How To Prepare For A SUP Summer

With the Summer coming so close it's best to start these practices or get your hands on your very own paddle board while you can! Preparation is key to having a successful SUP Summer and building the habit of going while the weather is at its best!

Can you believe Summer will be officially here in just four months? It’s no surprise the bright sunshine and warm water of summer make it the preferred season for paddle boarding. No need to worry about a wetsuit and hand warmers when it’s 80 degrees outside! Instead, simply slip into your swimsuit and hit the water. There are still a few crucial steps you should take before launching your board this summer.

Great preparation will keep your body and board safe. We've put together your go-to guide for getting ready for the busy SUP season.

But first, let's cover those of you who don't already own your own paddleboards.

The most crucial step in having the SUP Summer of your dreams is having a stand up paddle board that can handle your activities and lasts you decades.

stand up paddle board

What is the best paddle board for beginners?

A Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) gives great value to everyone. Choosing the best paddle board for you is a great place to dive deeper into what things you should consider when trying to make a final decision.

A few things you need to ask yourself are, "What will I be using this SUP for?" and "What kind of quality do I want?" to get you started. Glide has various board designed for all kinds of SUP hobbies. If you can't decide on just one or any at all then our O2 Retro All-Around Inflatable SUP board is for you.

You don't have to look far to find expensive boards or cheap boards that would better fit your budget. With various inflatable paddle board options, it could be anywhere from $300 to $1,200+ for just a single board, not including the accessories you will need to get on the water.

You can find hard SUPs ranging from $750 to $4,000+ but there are fewer accessories needed for an epoxy board or a GSS boards like we make here at Glide. Other companies don't typically include accessories for that purchase either.

A Glide inflatable board is priced at $899, and a solid board is around $1,200.

The best beginner board for 2022 is the Glide O2 Retro Inflatable Paddle Board. There is a reason why it's most people's go-to board. It's an affordable price, made as a beginner board, but intermediate paddlers and beyond always leave scathing paddle board reviews. Its drop stitch construction, full deck pad, and ample room make it the best board of all time.

If you would like to learn more about what makes Glide Inflatables the Best Inflatable paddleboards or more about the O2 Retro Paddle Board you can read about how we construct and design our boards.

stand up paddle board

Are inflatable paddle boards worth it?

We'd like to answer this question with another question. Do you like the feeling of warmth from the sun being on your skin, exploring the world from a completely unique and beautiful vantage point, experiencing an infinite amount of moments of connecting with nature all while looking like a baddie, and having the time of your life? 

We may be biased, but truth will always be truth, and the fact of the matter is that paddle boarding is worth every penny you pay because it's an experience that will keep giving for decades.

In addition to being an enjoyable recreational paddle board, inflatable SUPs are more efficient in general because of the advantages of stability and mobility. Nonetheless, hardboards can have a technical advantage that makes them worth consideration.

Inflatable boards are similar to a solid board because on both you are able to paddle around on the water and connect with nature while enjoying the sun, but the difference between the two is noticeable to advanced paddlers. 

Glide Inflatable SUPs are higher performing than rigid boards because of the 3 layers of PVC which make them ultra-durable, portable for any car or situation, various storage possibilities, and safety advantages. 

With a Glide inflatable O2 Retro all around paddle board it's even more of an advantage because your board is fit for any SUP activity and has great quality that will last you 10x longer than competing boards which makes it eco-friendly.

stand up paddle board

The best board size

Stand up paddle boards can be found ranging anywhere from 6' to 12'6+. The board length really isn't what will make it harder or easier to paddle board, which in turn means that it's not about your height for length but actually your height for width. 

You must select an inflatable paddle board that will have sufficient weight and experience to float the person correctly. The board will be placed lower into the water which causes more drag and therefore the paddler will not get much acceleration at speed.

Tip: Keep an eye on the additional load of your luggage. If one is looking at taking SUPs on fishing trips, they should be more buoyant and more stable. The fact that it is too light for boards shouldn't cause any problems to the rider.

