We recently published a tutorial detailing what you need to know to SUP with your dog. This feature got brand ambassador Johnie Gall thinking: paddling with my dog is easy—after all, Rowdy listens to everything I say, follows my commands, and doesn’t mind if I ‘accidently’ push him off. He’s cute, too. It’s my husband I have to worry about. I’m only half kidding, by the way. Here are a few practical tips for tandem paddle boarding.
Bring the right board with you- This is a no brainer. You’ll need a wide, stable board with plenty of room for two people to stand on. We opted for the Frio model. This wood paddle board is a great option for flat water or the ocean.
Find your balance on your knees- The two of you should both climb on the SUP at the same time and find your balance before standing up. I’ve found it’s easier if the heavier person is toward the back of the board. The lighter person should inch forward until the board feels like it has stopped wobbling back and forth. Think about it this way: if you normally stand directly over the center strap, you’ll want to space the bodies out equally far from that point.
Have one person stand at a time- Have the heavier person stand first, since their weight will shift the board more. Once you’re situated, the lighter person can try standing.
Laugh when you fall- It’s going to happen, so this is pretty much mandatory. Don’t blame each other. Just get back up and try again.
Divvy up the chores- And by chores, I mean the paddling and the steering. It’s usually easier if the front body steers and the back body focuses on doing the heavy lifting. Er, pushing. Paddling?
Communicate- SUPing together is pretty much the best metaphor for making a relationship work in general: you’ve got to communicate, or you’re doing to fall into some smelly water. Tell each other where you plan to steer the board, if you spot big rock or a tiny wave your partner may have missed, and when you’re going to jump off.
Your allowed to mess with each other- If you can’t mess with your partner, you’re with the wrong partner. Have fun. Fall in. Splash them when they aren’t looking. Unless you’re in a competition or something, in which case, get back to work.