How to Get Ready for the SUP Season

In Uncategorized by Tim Sanford

As the year charges ahead, you’ve likely noticed it’s been slowly warming up. We’re still experiencing an above-average number of storms, which, on the bright side, means plenty of rainfall plus high pressure (sunny days) between the systems – that means some great paddling with calm waters and sunny skies!

While Spring can bring some storms it also brings whales! It’s a great time to get out for a paddle and there’s been a grey whale cruising around the mouth of Marina del Rey so it’s THE time to see one. Keep in mind they need their space so keep your distance but seeing a spout or whale tail from a paddleboard is not to be missed. Let me know if you need a board or guidance to go check it out!

While you might be excited to charge onto the water for a paddle workout (Summer is coming and there is no better low-impact workout than a paddle board workout!!) This is your reminder that it’s always a good idea to remember the fundamentals:

  • Post-Storm Paddling: After a storm, we’re often gifted with periods of high pressure—think light breezes and sunshine—perfect conditions for a paddle workout or a leisurely cruise.
  • Water Quality in Santa Monica: Santa Monica is HUGE and has a tremendous amount of water in it. While it’s best to avoid swimming 48hrs to 72 hours after a storm the parts per million dissipates any runoff quickly and the Bay is dominated by a southerly coastal current at 1mph and which means 24 hours later a lot of water has moved about 24 miles south. If you’re healthy and don’t have open cuts you can get back in the water. Plus, if you’re on a SUP you’re above it anyway.
  • Malibu Adventures: Storms typically come from the north, making this the perfect season for clear water paddling in Malibu. Enjoy the dramatic cliffs and keep an eye out for whales—it’s their season!
  • Surf’s Up: The larger surf from Venice to the south bay beckons—grab your SUP surfboards and get out there.
  • Dressing Right: Dress for immersion especially when ocean paddling. Should you just wear layers or wetsuits? Remember wetsuits keep you warm when wet so be sure to get a fleece-lined wetsuit to keep you warm when you’re back on your board. When the sun’s out you can always jump in to cool off. Or, experiment with layers – leggings, paddle jackets, vests, socks, and/or booties are welcome additions to your paddle kit…

See our shop for popular suggestions for paddling in SoCal this time of year (These are personal picks from my own experience. Guaranteed to be the right choice – no thinking required!)

Have any questions about the above? Shoot me a quick reply or send me an email at

With that said, don’t forget to mark your calendars! (See below)

The 2024 Paddle Method Club Season Begins April 15th!

Looking for people with a paddle addiction? Group water workouts? Access to a range of SUP gear from cruisers to race boards to SUP surf and inflatables?

Join the PMC for community and get cash back rewards! The more you paddle the more you save!

Here’s the rundown:

I get it. It’s difficult to find paddle buddies with the same schedule, gear, and skill level. So, we thought we’d do the hard part for you and bring everyone together.

The fun part is up to you to build your skills and connect with our small group paddle socials, workouts, race training sessions, and coastal adventurers.

If you’re not sure which group class to join check out the cheat sheet below or…

Feel free to email me or call 310-770-7291 and I can happily guide you…

Paddle Method SUP Club Class Cheat Sheet

The best thing to do is treat SUP group paddles just like every other sport whether it’s tennis, golf, skiing, bike riding, etc.

Paddling is best when you’re with people who are right at your level or just a bit better. If there’s a big gap in skills, it takes the fun out of it for both sides.

Answer these questions below to see where you stand (FYI you must already be a capable swimmer):

Do you participate in any or all of the following?

  • Boards sports (surfing, skiing, skateboarding, SUP, etc.)
  • Wave sports (surfing, boogie boarding, body surfing, etc.)
  • Wind sports (kiteboarding, sailing, windsurfing, etc.)
  • Stick sports (baseball, tennis, golf, etc.)

Pro tip: If you’re already paddling, do you know your mile time? A powerful tool for local paddlers is knowing how long it takes you to paddle from Mother’s Beach to the gas dock and back in the morning and afternoon (see how you do when there’s more wind and boat wakes). Knowing your paddling times will help you find a group to paddle with that will challenge you but that you can also keep up with.

If you currently do one or more from each category you will pick up SUP very quickly in flat-calm water.

If you’ve previously participated in any of the mentioned sports (board, wave, wind, or stick sports), you have a good foundation to start with Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP). Here’s how to get going:

  1. Begin with a Group Lesson 1 or opt for a Private Lesson. We recommend starting in the morning when the water is usually calmer, making it easier for beginners.
  2. After your first lesson, progress to Lesson 2, which can also be a private session, ideally in the afternoon. This allows you to experience and learn to handle different water conditions.

Remember SUP is for everyone who can swim but conditions change quickly and places where people like to paddle such as near oceans, marinas, islands, and mountain lakes, all receive changeable conditions from wind, waves, and wakes.

It doesn’t take more than a few lessons before you can paddle confidently, get an amazing full-body low-impact workout, and cruise with a group of fun, healthy, happy paddle people!

Sound like a ton of fun? You bet it is. Check out the links below to sign up today!

Sign Up for a Lesson

Join Our Paddle Method SUP Club

See Our Shop Page for the Best SUP Gear (Things I’ve personally tried!)

Now, let’s go paddle!