Can Pregnant Women SUP Safely?

The topic of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) when pregnant can raise all kinds of questions.

Am I still ok to paddle board if I’m pregnant? Can I learn paddle boarding while pregnant? Are there any additional SUP safety concerns I should be aware of? How many snacks can I stow away on the average-sized SUP board? (stop judging me, I’M PREGNANT!).

The answers will invariably depend on the type of paddling boarding, experience and skill level in question.

inflatable paddle board

There is no one size (or answer) that fits all where your body is concerned. With very few exceptions (such as MMA fighting) – pregnant women can engage in any physical activity they are accustomed to, staying mindful that modifications to the routine may be necessary as the pregnancy advances.

When writing this, we heard of many different types of SUP enjoyed by pregnant women in the Women’s Paddling Community.

Some paddled on sheltered water, some white water, some paddled in the ocean, and some taught SUP yoga.

All had different tips and things to think about if you’re stand up paddle boarding when pregnant. Another striking detail is that most every pregnant woman mentioned that their doctor had strongly encouraged daily exercise.

SUPing while pregnant

Here are 5 reasons SUP during pregnancy could work for you.

1. It’s low-impact so it’s easy on the body.

2. It’s done on the water. So if you fall, you and baby will be ok. Many women swim late into their pregnancies, so adding SUP to swimming can create variety as well.

3. It’s a core workout. It’s harder to work your core while pregnant. The nature of SUP though is that working the core is less strenuous than other workout types.

4. It works everything else too. SUP virtually strengthens every muscle in the body, from your hands to your feet, and everything in between.

5. Variety. Your Glide 02 Retro can become a kayak with the included kayak seat. So, if your balance is thrown off by your belly, sit down, take a load off (literally) and kayak for a bit.

paddle board


SUP might be the among the most pregnancy-friendly activities out there. And though there is no scientific data to support this statistic, over 84% of unborn babies prefer paddle boarding to any other sport.

Is SUP right for you and your pregnancy? That’s entirely up to you.

Our feeling is that there are many factors at play not the least of which is how many children you already have.

If this is your first pregnancy you’re likely to overthink this.

If this is your second child then you are quite likely to feel comfortable SUPing.

If this is your third child or beyond we wouldn’t be surprised to see you cutting up stage 4 rapids on your SUP board. Please wear a helmet though.


Related Topics

Improving Your Fitness With SUP

Paddle Boarding with Kids

Stand Up Paddle Boarding Surges During Pandemic

Paddle boarding in North Carolina