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Old 01-02-2022, 12:20 PM   #1
Zach
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Stand-up paddleboard experiences?

I had always supposed that stand-up paddleboards were a no doubt fun but essentially frivolous waterfront pastime till I read the Daily Enterprise coverage of the Tupper Lake 8 Miler in 2019 and saw that they didn't do that much worse than the canoes, maybe something like 80% of top canoe speed. I am very fond of my canoe, but I had some back disc trouble that kept me from being able to sit in mine from mid-July till the end of the paddling season this year, and that got me thinking about them again. Being able to stand up instead of sitting is always much more comfortable for me anyway. I am thinking of renting one next summer for a half day or a day and seeing if I can learn how to remain on top, and what the overall experience is like. I've read that people do use them for paddle camping at times, though this seems to be a much less common use for them. I'd like to try making one someday, perhaps, too. I'll be very grateful to hear any thoughts people have about whether an SUP in Adirondack waters is a practical idea or not.
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Old 01-02-2022, 12:28 PM   #2
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They're definitely increasing in popularity for day trips. I've never seen anyone out on an overnight trip with one but I'm sure it's been done.

The one mistake I see a lot of folks making with paddleboards is not having a PFD with them. There is apparently a somewhat common misconception among the paddleboarding crowd that the board itself "counts as a PFD." This is not true- a proper PFD is still required by law.
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Old 01-02-2022, 12:37 PM   #3
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You might want to try a kneeling canoe with a single blade as well. As I recall you are sitting in a pack canoe and using a double blade. That bothers my lower back.
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Old 01-02-2022, 01:35 PM   #4
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I was amazed when not many years ago the first paddleboarder entered the Adirondack 90 mile canoe race. He was the last to cross the finish line in Saranac Lake with a rousing cheer from the crowd waiting there long after everyine else had finished. Since then several others have been in the race, maybe a couple of them each year.

Much more surprisingly they have been allowed to paddle the Yukon River Races, but only as paired teams traveling together for safety. There is quite an extensive list of required gear that must be carried in all boats in the races, even more with the necessary camping gear during the 1000 mile race. I don't know how they do it. They were allowed in even before the very first C4 canoes were finally allowed to race as I did in 2017. But on the long westward often strong headwind stretches in the Alaska segment on the 1000 mile, the paddleboarders have in some years been windbound and unable to progress for a couple of days at a time as traditional normal canoes and kayaks passed them by.
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Old 01-02-2022, 01:52 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the insights.

DSettahr, I will indeed carry or wear a PFD depending on conditions. I would think that especially in rough water a PFD would be more important on a paddle board than in a canoe, since it would be easier to fall off and become separated.

Montcalm, I am not able to kneel comfortably on a hard surface at all or on a padded surface for more than a few minutes. When I was a kid I could kneel on the floor for hours, but in my teens I had knee problems, probably from growing too fast, and while the problems went away by themselves they left some limitations behind.

Wldrns, that's good to know. I didn't expect to be able to go as fast as in a canoe, but I figured that for recreational (rather than racing) purposes I could happily either travel 3/4 the distance or take 1-1/3 times the normal required time if I felt better on arrival.
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Old 01-02-2022, 02:00 PM   #6
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Sorry to hear that, Zach. I have some issues kneeling too, but I switch between sitting and kneeling.

People seem to get around on the boards OK, from what I can see. Problem would of course be carrying anything. You can tether stuff to the board, but I'm not so sure how stable it would be. Maybe you could tow a dinghy?

The other option is to try a touring seat in a canoe with a single blade. For me, this is pure luxury.



Also, this will probably never apply to you, but the SUPs are illegal to use in reservoirs where swimming is prohibited. Apparently it's not considered equivalent to a closed hull even though your feet aren't technically in the water.
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Old 01-02-2022, 02:33 PM   #7
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I think that carrying stuff should be okay, as it'll be lower than most of me, so if I can keep from tipping over by myself the extra weight lower down should be fairly insignificant from a balance perspective, in my theoretical imagining of the physics involved.

