A complete guide to paddleboarding for newbies

Stand-up paddleboarding is a great outdoor activity. If you’re coming for a vacation in British Columbia, then SUP tours and biking are two activities that are not worth missing out on.

Now, If you’re looking to mesmerize yourself in the natural waters of British Columbia to tone up a little and put all the stress away, then Stand-up paddleboarding is the best water sport you could ever consider.

While biking is pretty well known, and you probably don’t need to take care of anything except for city traffic rules and your safety, paddleboarding is something you need to research a lot about since it’s deep waters we are talking about here.

So here’s everything you need to know about Stand Up Paddle Boarding, which we British Columbians believe is a fascinating sport.

Bonus: We’ll also tell you where and how to get Premium paddle boards on rent.

Paddleboarding: An Introduction

Stand Up Paddleboarding is not problematic per se, but it is also not as simple as you might think.

Paddleboarding is a great core workout that lets you soak in all the pretty views, chill & have a great time with your dear ones.

You will simply stand up on the paddleboard as you skim through the water’s surface. You’ll watch the horizon and be able to see deep down into the water, both at once. The crystal blue ocean in Vancouver means you will see aquatic wildlife and catch sight of different marine fauna flitting around you on your SUP tour. And mind you, Vancouver is considered one of the places to learn standup paddleboarding worldwide.

However, If ocean waters are not your cup of tea, lakes are the best alternative. Lakes in British Columbia are the best. They’re clean, cold, and calm, and you can even go in them for a swim.

What do you need for Paddleboarding?

Standup Paddleboarding, or SUP (as we like to call it), doesn’t require much in the equipment department.

All you need is the most important thing, which is the stand-up paddle board and the paddles that come along with it.

It will be your weight and skill level that will essentially decide what board suits you best. FYI: There are plenty of paddleboards ranging from recreational boards to racing and even yoga boards available!

Now your board will be accompanied by paddles, which look more or less like a canoe paddle but are longer. Make sure the paddle that you choose is the correct length for you. The right paddle reaches your wrist if you place it in front of you and put your arms overhead.

Here in Vancouver, you will also need to carry a safety kit. That’s because SUP boards and SUPing are risky endeavors. And at Adventure Outdoors, we prioritize your safety over everything, so here at Adventure Outdoors, premium paddleboards on rent come with a safety kit containing one life jacket, a whistle, a light, and a waterproof pouch to hold your essentials.

If you’re going to try Standup Paddleboarding for the first time, we’d recommend our premium paddleboard rentals that are new, fully approved, and well maintained.



SUP boards might look like surfboards, but these two sports are very different. For starters, SUP is way easier to learn than surfing. When you go on paddle boarding, you stand most of the time, and as the name suggests, you paddle on flat water or waves.

While on the flip side, when you’re surfing, you start by lying down, and then you’ll need to make the proper judgment to catch the perfect moment to pop up above the waves.

Besides, surfing is a challenging sport and not for the faint-hearted; it requires tremendous balance, power, concentration, and, most importantly, practice. Whereas, Paddle boarding is way easier to pick up than surfing.

Paddleboarding has fantastic benefits!

Yes! Paddleboarding has crazy benefits that rejuvenate and refresh your mind.


SUP takes place outdoors amongst great views. As we all know, exposure to nature is a natural stress remedy, and we could all stand to release a little tension. Nothing beats the cool breeze on your face with shiny sun and face-to-face encounters with marine life.

And SUPing is usually done in groups, so it is a group activity. So it allows you to bond better with your near and dear ones.

You can also try it to take a special someone on a date.


Forget your regular workout regime - SUPing is an excellent workout for your whole body. It strengthens your core, improves your balance, and is a great cardio activity. And because it isn’t that tough, everyone can do it.


SUP is relatively easy to learn for anyone of any age or fitness level. Even kids can do paddleboarding and have a great time.


Paddle boarding is a lot easier than you might expect it to be! Most people learn the basics of paddle boarding on their first day. Once you start picking up balancing and basic paddle strokes, you’re all set to have a good time. So try it without being afraid or, if you bring your friends along with you. You will all look like pros in no time!


So are you ready to start your first ever stand-up paddleboarding experience? Here are some essential tips that will help you get going:

  • If you’re going paddleboarding for the first time, you have to choose calm and smooth water with negligible waves
  • Your feet should be planted in the center of the board where grab handles are
  • You can also start on your knees to get yourself comfortable
  • Your knees should be bent, and your eyes must be entirely forward when standing
  • Try to engage your core when paddling. This is important for the balance
  • Make sure the angled side of the board is in the front.
  • In case you’re going to fall, be sure to fall away from the board instead of on the board
  • If there’s wind, then paddle against it. When you will be exhausted and want to get back, then it will be much easier for you to paddle back
  • Attach yourself to the board with a SUP leash and wear personal floatation equipment.


