Stand-up paddleboarding is like a cross between surfing and canoeing, and is the fastest growing paddlesport in the nation!
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There are four types of paddleboards: surf, touring, inflatable, and racing.
If you're going to try paddleboarding, you will need:
The best place to try paddleboarding is on a smaller lake or quiet bay of a larger lake. Several state parks rent paddleboards, as well as canoes and kayaks.
Paddleboarding businesses across the state also offer basic to advanced instruction.
In the land of 10,000 lakes, there are many choices! Beginners should start on a smaller lake, or a quiet bay on a larger lake. As your skills improve you can try larger lakes and slow moving rivers. Fast moving rivers with rocks or other hazards are for advanced paddlers.
Minnesota has 35 designated state water trails. [Find one here.] These water trails are managed for recreation, and have designated accesses, rest areas and campsites. When currents are slow, flat water portions of the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers are suitable for intermediate paddlers or beginners with a guide.
For conditions on a specific water trail, check the water trails river level map and contact your local DNR office for more information. Water levels are ideal for the less experienced paddler when the gauge is interpreted as medium. Note: gauge interpretations are based on conditions for canoeists and kayakers.
Be sure to always check the individual water trail maps before paddling! They include helpful information about rapids, dams and other obstructions.
Find a state park that rents paddleboards, canoes or kayaks.
Registration is required if your paddleboard is over ten feet long. You can register your board at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles (where you license your car), or at the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, Minnesota.
When you register your boat for the first time, you'll need its:
You'll also need to show a sales receipt that shows you have paid the sales tax.
Try an inflatable belt pack or vest if you're at least 16 years old and a strong swimmer, or try a low-profile paddling-style life jacket.
On a lake, wear a coiled leash. On a river, where your leash could get tangled in underwater brush, wear a leash with a quick release at waist level.
Prevent collisions or mishaps despite the actions of others. Keep a careful watch and avoid other boats. Assume that they do not see you. Don't insist on the right of way around large vessels that may have difficulty maneuvering or stopping. Stay away from congested areas when possible.
Paddle into the wind at the start of a round-trip paddle (start at point A, return to point A), or with the wind at your back if traveling one way (from point A to B).
Shallow rocks and even small rapids can be dangerous to paddleboard. Additional paddling skills and equipment like helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, shin guards, special leashes, foot protection and special boards may all be required depending on the level of difficulty.
Dress for the water temperature and don't paddle alone. If the water is cool, wear quick-drying clothes (not cotton). If the water is cold, wear a wet or dry suit appropriate for the water temperature or don't go paddling.
The tip of the angled blade should be closer to the nose of the board. If you're using a curved blade, the inside of the curved blade should face the tail.
Take a skills course from a qualified instructor.
See mndnr.gov/boatingsafety for more information.