Depending where you live, fall usually marks the end of SUP season. While some hardy paddleboarders go year-round, the colder months are when most paddleboarders wrap it up, tucking their boards away until spring. But just because you can’t be out on the water, doesn’t mean you have to put SUP out of your mind. The off-season is a great time to plan and prepare in anticipation for your next great SUP season! Here are some ideas to keep you going in the fall and winter.

Woman looking at her Thurso Surf paddleboard in the water

Give your board the once-over before storing it for the fall and winter

Clean, Repair, and Take Stock of Your Gear

When SUP season wraps up, the first thing you should do is give your gear a good cleaning. Make sure to rinse everything with freshwater; you can use a non-abrasive soap if anything needs some extra care. Then make sure to dry it all off before storing it. Use this time to check for any leaks or damages. There are some easy DIYs, depending on the type of repair needed, or take it to your local SUP or boat repair shop. 

Once everything is clean and fixed, you can take stock of your gear. Figure out if you need to replace anything or if you’d like to add a new board or accessory. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your board or get a lighter paddle. Or perhaps you’d like to add a specialty board to your collection. Fall is a great time to take advantage of end-of-season sales, so browse the SUP companies’ and retailers’ websites to see if there are any deals to be had.

Man surfing a Thurso Surf Waterwalker

Is surfing one of your goals for next SUP season?

Set Your Goals for Next SUP Season

The end of SUP season is a great time to pause, reflect, and figure out your goals for next year. Think back on your past season; What were your highlights? What type of SUP did you enjoy the most? What would you like to do again? What did you miss out on? 

Answering these questions and setting your SUP goals will give you some clarity for the next season. Get those wheels turning and figure out what you need to do now to help achieve those goals. Whether it’s saving up money for new gear, signing up for a clinic, planning a trip, or working on a specific technique, thinking about it now will give you plenty of time to set your goals, make a plan, and put it into action.

Man carrying his Thurso Surf Expedition paddleboard to the shoreline

Get in shape so its easier to carry your board down to the shore

Get in Shape for Next SUP Season

Less time on the water means more time to workout and keep you in SUP shape, even when you can’t be on your board. Use this time to work on areas you’d like to improve and hit those fitness goals. Generally, paddleboarders benefit from any exercise that works on their core, balance, and cardio. HIIT and Pilates tend to be good for core strength, yoga is excellent for balance, and running and cycling builds up your cardio. Sign up for some classes or hire a trainer if you need some extra guidance. You can contact your local gym or try ClassPass, where you can find in-person fitness classes of all kinds and access virtual workouts.

If you are looking for a paddler-specific workout, there are a few options. PaddleMonster is an online-community, focused on SUP racing but good for anyone looking to improve their techniques. They even offer an off-season program. For some virtual one-on-one training, check out Suzie Trains Maui, owned and operated by Suzie Cooney, an accomplished waterwoman who trains paddleboarders around the world, including professional athletes. 

Woman carrying her Thurso Surf paddleboard out of the water with mountains in the foreground

Where are you dreaming of going with your paddleboard?

Plan Your SUP Trips

While your board is stored away, you can start dreaming of your next on-water adventure! While it might seem early to be making plans for the spring and summer, it is actually an ideal time to do so as reservations and registration for clinics, camps, and getaways start to open up for the new year. Take a look at your calendar and figure out where and when you want to go. Of course this is all dependent on travel restrictions, but it’s good to start thinking about it. Here are a few ideas:

Find A New Spot

You don’t have to go far to have an adventure. Take a look at your surrounding area and see if there are new paddle spots you’d like to try. You can do a little research to find out more about potential locations. If it’s in an official park (municipal, regional, or national), there is usually information on their website for paddlers, such as fees, launch spots, general conditions, and safety considerations. If not, find a local message board or paddler’s group and ask if anyone has any tips or suggestions.

Pick Your Next SUP Destination

Want to go further from home? There are some dreamy SUP spots around the world! Check out our SUP Explorer map which features dozens of paddle spots throughout the globe, submitted by fellow Thurso Surf board owners. Each spot features photos, tips, and more! Use it as inspiration to plan your next paddling vacation. For even more inspiration, bookmark our post on some of the top spots to camp with your SUP in the US

Go to a SUP Camp

If you want to travel and level up your skills, there are some awesome getaways where you can learn anything and everything about SUP! For SUP surf, check out Pacuare Outdoor Center who offer eight-day clinics in Costa Rica and the Caribbean. For a women-only experience, She SUPs offers trips of all kinds in Australia for paddlers of all levels. For SUP touring, head over to Blue Jellyfish in Canada, who offer multi-day expeditions set in the rugged coastlines of British Columbia.

The lineup of 2021 Thurso Surf paddleboards on the beach

Learn about all the different types of paddleboards!

Learn More about SUP

It’s always nice to stay home and get cozy with a book or a bit of screentime during the colder months. Why not add some SUP-related resources to your reading and watching list. Learn about the history, the professionals, the gear, the tips, the innovations, and how-tos. There is some good SUP reading and watching out there. Here are just a few:

  • SUPBoarder – The SUPBoarder website and YouTube channel offer a wealth of information on every SUP topic imaginable, from board reviews to how-to technique videos. They offer a lot of free content, but their Pro subscription is worth the cost for extra content.
  • SUP Connect – Keep up-to-date with the latest SUP news via SUP Connect. Subscribe to their newsletter to get weekly updates delivered to your inbox.
  • Standup Journal – The world’s first SUP magazine! They print a quarterly magazine, for those who prefer paper over digital. The gorgeous photos alone are worth picking up an issue at your local newsstand. Subscriptions are also available. 
Family walking to the shoreline with their paddleboards

See you on the water next SUP season!

Ready for SUP Season 2022!

We hope this post has given you some great ideas on what to do between SUP seasons. How are you spending the off-season? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author: Jordan-na

Jordan-na Belle-Isle is a Toronto-based SUP instructor, lake surfer, and writer. Born in Montreal, she has been sporty her whole life and discovered stand-up paddleboarding in 2013. Since then, she has been active in the SUP scene, paddling and surfing the Great Lakes year-round. Jordan-na is a patient and encouraging instructor. She obtained her first SUP instructor certification in 2017 and has been teaching ever since. She has worked with Surf the Greats and Toronto Island SUP, running everything from group classes, to one-on-one training, to winter SUP safety clinics, to team-building events for clients and partners such as Google, Brown Girl Outdoor World, L’Oreal, Swim Drink Fish, and Ryerson University. She currently holds an Advanced SUP Instructor certification with Paddle Canada and is Bronze Cross certified with the Ontario Lifesaving Society. A recognizable face in the Great Lakes SUP and surf scene, her image has been used in a national campaign for Tourism Canada and she has been interviewed by several media outlets such as SUP Connect, Breakfast Television, Daily Hive News, and the Toronto Star. She was also the subject of a short documentary film titled ‘In Winter.’ A skilled writer with a masters degree from the University of Toronto, her work has appeared in Explore Magazine and she is a regular contributor to the Thurso Surf blog and Surf the Greats Journal. She is a co-organizer for Lake Surfistas, a grassroots group that connects, empowers, and educates women who surf and SUP the Great Lakes year-round.

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