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Dossier: Trend sports

Beginner tips for stand-up paddle boarding

SUP instructor Marc Maurer explains how beginners can get the most out of stand up paddle boarding this summer.

Text: Clau Isenring

Can beginners just grab a board and go or should they do a course first?

It makes sense to do an introductory course in order to master the basic techniques. This way, you’ll have more fun and cover greater distances. It’s also important to learn the right-of-way and safety rules and what to do in case of emergency or strong winds.

Where are the best places for paddle boarding in Switzerland?

There are loads of places around Switzerland where you can go paddle boarding today, and there’s at least one SUP rental station on all larger lakes.

What age can you start paddle boarding?

Depending on size and strength, children can start paddle boarding between the age of nine or ten. There’s no upper age limit. In cooperation with physiotherapists we’ve developed a form of balance training on SUP boards geared specifically towards older people.

“There are loads of places around Switzerland where you can go paddle boarding today, and there’s at least one SUP rental station on all larger lakes.”

How do you choose the right board?

There are inflatable boards, hard-shell boards, race boards, boards with rowing attachments. Every board handles differently in the water. And a wide range of paddles are available, too. You can choose between heavy and lightweight paddles, carbon, aluminium or wood paddles, flexible or more rigid paddles, single or multi-piece paddles – there are pros and cons to every kind, so be sure to test before you buy.

How much does a good SUP board cost?

Quality inflatable boards cost upwards of around CHF 1,000. Inflatable boards are great, because you can fit them neatly in a rucksack.However, there’s a clear trend today towards hard-shell boards, because you get unpleasant vibrations on inflatables when the water isn’t calm. Good hard-shell boards cost between CHF 1,500 and CHF 2,000. You also have to add the cost of the paddles, which are between CHF 200 and CHF 300.

SUP rental stations in Switzerland