SUP downwinder – the ultimate - dare to ride the rails

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It’s called SUP downwinder for good reason. Those who dare to participate go out in gusty winds of up to 50 knots and stronger using specially engineered flat hull SUPs. These boards are anywhere from 12 to 17 feet long, fairly narrow, with a pointed nose, a shape that helps to cut through intense waves at high speeds. Shorter boards can be used, but they will pose even greater challenges; specific downwinder boards are ideal (see Todd Bradely video tips below). This activity requires absolute endurance, strength and advanced paddle boarding skills.

The experience of a SUP downwinder is perhaps the ultimate of all SUP disciplines. The challenge of shifting your feet in response to various waves, the push of gusty winds at your back, and the challenge of staying on your board at high speeds is not for everyone; it’s highly skilled. It’s also quite a rush.

Listed at the end of this article are links to topics about downwinders. These links will provide you with further insight on this sport: what you can expect, personal stories, and safety guidelines. Find out if the downwinder experience is the rush you’ve been waiting for.

Dockslocks locking system

Practice technique exercises to get ready for a SUP downwinder

This video covers bracing and steering with the paddle and helpful downwinder insight.

Downwind Surfing Basic Exercises from Paddle With Riggs on Vimeo.

SUP specific drysuit –"Surf Dry" Jacket  

In 2012 a company in Victoria, B.C. Canada ( designed the first drysuit specifically for paddle boarders called the "Soul". Today they offer the  "Heat", "Soul" and "Ignite". These suits are unisex in style and come in a range of sizes. See reviews at the following link.

Find the Ocean Rodeo "Soul" suit at REI

Rodeo Soul Suit

Jeremy Riggs, Livio Menelau and Scott Trudon on a downwinder at Maliko

2014 – Chris Bertish, Ethan Koopmeans and friends.

Downwinder at 30 knots – Cape Town, south Africa

Downwind Run with Livio Menelau.

Great views.

SUP Downwind Run with Livio Menelau from Paddle With Riggs on Vimeo.

SUP Downwind in Maui.


SUP Downwind race. Wind blowing 30 - 35 knots. On the Columbia River at Hood River, Oregon. U.S. an 8 mile run. 

Downwind Stand up tips. With Todd Bradley

Downwind Stand up tips part 1. With Todd Bradley.

Downwind proper paddle technique. By Todd Bridley.

DESCRIPTION: A personal article written about a great love for downwinders. From Australia.


DESCRIPTION: How to prepare for a downwinder - Hard earned tips and tricks.

DESCRIPTION: Videos from Including Lake Havasu in Arizona U.S.

DESCRIPTION: Big Bay Cape Town, Western Cape of South Africa.

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Downwinders—perhaps the ultimate of all SUP disciplines