The Stand Up Paddleboard is not Scary!
The nice thing about a stand up paddleboard (SUP) is that when you are unsure of what is ahead… you can simply kneel and pray!
We have been offering stand up paddleboard trips on the Grand River since 2011. The Grand is perfect for learning how to paddle a SUP on a river. This river is shallow, slow moving, with some easy-thrill swifts.
More details about the Grand River of Southern Ontario... 1 hour west of Toronto.
The best part of river-paddling is “change”! When doing a SUP lake paddle, you paddle forever towards the horizon. But on a river, not only the scenery is changing, but the river itself keeps changing.
Grand River Rafting started out with plastic SUP boards… then WHASUP introduced us to the inflatable SUPs. We quickly switched because the inflatable SUPs are more durable/flexible and there is no rock damage.
Please note… do not bring fibreglass SUP boards, the shallow rocks will ruin the SUP underside.
Our SUP inflatables are designed for the beginner… the boards are extra wide for great stability. In fact on our big inflatable board, my son paddled around a lake with himself and his four restless children on it. Now that's stability!
I have a “bum” knee and even I can do it. My problem is, that I like speed… and when I paddle faster… I end up swimming a lot! Thank heaven the boards are easy to get back on!!!
So often people show up at our river business with the idea of maximum distance for maximum dollar! Not a good idea… because at the end… you are exhausted, sunburnt and pissed at going so far. Better to do a 10-12 km trip… enjoying and wanting more.
For the “unsure”, you can take a 45-60 minute lesson before the trip. Learn how to get off/on the SUP, how to stand up and steering techniques. The lessons are excellent for giving competence and confidence before your trip.
We offer two routes... the beginner route is from Paris to Brant Park, and the intermediate route is from Glen Morris to Paris.
Here is the link to prices/times for a Grand River Rafting SUP Trip.
How it works… you park at the end point, hop on a bus/van that shuttles to the start. At the start point, our staff equips you with paddle, life jacket, dry bag and board. Then the staff gives you a Grand River map and goes over the route with you. Then off you go, with no time limit.
The trips average about 3-3.5 hours for most... if the river is high after a heavy rain, it can be done in 2 hours. Water temperatures are good ranging from 68-75 F or 20-23 C.
Recommended attire is bathing suits, shorts and t-shirts, shoes that can get wet, sunglasses with strings, baseball caps or wide brimmed hats and good sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. For those that are fair-skinned, long sleeves and pants are a good idea. If you need eye glasses... please bring strings so not to lose in the river.
Along the way you can take rests, swim and breathe in the wilderness setting. We even have a picnic area with washrooms along the way. When your trip is done… simply leave your equipment with the staff… and head out.
If looking for a great meal or ice cream after… visit the riverside town of Paris… walk this small town... experience the shops and restaurants... bring back good memories.
View of the Town of Paris on the Grand River.