Exercise Review: Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUPing) in Perth!

I LOVE water, especially Perth’s incredible beaches and beautiful river. However I have to admit, unless it’s 40°C outside, immersing myself in water (aka swimming) is not something I enjoy THAT much. I blame it on a terrifying swimming teacher I had to endure during school swimming lessons. I think this is what enticed me into trying Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) – I’m able to enjoy the visual feast of our water without getting too wet or needing a skippers ticket!

Before I even tried SUP I was in love with it, and my first paddle in Dunsborough enforced this love fest. Virtually anyone can SUP, you don’t need to be athletic or have the balance of a tight rope walker. Everyone seems to think that it’s much harder to balance on the board than it actually is, and I can assure you that after a couple of minutes of getting used to the feeling, you’ll be SUPing away in no time! It’s often recommended that you start out on your knees to get a feel for it, and have an initial short lesson so you can paddle like a pro. I much prefer SUP to kayaking as you have a birds eye view of what’s going on in the water, it’s more peaceful because you don’t have paddles splashing around your face and it’s less stressful on your back.

SUP can be a fantastic total body workout that you’ll actually love doing. Who does exercise that they hate anymore?! SUP improves your balance and coordination, and can be as much of a cardio workout as you want it to be. Heart pumping or peaceful? You set the pace. It tightens and tones your back, shoulders and legs, and works your core big time. What’s more, you don’t even realize that you’re working out, as you’re either enjoying the beautiful view or trying to keep up with a pod of dolphins! My boyfriend and I once spent an hour watching a mother and her babies fish and play – AMAZING. If you want to take SUP to the next level you can join in on a SUP group fitness class, try out some SUP yoga, enter a SUP race or catch some waves, which I’m told is a little easier than normal surfing.

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On a beautiful flat day SUP is incredibly calming – being in the middle of an expanse of glassy water does that to you. It’s a great way to take some time for yourself and get in touch with nature. Our sunny and calm winter days are fantastic for trying SUP out, so rug up, wetsuit or jumper depending on your level of confidence/balance, and give it a go!

My Hot SUP Tips:

♥ Check the wind! Unless you’re after a KILLER workout, paddling in the wind is a bit of a nightmare. If you’re going out for a long time make sure you have a way of getting back to your car if the wind gets up.

♥ If you’re considering buying a board buy the lightest one you can afford – it makes getting it on and off your car a breeze, and you’ll be more likely to SUP often.

♥ If you’re traveling, try and scope out a SUP tour – it’s a fun and healthy way of exploring a new area (deserts not applicable!).

SUP hire and lessons in Perth


Do you like the look of Stand Up Paddle Boarding? Any questions please let me know in the comments! 🙂

Review by Emma Smyth, wellness lover, model, SUP fanatic and blogger over at @ This Sparkly Life!

Be well,




  1. Gemma says:

    Hi Emma

    I love this idea. I gave supping a go last summer and loved it, I will be purchasing a board very soon.

    I am really interested in the sup groups and sup yoga- this would be so great and would give me a focus and a hobby that I am enthusiastic about. I have done a google search for sup groups but I can’t find much, I did find an expression of interest for Supilates with a sup shop in scarbough. Do you know of any other sup groups?

    Thanks for the article- great read and inspiring. 🙂

    Gem x x

  2. Emma says:

    Hi Gemma! Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂 I haven’t done a class in Perth and couldn’t find any either but I’m sure they’ll be popping up in no time! xx

  3. K says:

    SOS Surf in Freo does SUP lessons (http://www.sossurf.com.au). They’re pretty fab in there – great with advice and no BS.

    I bought a SUP from Finn Kayaks – they are light, and also double as a kayak/wavesurfer type thingy; they are actually easier to stand up on than a standard SUP, and also cheaper!


  4. Alicia ONeill says:

    Hi! Great article! I plan to offer yoga and Pilates SUP lessons (group/private) in the future. If interested find me on face book at ‘Mindful Being (Pilates, Yoga and Fitness). Cheers Leesh 🙂

  5. Annette @ Wellness WA says:

    Hi Alicia,

    That’s awesome news!

    We’d love to have one of our writers review these classes once they’re up and running if you’re keen, I’ll check out your Facebook now 🙂