Three Ways to Get into Paddleboarding in Pittsburgh

SUP Party at Sunset; Allegheny Islands State Park. Photo Credit: Matt Dayak

SUP Party at Sunset; Allegheny Islands State Park. Photo Credit: Matt Dayak

Standup paddleboarding has been the fastest growing water sport in the US for around a decade now.  The reasons are many, but can be deduced to one: FUN.  If you haven’t gotten on a board or are interested in getting out more, here are a few suggestions for you to get out on the water in and around Pittsburgh this Spring and Summer!

 Option 1:  Take a lesson or go on a tour!

 Finding a local outfitter or professional guide/instructor is a great way to ensure your paddleboarding experience starts off in the best way possible.  A proper paddle stroke and technique is like a golf swing, you can refine it as a lifetime pursuit.  Taking a lesson will keep you from acquiring any bad habits that could lead to injuries down the road, too.  Moreover, local tours and lessons are a great way to learn the best places to paddle in your area, how to stay safe on the water, and meet others in the community.  Check out SurfSUP Adventures for their amazing eco tours, lessons, and whitewater SUP adventures here in Pittsburgh!

SurfSUP Adventures offers tours all over Western Pa. for all levels and is 3ROC partner.

SurfSUP Adventures offers tours all over Western Pa. for all levels and is 3ROC partner.

Option 2:  Rent a board!

 Nothing beats the freedom of a board and a weekend of adventure!  You can rent boards from 3 Rivers Outdoor Company and start exploring right away.  You can choose from premium boards including RED Paddle Co, NRS, and ULI.  No roof rack necessary – these boards are inflatable and can fit in any vehicle.  You can choose from half-day or long-term rentals if you’re headed on a trip.  Be sure to call ahead to reserve your boards.

Option 3:  Buy a board!

Getting a lesson at Moraine State Park

Getting a lesson at Moraine State Park

 Yes, you will use it.  At first glance, paddleboards seem like an unwieldy item that might stay in the garage for fear of having to move it around.  The truth is, they are easier to transport and launch than any watercraft out there.  If you have a roof rack, boards can lay flat on the bars without any special mounts. Even easier, we love inflatable boards that can be put into a backpack for even easier travel.

 Pro Tip:  Fly Southwest Airlines.  You can stow up to two boards in your checked bags and you are off on an adventure with ZERO baggage or rental fees.  Roll up your wetsuit, clothes, towels, etc. in your board for maximum gear packing potential!

 You might think that the space savings and travel capability is the only reason to go inflatable, but we find the durability and versatility to be the ultimate perk.  You can use the same board in a rocky river, pristine lake, ocean surf, or neighborhood drainage ditch without being concerned about damaging the board!

 Check out RED Paddle and NRS for some great inflatable board options, both are available for rent and purchase at 3 Rivers Outdoor Co. this spring.

 Where to go – here’s a few Pittsburgh favorites to get you started:  Pittsburgh Paddleboard Spots

Some 3ROC’s favorite paddle spots include Allegheny Islands State Park, Moraine State Park, & Point State Park but the options are unlimited. There are many local lakes and large ponds around that make for a great after work evening paddle whether you want to relax and enjoy the fresh or go all out and make it a workout. Paddle boarding is really great sport for all levels and is dog friendly too. Ruby joins Christine on most SUP outings.

Remember if you are using a State Park or PA. Fish & Boat facility or ramp you must have a boat license and registration otherwise you could be fined. Registration is available online for less than $20 for two years.

Want to learn more stop by the store and we’ll be happy to chat.