We love SUP for many reasons. We can relax in the fresh air and calm down in nature. It’s also a way to meet people who value spending time actively. Instead of meeting for a coffee, we can jump on the boards. One of the best things about SUPing is the simplicity with which this inflatable board allows you to experience great adventures – regardless of where you go. Why not extend the trip to a few days? As it turns out, it is not easy to find hints on how to organise such a boarding trip online. We’d like to share with you how to prepare for a journey, how to plan a route, and how to pack.
The most important thing is the route itself. You need to find out about the nature of the canal or the river on which you plan to sail. Do you have to carry a lot? How strong is the current? Is the water level high enough to swim comfortably without damaging the fin? Think about these and determine if any other obstacles are to be expected – river thresholds, rapids, or locks, you name it. Kayaking guides and blogs about canoeing trips can come in handy.
The number of kilometres we are able to cover with SUP during the day is not only influenced by the weather and winds. The type of board you have is super important, as are the waters you plan to sail on. In relatively solid water, such as lakes or canals, you will move more slowly. The average speed with loaded boards all around on the canals tends to be 3-4 km/h, and on rivers, where the current also carries you, they are a bit faster. Overall, more than 30 km daily distance will mean you have little more time than paddling and eating breaks.
Make sure to monitor the weather forecast. In the case of SUPing, it is of key importance. Nobody wants to row in cold and rain or spend a night in a tent. But while you can still prepare for rain and low temperatures, and then grumble and groan, persevere, and keep pushing forward, the strong wind can make you basically stand still. Of course, backwind is a great helper, but if it blows in your face on longer stretches, it can be a serious problem. You can check the strength and direction of the wind on apps such as https://www.windy.com. Retreating to safe areas can often take a long time, so it’s better to plan your day in advance.
Before leaving, find out as much as possible about the condition of the river you want to go to. Check the current water level. If it is too low, the trip may be completely impossible. SUP needs more space between the board and the bottom for its fin; otherwise, it can get caught on sand and stones. And with too high a level and flood warnings, it is simply unsafe and unreasonable.
During these few days of rafting, you have to sleep somewhere. Of course, as with many similar projects, you can focus on camping, hotels, guesthouses, or (and this is definitely an option that gives a lot more freedom) wild camping. Your daily distances may vary significantly. Spending a night in the wild brings more adventure to any trip and allows a little more spontaneity in planning. And what is very important, you can be right by the water all the time, without having to carry the boards and all these bags that come with SUP and make for quite a luggage. You can plan in advance and, for example, observe the layout of the area on Google Maps by clicking on the satellite image.
Depending on how much time you plan to travel, you can pack all your food supplies or count that you’ll buy food on the way. In the latter case, a companion will definitely come in handy, who will be able to keep an eye on the planks and luggage.
The second issue is clean drinking water. You use a lot of it, especially on hot days. The water weighs a lot, and a larger number of bottles is inconvenient to string on a board. If you are planning a longer trip and want to be as self-sufficient as possible, you should think about a water bladder or a water filter.
How do you pack for a SUP expedition? Of course, the basis will be dry bags, in which you can put all the necessary things. Buying multifunctional equipment that will work not only during one activity will not only make you spend less money on your outdoor equipment but also helps you take a more conscious approach to your shopping choices.
The dry bags will serve you to keep things that are most useful during the day, such as an action cam. We believe you want to save these unforgettable moments, not only in your memories. You can fix your action cam on your SUP and get a breathtaking chronicle of your journey.
Some other things to put into the dry bag: cell phone, sunscreen, extra layers of clothes and towel, some snacks to eat. Additionally, you need a bottle of water and shoes.
Don’t forget to take spare fins for SUP. You may need them in case they break during transportation or inaccurate handling.
A repair kit is also a good idea. It will help you to fix some small breakings and go forward.
An ankle leash is one of the mandatory items on your packing list. Always take a spare leash to avoid additional expenses during your journey.
What Else Is Worth Packing?
Although long SUP journeys may seem not so easy to organise, having an adventure, discovering new things, taking a break from your routine, and having unique memories are guaranteed.
We are always happy to read about your SUP adventures. Don’t hesitate to share your stories and photos with our community!
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