By Alicia Dziak
Standup Paddleboarding, also known as SUP, is an outdoor water sport that continues to rise in popularity and involves a rider standing up on a large board and using a paddle to move through the water.
According to surfertoday.com, “SUP is a subclass of paddleboarding, a broader concept that also includes the use of arms while kneeling, lying or standing on a narrow and long paddleboard to move around in the water. Paddleboarding has its roots in Africa, South America and the ancient Polynesian culture. Historians believe that wooden paddleboards were used by 16th-century natives to move from one place to another, and also to catch waves for fun.”
Today, this sport has become a great way to explore area lakes and waterways, including many in Western New York.
If you’re looking to see what it’s all about, Ellicottville’s Adventure Bound on the Fly offers Intro to Stand Up Paddle Boarding on Saturday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Aug. 18 at 9 a.m. Attendees will get 90 minutes of fun and instruction. This class is designed for the first time SUP paddler but also can be a great class to improve your basic paddling and maneuvering skills. It will also focus on board balance, board stance, and optimum foot placement. The class, for ages 12 and up, is $50 per person and includes board, paddle, PFD and instruction. Class size is limited. Please call (716) 217-4047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Head south to Allegany State Park and rent a SUP at the recently-filled Red House Lake. The boathouse is located adjacent to the beach area. Paddle among the rolling hills and wave to beach goers and you explore the lake and paddle around the islands.
If you’re looking for a new kind of SUP activity, try SUP yoga, which combines familiar poses with the added challenge of balancing on the water. SUP Erie Adventures, based in Irving, offers such classes and has been known to partner with Colden’s rSpace studio.
On Saturday, Aug. 18, hang at the Surf and Yoga Festival, a fun and completely free family event at Sunset Bay. They also offer rentals and guided tours with overnight camping options, as well as a variety classes, SUP fishing and even SUP white water. For more info, visit superieadventures.com.
With the expansion of Buffalo’s waterfront over the last decade, it’s no wonder that SUP rental shops have popped up all over the Buffalo River. Check out the grain elevators, the Naval ships and all the sights and sounds of Canalside as you paddle by. Some places to check out:
• Silo City Paddling, located at the Grain Elevator, silocitypaddling.com.
• Buffalo Harbor Kayak, lcoated behind KeyBank Center at Canalside, bfloharborkayak.com.
• Buffalo Riverworks, buffaloriverworks.com.
• Longboards At the Beach and Longboards Paddle Co., LLC, longboardsbeach.com.