The most easy, popular family watersport anyone can do

The newest adventure craze is easy for anyone to enjoy!

Stand-up paddleboarding, also known as SUP, is one of the fastest-growing watersports, and it’s easy to understand why. You can learn in minutes, and then you get to explore lakes and rivers.

What is SUP?

Stand-up paddle boards look like giant surfboards. In fact, SUP is a sister sport to ocean surfing. Like ocean surfing, you stand on the board, but instead of letting the water move you, you use a long paddle to steer. You are the engine that moves and maneuvers the board.

There are different styles of boards for flatwater and whitewater, but the boards are typically very stable— so stable, in fact, that many people now do yoga on stand-up paddleboards. SUP is fun for families too, because you can let the little ones ride as passengers or learn how to captain their own board.

Learning how to SUP is super easy. You’ll have to figure out your balance and learn a few paddle strokes, but it’s so fun that you can learn everything you need in one afternoon. The worst that can happen is that you’ll fall off the board, and then you’ll just be refreshed from a quick swim.

Paddling on lakes is calming and fun, and learning how to paddle whitewater can be a fun challenge. Either way you can enjoy paddling and exploring while you work on your tan.

Start your SUP adventure!

In and near the National Parks of West Virginia, we have amazing waterways to explore on a stand-up paddleboard.

Local outfitters let you rent or buy SUP boards and equipment, and you can even get instruction from a professional guide so you can get tips and tricks to maneuver your board— plus discover all the best spots!

The Summersville Lake is the perfect place to begin paddling. It’s sparkling blue waters and cliffsides offer inviting scenery, and aside from some ripples from passing boats, you’ll have relatively flat water to practice on.  

For slightly more adventurous paddlers, SUP is also popular in the New River Gorge Area, in some of the smaller the New River rapids.

Join in on the Annual New River Gorge SUP Race, which is open to practically anyone— even if you’ve never picked up a paddle before! You get professional instruction, demos and 2 races to test your skills: a downstream race and upstream attainment race. And of course a post-race party to celebrate your victories with your co-racers!

Have you tried SUP yet?