Once an ancient Hawaiian sport, paddle boarding has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Paddle boarding isn’t just reserved for the beach, either. You can pretty much paddle on any large body of water, including rivers and lakes. Similar to a surfboard, you stand on the paddle board while using a paddle to propel yourself forward. Not only does stand up paddle boarding provide a full-body workout, but it’s also a great exercise for all skill levels. Plus, paddle boarding is fun too! You burn calories while spending the day on the water, soaking in the sunshine and fresh air. If you’re looking to go paddle boarding in Charlottesville, the Rivanna River Company has everything you need to get started.
Paddle Boarding Basics
If you’ve never done stand-up paddle boarding before, then you’re going to want to start out easy. Perhaps one of the most challenging and fun places to paddleboard in Charlottesville is the Rivanna River. Although the Rivanna River Company offers a Stand Up Paddleboard River Skills Session, you may want to try a paddle board out on flat water such as a lake before starting out on a flowing river. Rivanna River Company has paddle boards available for rent for $38.
If you have some paddle boarding experience but have yet to venture out on a river, then the River Skills Session will teach you the basics in a two-hour session. The beginning of the class will be learning how to properly launch your board, paddle while kneeling, stand up on the board, and how to maneuver the paddle board. After you’ve got that down, you’ll practice for 30 minutes on flatwater before conquering smaller rapids. It is recommended that you take the class before signing up for one of the more intermediate trips offered by Rivanna River Company. The class costs $49 per person and includes all equipment and transportation.
Take a Trip Down River
For those with prior paddle boarding experience, the Rivanna River Company offers several different paddle boarding trips in Charlottesville. Ranging from 2 miles to 6.75 miles, there are trips for every skill level. Beginners may want to try the Rivanna Sampler or the Paddle to Pints trips, each a two-mile round trip. Tackle small rapids with views of Mt. Alto and the historic water tower on the Rivanna Sampler, or paddle from Free Bridge to Riverview Park followed by a beer and food at Random Row Brewing Co. on the Paddle to Pints excursion.
For those with more advanced paddle boarding experience, the Rivanna Adventure Paddle and Rivanna South Fork Exploration are more challenging trips. At 5.75 miles, the Rivanna Adventure Paddle begins at Free Bridge and ends at Milton Landing. For 2.5 to 3 hours, you will paddle through the Southwest Mountains over rocky terrain and stronger Class II rapids. The Rivanna South Fork Exploration excursion is the longest trip available at 6.75 miles. You’ll begin at the South Fork, traveling along past several Class I and Class II rapids in addition to serene pools before reaching the end of the tour at Free Bridge. Both of these intermediate trips require the River Skills Trip for stand-up paddle boarding as a prerequisite.
For some of the best paddle boarding in Charlottesville, Rivanna River Company can teach you and guide you along as you go. Get a full body workout while enjoying the great outdoors through stand up paddle boarding! Grab a group of friends after work and try something new and adventurous.
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