If you’d like to paddle farther, then here are some advanced SUPing tips for you.

  • Pick The Right Paddle Board: Start with an all-around SUP. The ideal board size is about 10-11 feet long and 30-35 inches wide. And yes, the paddle should be just as good! At Adventure Outdoors, you can rent high-quality premium SUPs that fit the description of a perfect paddleboard
  • Learning the launching: Understanding launch is essential. Start by walking into the water at knee-deep length. Place your hands on your board, keep the paddle across the board and sit with one knee at a time.
  • Practice balancing on your knee: If you’re a newbie, you might want to paddle on your knees and get comfortable doing it.
  • Standing Up: Standing up is also a task that requires you to be careful. The process is simple. Place your hands on the board with fingers spread wide directly in front of your knees. Pick one leg at a time and rise real slow. Put the first foot where the knee was before and repeat the same with the second leg. The goal is to balance yourself, so you don’t fall into the water.
  • Paddle - the right way: Begin with a basic forward stroke. Use your hips and shoulders by Rotating them, and keep the paddle above the surface of the water with its blade facing the front. After that, put the paddle in front, submerge it under water and pull it towards you to move forward.
  • The same goes with the reverse stroke but instead of putting the paddle in front, place it behind you and pull towards you for the board to go back.
  • Longer strokes are better as they save your energy.

Don’t twist your body. Use your hips and shoulders to rotate them. Remember, if you turn your body, your core won’t engage, and you will lose your balance.

If you want to paddle straight, then paddle on each side one by one. Remember that you will not switch hand positions for each side.

SUP Activities To Try: Once you spend a reasonable amount of time practicing the basics of paddle boarding, you should move on to SUP activities that are more advanced in level.

Once you’re ready, you should try some activities like SUP yoga, SUP touring, and SUP fishing. And when you get bored of these activities, you can level up and try SUP surfing, racing, or whitewater SUP. After this, you’ll never want to walk on land again.

What should I wear for stand-up paddleboarding?

wear for stand-up paddleboarding

  • Comfortable clothing for SUP is essential
  • Wear Reef-Proof Sunscreen because the water reflects UV light, and you can burn pretty easily
  • Vancouver waters are generally cold, so the question of wearing that pretty bikini doesn’t even come up. You can even wear a wetsuit if you don’t want to get wet because you will be going in the water now and then to explore
  • You can also wear SUP shorts
  • Lastly, sunglasses and water are also necessary, and they should be in your kit.

How easy is stand-up paddleboarding?

Most water sports are considered very dangerous, but SUPing is one of the most easily accessible adventure water sports. There are over a million people out there who SUP to take an escape from their routine.

It’s a great way to keep your mind and body fit while getting the physical benefits of a workout and strengthening your core muscles. You’ll be using almost every muscle in your body, balancing, and have one of the best experiences of your life.

As obvious as it might be, Paddleboarding will require you to have a reasonable level of functional fitness to taste this amazing watersport. All you have to do is be comfortable with the water and be fit enough to take some exertion. Paddleboarding is an activity that requires a lot of balance and if you have any condition that affects your balance, then be sure to communicate this with your instructor.

What’s the most important thing I will have to learn?

Paddling is the most critical part of SUP. As newbies, your body would naturally want to hold the paddle backward, but your instructor will teach you the correct position, and they’ll tell you not to put your hands too close together and make a forward angle with your blade.

You will have to take a comfortable wide, with feet parallel and hip-width apart. You will be a pro at this sport when you feel that the paddle is the extension of your body and when you think you are using your core to pull the paddle. Don’t worry too much about this when you try it for the first time, as you will find out that It’s pretty natural, and once you get used to the board, you’ll find the confidence and find it very easy.

Stand-up paddle boarding in Vancouver is one of the most mesmerizing experiences you’ll ever have. Want to get started? Why not get in touch with us at Adventure Outdoors today, and take your first step toward this fantastic sport.


  1. […] Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a very popular sport that allows people to get on board their boards and hit the water in style. It’s easy to rent or own your equipment, and it’s also easy to learn how to do it. […]

  2. […] other highlights of the city like exploring Gastown, eating some great food in Chinatown, Paddleboarding or kayaking in Deep Cove, hiking at Lynn Canyon, and enjoying some shopping in Granville […]

  3. […] Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a very popular sport that allows people to get on board their boards and hit the water in style. It’s easy to rent or own your equipment, and it’s also easy to learn how to do it. […]

Comments are closed.