What Is SUP?

Blue Nose Surf

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is the fastest growing water sport in the world right now. This ancient Polynesian practice consists of the rider standing on a large surfboard and propelling themselves with a long canoe-style paddle. The extra large surfboard provides great stability and floatation which in turn allows significant speed.

SUP’s have proven extremely effective at catching small waves, as well as getting the speed required to catch very large waves. Outside of surfing, however, they have become extremely popular as cruising vehicles as well as a great fitness activity. As flat water cruising vehicles they are smaller, lighter and easier to carry than kayaks. In many ways they are safer than kayaks as well, since it is easier to get back on a surfboard than to re-right, climb back in and de-water a kayak.

For fitness, SUPing also works practically all muscle groups, but has been touted primarily for its effect on the abdominal core.

Our Staff

Blue Nose Surf

Our dedicated staff has many years of surfing, kayaking, paddling, boating, sailing, and Alaska experience. Instructors and tour guides are First Aid and CPR qualified. and learn cold water survival techniques, emergency rescue, and signaling.

Neil Nickerson, Owner

Neil considers himself a “waterman,” as he loves anything to do in the water — with a particular passion for surfing. He has been surfing, waterskiing, kneeboarding, skin diving, sailing, whitewater rafting, and boating for over thirty-five years.

Neil is retired U.S. Coast Guard, a licensed Captain, and is a survival and safety instructor with the Alaska Marine Safety Education Assoc (AMSEA). He also teaches Maritime Transportation at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Will I Get Cold?

Blue Nose Surf

Fortunately for us, modern wet and dry suit technology can keep us comfortable, even in the middle of winter! Water temperatures in Southeast Alaska range from a low of around 34° in the winter, to as high as 50° in the summer. Lakes can get even warmer after periods of sunny, high pressure. Depending on your planned activity and desired comfort, there are two main choices for thermal protection: wetsuits and drysuits.

For SUP’s, most people prefer drysuits for the obvious reason that you don’t ever have to get wet. You can layer as much warmth underneath as desired and be very well protected from an unexpected dip or rain. If you’re planning on surfing or spending lots of time in the water, a wetsuit is the more comfortable choice. A 3mm wetsuit will keep you warm (when paddling) on a nice summer day, but might be too warm if it's sunny. For surfing or paddling in winter, you’ll be more comfortable in a hooded 5mm or 6mm wetsuit.

Feet and Hands: In the summer and early fall, neoprene booties are normally worn for the feet, and some thin neoprene gloves as well. In the winter, you’ll want 7mm booties and 5mm gloves.

Head: In summer, some kind of hat or light hood should be worn to protect from rain and/or wind. In the winter, a hooded wetsuit is recommended.