What are those? Paddle Boarding Becoming Popular on Montana Rivers and Lakes
By Kelsey

Posted: June 28, 2012

An old hawaiian surfing sport has taken over the water across the entire nation! Montana has especially seen a tremendous growth in popularity and presence on rivers and lakes. You can race, get an extreme workout, relax, surf the rapids, do yoga and even just lay in the middle of the lake on a paddle board. They are extremely diverse and easy to load up and hit the road with. You can go alone or go as a fleet. Now you can see what is up with all the paddle boarders, what it exactly is and how you can get into it yourself! I promise you, after your first go, you are hooked and ready to explore the mountain rivers and lakes like never before!

If that doesn’t get you excited check out the video below:

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What is a paddle board? 

  • Stand up paddle boarding (S.U.P)  is a water sport that has taken off full speed this summer in the entire nation, and especially in Montana.
  • It originates in Hawaii culturally as an old form of surfing.
  • It is sometimes used as a tool to teach people how to surf.
  • There is many different styles of paddle boards from 12′ long boards to blow-up rapid ready boards.
  • Strongwater Paddle Shop – Surf Shop of the Mountains is a shop in Missoula (a great central city location to paddle board venture out from). You can easily rent 4 hour and 24 hour boards and every penny you spend on renting will go towards purchasing a board! You will get everything you need with a rental including paddle, board, haul straps and life jacket  and whistle when required. This is a heck of deal! They will even have a booth at Seeley Lake for rentals where hauling won’t be an issue. (CLICK HERE to see Seeley Lake on a map)

Where can you learn how to paddle board?

  • Montana Wild Education and Base Camp is offering two FREE classes on July 5 from 6-7pm and 7-8pm.
  • The classes are going to take place at Spring Meadow Lake State Park, 930 Country Club Ave., in Helena.
  • Paddle boards and paddles will be provided.
  • Fish Wildlife & Parks will supply the required life jackets.
  • Ages from 10 years old welcome!
  • To register and reserve space in the 6 or 7 p.m. class, call Montana Wild at 444-9944.

Where can I use a paddle board?

  • You can use them almost anywhere there is water.
  • inland bays
  • lakes
  • reservoirs
  • rivers
  • ponds
What should you wear?
  • Ready to get wet clothing
  • Sandals or water shoes
  • layers if it gets windy or cold

Key Safety Recommendations:

  • Wear a lifejacket, most places it is required
  • Carry a whistle
  • know how to tow another board
  • be familiar with local regulations and navigation rules (CLICK HERE to view them)
  • understand winds and currents
  • take a safety course (CLICK HERE to see information on courses)


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