SUP Board Volume and Weight Capacity

Depending on how thick and wide, the paddle board has a volume and weight to it. The weight of the paddle board will tell you how much it's capable of moving and carrying around. The larger in volumes, the heavier the board will hold. If your SUP style will most likely end up as a relaxing, exploring type we're you take out your entire family then you'll need a stand up paddle board with high board volume.

All inflatable stand up paddle boards have a weight capacity, as do solid boards. The weight capacity on the O2 inflatable Retro 10'6" is 400 lbs because the volume of the board is 290 L. Whereas, the Retro 10'6" hard boards can only hold up to 210 lbs because its volume is 185 L. All the Glide inflatable SUP have a larger volume which will fit a variety amount of weights.

SUP Board Length and Width

Generally speaking, the length of boards determines what the paddlers are able to handle. A longer board usually moves at faster speeds than a short paddle board. When you're trying to decide what length of SUP your should buy or rent out, think about what you're going to use the stand up paddle board for. The length may increase its size and capacity which will give it more stability and allow you to have more maneuverability. 

In addition to board length is the width to take into consideration. The bigger the stand up paddle board width the more stable feel, which in turn means the skill level can be lower. If you're taking your entire family or friends out, there would be various amounts of skill levels that need to be accommodated. You'll want to look for a stand up paddle board that has a planing hull which is a flat and wide SUP that is best for flat water and leisure paddling. This shape will give you a smooth ride and help you cover long distances and improve efficiency with minimal effort.

This board can be found in the O2 Retro Inflatable Stand up paddle board. It is an all around paddle board that can do every SUP activity, such as, surf, SUP racing, fishing, yoga, and touring.

stand up paddle board

Now for those of you that already have your own SUP then let's go over how you can best prepare for the SUP Summer of your dreams.

Preparing your body

Workouts for building SUP strength

Whether you're focused on being the best paddler you can be or just enjoy casual paddle boarding, you will see some benefit. The most important thing about paddle boarding is that it is fun. Keep it that way, and you'll be more likely to keep doing it, regardless of your fitness goals. The second most important thing is to maintain good form at all times. That will stop you from developing any bad paddling habits and maximize the benefits you get whether you're taking it easy or trying to cover as much distance as quickly as possible.

Are there “better” workouts out there? Of course. But few are as enjoyable as paddle boarding compared to stale gym workouts. Practicing SUP safely and mindfully will positively impact your mood and mental health as much as your physical condition. Check out our Fitness blog collection to learn more about different ways to improve your strength for stand up paddle boarding.

Best practices to improve your SUP balance

Commit to doing these balance exercises 3 times a week and you will notice a huge improvement in your balance the next time you are on your SUP. 

Core Training

 

balance tips for SUP

Most people don’t think of their core as providing much in the way of balance but because it ties your lower and upper extremities together, a weak core will collapse the Jenga Tower that is your body.  29 muscles make up your core which is why the core is so integral in giving us our sense of balance.  

To develop core strength, you will want to invest in a few accessories: a balance ball, a Bosu ball, a training band, and an Indo board. Starting with the balance ball, try holding a plank for a minute with your elbows and forearms resting on the ball.

Once you have mastered this move, try, and straddle the ball with your knees digging into it and hold this position for 1 minute.

You may need a wall to stabilize yourself initially and you will want to make sure that your landing involves carpet or padding.  

After a few weeks of mastering the balance ball, you should be ready for the Bosu ball.

paddle boarding exercises

Put the round surface on the floor and stand with both feet on the flat surface. 

Once you have mastered balancing on the Bosu ball, grab a 10 lb dumbbell and try doing bent over rows on the Bosu. Once this is no longer a challenge, switch to one legged bent over rows.  Now you should be ready for the Indo board. 

Start slowly on the Indo board and focus on maintaining your balance.  Once you’ve conquered this, tie one end of your resistance band to something stable like a doorknob and the other end around the blade of your paddle. 

