Paddleboarding is quickly becoming as popular a summertime sport in the Treasure Valley as tubing. The simple longboard and paddle have come a long way since their matrimony more than 60 years ago, when they were first introduced by surfers who got tired of paddling with their arms. Now you can not only paddleboard (crazy fun), but paddle-fish (crazy boring) and even whitewater-paddle (plain crazy).
Just ask Ryan Waite, unofficial head of the Boise SUP—stand-up paddleboard—movement and manager of Sawtoothsup, a mobile service that will be offering paddleboard rentals this summer. The rentals will be available out of Waite’s “trusty trailer,” a stickered sight that is probably familiar to anyone who has frequented Lucky Peak. He will also deliver if you rent two boards and live in Boise.
Waite has seen these 9- to 14-foot behemoths—truly more boat than Boogie Board—used for anything from family excursions to yoga workouts.
“They’re so fun because they’re so versatile,” Waite said, listing potential clientele as anyone from triathletes looking to change up their core workout, to retirees on a camping trip. He explained that where a kayak may offer low-impact exercise on the water, the 60-pound boat certainly presents a more strenuous test on land. Paddleboards, at approximately 25 pounds, present half the trouble of getting a kayak in the water and one-quarter the nuisance of a canoe.
“A 60-year-old lady can put [a paddleboard] on her head and carry it down to the water,” Waite said. "There are no barriers."
In the future, Waite plans on giving free demos to anyone interested in paddleboarding, and even taking some groups on overnight camping trips to Arrowrock: “When the weather’s warm,” he said.
Rentals start at $25 for board, paddle, life jacket and leash for two hours. So if you contact Waite by phone at 208-794-8641 or through his website, sawtoothsup.com, theoretically, you could be out tomorrow braving the icy floodwaters of the Boise River.
And when people ask this summer, you’ll know what’s SUP.