The Radar: SUP Summer

An excellent full body work-out and zen hybrid sport all rolled in to one.

Photo courtesy of Wonderlane via FlickrGet your daily dose of fitness while attempting to finally achieve that coveted Seattleite farmer’s tan as you paddle your way around the Northwest’s many waterways. Fun, easy to learn, and requiring very minimal gear–SUP, stand up paddle boarding or surfing, has quickly become a popular summer sport and all-around fantastic work-out.

Tracing its’ roots back to surfing in Hawaii in the late 1960’s–this sport is more versatile than surfing in that it can be done on virtually any body of water–river, lake, ocean, pond–you name it and you can probably SUP on it. Stand up paddle boarding is essentially surfing without the surf, with the addition of an over-sized paddle that helps you propel yourself through the water sans waves or current.

More recently, the sport has gained notoriety as an effective cardio and core strengthening work-out, equally popular as a cross-training tool for athletes as well as anyone looking for some fun and relatively straight forward recreation in the sun.

Photo courtesy of MikeBaird via FlickrItching to get out on the water and give it a try? Here are a number of places around the city that offer board rentals by the hour or by the day, as well as beginning individual or group SUP classes.

Urban Surf | 2100 North Northlake Way | (206) 545-9463

Urban Surf provides stand up paddle board rentals for $25 for two hours, $35 for overnight (7pm-10am), and $50 for a full day.  They also offer beginning group lessons for $60 per person.

Greenlake Boat Rentals | 7351 East Green Lake Drive North | (206) 527-0171

You can rent a paddle board here for $17 an hour–and once you’ve tried it and loved it, they’ll even graciously let you buy your own.

Northwest Outdoor Center | 2100 Westlake Ave N Ste 1 | (206) 281-9694

NWOC provides stand up paddle board rentals as well as an introductory class. Rentals are $15 an hour and the group introductory class ($30) takes place every Thursday night out on Lake Union.

Surf Ballard | 6300 Seaview Avenue NW | (206) 726-7878

Surf Ballard offers SUP board rentals for $30 for two hours, $60 for a full day (week days) and $100 for a full day on weekends. All board rentals include a paddle–wetsuits are an additional $5 charge for those who aren’t sure they can brace themselves with a dip in our less-than temperate waters.