A SUP outing doesn’t have to end when night falls. If you are Hobie® SUP Ambassadors Suzi and Nate Parmentier and friends, you bring a tent and make an adventurous weekend of it.
Suzi and Nate have regularly SUP camped since 2009. The trips are a mainstay of their SUP-centered lifestyle.
“We can pack a surprising amount of gear on our boards. I think it’s less work than backpacking, and the boards feel more stable to me when weighted down. We even bring along firewood and an inflatable mattress, and camp in comfort,” Suzi says.
Arizona, their home, offers more than 300 days of sunshine a year. With so many good weather days, Suzi and Nate are always on the lookout for new places to paddle. Sometimes they drive hours on their SUP scouting outings.
Camping allows them to extend their trips and to drink in the surroundings in every corner of the state. Suzi has researched 70 places to drop-in, and her Arizona SUP List has 35 places explored, so far. You can easily find places to paddle if you break out a map of any state and look for blue, denoting water to SUP.
On a SUP camping trip to Saguaro Lake not far from Phoenix, Suzi and her group spot bighorn sheep, coyotes, bobcats and bald eagles. Her friend Tiffany enjoys every moment.
“You feel really free when you can explore desert lakes. You take just what you need. You can focus your time on paddling, and some of the beautiful bodies of water afford great hiking trails that add to the adventure,” she says.
Suzi and Nate SUP camp using a variety of Hobie stand-up board styles styles—even high-performance racers—but they usually grab their inflatables for an overnight trip. “We have quite a rocky environment. Inflatables are durable. There’s little chance to damage a board, but any SUP will do if you are mindful about your board, crafty at installing shock cords, and are able to get your gear secure “ she says. “Though bringing iSUPs also come in handy as camp benches, mattress, and food prep stations.
SUP camping doesn’t require much specialized gear. Gear tiedowns are a must, as are dry bags or other waterproof storage. Grab your paddle, leash, PFD and go.
“SUP camping allows us to explore new territory whenever we shove off. In Arizona, the weather is always right and the terrain is so varied. We can paddle below soaring cliffs, beneath pine-shrouded mountain peaks, or or in the shade of the saguaro cactus. Our friends love this experience, too. Sharing this SUP lifestyle is fun for everyone,” Suzi adds.