Stand Up Paddling (SUP)

Stand-up paddling is a popular water sport that involves standing on a special board with a paddle in your hands. Size and age play a secondary role. After just a short training session, the SUP can be used for demanding training or for a leisurely excursion.

Origin of stand up paddling

Stand-up paddling has become a trend sport in Germany. More and more people are seen paddling across the water. The idea has been around for decades. The origin lies in Polynesia, where the fishermen stood in their canoes out to sea off Tahiti. In Hawaii, it was used by surf instructors from the 20th century to get to the reefs where big waves are breaking faster and to keep a better overview of their students. Ten years ago, the technique was rediscovered by various surfers, such as windsurfing world champion Robby Naish or top surfer Laird Hamilton, and only expanded into a sport. In the USA and Australia in particular, stand-up paddling became a new trend sport, and a few years ago it spilled over to Europe. Since then, stand-up paddling has also spread to Germany and is increasingly finding its way into popular sport. It is already being discussed about inclusion as an Olympic discipline.

Stand-up paddling is a sport with a fun factor

Stand-up paddling is a full-body and effective workout. Above all, it strengthens the inner muscles of the upper body, torso, stomach and back and stabilizes knee and ankle joints through constant balancing. Arms and legs are active all the time. Thanks to the self-determinable stress level, athletes of different levels of fitness can paddle together. Stand-up paddling is already used in rehabilitation sports and contributes to health.

Stand-up paddling as a competitive sport

There are regular SUP sprint and long-distance races in flat water and SUP surfing championships in waves. SUP competitions are also held in white water. In Germany, the German Canoe Association ( DKV ) and the German Surfing Association ( DWV ) are active in stand-up paddling. In addition, the German Stand Up Paddle Association eV ( GSUPA ) was founded.

Paddling areas in Berlin and the surrounding area

Stand-up paddling is possible and permitted in many Berlin bodies of water. Of course you need enough water level so that you don’t get stuck with the fin. And you should find a good opportunity to use it from shore. Beware of strong currents and bad weather conditions – especially the wind has to be taken into account.

Berlin and Brandenburg can enjoy one of the largest contiguous inland waterways. So you can choose from a variety of waterways, lakes or canals. In the city center you can paddle with us on the Spree or the Landwehr Canal in the heart of Berlin. You can paddle on one of the lakes around Berlin, such as Griebnitzsee, Schlachtensee, Tegeler See, Wannsee or Müggelsee. The Dahme, the Havel, the many canals or Little Venice are also ideal as paddling areas.

Note regarding the Berlin inner city area: Driving on the Spree-Oder waterway from the Kanzleramtssteg km 14.10 to the Oberbaumbrücke km 20.70 – including the Spree Canal – is not permitted for small vehicles without a motor drive according to § 21.24 Inland Waterway Regulations (BinSchStrO).

The Canua app also provides important information or you can visit the kanu.de website .

Who can learn stand up paddling?

In principle, anyone can do stand-up paddling, it is very easy to learn. Depending on your ability and size/weight, we will find the right board for you. A certain amount of effort is required to apply the paddle stroke in such a way that one slides forward. You should be able to swim. After an hour of intensive paddling you have definitely done something for your muscles. The mind also relaxes, because the recurring movements and the beautiful view of the water make you forget the world around you. The “landlocked” surfer can complete his training for surfing by stand-up paddling or enjoy stand-up paddling himself.

Where can you go stand up paddling?

All you need is water that is at least as deep as the fin under the stand-up paddleboard. Berlin and the Brandenburg area are ideal for short and long tours. In the heart of Berlin you can paddle a variety of tours with us and get to know the city’s canals better. You can go for a spin at the Osthafen, for example to the Molecule Man or to the Insel der Jugend or to the Rummelsburger Bay. Or you can paddle back and forth on the Landwehr Canal in Kreuzberg. Hardly any other region in Germany can keep up with this diversity.

When can you stand up paddle?

It is possible all year round. In winter, all you have to do is equip yourself with a thick wetsuit or a dry suit and wear neoprene shoes. In the warmer months you can then go paddling with short clothes or in swimwear. It becomes difficult in strong winds, as you can easily be carried off, and in rain, which reduces visibility. Safety should always come first.

How to do stand up paddling?

First you need the equipment and access to the water. Whether you go paddling with us or get in somewhere else – it doesn’t take much. Those who dare to board should be able to swim and check the weather forecast beforehand. If you obey the waterway rules, there’s nothing stopping you from paddling the world’s waterways, lakes and seas. It is best to paddle in pairs or in a group.

We also recommend SUP Scout for information about stand up paddling.