While maintaining your balance on the Indo board, “paddle” as you normally would letting the band provide the resistance. Switch sides every five paddles or so.

Jumping Side Squats

 

SUP exercises

This move will challenge your core, lower body, and sense of balance. All of which are extremely important for paddle board fitness.

It's a great combination of squats and cardio as well. Place your left foot in the center of the Bosu with your right foot parallel to your left on the floor. Bend down into a squat position, clasping your hands in front of you for balance.

In one quick motion, jump sideways to your left, over the Bosu, so your right foot replaces your left in the center of the Bosu. Your left foot should be parallel to your right but on the floor.

Keep your body low in a squat as you plant your foot on the ground. Jump back over the Bosu, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Do 3 sets of 10.

Lower Body 

stand up paddle board

Keeping your glutes and quads strong is very important to maintaining good balance on your SUP.  We recommend that you practice body weight one legged squats and eventually work your way up to “pistol squats” where one leg stays out in front of the body while the other let squats down as low as you can comfortably go. 

Start by squatting to a seated position on a couch and then pushing yourself up again with the one leg.  The goal is to be able to squat low enough that your glutes are within 6 inches or so of the floor.  This exercise will get your legs incredibly strong but balance on a SUP requires that you work the muscles in your ankles and feet as well.

best practices to improve your stand up paddle boarding

You’ve got 100 muscles in your feet but whoever thinks about strengthening them?  Here are some simple exercises that will take you about 5 minutes to complete. 

Sit barefoot in a chair and push your toes into the floor without curling them for about 6-7 seconds, repeat 5-10 times per foot. 

Next try spreading your toes apart for a few seconds and then squeeze them back together again. Repeat 5 times on each foot. 

Next flex your toes up towards your ankle and then move them down towards the floor and pretend that you are using them to grab a ball, also using the ball of your foot to grab “the ball”.

You will end up with your feet pointing towards the floor. Then flex them back towards your ankle and repeat the process five times per foot.  

Next, reverse this movement. Start with your toes curled up and facing the floor and flex them up towards your ankle. Repeat 5 times.

Bosu Ball Squats

stand up paddle board Core strengthening SUP workout

These squats are a great place to start your workout as working your biggest muscles first will get your blood flow to warm up the smaller muscles that you will be hitting next.

These are harder than they look so we suggest having something nearby that you can grab if you start to go down until you get a feel for your balance on the Bosu Ball.

If your balance just isn’t there yet, we suggest that you start with the flat side down and squat on the ball portion. Start with bodyweight squats and shoot for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Once you have mastered the body weight squats, try doing “Goblet Squats” whereby you hold a kettlebell by the handles or a dumbbell by the top weight in front of you to really challenge yourself. The side-to-side motion of the Bosu ball mimics the motion of a paddle board incredibly well.

Upper Body 

Believe it or not, having strong upper body muscles will help keep you stable on your SUP as well. Since your paddle acts as a lever that keeps you connected to the water and therefore helps with balance, you will want to make sure that your shoulders and upper back muscles are strong as well. Rear deltoid exercises are a great way to hit both areas of the body. Using two dumbbells, hinge at the waist slightly while keeping a slight arch in your lower back and bend your elbows and move the weights away from each other while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Repeat 8 times and rest and then do two more sets.

Stability Ball Chest Press

stand up paddle board SUP Training

 

The stability ball chest press strengthens the shoulders, triceps, and chest muscles and it also requires you to engage your core for stabilization and we all know that keeping the core engaged will allow you to be more proficient on the paddleboard.

This exercise allows your triceps and chest to move through a broader range of motion than a basic floor press, targeting your chest to a greater degree. This exercise can also be done with either dumbbells or kettlebells.

Shoot for 3 sets of 10 reps. Start with a very light weight until you feel comfortable with the instability of the platform.

BOSU Shoulder Press

stand up paddle board balance workout

This one will really test your balance and agility while working your core to the max.

