You’ve heard the buzz and read the magazine articles. Maybe you’ve even seen some stand up paddlers down at the beach or know someone who has hopped on a board. Whatever your exposure to Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), the odds are pretty good that it has piqued your interest. So what are you waiting for?
Stand Up Paddleboarding, also known as SUP, is the incredible combination of canoeing, kayaking and surfing. Using a canoe-like paddle and standing atop a stable and balanced long board, paddlers propel themselves through the water with smooth alternating strokes. SUP offers an alternative core workout similar to swimming and cycling. In a short time you will become one with water, finding yourself living in the moment. Stand up paddleboarding offers a new perspective of Virginia’s natural surroundings and an escape from your daily stress.
Tangent Outfitters, Pembroke
Paddleboard the New River in Giles County with Tangent Outfitters. The guides offer a variety of tours, including a two-day wilderness paddleboard retreat for those more experienced at SUP and a half-day trip out on the placid Pembroke Pond region of the New River that is ideal for beginners.
Mountain 2 Island, Hiwassee
Rent paddleboards at Claytor Lake from Mountain 2 Island Paddleboarding Company. In addition to rentals, they offer lessons, clinics, and guided tours of the lake. If you want a unique paddleboarding experience, attend one of their frequent events such as SUP yoga, sunset paddleboarding, and SUP with your pup, where your dog can try their “paws” at the sport with you.
Coastal SUP Tours, Virginia Beach
Coastal SUP Tours offers a personalized SUP experience for every group. Take a relaxing tour of First Landing State Park for the beginners, or tour the Bay/Ocean and watch dolphins as they migrate on their daily feeding routines around Cape Henry Point. The Coastal SUP Tours staff strives to provide their customers with a safe, comfortable and relaxing experience. They also offer one-on-one lessons for a more private and focused training.
Black Dog Paddle, Midlothian
Black Dog Paddle brings the fun and excitement of stand up paddleboarding to the James River and many other surrounding waterways in Richmond. Black Dog Paddle offers SUP lessons, fitness classes, ECO-tours, ECO-trips, SUP fishing, SUP yoga and stand up paddle rentals. Black Dog tours the inland waterways, the James River, Dutch Gap, the Chickahominy River, Lake Anna, Lake Chesdin, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Mathews County, and Deltaville on their new, well-balanced (and very fun!) stand up paddleboards.
Outdoor Adventure Experiences, Dayton
Outdoor Adventure Experiences offers introductory expeditions, usually spanning two hours, on flat water. Half-day lessons on small, gentle rapids are also available.
SouthEast Expeditions, Cape Charles
SouthEast Expeditions offers small, introductory lessons to ensure individual attention. Each introductory lesson lasts one hour. A second class is included in the fee, where paddleboarders are able to explore the open waters on their own—perfect for families and group gatherings.
Tula Adventure Sports, Virginia Beach
Home of the Drifter SUP Tour, Tula Adventure Sports is the only downstream paddle in the Virginia Beach area. Paddle along the shoreline of First Landing State Park on Broad Bay and Long Creek—a side of Virginia Beach that not everyone gets to explore. You will be surrounded by beauty while paddling along friendly waters, and getting a little push from the tide. While you’re on the Drifter Tour, you’ll never see the same shoreline twice and never paddle against the current. This paddle is great for first timers and wildlife enthusiasts. Tula also offers lessons (private or group) and rentals.
Riverside Outfitters, Richmond
Ready to see the James River from a whole new perspective? Join Riverside Outfitters’ expert guides on a thrilling instructional trip from Pony Pasture to Reedy Creek (Class I-II whitewater). In this relatively easy whitewater section of the river you will experience a fun, challenging workout among some of the prettiest urban wilderness in the U.S. Come see why Outside Magazine awarded Richmond the “2012 Best River Town in the U.S.A.” The guides provide plenty of instruction (dry land and on-the-water) so that paddleboarders not only have a great trip, but learn skills that can be applied to future paddleboard outings.
Great White Water Sports, Norfolk
Rent a paddleboard and relax and unwind. Great White Water Sports offers tranquil paddle yoga, also known as aqua yoga.
Fredericksburg SUP, Fredericksburg
While you’re discovering Northern Virginia, spend at day at Fredericksburg SUP, where their paddleboarding lessons cater to people of all ages and skill levels. Various lessons are available, as well as tours and sales.
Paddleboarding at Pohick Bay, Lorton
Pohick Bay Regional Park has recently added SUP to their long line of rentals. As part of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the Park is now able to give SUP discounts to residents in the surrounding areas—Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun Counties, City of Alexandria, and Falls Church.