Skip Navigation Website Accessibility

Stand-up paddle boarding or SUP, is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities on the water. Stand-up paddling is easy to learn and can be done on lakes, ponds, rivers, or even in the ocean. SUP boarding is as easy as paddling a canoe but with the additional challenge of standing up. Most are surprised just how easy it is to learn. Typically students are independent in about 15 minutes or less. We have rentals and instruction available upon request.

    ** As with Windsurfing and Scuba, Barclay's always offers Try Before You Buy ** 

Selecting a Paddle Board:

Select a wide 30”+ and stable 11’+ board to start. Always start in calm, flat water.

The board should feel comfortable and not tippy when standing without forward motion. If it still feels too tippy after several attempts to gain your balance, try a larger, wider board.

Many people start out on a board much too small, and can never seem to gain balance and become disheartened. Don’t let this be you. Choose the right size board to start out and when in doubt, always go wider and thicker.

Follow these helpful tips for holding the paddle: Always grip the paddle with one hand on the top of the paddle and the other on the center of the shaft. Hold the paddle in front of you, with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. This should give you comfortable spacing for paddling.

The blade will be angled, and when paddling remember to keep the blade angle facing away from you.

Paddles float, so if you fall and must let it go – your paddle won’t sink.

How to Stand Up on your Board:

Always start out in calm, flat water and keep in mind you could be falling! So unless you’re in the tropics, a wetsuit may be a good idea.

  • Get the board out into in water so the fin is free from hitting the bottom.
  • Start out on your knees and take a few strokes on each side of the board.
  • Slowly, stand up with one foot at a time and stay in the middle of the board with your feet parallel to the stringer – about shoulder width apart.
  • Keep a slight bend in the knees and your core centered over the board.

Basic Forward Strokes: 

There are a few basic philosophies on paddle technique, but all revolve around using your paddle as a lever. Your top hand will be driving the lever and the bottom hand will act as the fulcrum point. So with that in mind, we provide the following strokes and tips:

  • Keep your bottom arm straight and relatively still.
  • Pull your top arm toward your body to extend the paddle forward.
  • Rotate your top shoulder forward and extend your reach.
  • Insert the paddle into the water as far forward as possible and bury the paddle into the water.
  • Rather than pulling you paddle through the water, think about pulling past your paddle.
  • To stay in a straight line, take a few stokes on one side then switch to a few strokes on the other. Always remember to switch the position of your hands when your paddle changes sides.

Yoga and Stretch

Yoga and Stretch classes are a great source or exercise and flexibility, and is a great way to get in-tune with your wellness and the great outdoors! 

​Call (207) 784.7300 or e-mail us for our latest course schedule