Start with your arms as pictured and push the weights over your head. We recommend that you first try this with the flat side of the Bosu Ball on the ground until you are comfortable with your balance. 3 sets of 10 again.

Once you have mastered this exercise, you will be able to master any kind of rough waters on your SUP.

Preventing SUP injuries

Foam Rolling

Knowing how to use a foam roller is key because after a season of SUP, your forearms, shoulders and calves are probably fairly tight.

A great way to prevent injuries to is to use the foam roller for myofascial release in these areas. Calves tend to tighten up because they are smaller muscles but critical to keeping your balance in rough waters.

Here are some excellent rolling excellent foam roller moves for your lower body. Tight forearms can be caused by gripping the paddle too tightly and can be problematic because they can lead to elbow pain.

Men’s Journal has some great mobility exercises to fix these issues. Shoulder injuries can occur when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become trapped and compressed against the acromion or roof of the shoulder, commonly affecting the supraspinatus tendon.

To roll out your shoulders and traps, try this.

shop inflatable paddle boards

Strength and Balance Training

Because so many of the physical benefits that SUP bestows upon us are due to the fact you are using many of your muscles to propel the paddle board while you are using some less familiar muscles to balance you on the same board.

We recommend that you create a strength program that incorporates unstable platforms like: Bosu balls, Indo boards, and balance balls while you do your SUP strength training.

 stand up paddle board

Gear up with SUP Accessories

Thankfully, a Stand Up Paddle Board is a versatile sport! It has all types of various activities and extensions you can even add to the board itself. It’s best to start by identifying what specific branch you enjoy the most. Some examples of that could be Fishing on a SUP, Whitewater paddle boarding, Touring around Oceans or Lakes, SUP Surfing, SUP Yoga, SUP Camping, taking your dog or friends out on the water, just to name a few!

Functional Stand Up Paddle Board Gear

Electric Pumpelectric pump for inflatable paddle board

For an inflatable paddle boarder, this is an absolute must-have. If you do not have this we strongly suggest getting a seamless setup that will help you get out on the water faster. It’ll save you so much energy that can now be focused on the actual paddling.

Where to buy it: Glide Paddlesports

Price: $130

The Glide Electric Paddle Board Pump inflates to 12 PSI in less than 10 minutes and deflates the board for easy packing post-paddle. It simply plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and will stop automatically when reached to set PSI.

Electric Pump Portable Battery

 

electric pump battery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we just mentioned, having an Electric Pump is essential for any paddle boarder with an inflatable. The Electric Pump Portable Battery is an add-on accessory that will allow paddlers to inflate and deflate their inflatable board anywhere such as, near the water, on a hiked location, etc. To explain it simply the Portable Battery acts as your car battery/cigarette lighter in your car.

Where to buy it: Glide Paddlesports

Price: $75

We know this can come across as too confusing to non-paddlers, but to answer the question in your mind, no, the portable battery does not need to be purchased for the Electric Pump to work. The Electric Pump will simply just plug into your car if no Portable Battery was in possession. If you want to see how it works check out our quick YouTube tutorial.

Waist Personal Floatation Device (PFD) 

 

waist life jacket pfd for paddle boarding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every State in the US has various laws and regulations for PFD’s for stand up paddle boarders. Most States will fine you a large sum of money if you get caught paddle boarding without your life jacket. If you’re interested to learn more about lifejacket laws then check out our SUP Safety Requirements Mandated by Law in the US article.

Where to buy it: Amazon

Price: $67 

This is an especially good accessory for those who do SUP Yoga, and relaxed flatwater paddle boarding, as it won't be restrictive or in your way during either activity.

Dry Bag

 

dry bag for paddle boarding

This is a great gift that most paddlers don't realize how much they needed it until they have it. Dry bags are waterproof bags that provide peace of mind that nothing else can do. Most, if not all, dry bags will not only keep your things from getting wet, but will also float for a moment that will give you time to grab in the case of the bag falling off your board. 

