Training for the Long Haul: Endurance Training on Stand Up Paddle Boards

What is Endurance Training on SUPs?

Endurance training on Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) involves engaging in extended periods of paddle boarding to improve one's stamina, balance, strength, and overall physical performance. This training method leverages the sport's inherent whole-body engagement and adaptability to a variety of environments, enhancing not only the participant's endurance but also their mental resilience.

Key Highlights

  1. Understanding Endurance Training on SUPs: Engage in prolonged paddle boarding sessions to boost stamina, balance, and physical performance, embracing the sport's full-body workout potential.
  2. Choosing the Right Paddle Board: Decide between inflatable and solid paddle boards based on personal preference, training location, and logistical needs. Highlight the growing popularity of inflatable boards for their convenience and versatility.
  3. Paddle Board Dimensions Matter: Select boards with optimal length, width, and thickness for stability and speed, crucial for enduring training sessions.
  4. Endurance Training Techniques: Gradually increase paddling duration and distance, incorporate interval training, and focus on developing core strength for improved stamina.
  5. Safety and Preparation: Emphasize the importance of wearing life jackets, using leashes, and understanding weather and water conditions for a safe training experience.
  6. Additional Training Tips: Explore cross-training opportunities like SUP yoga and paddle boarding with dogs to enhance physical and mental endurance.
  7. Mental Strength in Endurance Training: Develop mental resilience by engaging with the therapeutic aspects of paddling and focusing on the rhythmic movements and sounds of water.
  8. Recovery and Nutrition: Underline the significance of proper recovery and nutrition to support muscle repair and growth essential for endurance training.

Before you dive into any endurance training regimen, the most important thing to consider is your equipment. Picking the right stand-up paddle board (SUP) is crucial to your success and enjoyment on the water.

woman carrying an inflatable sup board

Inflatable vs. Solid Boards

There are two main types of paddle boards to choose from: inflatable and solid. Inflatable paddle boards are known for their portability and durability. They’re easy to transport and store, making them a convenient option. On the other hand, solid boards typically offer better speed and performance, which is something experienced paddlers might prefer.

For endurance training, the choice between an inflatable and a solid paddle board really depends on your personal preference, where you plan to paddle, and how you’ll store and transport your board. If you’ll be training in various conditions, an inflatable board might be more suitable because of its adaptability and ease of transportation. Interestingly, inflatable boards are becoming more popular and are expected to surpass solid boards in sales by 2030.

Paddle Board Dimensions

The size of your paddle board – its length, width, and thickness – significantly affects its performance. Longer boards are generally faster and better suited for lengthy, challenging paddles, while wider boards offer more stability, which is great for beginners or those looking to do SUP yoga.

For endurance training, you’ll want a board that’s stable, easy to handle, and capable of slicing through the water efficiently. Glide offers a variety of lightweight paddle boards that are ideal for long training sessions. Their boards are designed to be stable and comfortable, which is essential for spending extended periods on the water.

Endurance Training Techniques

Once you’ve chosen your perfect SUP, it’s time to focus on your training. Building stamina on a paddle board, like any endurance training, takes time, patience, and consistency. Start by gradually increasing the length of your paddling sessions. If you’re a beginner, you might start with 20- to 30-minute sessions, then add 5 to 10 minutes as your strength and stamina improve.

Endurance training isn’t about speed – it’s about distance. Keep a steady, consistent pace that allows you to paddle for longer periods without tiring quickly. Over time, you’ll find yourself able to maintain this pace for longer sessions, boosting your overall stamina and fitness.

Developing Core Strength

paddling a paddle board

A key aspect of endurance training on a paddle board is developing core strength. Paddle boarding engages your core muscles for balance and movement, making it a fantastic full-body workout. To enhance your core strength, incorporate exercises that target these muscles into your training routine.

Paddle Longer Distances

Endurance training also involves gradually increasing the distances you paddle. This will help build your stamina and resilience. Remember to pace yourself to avoid overexertion or injury.

Interval Training

Interval training on a paddle board can be highly effective. This involves alternating between high-intensity paddling and periods of rest or low-intensity paddling. It’s a great way to improve both your speed and endurance over time.

Safety and Preparation

Life Jackets and Leashes

No matter your skill level, safety should always be a priority. Always wear a life jacket and use a leash attached to your board. Life jackets provide buoyancy if you fall into the water, and leashes keep your board from drifting away.

Weather and Water Conditions

Understanding and respecting weather and water conditions is vital when training for endurance SUP. Factors like wind direction, speed, water currents, and temperature can significantly affect your performance and safety.

Additional Training Tips

Paddle boards are not just for endurance training – they’re also great for cross-training activities.

Paddle Boarding with Dogs

Bringing your dog along for a paddle can be a fantastic bonding experience and a fun way to diversify your training. Make sure to introduce your dog to the board gradually, ensure their safety, and make the experience enjoyable for both of you.

SUP Yoga

SUP yoga combines the calming practice of yoga with the challenge of maintaining balance on a paddle board. It can enhance your core strength, flexibility, and balance, all of which are crucial for endurance training.

Mental Strength and Endurance Training

Endurance training isn’t just about physical stamina; it also requires mental resilience. Paddling for extended periods can be mentally challenging. Developing a strong mindset is a crucial part of your training. Focusing on the rhythmic movement of paddling and the soothing sounds of the water can be a form of moving meditation, helping you build mental endurance along with physical stamina.

Recovery and Nutrition

Finally, don’t forget the importance of recovery and nutrition. No matter how rigorous your training, your body needs time to rest and recover for muscle repair and growth. A balanced diet that fuels your body with the necessary nutrients is equally important.


man on a stand up paddle board

Endurance training on paddle boards can be a rewarding experience that combines fitness, adventure, and the tranquility of being out on the water. As you prepare for this challenge, remember the importance of choosing the right equipment, training progressively, and prioritizing safety. With dedication, consistency, and a love for the sport, you’ll see your endurance grow over time.

(Note: Be sure to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new fitness regimen. This guide is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice.)