Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Canada

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Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

It looks a bit ungainly, you’re bound to fall in at some point, and you can’t really go that fast – but it is a lot of fun!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the new craze grabbing Canada. Although it’s been around in the UK for quite a while, with the British Stand Up Paddle Boarding Association founded back in 2007, and national rankings available since 2008.

SUP as it’s known, is ideal for inland waterways where there is no surf. Grab your surf board and a long paddle and off you go! Well almost. First you need to get onto the board and stand up – you start on all fours, get your feet level and then push your bottom into the air and stand up. You really need to get your feet where you want them before you attempt to stand, as moving them afterwards will probably lead to a dunking in the water.

Once you are up, you take your paddle and push it gently through the water to get you moving. It’s a two-handed grip and you need to keep changing sides to prevent you from simply going round and round in circles. The good news is – it doesn’t take long to get the basics.

My first taste of SUP was with Kevin O’Brien from the Kalavida Surf Shop in Kalamalka, Vernon, in British Columbia, Canada Everything was fine until I got a bit cocky and decided to see if I could emulate Kevin and jump while on the board in order to change my position. I steadied myself, bent my knees, made a little jump, landed with a wobble, took a step back to balance myself, in the process tipping down the back of the paddle and shooting the front up into the air which in turn resulted in me being thrown unceremoniously off the back and into the water. Well I guess it had to happen at some point!

Kevin very kindly kept a straight face, explained my error and encouraged me to have another go. Second time lucky! Which just goes to show that you can be a complete novice and within half an hour you’ll know enough to get out onto the lake. If you’re feeling confident you can paddle out to the headland and a tiny secluded beach, or if you’d prefer something a little nearer, then on the left hand shore there is the Bishops Bird Sanctuary.

On a day when it’s hot and a falling in is probably a blessing, SUP is hard to beat; you’re outdoors, on the water, in the fresh air, getting some exercise and probably quite a few laughs too!



Air Canada–

VernonTourism –

Stand Up Paddle Boarding –


About the Author

Chantal Cooke is an award winning journalist and broadcaster with a passion for both the planet and travel. Chantal writes for a number of national newspapers and magazines

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