What’s SUP?

Published By on July 10th, 2014 in Edge Insider

Three years ago I would have gone on record as saying SUP was a passing fad, an excuse to sell more things to people who already have enough toys.

Not any more.

Over the past two seasons, not only has my opinion on Stand up Paddling changed, so has my overall paddling preference.

In 2014 we even began offering an overnight Algonquin Park SUP Adventure

Over the past twenty plus years that we’ve been based here at Algonquin Park’s Kawawaymog Lake I’ve paddled canoes more than any other on-water vehicle.  Oh, sure there were years when I sea kayaked a lot, but overall, the canoe – Canadian Icon of the adventurous soul has always been my mainstay.  If I was going on the water, canoe was my choice.  I’d amble over to the canoe rack, ease a canoe onto my shoulders and portage out to the dock, carefully lowering my boat into the water.

A few years ago, I’d more often than not choose my sea kayak.  Faster than a canoe and providing a good way to tool around Kawawaymog lake quickly,  I greatly enjoyed the new sight-lines sitting much lower to the water surface.  I’d paddle with the ducks, sneak up on herons or even moose browsing the water lilies.  I loved the way the water reflected off the bow in the early morning sun.  But a couple of years ago I injured my back, which has made sea kayaking uncomfortable.  For most of that first summer after being injured I stayed off the water entirely.

Then we started offering Stand up Paddling retreats and purchased ten SUP boards for our Algonquin Park guests.  Still feeling not quite up to sitting in a boat I thought I’d give it a try.


I’ve never looked back.  Over the past two summers I have been in a canoe twice, while I have taken to the water on a SUP board in all kinds of weather conditions, at all times of day.  At least 30 times each summer I’ll go for a Stand up Paddle, sometimes many times a day.

What I’ve come to love about SUP:

Watching our guests Stand up Paddle at our Algonquin Park nature retreat is really enjoyable.  It looks intriguing seeing all those people “Walking on Water” together.  It doesn’t take folks long to get the hang of it.  Folks with no previous paddling experience learn pretty quickly the strokes required to turn the board, and our SUP instructors make learning fun.

The long and the short of the SUP experience, Fun, Fun, Fun.  Beginner-friendly.  You’ll be back for more.

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