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Do you remember your first time?
Some people like to dive in at the deep end of things when it comes to SUP’ing — just grab a paddle, jump on any old board and head on out...inevitably getting dumped, getting back up, getting dumped again. Eventually you get the hang of it, but I can’t help but feel that the first time out, truly the best experience will be had by getting a beginner lesson on a rented board to help speed that learning curve.

Being instructed on how to hold the paddle, proper stroke technique for maximum motion or even just how best to get up to a standing position once on the board out on the water can make all the difference in the world. Not to mention, increase the enjoyment factor! A great first lesson can turn the newbie paddler on to not only the glide and stoke but also the aloha spirit that is the core of SUP. 
Be there for that first "Aha!" moment
As an instructor the ‘beginner’ is one of my favorite lessons to give. It’s my chance to get someone new hooked on the sport I love and be there for their first “Aha” moments where they learn to create and control their own momentum and feel the sense of empowerment that comes with it.

Gear descriptions, risk analysis, safety, techniques, planning, training, weather reports all go into a well-planned first lesson and are the central elements that create a competent, independent paddler. 

A great instructor will put you on the board best suited for your height, weight and skill-level while delivering a comprehensive lesson that challenges you just the right amount — while (most importantly) still having fun! 
Mastering any skill requires practice
of course, and rental boards offer the perfect opportunity to do just that. As your skills grow, your choice in boards and paddles will also evolve which is why it’s essential to find a great rental shop. 

Once you’ve done a few sessions on a sturdy all-around board, maybe you want to give a more challenging (but faster) race style board a go? Or take out an extra-large, stable board and try some yoga? Rentals offer you that opportunity to switch it up on the gear — and can help you find what board ultimately suits your paddling style.

Having access to rental gear that has a variety of boards and paddles to suit your body type, skill level and conditions where you’ll be practicing is essential.
Beginners can become SUPer enthusiasts in an instant
and the more you paddle the more you learn how you can make the most of the sport – sunset paddles, down-winders, SUP yoga, SUP surfing and multi-day excursions await!

At the end of the day, SUP equipment is basically a board that floats and a fancy stick — but coupled with a great instructor and appropriate gear, anyone can learn how to take their paddling anywhere they want to go!

Tim Sanford - Paddle Method, Los Angeles, CA
Destination Spotlights
Here are Two Paddle Pros who offer comprehensive SUP activities in their locations including great beginner lessons. Check out their spotlights to learn more about their favorite paddle locations!
Laguna Beach, California

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