SUP Downwinding Guidelines: Catching Bumps and Staying Secure

SUP Downwinding Guidelines – What You’ll Have to Begin

What’s Downwinding?

Downwinding is a specialised kind a paddling that may be completed on a sup, susceptible paddle board, or in an outrigger canoe or surf ski.  And it could be a number of the most enjoyable you possibly can have on the water!

The concept is that you just use the wind and the swells it generates to basically propel you and your water craft. You discover ways to catch the smaller swells – typically known as runners or bumps – to catch the larger ones and also you catch as a lot of them as you possibly can one after one other to maintain the momentum going.  The tip outcome form of resembles a stone skipping on the highest of the the water.

Whereas a “downwind” run will be completed anyplace to some extent, it normally takes massive wind and plenty of shifting water to create the circumstances that make it exhilarating. The Hawaiian island of Maui is thought for its downwinding runs and the distinctive circumstances within the Columbia River Gorge additionally make Hood River, OR a downwinding Mecca. Winds in each locations usually have to be blowing in extra of 15-20 mph to generate circumstances conducive to an awesome run.

The Maliko Gulch – the beginning of Maui’s epic downwind run.


Circumstances that make downwinding a complicated paddling self-discipline embrace:

  • Excessive winds
  • Giant swells
  • Quick-moving present
  • Distance from shore or assist
  • Entry to the shoreline

Ability Stipulations

  • Expertise paddling in diverse circumstances
  • Ocean paddling expertise
  • Water studying
  • Power (legs, shoulders, core)
  • Psychological Power



Small downwind runs will be completed on nearly any form of board, however within the larger circumstances and within the open ocean, it actually helps to have bigger board and one designed for downwinding.

Downwinding boards usually have extra nostril rocker – which implies the nostril of the board is  extra upturned. Additionally they have extra quantity – or are thicker.  Paddlers within the Gorge or in Hawaii will use a board that’s not less than 14 really feel lengthy. Downwinding boards used on Maui’s Maliko Run will usually have a rudder that’s managed with the paddler’s foot to help in steering.


Leashes are all the time essential it doesn’t matter what you’re paddling, however particularly so in downwinding.  Test that the leash is in good condition – no dry rot, no nicks or cuts.  Many downwind paddlers will use two leash strings to protect towards failure.  Some even use two leashes on the actually massive, epic days.

Staying related to your board or boat in heavy circumstances removed from shore is crucial.

Different Gear

Different Concerns

If you wish to attempt downwinding in Hawaii or Hood River, right here’s what you are able to do earlier than you go:

  • Learn as a lot as you possibly can about it.
  • Watch movies by the main paddlers within the self-discipline like Paddle Monster’s Coach Travis Grant, Jeremy Riggs, Suzie Cooney, Andrea Moller and Fiona Wilde.
  • Be taught to sup surf: that can enable you perceive how water strikes and can enable you dial in your footwork and board toes steering. When you catch a wave, the texture is similar to downwinding.
  • Paddle in difficult circumstances.
  • Get in form! Take a look at Suzie Cooney’s guide and web site for downwind particular power work you are able to do.

Go together with a Information – the Finest Method to Glide!

Hood River downwind information Joel Yang explaining the superb artwork of bump catching earlier than a Viento Run.

Massive circumstances deserve massive respect. Even for those who contemplate your self an achieved paddler, hook up with some native data. Even for those who assume you might have the talents, get not less than one guided session in earlier than you do your first Maliko on Maui or Viento on within the Gorge.  Working with an professional coach/information like Jeremy Riggs on Maui or Joel Yang in Hood River will make you a greater paddler, maintain you secure, and guarantee you might have enjoyable. Test the ego, open up your thoughts and take a lesson or two.


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