Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a fantastic way to enjoy the numerous waterways in Finland. It can be a way to relax and unwind, but it can also be an intense, high-performance sport. In this article covering the basics of SUP, we’ll go through how you can safely master the sport.


Quality equipment is key to enjoying SUP safely and comfortably. Here, we’ll cover different gear and things you should consider.


SUP boards can be divided into two main categories: inflatable SUP boards and rigid SUP boards (fiberglass, carbon fiber & plastic). Each type of board has its advantages, and the choice depends on what you seek from the activity, where you primarily paddle, and who will be using the equipment.


Paddles are crafted from various materials, including aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. The choice depends on the intensity of your activity and your budget.


The leash is the most crucial safety gear for a SUP boarder. We strongly advise against paddleboarding without a leash except for whitewater SUP, where there might be a risk of the leash getting stuck, for instance, under a rock.

Life Jackets

Wearing a life jacket or a buoyancy aid is always a good idea when on the water. Neoprene gear such as wetsuits, neoprene shoes, and gloves can extend your season and enhance safety.

Other Recommended Gear

A waterproof bag for changing clothes, a waterproof phone case, a water bottle, and some extra energy (e.g., protein bars) are also recommended items.

Getting Started with SUP

There are several ways to learn the basics of stand-up paddleboarding. Many rental shops offer guided tours, providing a comfortable introduction to the sport with an instructor. Additionally, we’re hosting beginner’s courses lasting two afternoons this upcoming summer.

Choosing Your Route

Selecting a suitable route is a crucial safety measure! Plan your route beforehand, perhaps using Google Maps. Estimate the duration and length of the journey and locate as many landing spots along the way in case you need to interrupt your trip for any reason. It’s also wise to have one or more backup plans in case the original route isn’t feasible.

Currents and Wind

Currents and wind can be both a paddleboarder’s worst enemy and, on another day, their best friend! When planning your route, try to paddle against the wind or current initially so that the return trip is as easy as possible if your energy wanes. If paddling against the wind becomes too strenuous, you can drop to your knees, significantly reducing air resistance.

Other Weather Conditions

Familiarize yourself with weather conditions in advance and continuously monitor them during your trip. For instance, if a clear sky starts turning cloudy, the weather is changing. In such cases, the wind might rise rapidly, and its direction can unexpectedly change. When navigating at sea, fog can also surprise, making navigation significantly more challenging in the densest situations. When you notice impending weather changes, seek shelter near the shore where you can land if necessary.

Channels and Maritime Marks

When paddleboarding near maritime marks, remember that large vessels find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to maneuver quickly. Avoid unnecessary paddling in channels. When paddling in channels, keep an eye ahead and behind to maneuver well in advance of approaching boat traffic. It’s also advisable to familiarize yourself with maritime marks to anticipate boat routes.

112 Emergency App

It’s highly recommended to have this app on your phone. It provides all the essential emergency numbers and continuously displays your GPS coordinates. In case of an emergency, this feature helps rescue personnel locate you more easily.

Play Store


In addition to these, we’ve created a video in which competitive SUP boarder Isa Merikallio guides through the techniques of stand-up paddleboarding.