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SUP FAQ's

TOP FIVE REASONS TO START

STAND UP PADDLING

Stаnduр раddlе (SUP) bоаrding iѕ a rеlаtivеlу nеw уеt a fаѕt growing water ѕроrt.  Aѕ оnе can decipher frоm its nаmе, the sport оf standup paddle boarding iѕ a сrоѕѕ between the most рорulаr wаtеr асtivitiеѕ, thаt iѕ, ѕurfing and canoeing.  Using high tech lightweight surf-like board and paddle, the stand up paddlers are able to get a better view of the surroundings.  Reasons to learn stand up paddle include:

1.  Fitness 

The best part about stand up paddle boarding is that it can be done in various forms such as on flat water surface such as lakes, on beaches and to surf waves.  Therefore, it provides enjoyment for all categories of individuals with varied levels of skills in water based activities.  While many might not realize this but stand up paddle boarding has several benefits, providing fitness being the most important of them. 

2.  Complete work out 

SUP offers a complete workout thus fits very well into the fitness regime of an individual.  The entire body of the individual aboard a paddle board is at work and therefore,  SUP provides a complete body work out right from the toes to the nose. 

3.  Coordination, balance, and burning calories

Coordination and balancing are other benefits that stand up paddle offers.  It makes a person more confident both in and out of water.  Calories burnt by men when paddle surfing for an hour are between 800 to 1,000 calories on an average while women can burn 500 to 700 calories in an hour.  Comparing this to running on the elliptical machine or the treadmill is 500 to 700 for men and 400 to 600 for women.

4.  Sense of achievement 

Importantly you will experience a great sense of achievement when you learn to use your paddle board.  Don´t expect to be able to ride the monster waves to begin with.  Remember, practice makes perfection.

5.  Health benefit 

As a sport it has a lot of benefits over other activities.  Unlike running you won´t experience any jarring to joints or muscles, and it is also a non-contact sport so unless you have a run in with a large wave, you can avoid the bumps, bruises and heavy knocks involved with sports like football and rugby.  It is also a great sport to help you de-stress whether you decide to take a gentle paddle around Brunei's sheltered coves or get out amongst the waves, stand up paddle boarding can be enjoyed wherever there is a body of water, and what a better place to relax and appreciate scenery.  Any activity that gets us outdoors has enormous health benefits, so enjoy the fresh air, the sun and the exercise.

TOP FIVE REASONS TO GET SUP LESSONS

 

Stand up paddle boarding, also referred to as stand up paddle surfing or SUP is a relatively new water sport and continue to gain popularity.  As the name suggests, it is an activity where you stand upright on a surfboard and use a long paddle to move about on top of the water.  It can be performed on calm waters, challenging waves and everything in between.

If you are curious whether stand up paddling might be the sport for you or you are already hooked and getting ready to brave the waves, the best way to learn how to stand up paddle is by taking a lesson from those who know the sport.  Even if you are experienced in the ocean, stand up padding introduces a whole new set of variables and dynamics that traditional prone paddle surfers are not familiar with.  It is really necessary to take stand up paddle lessons if you want to get into this great sport activity.

Why are stand up paddle lessons necessary?

Some of you may have learnt from your parents or another trusted relative or friend.  Others might have picked up the skill instinctively - everybody learns at a different pace.  However, even if you know it your own it is still a good idea to take a certified stand up paddle course.

 

Here are reasons to consider:

1.  Safe

Naturally, it is important to know what to do in the event of accident.  Stand up paddle lessons do more than teach the fundamental, they can help a person think quickly in an emergency situation.  If you are in the water, you will know what to do and how to deal with different weather and wave situations.

2.  Social

Knowing stand up paddling at an early age can help conquer fear of water.  Lessons build confidence and as you or your child improves, you will have no problem paddling with others when invited.  Taking lessons with a group, too, allow you the opportunity to meet other people. 

