Ugh, summer! The days are long, the sun is out, the kids are out of school, the living is easy…except that it is so dang hot. Motivating to get outside and run, bike, or hike in the heat of the day is a real chore. If only there was a way to get outside, get a good workout, AND beat the heat. Well, there is: Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). SUP is one of the fastest growing activities on the water, and is taking the outdoor world by storm. To be honest, it may be the perfect activity for summertime in the Blue Ridge, combining water, workout, and sun.

The best part though is the versatility. SUP can be used strictly as an exercise tool with the act of paddling giving your arms, back, legs, and core a solid pump as you cruise across flat water. It can also be used strictly as a leisure tool, as you paddle around the lake, checking out coves, wildlife, and taking the occasional dip. If you want to get a little more adventurous, you can take it out on some Class I-II whitewater and really challenge yourself. Some pros are even trying to run rapids up to Class IV on an SUP, which is pushing the limits for sure.

Get a taste of what SUP is all about this weekend by heading over to the Nantahala Outdoor Center and getting set up with a rental. The NOC is the perfect spot to start your SUP habit: they offer clinics every weekend and the paddling pros will get you set up with the right board. You can get warmed up by paddling around nearby Lake Fontana, then move onto running the Nantahala or try surfing the wave that runs through the center of NOC.

One stop, a full range of SUP options. What are you waiting for?


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