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Stand Up Paddleboarding, or SUP as it’s more commonly known, continues to be hugely popular, as a fun form of exercise and unique way of exploring the great outdoors. Read on to find out how to dip your toes into the wonderful world of SUP and progress in the hobby.
You’ve heard it mentioned, perhaps you’ve even stumbled across articles singing the praises of the sport or pictures of avid SUPers having the time of their lives on their paddleboards. But you’re still not quite sure exactly what SUP is, how it works and whether it’s the right sport for you. As local experts on the matter, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to answer your frequently asked questions about how to Stand Up Paddleboard.
The latest global water sports obsession, SUP is a combination of Surfing and Canoeing / Kayaking, which involves standing on an oversized board and moving through the water using a canoe-style paddle.
The action-filled course perfectly blends a full body workout with an enjoyable flatwater experience. Paddleboarding is a great exercise choice if you’re looking to strengthen your core, legs and upper body, all in the same low-intensity, thrilling SUP session.
Stand Up Paddleboarding is an extremely versatile exercise – you can adapt it to suit your mood and expertise, taking it from a casual float to a full-power paddle session. While getting on a paddleboard can be a fairly relaxed hobby, pushing yourself during a Paddleboarding session can turn it into a calorie-buster, burning over 300 calories in just one hour. 
Depending on where you live and what time of the year you’re having your SUP sessions, you may need different paddleboard attire. Whatever the weather, you’ll need waterproof clothing. Warmer settings allow for lighter outfits such as water-resistant workout gear, short sleeve rash guards and swimsuits.
Colder conditions, meanwhile, may require you to wear a proper wetsuit or bundle up in a thermal base coat and a waterproof top layer. That said, an hour of intense physical activity will keep you fairly warm even in winter, so make sure not to overdo the layers.
At Cardiff International White Water (CIWW), we provide all the coaching and specialist equipment required for SUP, so all you need to bring is your adventurous spirit!
Test the waters with a trial SUP session! At CIWW, we offer a range of SUP lessons which will get you out on the water and give you an idea of how hard it is to do Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Throughout the year, we run two-hour Beginner Paddleboard Sessions, which will teach you the basics of how to SUP, including how to get up on a stand up paddleboard and get afloat, how to turn the board and paddle forwards, as well as essential safety pointers.
If you’ve read the FAQs and you find yourself wondering where you can go Paddleboarding, you’ve come to the right place. In addition to our introductory Paddleboarding Taster Sessions, we also offer Family Paddle Taster Sessions which are perfect for getting your family hooked on SUP or experiencing the adventure for the first time together.
You’d rather get together with friends? We provide SUP lessons for groups, stag and hen parties, and team building days, as well as a range of specialised SUP sessions, including:
If you’re a fan already or you’ve paddled before, then more options are available. On Wednesday evenings, we run Women-Only SUP sessions, during which, in a small group and under expert instruction, you’ll develop your SUP skills, venturing out onto the stunning river Ely. You’ll also receive coaching on paddling techniques, safety and information on where to SUP locally and further afield.
Combine Stand Up Paddleboarding and yoga at our SUP Yoga Sessions. During the classes, our yoga instructor, Ceri, will guide you through an introduction to paddleboards, a warm-up and introduction on how yoga can be transferred onto the water! The rest of the session consists of moving through gradual classical yoga postures on your board. The Stand Up Paddleboarding Yoga class is perfect if you want to challenge, strengthen and relax your mind as well as your body.
If you’re experienced and want to SUP with likeminded people, we recommend SUP Social Cardiff. You can bring your own board or hire one from CIWW, along with all the kit you need. Before you join this relaxed group, you’ll need to ensure that you have enough experience, either by completing one of our SUP courses or one elsewhere.
We have SUP sessions available throughout the week and at weekends, to get you gliding along on the water and enjoying the scenic waterways of Cardiff with other SUP enthusiasts. You can sign up for Supporting Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons, learn Advanced Paddleboard Techniques and even book onto Paddleboarding Trips away.
What’s even better is that when you reach this point, you’ll be able to rent paddleboards and experiment, learning how long a paddleboard should be and what size paddleboard you need before you invest in your own board, and gain the experience required to paddle on your own.