Stand Up Paddleboarding
Hiking, biking, kayaking: When you think about getting outdoors in Alaska, you probably think of these traditionally popular sports. Well, surprise! You can now add the sport of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) to the list of great Alaskan adventures. And it’s absolutely something you should try: it’s the #1 most popular fastest-growing water sport in the world!
What Is It?
For those of you who aren’t entirely familiar with this new-ish sport, here’s the lowdown. The paddleboard is a long, flat board that (as the name suggests) you stand on, and then use a kayak-like paddle to control your speed and direction. Paddleboarding is incredibly versatile, since the board is easily transportable and you can take it on flat water (small ponds or lakes), rivers (gentle or rapids), and oceans (calm coves or surf). And while its popularity in Alaska is relatively new, the sport’s been around for more than a decade, in places like California, Hawaii, and Australia.
Why Try It?
- First off, it’s super fun! Many people who try it once are hooked. Here are some more reasons:
- It’s super easy. Almost anyone can do it, and most people are up and paddling within an hour. (And most SUP outfitters provide beginner lessons for nearly all ages and abilities on specially designed boards.)
- It’s a great whole-body workout. You’ll work your core as well as your arms, legs, feet, and back--and at the same time get a cardio workout that helps with balance. But (bonus!) it’s so much fun that it won’t even feel like a workout.
- Instead of sitting at eye level, like with a kayak or raft, you’ll have a higher vantage point, which lets you take in the surrounding vistas and wildlife in a very different way. You’ll be able to see farther, and in clear waters, deeper.
- Once you get the hang of it, you can even go fishing from your board!
Isn’t It Cold?
Well, paddleboarding may be a more obvious activity in warm-weather destinations. But that’s what makes it so unique up here. And while there’s plenty of chilly water in Alaska, most SUP outfitters supply their clients with either a dry or wet suit (and a dry bag for personal items), so you won’t be cold. Plus, some smaller inland lakes are generally warm from mid- to late summer, so you won’t even need that extra layer.
So what are you waiting for? Give this great sport a whirl in Alaska and see what all the fuss is about! If you're looking for more than a tour, book into Orca Island Cabins in Humpy Cove, a quick boat ride from Seward. There you'll have access to stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks all from your private yurt.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
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