3 Do’s and Dont’s For Beginner Standup Paddleboarders

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016

standup paddle boarding movie

Brittany Parker and KB Brown chat about the wave in Idaho. Photo: Heather Jackson

Being new and trying to fit into a tight knit community like the river surfing scene can feel like you’re trying to pry the cool kids password from the jaws of a navy seal. Feeling like you’re the awkward black sheep in the lineup? Here’s a few suggestions from one SUPer to anyone new to the river SUP community.

DON’T act a fool. If you’re not sure how to act or where to start, ask someone. In my experience 99.99% of the SUP community is super friendly people who are more than happy to show you the ropes. Don’t be too proud or stubborn to ask what proper etiquette is.

DON’T go by yourself. I don’t care who you are, being on the river alone is asking for trouble, especially for a beginner. And don’t assume that because you’re in a manicured whitewater park you’re exempt from harm.

DON’T disrespect the river. And I mean this in a few different ways- Do not litter, do not put others in danger, don’t be a self-glorifying know-it-all, and never forget the unrelenting power of the river.

DO keep trying! River surfing is a dirty son of a gun. It will chew you up just to spit you out with your dignity hanging on by a broken fin. BUT the moment you get your first good surf, it’ll all be worth it!

DO integrate yourself. River surfing is not a closed community. We want to meet you, we want to help you, we want to watch you become yet another addict willing to do questionable things in the name of river surfing.

DO find a way to give back. Whether it’s grabbing some snacks for the strangers you’re sharing a wave with, lending a helping hand for a heavy board, or sharing your new found knowledge with someone greener than you, remember that we are a small community that wishes not to remain small, but to remain kind, supportive, and true to our roots.

Remember, being a beginner is awkward, but being clueless is totally avoidable. River surfing and river SUP is a fast growing community with a lot to offer, so be apart of it in the best way! Keep our community friendly, responsible, and badass!

Share your beginner river surfing stories with us and comment below! Embarrassing or epic we want to hear about it. The best story could be featured on our Facebook page!

Check out more river SUP information and fun on our blog, or watch our river standup paddle boarding movie and get excited about the summer!

Written by Heather Jackson