Summer Bucket List: Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Amateur Lab;

Over the course of the next 8 – weeks, the Amateur Lab will be bringing you ideas to add to your summer bucket list.

katlynIf you haven’t heard of the newest self-propelled water sport, you will soon.   Stand Up Paddle boarding, also known as SUP has quickly earned the spotlight in inland and coastal communities alike.  That’s because this sport is done on multiple water courses from lakes to ocean surf.   Of Hawaiian origins, the Hawaiian translation is Ku Hoe He’e Nalu; to stand, to paddle, to surf, a wave.  A popular activity of the Beach Boys band – athletes and non-athletes would stand on long boards and use paddles designed for other devices to go beyond the surf and watch others learning to surf, often snapping photos of unsuspecting tourists.

SUPing offers an amazing full body workout and is an excellent low impact cross training activity for athletes looking to improve their core and upper body strength.  Caloric burn is dependent on tempo and distance – but at average pace on relatively flat water can burn up to 400 calories per hour!   Many rental and lesson locations (like the ones listed below) also offer SUP Pilates and Yoga classes taking your favorite routines from the mat to the board.  Great for building balance, coordination and strength.  When learning the sport, it’s best to start out in ideal conditions – which means flat and gentle waters where technique (vs. just staying upright) is the focus.

For Boston City Dwellers like myself, there are a lot of great options close to home:

Charles River Canoe & Kayak

Pros: Cheap, No Lesson Required for Rental, Great Views of the City from the Charles, Easily accessible from Kendall Square T Stop, Great for Families

Cons: Dirty Charles River Water, No Change of Terrain (all flat water – although great for beginners), Duck Boat Traffic, College Age Staff


Pros: Will host private parties (Bachelorette Parties, etc.), Special Offers (Living Social, Holiday Discounts), Last Minute Reservations, Women’s Only Meet ups, Flat Water and Surf Options, Daytime and Evening options, Professional Staff, Reasonable Pricing

Cons: Clunky Website and Difficult to Book Online


Pros: SUP and Surf Lessons & Rentals, Onsite Surf Shop, Professional Staff, Easy to Navigate Website, Private, Semi-Private and Group Lessons, Programs for Kids, SUP Pilates & Yoga Classes, Weekly Rentals

Cons: Further from Boston (North Shore) for us city folk!

Katelyn Nadeau believes in the novice athlete and finding innovative ways to reach obtainable health goals. Through her column ‘Amateur Lab’ she curates the best of lifestyle to help her readers simplify and feel inspired for the everyday workout. Her musings incorporate the knowledge of health experts, highlight local events and provide practical tips all with a touch of fun. She has a professional background in Digital Media Marketing and works for a Boston based advertising agency.