3.  Health

Stand up paddling is a great way to get out on the water safely and enjoy the benefits of exercise in a beautiful outdoor environment.  You will find that you leave your cares behind on the shore and return refreshed after your workout or gentle relaxing paddle.  Even if don´t paddle on a regular basis, when you do have the opportunity you can make the outing fun and healthy. 

4.  Fun

Stand up paddling introduces an element of fun into people´s lives.  The more confident you become on the water, the more you will want to participate in stand up paddle events.  Get the family involved, and you have something everybody will enjoy doing.

5.  You will have a well built body structure.

Stand up paddling is a good exercise.  It builds up arm and leg muscles, including your core muscles, and helps with good respiratory habits, balance and coordination.

If you are interested in stand up paddle lesson, make sure you register with a program whose instructors are certified.  Take the advantage of the lessons at SUP SURFARI to achieve your goals.

Did you know that stand up paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world?  Today, many thousands of people around the globe explore waterways and the sea from their board and paddle.  In this guide, we’ll answer the most common SUP questions.

Stand up paddle boarding is a great way to build muscle, improve your balance, and see things that are only accessible to swimmers or paddlers.  One of our goals here at SUP SURFARI is to share our favourite activities with our friends and students.

First Things First...

SUP LESSONS FOR BEGINNERS.

What is stand up paddling?


It's a top-of-the-water magic carpet ride!  With a huge, super stable, surfboard under your feet and a super long paddle in your hand, you'll be gliding across the water in your very first lesson regardless of your age or athletic ability!

Do I have to know how to surf?

No.  You don't have to know how to surf at all!  Unless you sign up for an open ocean adventure, we'll be exploring the still, smooth, calm waters of Brunei’s coastline and lakes/reservoirs for an awesome flat water experience.  You'll be hooked!

Do I have to know how to swim?

No.  We have life jackets available upon request.  Please let us know beforehand if you have non-swimmers in your group.

Am I too young, old, big or small?

Participants must be at least 7 years old and is good health to paddle solo.  This sport is for kids young and old.  There are lots of stand up paddlers well over 70 years old!  Our boards can handle paddlers up to 120kg, so come on out and join us.

What are the benefits of SUP?

The benefits are enormous!
-  It’s an all-ages, all-level activity you can do with friends and family
-  It’s a great core fitness and full body workout
-  SUP can be therapeutic and calming or exciting and exhilarating
-  Fresh air and exercise in the great outdoors is good for body, mind, and spirit.

How and where do I begin?

If you’re reading this, you’re halfway there.  SUP-SURFARI is a Brunei based operation, with Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI) trained instructors and great equipment, who can teach you from basics through to advanced skills in stand up paddling in a safe environment.  All equipment is provided.

How long will SUP take to learn?

It’s not uncommon for first-time paddlers to stand up and paddle within 20 minutes.  The ease of learning this sport attracts a wide range of ages from the very young (kids) to the very mature (seniors), and a wide range of skills from novice to seasoned athlete.

When are the SUP lessons for beginners?

At this stage the lessons, being 1h 20m each, are on Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons and public holidays.  For example, the schedule is usually:

Saturday

  • 7:00 am   SUP#1

  • 8:30 am   SUP#2

  • 10:00 am  SUP#3

  • 11:30 am  SUP#4


Sunday

  • 12:30 pm SUP#4

  • 2:00 pm   SUP#3

  • 3:30 pm   SUP#2

  • 5:00 pm   SUP#1


How many lessons do I need to take?

This is entirely up to you. You can take one lesson at a time or pay for 4 lessons at a discounted price.  We recommend taking all 4 lessons in the SUP for Beginners program to really learn and practice the basics.  We usually see great improvement in balance and technique in our students over the 4 lessons.

How much do the lessons cost?

Group lessons - $40 per person for each lesson.  Book all 4 lessons and pay $140 per person instead of $160.
Private lessons - $100 for each lesson.  Bring along a friend for free.

