Stand Up Paddleboards

Written by Danny Pirtle
    Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Stand Up Paddleboards

Summer is in full swing here at the Urban Ecology Center! The windows are open, the bullfrogs are croaking, there are interns everywhere, and the boat racks are empty every weekend during these hot, sunny days.

While our canoes and kayaks are quite popular, did you know that we lend a third type of watercraft to our members as well? Stand up paddleboards (SUPs)! If you find yourself wanting a new, up close, adventure on the water give our paddleboards a try!

What’s a stand up paddleboard (SUP)?

At first glance, a paddleboard looks like a surfboard: an oblong board with a rudder on one end. Despite their appearance, you won’t be “hanging ten” on these. SUPs are designed to be taken on inland lakes. While you generally sit (or kneel) in canoes and kayaks, a paddleboard is best steered standing up. An extra-long paddle helps you reach the water so you can navigate around the lake. You will feel like you are walking on water!

Active or peaceful, SUPs are a great choice for the outdoors

SUPs can be great fun with friends or individually. Some of my most tranquil memories involve taking a paddleboard out to the middle of the lake. After paddling around for some time, I’d just sit on the board. Without the sides of the kayak or canoe surrounding me, I felt as if I was simply sitting on top of the water – a great opportunity to meditate and absorb my beautiful surroundings.

Two brightly colored paddle boards next to a dock on a lake

Reserve a SUP today

Each branch of the Urban Ecology Center has two paddleboards that members can borrow. We also have tie-down kits specifically designed for these paddleboards so that you can transport them with ease. As with most of our other equipment, paddleboards can be borrowed for up to three days, so you can take them up north for a long weekend or enjoy the local inland lakes (paddleboards are not allowed on the moving waters of rivers). Remember, it’s always best to call ahead to make a reservation if you know you plan to borrow some equipment.

UEC member special at Nomad Boardsports

Our three branches are not the only place members can borrow SUPs. Thanks to a partnership with Panga Bar & Grill and Nomad Boardsports in Summit, WI (about 30 miles west of Milwaukee), members can borrow one of Nomad's paddleboards for free! While there spend time on Lake Nemahbin, a large lake perfect for exploring. To reserve these paddleboards, contact Nomad Boardsports directly (262-468-6228) or visit

Whether you enjoy kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddleboarding, thanks for taking advantage of the Urban Ecology Center equipment lending membership benefit this summer!

We have equipment for all seasons! Click here to become a member and borrow paddleboards, canoes, skis and more.

Danny Pirtle

Danny Pirtle

Danny grew up on the shore of Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin. After spending time studying the natural world (and seeing a whole lot of birds) in Minnesota, California, Indiana, and Australia, he returned to his Midwestern roots and is now the Animal Care Coordinator at the Urban Ecology Center. His favorite bird is the Pigeon Guillemot and his favorite nature sound is the trill of the American Toad. When away from UEC, he can be found walking with his puppy and his partner on the Oak Leaf Trail, hosting trivia downtown, or curled up with the latest Star Wars novel.

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