How to Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) in Australia


Local Insights

6/19/20233 min read

a man standing on a surfboard in the ocean at sunset
a man standing on a surfboard in the ocean at sunset

Learn how to stand up paddleboard (SUP) with our comprehensive guide. Master SUP gear, techniques, safety, and etiquette for Australia's waters.

There's an elegant simplicity to stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP as we often call it. It's about the freedom to explore Australia's stunning waterways at your own pace, absorbing all the beauty and tranquillity our sun-kissed country offers. Whether you're a complete novice or looking to polish your skills, this guide is your ticket to SUP fun. Ready to ride the Aussie waves?

Essential Gear for Your Aussie SUP Experience

The Stand-Up Paddleboard

Your SUP journey begins with the perfect paddleboard. The size and style should match your experience level, weight, and activity plans. If you're just starting, a larger, wider board is best for stability as you navigate Australia's diverse waterscapes.

The Stand-Up Paddle

A bit different from your traditional canoe paddle, a SUP paddle is forward-leaning for peak efficiency. When choosing the right paddle, aim for one about 6 to 10 inches taller than you are.

Personal Floatation Device (PFD)

Safety is key, especially on Australian waters. Most areas require SUPers to have a PFD, particularly when you're paddling in deeper waters.

The SUP Leash

The SUP leash is your board's best mate, ensuring it doesn't get away from you if you take an unexpected dip. It's a simple safety measure that can make a huge difference.

Getting Ready for Your Australian SUP Adventure

Picking the Ideal Aussie Spot

Calm, flat waters are your best mates for the first few SUP experiences. Avoid areas with high boat traffic or strong winds, particularly when you're getting the hang of your balance.

Weather Down Under: Check Before You Go

Always check the Aussie weather forecast before hitting the water. Paddleboarding in bad weather, especially amidst strong winds or storms, can be risky business.

Diving into Stand-Up Paddleboarding

How to Transport Your Paddleboard to the Aussie Waters

Carrying a paddleboard can seem like a true-blue challenge, but there's a technique to it! Lean the board on its edge, reach for the central carry handle, lift it to your waist, then raise it onto your head.

Mastering the Art of Standing Up on Your Paddleboard

Once in shallow water, stand beside your board and hold onto the edges. Pull yourself onto the board, first kneeling, then rise to stand, one foot at a time, maintaining your balance.

Understanding the Perfect SUP Stance

Stand with your feet parallel and hip-width apart. Your toes should point forward, with your knees slightly bent and back straight.

Paddle Stroke: The Heartbeat of SUP

Effective paddle strokes maintain balance and power your SUP journey. With one hand atop the paddle and the other halfway down, reach forward, immerse the paddle, pull back towards your ankle, and lift out of the water.

Pro SUP Techniques for the Aussie Waves

The Art of SUP Turns

To turn right, paddle left. To turn left, paddle right. Easy as pie, right?

Handling the Famous Aussie Waves and Winds

In windy conditions or wavy waters, it's best to kneel for stability. And remember, when the going gets tough, there's no shame in paddling back to the shore.

Safety on the Australian Waters

Precautions to Avoid Injuries

Always warm up before you start paddleboarding and remember to use proper technique to avoid injuries. And don't forget to slip, slop, slap – sunscreen is essential on Australian waters!

SUP Etiquette on Aussie Waters

Always respect other water users. Keep a safe distance and don't block their path. The water's big enough for everyone to have a fair go.


Like anything worth doing, mastering stand-up paddleboarding takes a bit of time and practice, but with these tips, you'll be carving up the Aussie waters like a pro in no time. Stay safe and respect the ocean and its other users. Now go on, get out there and enjoy the ride!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is stand-up paddleboarding a good workout?

Absolutely, it's an excellent full-body workout, working your core, arms, legs, and back.

Can kids go stand up paddleboarding?

Yes, it's a fantastic family-friendly activity. Just ensure kids are supervised and have the right safety gear.

Do I need lessons to start SUP?

Not necessary, but lessons can be a quick way to learn techniques and safety tips.

What should I wear for paddleboarding in Australia?

Opt for quick-drying clothing and good sun protection. Sunscreen is a must!

What if I fall off my paddleboard?

It's all part of the fun! If you fall, aim to the side, then use your leash to pull your board back.

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