Note:
-  After your 4th lesson you will be entitled to a $100 discount on the purchase of a new SUP board from SUP-SURFARI.
-  If you put together a group of 8 (including yourself), book and pay for 4 lessons for the group in advance, each participant pays $140 per instead of $160 and receives a $100 discount on the purchase of a new SUP board.  The organiser will also get a free paddle!

How and when do I pay for the SUP lessons?

Please pay in cash before the lesson after you have signed in.  If you are undecided whether or not you want to do the whole SUP for Beginners program of 4 lessons then we’d suggest you pay for the single lesson first, then pay the balance after the lesson should you choose to sign-up for the whole program.

What's involved in each lesson?

The focus is to get someone who has never done SUP before proficient in the basics of SUP over the 4 lessons.  We cover many aspects, in a fun and supportive atmosphere, such as:

  • the prevailing conditions

  • safety and etiquette

  • board handling off and on the water

  • the paddle stroke (kneeling & standing)

  • how to select the right equipment

  • introduction on how to cope with changing water and weather conditions-  an intro


I'm worried that I may slow the group down?

No need to worry.  Everyone who joins the lessons has generally never tried SUP before. The lessons are conducted in a relaxed nature with an emphasis on going at a slow pace with lots of instruction so that you can learn each technique properly before advancing.  You will see your technique and confidence improve from each lesson.

How many people are in each group?

ASI limits 1 instructor to 8 students, for safety, so the group will be 8 maximum.  This is a nice size in order for students to receive individual instruction.  Plus you may make some new friends!

I'm just one person.  Can I join a group lesson?

Absolutely!  It’s definitely more fun in a group and you may make some new friends.

Are the SUP lessons safe?

Yes.  The instructor has been trained by the Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI),  the world's leading stand up paddle accreditation and training organisation, in:

  • ASI SUP Wise - Basic lessons which have been specially developed to make learning safe and easy.

  • ASI SUP Instructor Level 1 - Enclosed flat water such as rivers and lakes.

  • ASI SUP Instructor Level 2 - Exposed waters such as coastal areas.

  • ASI SUP Water Rescue - Skills and knowledge to perform simple rescues in SUP enclosed flat water and exposed waters locations.


The location for the lessons are carefully chosen to enable a safe and enjoyable learning experience, generally in calm waters.  You will also be briefed in all safety aspects, including the importance of the leash which connects you to the SUP board.  Life jackets (or personal floating devices) are provided for those who are less confident at swimming.  Please be aware that if the instructor deems that the environment or weather is not conducive for a safe lesson, the lesson may be postponed to another date.

What should I wear?

Wear what is most comfortable!  Clothing that allows movement is best.  Once you’ve got the hang of stand up paddling, you won't be falling into the water unless you’re pushing yourself to learn something new.

Of course there is clothing designed for water sports, but it’s not necessary unless you’re taking on some challenging water or paddling in severe weather conditions (downwinders). You might just wear shorts and a t-shirt or rash guard however we would suggest to cover up to block out the sun using modest apparel and wear a broad rimmed hat, to keep the sun off your face.

Where are the SUP lessons held?

SUP-SURFARI has a number of beautiful locations where they conduct lessons depending on the groups' experience and ability.  Generally the SUP for Beginners lessons will be in either sheltered bays along the coastline, such as Tungku Beach, or inland fresh water lakes/reservoirs.

What about rain, weather and water conditions?

Hey, we're on a tropical island on the equator and it wouldn't be paradise without the rain.  A light mist makes for great paddling.  However, if it's pouring down, we'll reschedule your lesson for another convenient time.  If in doubt, call first.

Likewise, if we deem the water conditions for the day dangerous for any reason at all, we reserve the right to reschedule your lesson to another convenient time.  Hey, safety first.

How do I book lessons?

Bookings can be made through sup-surfari.com, calling/texting +673 871 3019, or direct message through Facebook or Instagram.  

