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Stand Up Paddling - SUP

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We tried this new adventurous sport over Memorial Day Weekend. If you enjoy the water and being outdoors, Stand Up Paddling is one of the must-do activities while in Blue Ridge. With roots in Hawaii, SUP (Stand Up Paddling) has expanded inland from the oceans to the lakes and rivers of Blue Ridge, Georgia. We have never surfed and no experience is necessary. We signed up for our stand up paddle lesson and headed out to a remote spot on Lake Blue Ridge with our guide. He gave us the basic instructions while on land and then we ventured out into the water. After a few splashes into the water we were off to an afternoon of fun. We were able to learn the basic strokes and then paddled into the cove up toward where the Toccoa River enters Lake Blue Ridge.

In Blue Ridge, stand up padding can be done on lakes and rivers. You want to begin on flat water before venturing onto the running water of the Toccoa, but the Toccoa will be our next attempt. Now that we have had our lessons we will take advantage of Surf Blue Ridges stand up paddle board rental program to rent our own board. Later on we may choose to make the investment in our own equipment.

Chris Tilghman is the owner of Surf Blue Ridge and he was our guide. He is very experienced and made learning easy. Chris has over twenty years experience surfing some of the world’s best waves in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Cape Hatteras, California and Hawaii. He explained that the sport provides core-strengthening, endurance and balance. We agree. After a few hours of stand up paddling we left with a feeling of a great workout.

Whether you seek the peaceful enjoyment of nature, power paddling, or a downriver rush, SUP in North Georgia is an activity for all ages. Enjoy lessons among the blue herons, kingfishers, rhododendron, mountain laurel and lush mountain landscape of Blue Ridge, Georgia. Just like us, you will be up and paddling in no time.

Surf Blue Ridge's new shop is located in downtown Blue Ridge. 706-889-8747 or

Blue Ridge Weekender