I didn't know that about paddleboards and no swimming reservoirs, but I suppose it makes sense given that people do fall off them and would presumably drown or float around indefinitely in their PFDs if they didn't swim upon falling in. I don't think I've ever been to a place with those rules, but there may be some in the Adirondacks that I don't know about.
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
I didn't know that about paddleboards and no swimming reservoirs, but I suppose it makes sense given that people do fall off them and would presumably drown or float around indefinitely in their PFDs if they didn't swim upon falling in. I don't think I've ever been to a place with those rules, but there may be some in the Adirondacks that I don't know about.
Yeah, the rules are primarily about protecting water quality. Like Montcalm says this isn't super common but there's definitely a few reservoirs scattered around the Adirondacks that serve as drinking water supplies for local municipalities. E.g., Gooseneck Pond on the edge of the Pharaoh Wilderness, McKenzie Pond on the edge of the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness, etc.

I know there's a stretch of the Chuck Keiper Trail in PA where no camping is permitted- because on that section of the trail, you're in the watershed that feeds the drinking water reservoir for the local municipality.

So yes... water quality for municipal drinking water sources is something that gets taken pretty seriously. Would you want your drinking water to come from a pond or lake that dirty hippy paddlers had been dipping their feet in?
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Old 01-02-2022, 03:45 PM   #9
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Zach,
I saw a fellow at Little Green Pond this past summer with a full pack on his SUP...no idea where he was going, but it was clear he was not on a day trip.
I imagine you could build something that might have a sort of "cubby" to hold your gear. Not necessarily to keep it dry, but just to keep it from sliding off the edge.
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:13 PM   #10
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During an early summer fishing trip on Lake Ontario we saw a guy on a paddle board. He was over 2 miles off shore. No wet suit, just shorts and a tee-shirt. No life jacket either. And the wind was freshening. I never heard about a missing person on the news, so I guess he made it off the water
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:19 PM   #11
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If you could mount a small sail on a SUP it might be fun!..
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Old 01-02-2022, 06:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Would you want your drinking water to come from a pond or lake that dirty hippy paddlers had been dipping their feet in?
That's pretty much the long and short the regulation. Although they turn a blind eye to my dirty feet in water when I launch my canoe.

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During an early summer fishing trip on Lake Ontario we saw a guy on a paddle board. He was over 2 miles off shore. No wet suit, just shorts and a tee-shirt. No life jacket either. And the wind was freshening. I never heard about a missing person on the news, so I guess he made it off the water
Or no one missed him
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Old 01-02-2022, 11:12 PM   #13
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Stripperguy, a cubby sounds like an interesting idea. Mostly I have seen tiedown points or straps towards the bow and stern in pictures. I was also thinking about one of those blue barrels that some canoe people use, but wasn't sure if straps would be enough to hold it.

DSettahr, I didn't know there were restricted reservoirs in the Adirondacks, but I have heard of them near cities. It's another thing to watch for when I'm thinking about places to go.
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Old 01-02-2022, 11:25 PM   #14
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I don't think either of the reservoirs I mentioned have restrictions on them apart from the norm- was just mentioning them as examples of drinking water reservoirs in the ADKs as evidence that it's a good thing to be aware of. Both of those examples are also fairly inaccessible and are not places that frequently see paddling traffic.

Although I do believe in both instances that the DEC has refrained from designating any campsites on those bodies of water to help protect that water quality.
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Old 01-10-2022, 11:55 AM   #15
John H Swanson
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We rented a house up by Paul Smiths and it had use of canoes, kayaks and SUP with all the support gear (read pfds). Over the week we used everything on the lakes and ponds. It was nice to try it all. At times we would go out in a canoe and one of the kids on the SUP. When she got tired we would tie her on and pull her along. What was great was the SUP makes it super easy to get in and out of the canoe so swimming for a short while to cool off in the middle of the lake becomes no big event. Kids loved it and it was nice. We saw a woman in a bathing suit with a fanny pack on her SUP. I thought she must be quite confortable when she took out her phone for a few pics. We also saw someone with their small dog perched on the bow of their SUP.
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Old 01-10-2022, 02:22 PM   #16
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I hadn't thought about the convenience of swimming from the board, but it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for posting, it's good to know that you liked them when you tried them.
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