If your family has tried all of the high-energy, gravity-defying activities (think: rock climbing, laser tag, and white water rafting) and you’re looking for something new and a little more laid back, consider the latest trend in water navigation: standup paddleboarding. Wondering if you’re capable? The truth is if you can stand, you can SUP!
Photo: Scott McLeod
The flat, slow-moving nature of Seneca Creek waters make this the perfect place for beginners. Active Nature outdoor adventure company offers everything from single-session introductory courses to a full waterman’s package where you can train for races and competitions. They also offer romantic outings such as Water and Wine where you can paddleboard to a local winery and relax in the vineyard while you sip the region’s finest wines. Cost: $20-$200
Seneca Creek at Riley’s Lock
13015 Riley’s Lock Rd. (Poolsville, Md)
Key Bridge Boathouse
Take the ultimate city tour by paddleboarding along the Georgetown waterfront where the river is calm and serene and features a different perspective on Washington’s skyline. Key Bridge Boathouse focuses on beginner level paddleboarding. You can rent by the hour, join a class, or get private instruction. Cost: $20/hour
3500 Water St. NW (Georgetown)
There’s something for everyone at Potomac Paddlesports, from beginning group lessons, to private instruction, to SUP racing, and SUP yoga. If you’re beyond the beginner stage of paddleboarding and looking to step it up a notch, the Great Falls area offers Class I and Class II rapids that will keep you moving even when you don’t paddle. You can buy a two-year SUP membership through Potomac Paddlesports and get four lessons, coached practices and unlimited rentals. You’ll learn more than 20 strokes and maneuvers, along with river awareness and etiquette. Kids 12-17 can participate in Paddlestroke SUP’s CampSUP, a five-day class designed to build a solid foundation for the sport. Cost: $125 and up
Old Angler’s Lot
10801 MacArthur Blvd. (Potomac, Md)
Valley Mill Kayak School
If you’re not quite ready for the Potomac, you can enjoy an Intro to SUP class on a private lake through Valley Mill Kayak School. They will even let you start out in a pool if you’re truly timid. Lessons run every Saturday and Sunday from May through early October. Kids can combine canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding in Valley Mill’s summer camp. Cost: $105/ three hours
15101 Seneca Rd. (Germantown, Md)
Have you or your kid gone stand up paddleboarding?Tell us about your experience in the comments below.