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SUP Essentials
So you want to start Stand Up Paddleboarding. 
Just how do you learn to SUP?
1) Do I need to take a class to learn to SUP?

The short answer is it depends. Are you a strong swimmer and aren't afraid to fall into what initially may seem to be cold water? Do you have any balance issues relating to a prior illness or injury? Are you the type that can watch a few videos on YouTube and figure out how to do something? Do you have access to a SUP that is appropriate for your size, physical ability and paddling style? If you do decide to go with a rental only for your first SUP experience, we will give you the very basic instructions to keep you safe on the water. However, depending on your answers to the questions listed above, you might find that the small increase in the cost of a lesson above the cost of a rental is money well spent. You can find out more details about out Intro to SUP classes under the SUP Instruction tab.

2) Leashes and PFDs (lifejackets)

Please watch this ACA produced video, "SUP: Leashes & Lifejackets - When to Wear, When Not to Wear."  This video will demonstrate what type of leash and lifejacket to use when you Stand Up Paddleboard. Some of the rules and recommendations regarding these pieces of equipment may surprise you.

Surf'SUP Colorado's take: All regulated water in Colorado requires a PFD to be worn or placed on your SUP. Some lake managers are now requiring that PFDs must be physically worn when using a single chamber inflatable SUP. When in doubt ask a ranger what their regulations require. We recommend that for all flatwater paddling a PFD should actually be worn. That is why for good swimmers we recommend using an inflatable PFD, such as the MTI Fluid. It's design allows for total freedom of movement for paddling while still providing emergency floatation when it is needed. Once you have worn the inflatable PFD for a few minutes you will hardly notice that you have it on. For weak swimmers, cold water, and river paddling a foam PFD is a must. Cold water shock can quickly incapacitate you and strong river currents can hold you under water for much longer than you can hold your breath. Watch the ACA video. It will help you make an informed decision about the use of a PFD and leash. If you still have questions give us a call. We're here to help. 

3) Staying Safe While Stand Up Paddleboarding

4) How to Get Back Onto a Paddleboard