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Beginners guide to stand up paddleboarding

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.


Is stand up paddleboarding good exercise?

The latest global watersports obsession, SUP, is a combination between 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.  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.

What to wear when stand up paddle boarding?

At CIWW we provide all the coaching and specialist equipment required for the SUP, so all you need to bring is your adventurous spirit!

What stand up paddle board course is best for me?

Test the waters with a trial SUP session! At Cardiff International White Water (CIWW), we offer several options when it comes to getting out on the water on a Stand Up Paddleboard. Throughout the year, we run 2-hour SUP taster sessions, which will teach you the basics of how to get afloat, turn the board, paddle forwards and essential safety pointers. 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.

Women's only SUP sessions

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.

Womens' Only SUP at CIWW Cardiff Wales

Stand up paddle boarding yoga class

Combine stand up paddle board and yoga at our SUP Yoga Sessions. During the sessions our yoga instructor Ceri will guide you through an introduction to the paddle boards, a warm up and introduction on how yoga can be transferred onto the water! The rest of the class consists of moving through gradual classical yoga postures on your board. The stand up paddle boarding yoga class is perfect if you want to challenge, strengthen and relax your mind as well as your body.

SUP for groups, stag and hen parties, and teambuilding

If you’d prefer to get together with your friends, then CIWW also caters for groups. In fact, SUP is a fantastic activity to do as part of a hen weekend or a stag do!

If you’re experienced and want to SUP with likeminded people, then our SUP Social was made for you. 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.

Weekday and weekend SUP classes in Cardiff

Whichever route you choose, we have SUP classes 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. What’s even better is that as you reach this point you can sign up for SUP trips away, invest in your own board, experiment with different boards and gain the experience required to paddle on your own.

For more information, see our dedicated Stand Up Paddleboarding page