strength to maintain balance.
Full Body Workout
Almost every muscle in the body is used at some point during paddleboarding.
Stand Up Paddle Board
This is by far your most significant gear investment. Your board choice is determined by a combination of paddler weight and skill, your intended use and the local conditions. See the REI Expert Advice article, Stand Up Paddle Boards: How to Choose, for details.
Stand up paddles have an angle or “elbow” in the shaft for maximum efficiency. Choose a paddle that’s roughly 6″ to 8″ taller than you are (note: some manufacturers recommend an 8″ to 10″ differential).
PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
The U.S. Coast Guard classifies stand up paddleboards as vessels, so always wear a PFD. (You should also carry a safety whistle and use a light if you are paddling after sunset).
For cool conditions where hypothermia is a concern, wear a wetsuit or dry suit. In milder conditions, wear shorts and a T-shirt or bathing suit—something that moves with you and can get wet.
Typically sold separately, a leash tethers your SUP to you, keeping it close by if you fall off. Your SUP is a large flotation device, so being attached to it can be important for your safety. There are leashes designed specifically for surf, flatwater and rivers; be sure to purchase the correct one for your intended use.
Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
You need just a few key pieces of equipment to enjoy SUP.
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We understand that your plans may change. With this in mind, Capitola Surf and Paddle allows you to cancel within 1 day of your reservation time. Regardless of whether you made your reservation online or by phone, just give us 24 hours notice prior to your appointment time. Customers that cancel with less than 24 hours notice will be subject to the full price of lesson(s) requested. If weather or waves are unfavorable, the rental or lesson may be rescheduled for a later time/date or a full refund will be issued. No-shows will not be refunded. You must know how to swim.
We require a credit card and ID at time of reservation. No charge will be applied to your credit card unless there is an additional service or damage to the equipment.