We will need:

  • Your name

  • Your mobile number

  • Your email address

  • The number of people in the group

  • Any other info you want to let us know-    


A confirmation email shall be sent to you once the booking has been made.

What if I am pregnant, have a disability, or another special need?

Great!  We welcome all paddlers.  As a low-impact sport, stand up paddling is great for people with a range of special needs.  If necessary, we can tow disabled paddlers so they can still enjoy the experience.  Don't let your special need get in the way of plenty of SUP fun!

Do you do events, parties, youth groups, etc.?

Yes, yes, and yes!  In fact you can book us for the whole day and we'll give continual lessons for your party or work group.  We can arrange tours, food, drinks, SUP boot-camp, SUP yoga, lessons, and fun races.  Give us a call, tell us about your group, and we'll take care of the rest.  

WARNING:  Be prepared.  Many get hooked their first time out.  I encourage you to give SUP with SUP-SURFARI a try!

BUYING EQUIPMENT.

How important is it to try before you buy?

As with any investment, you want to be sure SUP is for you.  SUP-SURFARI have different boards which you can try to see which best suits you.  Or try a friend’s board. SUP-SURFARI have some of the world leading brands such as NSP, Red Paddle Co., and Starboard.  Before you buy, research reviews and other information on the Web.

How do I find the best stand up paddle board for my needs?

Begin by considering how you want to use your board, and be sure to ask lots of questions when you're at the SUP shop. Check out "Choosing the right stand up paddle board for you". This section explains board shapes, styles, quality, construction, etc., as well as hard boards versus inflatable boards and board sizes relative to your weight—an important factor in choosing a board.

Why is a person’s weight a factor?

You want a board that keeps you on top of the water for optimum paddling efficiency.  If two people try the same board, and one weighs 90kg and the other 70kg, the heavier person will cause the board to sit lower in the water.  This causes greater resistance, and therefore requires more effort while paddling.

What size of board is best for me?

Charts to determine SUP board size are commonly offered by manufacturers.  These charts show a range of body weights relative to board volume and personal ability.  Most flat water boards allow for weight variation of 10 to 20 kg within a volume category.   It is worth keeping in mind that 1 litre will float 1 kg.

If you are paddle boarding for the first time try a board with greater "volume to weight" ratio than listed here e.g. 75 kg try a 180 -200 litre board to ensure an easy, fun learning experience.

Beginner – use ratio 2 to 1
Eg. 75 kg person will need a SUP board of 150 litres

Intermediate – use ratio 1.7 to 1
Eg. 75 kg person will need a SUP board of 128 litres

Advanced – use ratio 1.4 to 1
Eg. 75 kg person will need a SUP board of 105 litres

What is the cost?

Boards run from about $1,000 - for the casual beginner paddler to $5,000 dollars (and maybe more for custom build) for the high end boards specially designed for racing and the like.  If you are looking for a good board built to last with proper maintenance and care consider the $1,500 to $2,500 range.

Is it true that a good paddle is more important than a good board?

You can avoid stress, fatigue and injury by choosing the right paddle for your needs.  If you’re casually cruising, the choice of paddle may be more about cost, but if you’re travelling distance, a lighter carbon fibre paddle allows you to paddle longer by minimizing fatigue.  A good paddle makes the experience better.

How do I know what fin or fin set combination to buy?

Basically, for flat water paddling you will need one centre fin.  For paddle surfing look at 3, 4 and 5 fin set boards.  For racing usually one fin specially shaped for speed and turning.

Should I wear a PFD?

Most countries and/or regions will have regulations with regard to personal flotation devices (SUP PFDs), intended to keep people safe.  For children, don't think twice: make sure kids wear a PFD.  If you are not a swimmer, or if you’re paddling in dangerous water, use a PFD.  Know local regulations to keep safe and to avoid fines, and always err on the side of caution: when in doubt, wear a PFD.

WARNING:  Be prepared.  Many get hooked their first time out.  I encourage you to give SUP with SUP-SURFARI a try!