Social Events On A SUP

In General, SUP Activity Recommendations by Perfect Paddles

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Introduction

As the sport of standup paddle boarding continues to grow, outdoor enthusiasts around the globe are beginning to take notice of the unique opportunity SUP offers those looking to spend more time in nature. The sight of a person standing on a board as they float atop the water usually bathes potential enthusiasts in enough curiosity to search out a local paddle shop offering lessons and rentals. And as their experience on the water grows, often their passion for the sport and connection with other fanatics in their area does as well. Quickly recognizing this need, shops and outfitters decided to create activities involving SUP to match their clientele’s appetites. These varied activities all fall under the category of Social Events on our website, Perfect Paddles.

What is a SUP Social Event?

Standup paddle board socials are events held by shops, outfitters, or board companies which bring paddlers from all stages of experience- from beginner to professional- to meet, discuss and revel in all things SUP. Through this inclusivity, social paddles offer beginners the opportunity to quench their curiosity and see what it feels like to stand on the water and paddle. In addition, these events often entail a lesson on the basics of the sport including the correct paddle length, how to hold it, the correct stroke, how to stop and turn around, and of course what to do if you find yourself in the water instead of successfully standing up (a place where everyone finds themselves in the beginning!) Social paddles can take place in any setting, along with a number of activities, whether that may be flat water, river paddling or ocean paddling, but most are held on relatively calm waters in order to be more inclusive for those looking to break into the sport. The events are loose, fun, and a great way to introduce yourself to the local paddling community.

Paddling Community
A unique feature of standup paddle boarding can be found in the creation of community. Despite being labeled as a sport, SUP is not about competition as much as it is about camaraderie. Even in the most competitive sphere of paddling, that being racing, SUP has always carried an aura of both aloha and the idea of stoke. Aloha, which is the Hawaiian word for love or affection, and stoke which essentially means excitement, are the two attributes most clearly identified with the activity. Often, new racing attendees will notice seasoned paddlers encouraging their competitors on instead of actively trying to best them. Each participant effectively becomes a cheerleader, offering advice, a few words of encouragement when fatigue sets in, as well as tips and tricks to improve each other’s paddle strokes and efficiency. And as any amateur or professional will say, paddlers are continuously building a family of like-minded people who enjoy their time on the water and getting others involved despite their skill-level and abilities. Of course, paddling alone can be a relaxing and worthwhile pursuit, but spending time on the water with friends can be even better. And by bringing different people together from a single area to enjoy an outdoor activity, participants are guaranteed to have fun, make new friends, and develop a skill they once thought unattainable.

Different Types of Events

While paddling flat water for a beginner may be fun and exciting, to keep advanced paddlers interested in the social community of SUP, most shops and outfitters have begun to implement new and exciting events to their calendars. In addition, at Perfect Paddles, we have worked together with select shops across the world to offer what we call “Buddy Deals.” By becoming a member on our site and booking your event through us, we offer select discounts for all activities on a SUP. Be sure to sign up and check out what events shops have to offer. It is there you will find a comprehensive list of all activities on a SUP under Social Events, but as a general overview to get the excitement flowing, maybe try one of the experiences as followed.

Social Paddles

Beginners and advanced paddlers can join in a social paddle to introduce each other to the community and help newbies become familiar with being on the water. This loose, laid-back event is great for every skill-level. Paddlers will find themselves on a relatively calm, flat water surface making it easier to paddle and socialize at the same time. The paddling aspect usually lasts from anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour where everyone can become acquainted with the feel of paddling as well as who their fellow paddlers are, where they come from, and how long they have been paddling on a SUP.

Once the paddling section of the event winds down, most shops and outfitters will have a place where paddlers can socialize with one another on land. This may include such accommodations as food and bonfires. It is here where paddlers will really get to know one another, exchange information, and create an additional date to paddle, hang out, and share some laughs. Social paddles are a fun way to learn a new skill, make new friends, and get some exercise.

To take advantage of our Buddy Deals for Social Paddles be sure to check out offerings from:

  • Standup Outfitters in New Bern, North Carolina, where you can receive 10% off rentals
  • Ocean City Paddle Company in Ocean City, New Jersey, to receive 10% off rentals and a buy 1 lesson get 1 lesson free deal, and 10 % off all services at
  • Lakeside Paddles in Fort Worth, Texas for 10% off all services

Beach Cleanup

An additional event for those with an environmental inclination may include a Beach Cleanup day. It is well understood most paddlers have a deep affinity for the bodies of water they enjoy paddling. It is only natural then to have the need to take care of the environment they so much enjoy. An excellent way of combining a love of SUP with the love of the environment is to participate in a beach cleanup event.

