What’s SUP?

Image by Rick White

For prize or pleasure, Stand Up Paddling is catching on.

The days are getting longer and the summer heat is upon us. A classic cool-off in Knoxville has always been stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). There are SUP tours, SUP yoga classes, and even SUP races. If you’re not so new to the SUP scene and are looking to take your skills to the next level, checkout local competitive groups such as Paddle Knoxville (on Facebook). They meet every Wednesday evening at Ned McWherter Park to practice. They are open to paddlers of all skill levels. If you’re just getting started, here are some great places to rent:

Billy Lush Boards & Brews: Located at Volunteer Landing, they can provide SUP rentals, as well as kayaks, canoes, and more. They offer SUP yoga classes and host events such as the City Lights Paddle–a night time group paddle each Saturday evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. billylushboards.com

Mead’s Quarry Lake at Ijams Nature Center: For those who own boards or paddle boats, there is a free, public-access dock at the Ijams River Landing open daily from 8 AM to dusk. Not looking to haul all of your gear? Ijams has partnered with River Sports Outfitters to offer rentals at Mead’s Quarry. ijams.org

The Cove: Located on Northshore Drive, River Sports Outfitters has outfitted a rental building to allow visitors to rent paddleboards and other craft right at the waterfront of this paddling hot-spot.  Rentals will be available on Saturdays 10 AM to 6 PM and Sundays 12 PM to 6 PM. riversportsoutfitters.com   

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