Last year my friend, Teri Carlin, with Riverbound Sports in Tempe, Arizona came up with a brilliant standup paddle idea! Hosting an educational and fun morning of varied SUP lessons and classes, held waterfront, at one of our beautiful Tonto National Forest Lakes, here in sunny Arizona. SUP classes are not hard to come by wherever you live in the world. Off the top of my head, I know of folks instructing a wide variety of classes in New Jersey, North Carolina, Hawaii, Italy, Montana, just to name some places.

Learning different ways to use and handle your SUP will enhance your confidence to perhaps try it for your first time, master a pivot turn if you want to compete in a SUP race, learn to perform squat or pushup variations to use a different set of muscles, or relax in back or leg stretches. Or take a class to just get a great, new workout!

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Like many shops and outfitters, Teri schedules her SUPosiums quarterly, so one can attend at different times of the year, and try them in varying seasons. Warm or cold, SUP is for 365 days a year! (Just as long as you know how to properly prepare for any weather or conditions.) A memorable SUPosium was last year’s, on Black Friday, as most individuals appreciate burning a few calories after a big, hearty Thanksgiving feast. There was an excellent turnout of participants, from beginners (first time SUPrs) to advanced athletes.

“My first SUPosium was August 2016. There were four classes, SUP101 (beginning basics), SUP Skills (numerous paddle techniques), SUPFit (a version of CrossFit) and SUPYoga. All classes were geared for all levels, which meant everyone had an opportunity to join in. It is easy to say each and every one was whole-heartedly fulfilled from the experiences. I attended the SUP Skills and the SUPFit classes,” says John Tyler, a friendly local Arizona resident and SUPosium participant.

SUP has become my most favorite activity of all, might I preface I am 61 and have experience and stay active and fit, in a diverse spectrum of sports/activities. With that, my favorite part about a day of SUPosiums is: there are highly qualified instructors for each phase, they make every aspect entertaining, comfortable and always with safety and the wellbeing of the participants in the forefront. Oh, and if you do not have your own board the outfitter can include it in the package,” John also mentions.

The locations are generally in an area of the lake that is void of other motorized watercraft, lending to a safe and relatively calm water experience. Each of the locations also offers the surrounding beauty of nature that the Arizona lakes typify, which adds to the total experience.

Whatever your skill level or reason for improving your standup paddle experiences, Google your local Hobie SUP dealer or outfitter and see where you can participate in some valuable and fun SUP classes for you and your whole family. Or, if you reside in Arizona, participate and register early for a day of Riverbound Sports SUPosiums. (See the ‘Event’ schedule on their website or give Teri a call for the next SUPosium on Saturday June 24, 2017). Be the first to sign up for the SUP Fitness class segment, and you will receive a personal gift from ME!