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Walk on water the SUP way

Serene lake settings, rising valley temps and calm, cool water are just the right combination for the adventure seeker ready to walk on water.

The activity of Stand Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, is one which has water enthusiasts either hooked or searching for availability to give it a try.

While the popularity of the recreational sport took off in coastal communities in early 2000, its history stretches well beyond modern time. Experts, instructors and enthusiasts note its ease and accessibility as attributes of its broad range of interests. Simply put, persons of all ages and physical ability may find this activity enjoyable.

The water sport was reported as the outdoor activity with the most first-time participants in 2013. This should come as little surprise as its physical benefits make it all the better. Stand up Paddleboarding is a low impact activity and the varying outdoor settings make it all the more delightful.

SUP is known to improve balance as the rider must stand on the board, which requires use of one’s core as well as leg strength. While standing upright (the kneeling position is optional) riders must paddle utilizing an extra-long oar. The combination of balance and rowing gives the rider an overall body workout. This overall workout has been known to increase strength and offer a great cardio workout. SUP is also a great activity for stress reduction. The water is naturally soothing to the body and the mind. Many have noted the stand up activity as one which gives the sensation of ‘walking on water.’ The rhythm of the paddle with the water enhanced by the setting are just the right combination to help one abandon their troubles, if even for just an hour.

Not to be confused with the skill required of surfing, SUP riders stand on the board with their toes and body directed toward the front of the board versus the sideways stance of a surfer. They propel themselves forward with a long paddle in a similar fashion to a solo canoeist.

The majority of SUP boards range from 10 to 12 feet, with some as long as 14 feet. They are constructed of foam core surrounded by carbon filler layups.

The valley’s vast number of lakes, as well as calm rivers, makes it the ideal setting for water lovers seeking to give an activity outside of the boat a try. Stand up Paddle boards may be rented at a number of locations, with lessons available at a few as well. Be it the foothills or a quick turn off of Highway 99 to the City of Lodi, this summer could very well be the one to take in an adventure and walk on water.

Just a few short miles from Dodge Ridge, Heidi’s Ski Shop in Cold Springs offers board rentals by the hour or for the day. Two hour introductory lessons and a tour around Beardsley Reservoir are also available. Visitors are encouraged to call in advance and make reservations at (209) 965-3450 or visit

Sierra Nevada Adventure Company offers SUP at its Arnold location. SUP’s are available for rental as well as purchase. The foothill company is so passionate about its water sports that it even hosts an event each year to introduce customers to the activities in a festival setting. PaddleFest will be hosted on Saturday, June 18. The event is by reservation only and availability is limited. For additional information visit or call (209) 795-9310.

Just a few miles off Highway 99, Lodi Lake Boathouse – home to Explore Stand Up Paddle Company – also offers Paddleboards for rental as well as sales. Classes are also available. For additional information visit

or call (209) 601-8764.