SUP’ing in Klong Prao
SUP is the acronym for ‘StandUp Paddleboarding’ which has been a round for a few years but is only now gaining popularity in Thailand. Here on Koh Chang it’s only been possible to rent SUP boards for the past 2-3 years. Far more people still opt to rent a kayak. I think part of the reason for this is that you do need more of a sense of balance to SUP on the ocean than you do paddle a kayak. And falling off is a big fear for many people. So the ideal place to learn is a river or lake with mirror flat water and no currents.
And this is where the new SUP Station in Klong Prao comes in. It is located on the river estuary in the centre of Klong Prao beach. So provides the opportunity for novice paddlers to practice the basics and get to grips with actually standing on the board and maneuvering themselves in the desirecred direction. But also means that more advanced paddlers can head out onto the sea easily. And if you’re here in the rainy season, when the sea can be rough even on sunny days, you can still take a paddle board trip inland along the river.
If you are staying in the south of the island, there’s also the excellent Paddleboard Asia located on Klong Kloi beach near Bangbao. This bay is also more sheltered and so offers a good spot to learn.
Who is it for?
Pretty much anyone. You’ll need to be able to lift yourself up from a kneeling position to standing and, whilst the board is pretty stable, it does wobble around a bit. So having a sense of balance is handy. But the boards that are used are wide and therefore ideal for beginners. After a nervous couple of minutes when you’ll be wondering if you will fall in or not, you’ll have got a feel for the board and how it handles.
And if you do fall in then at least it gives me and the others who live on the river or who are eating in the restaurants here a few laughs. For which we thank you in advance.
SUPing is an activity that families can do together. Young kids can sit on the board whilst Mum or Dad paddles them along the river. And even if you feel unsure about standing you can easily the paddle the board whilst kneeling.
What do you get?
The equipment is simple enough. A lifejacket, paddle and a board. Plus a bottle of water.
There’s not much in the way of formal instruction. Don’t expect a lengthy run down of the do’s and dont’s or a classroom session on the ‘Theory of SUP’ing’. Mainly because there’s not much to it. You stand on a board and then paddle it. It’s not rocket science.
But you’ll be shown the basics before you’re let loose on the water. Eg. How to get up from a kneeling position to standing. Where to stand on the board. How to adjust the paddle for your height. How to hold and use the paddle. etc
An instructor will accompany upstream, along a meandering river which is hidden from view of the road and any resorts . It’s a very nice spot. (Photos of exploring the river by kayak) The water is fairly shallow but it is easy to just jump in for swim or pull over to the side and stop to cool off.
What do you need?
Not much. Swimsuit or clothes you don’t mind getting wet and a dry bag for your phone or camera, if you plan on taking that with you. You’ll be in bare feet when standing on the board. (They aren’t slippery.)
Posted by SUP Station Koh Chang on Friday, 3 November 2017
How much does it cost?
The price is 500 Baht for a 90 minute session.
Optional Elephant bathing . . .
If you want to play with elephants in the river but don’t want to do an elephant ride then you can also include elephant bathing along with your SUP trip. For an additional 2,400 Baht per group ( 2 – 8 people ) SUP Station will arrange to have two elephants waiting for you when you paddle down the river. You can then spend 20 minutes playing with the elephants and bathing them. Which they clearly enjoy, without having to ride or mistreat them.
How to book a stand up paddling session?
You can book at most tour agents on the island. The price includes transport from your hotel to the SUP Station adjacent to Iyara Seafood, Klong Prao
Or if you just want to go there yourself just take the side road which leads off from the main road at Ramayana Resort in Klong Prao. You’ll see signs at the roadside for both Iyara Seafood and SUP Station.
Or contact SUP Station direct via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/supstationkohchang/