These events often include a meetup at a designated beach or other launching point. Those running the event will explain to the paddlers the route they are taking in the water. Once it is agreed upon, paddlers will grab a trash receptable provided by the event or brought along with them. They will then hop onto their boards, follow the route, and keep their eyes open for any pieces of trash they may see along the way. Once it has been spotted, it is up to the paddler to make their way onto the land or in the water, pick up the trash and place it into the receptable, later to be disposed of in the correct place after the paddling has taken place. Paddlers often feel a sense of enjoyment and even more so, a feeling of accomplishment, after participating in a beach cleanup event. And for good reason- as there is an endless supply of trash needed to be removed from the ocean. While this may be only a small way of helping, it is still a way of contributing positive action to the community as whole.

Examples of shops holding Beach Cleanup events include:

  • SUP-Outfitters in Eureka Springs Arkansas, where they offer 15% off their services
  • Lake Life Paddle in Belle Ilse Florida, where paddlers can save up to $5 off any purchase
  • Sea Trek in Sausalito, California, where they offer 10% off all rentals. Or search online for a beach cleanup event in your area!

SUP and Sip

For adult paddlers only! SUP and Sip events include a combination of a standup paddle board and an adult beverage- but usually not at the same time! Otherwise paddlers may be experiencing a swim along with a leisurely paddle.

Outfitters and shops holding these events will guide paddlers through a quick lesson on proper technique and etiquette on the water. Once this is taken care of, an instructor will steer paddlers through one of two options. They may make stops to different bars along the route, where participants can enjoy a beverage while getting to know those along for the ride. Or a paddle will take place where those involved will get some exercise before meeting at one bar where they can reward themselves with some additional carbohydrates in the form of their preferred alcoholic beverage.

An exciting variation on the SUP and Sip event is one in which is held at night. Boards are equipped with LED lights, providing paddlers with adequate illumination on the water where they can trounce around the bay with a group of close friends, stopping at bars along the way to enjoy a few drinks and never-ending laughter.

To find a company offering this fun and exciting event check out:

  • Killin’ It Kayaks in Barberton Ohio where they offer 10% off all services
  • Bluet SUP in Highland Village to receive $10 off events and rentals
  • Petaluma Stand Up Paddle in Petaluma, California offering 10% off all services. Or search for a shop near you online at Perfect Paddles!

 

Sunrise Paddles and Sunset Paddles

Early risers may find the idea of a greeting the sun in the morning while standing on the water an activity worth pursuing. It doesn’t take much imagination to understand how beautiful the activity can be. Start off in the darkness of the previous night and while making your way onto the water, watch the sun slowly rise on the horizon to begin afresh. The stillness of the water combined with the slow streaks of sun branching out to greet the paddler as they push their way through a calm breeze makes for a perfect way to begin a new day.

Or maybe sunrises are only for morning people. No problem. Enjoy a sunset paddle and let the day slip away underneath a clear, orange sky while viewing the moon rise from beyond the dotted landscape. The soft lapping of water splashing against the board is the perfect soundtrack to let worries about work drift away underneath a moving paddle.

Sunset paddles may also be in combination with a SUP and Sip as the dwindling day can be combined with an exciting night held with friends, enjoying a good time, with some fun drinks. Regardless of what shops and outfitters create, the possibilities for attending an interesting day or night of paddling seem to be endless!

Conclusion

Wholly unique to SUP, the sport has kept its roots in community, bringing together like-minded people from all backgrounds and cultures to enjoy the outdoor activity. This aspect of SUP can best be seen by attending a SUP social event. They are an excellent experience to attend for new paddlers looking to break into the sport and connect with others in the area. Centered around inclusion, socials often involve a beginner lesson if the potential paddler has never been on a board and can include many different activities to keep those looking to paddle entertained. So be sure to check out the list of potential spots and events to attend on Perfect Paddles- get out on the water, and become enthralled with an exciting new activity, sharing smiles with paddlers who may soon become life-long friends.

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