There’s something especially pleasant about taking a self-powered boat out on the water. Canoes and kayaks have a well-earned reputation — they give paddlers access to views and locations they would otherwise never see, and move about without disturbing the wildlife or the tranquility of the water. For those wanting something a little different than the traditional canoe or kayak, we have the perfect suggestion: stand-up paddle boarding.
If you’re not familiar with stand-up paddle boards (or SUPs, as many of their users call them), the sport might seem more challenging than canoeing or kayaking. In appearance, paddle boards look the most like surfboards; indeed, the sport of stand-up paddle boarding started as a way for surfers to head farther out into the waves than they could by using just their arms. Now however, paddle boards are used just as often as a way to explore quiet lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.
Paddle boarders experience many of the same health and wellness benefits that other paddlers get: a good arm and core workout. Paddle boarders, however, also exercise their legs and balance in a way other boaters don’t. Because a paddle board is inherently less stable than a canoe or a kayak, paddle boarders must use their legs and abs for balance in addition to support. This makes paddle boarding a good full-body workout for water sport-lovers of all abilities and ages.
Where can you go paddle boarding in Maine? There are plenty of places that are popular for SUP in Maine, including the Ogunquit Tidal River. At The Dunes, we’ve partnered with Liquid Dreams Surf Shop to offer SUP lessons right from our dock from June to August. You’ll meet an instructor — and your board, paddle and wetsuit, if requested — and launch an hour before high tide. Classes focus on flatwater instruction, and students are taught the fundamentals of SUP, including how to stand, ocean safety, and most importantly, how to have fun! SUP lessons at the Dunes start at $80 per person; to sign up, just speak to the Front Desk (207-646-2612).
If you’d like to explore other waters, it’s easy to get ahold of a board and paddle in Ogunquit. We recommend Liquid Dreams Surf Shop and World Within Kayak Rentals for renting a paddle board; both shops are in a prime location and have a good selection, making them great places for beginners and experienced boarders alike.
After getting your board, you’re ready to go paddling! Depending on the kind of paddle boarding you want to do, you’ll find lots of places to explore. Adventurous and more experienced boarders can try their hand at the challenging Maine coast, while boarders looking for a more relaxing outing might take a look at the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge – a perfect place to see some of the local seabirds and coastal animals – or our own Ogunquit Tidal River, connecting the ocean to nearly ten miles of river and stream that’s perfect for exploration.
We’re partial to paddle boarding on the Tidal RIver, of course — not only is it a great place for beginner paddle boarders to start, it’s convenient to all of our Ogunquit cottages and guest rooms!