Where to buy it: Amazon

Price: $10-40

In cases like having your board tipped over, this is what will save you and your valuables from suffering a big loss. There are so many options for Dry Bags on Amazon that vary in color, function, and looks. Some have straps so it's a backpack, some have extra storage spaces to put something like your water bottle secure, etc.

Cooler

 

Stand up paddle boarding can be a hazardous activity if you don't stay hydrated. Having a cooler with ice, drinks, and snacks to share, and that's made to attach to your iSUP is highly underrated. 

Where to buy it: Glide Paddlesports

Price: $139

Our Glide coolers can hold up to 16QT (15L) and come in 4 different colors, Blue, Orange, Tan, and White. With so many options to choose from, I don't see how you could go wrong.

Anchor Pole

This Anchor Pole attaches to your inflatable paddle board with the rope and carabiner, the sharp end of the pole will be stuck in the ground with the handle side sticking out of the water for your adjustments. It can be broken down into 3-pieces for storage.

Where to buy it: Glide Paddlesports

Price: $89

This is perfect for paddle boarders who love SUP Fishing, paddle board yoga, or hanging out with friends on SUPs.

Paddler empowerment

Now that we've covered favorable gear that just about any paddle boarder would love to have. Let's get into some fun and functional accessories or toys that you could get.

Waterproof Phone Case

 

waterproof phone case sup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a budget friendly accessory that also provides a lot of various options to choose from. This is great idea since most paddlers should have their phone on them when they go paddle boarding, but get nervous that it might slip and sink to the bottom of a lake. Just make sure you get the right sized case for your phone.

Where to buy it: Amazon

Price: $10

An additional add onto this idea would be to get a Floating Strap that you can attach to the waterproof phone case to prevent any sinkage. Floating Straps usually cost around $10.

Waterproof Speaker

 

best waterproof speakers for paddle boarding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you love going out to unknown SUP spots, uncrowded bodies of water, or paddle boarding with friends, then you have got to get a Waterproof Speaker. 

Where to buy it: Amazon

Price: $50

My personal favorite Waterproof Speaker brand is JBL and it's the one I use nearly every time I go paddle boarding. However there are other options on Amazon so check that out if you want a cheaper speaker.

Waterproof Headphones

waterproof headphones for paddle boarding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are best for paddlers that often go solo-paddle boarding, SUP Fishing, or Touring around. These waterproof headphones are made for swimmers, and they don't go directly in your ears which is a safety precaution for your physical health, but additionally it's also important to make sure you're not unable to hear your surroundings when you're solo paddle boarding.

Where to buy it: Amazon

Price: $70

As mentioned before, these are made for swimmers so there will be no problems with it being in the water and will have good grip as to not fall off.

Finding spots to Paddle Board

The best part of owning an inflatable sup is that you can take it literally anywhere. It can be in the back of your car for a road trip, your carry-on on an airplane, on your back on a hike to a secluded SUP spot on tranquil waters.

Although weather conditions can affect your paddling trips, SUPs can be pretty much used anywhere. Lakes, the Ocean, Bays, Rivers, etc. An all around board performs well on all bodies of water. We have created lists of our best recommendations of Places to SUP that will help get you started.

stand up paddle board

It is important for us to mention that there are private property, laws against non-motorized boats, and other local rules. Some states need you to have your board registered to not be fined.

While you're at it, make sure to check out our Ultimate Guide on Finding Places to Paddle Board Near You.

Conclusion

With the Summer coming so close it's best to start these practices or get your hands on your very own paddle board while you can! Preparation is key to having a successful SUP Summer and building the habit of going while the weather is at its best!

Contact us with any questions you may have any time at info@glidesup.com or at 888-927-9405

 

Related Topics

SUP Tips for Beginners

The Ultimate Guide On Finding Places to Paddle Board Near You

Five Great Winter SUP Fishing Spots

Your Comprehensive Guide to Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Worth It?