Stand-up paddleboarding for beginners

by Ronnie Juhans
contributing writer

SUP, or stand up paddleboarding, is an outdoor water sports activity in which a rider stands up on a large board and uses a paddle to move through the water. Currently, it is one of the fastest growing boardsports in the world.
This is a very fun sport which you can enjoy locally at Bostalsee, Glan River, Nahe River and smaller bodies of water such as the Gelterswoog located near Vogelweg.
Standing up on the paddle board for the first time made me realize that I needed to work on my balance skills in flowing water and unexpected cross winds after finding myself in the drink on more than one occasion. First timers should start out on calm waters of a pond or lake, as well as kneeling on the board while paddling and eventually standing up slowly.
After hours of practice and getting the basics down with the assistance of a great instructor, I was able to enjoy this amazing sport. I eventually got to the point where I could take my cooler, backpack, and my phone to listen to music without fear of everything being swallowed up.
If you are looking for an adventure sport that also includes a full body workout, give SUP a try. Everything from your core, back, arms, legs, and shoulders are worked the entire time and you will be a bit worn out at the end of the day, depending on your level of fitness.
SUP boards come in all shapes and sizes for ability groups. Beginners should choose a wider and longer board for stability in flat calm waters. This is known as an all-round SUP. Others are designed for specific activities such as fishing, yoga, touring, surfing, and racing.
For those of you like myself who like to incorporate water sports into a camping weekend, I suggest investing in an inflatable SUP. They are great for traveling because they roll up to the size of a sleeping bag, great for beginners, and are very durable. If renting an inflatable SUP, check carefully for leaks before taking off.
As with any outdoor sport that you are trying for the first time I suggest waiting to purchase after taking a lesson which includes sizing of board, paddles, safety equipment and techniques.

Editor’s note: Recently Gelterswoog added a 3€ surcharge per person if you bring your own SUP in addition to the normal entry price, but it was not printed on their price list at the time this article was released. There are many options for SUPing in the area. Check for pricing in advance.

For local SUP organizers, check out the following websites:
Or further afield: