By now, you’ve probably heard about—or even tried—standup paddleboarding (SUP). If not, the basics are you stand on an oversized surfboard and stroke with a long canoe-like paddle.
You can do it on lakes, oceans and slow-moving rivers and there’s even a new BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding Award (http://scouting.org/OutdoorProgram/Aquatics.aspx).
If you want to get your own SUP, consider the Riviera Select 8′ Soft Top ($699; rivierapaddlesurf.com). At 8 feet long and 4 inches thick, this board is stable and floaty enough for most kids (for bigger paddlers they also have a 10’6” and 11’6” verison). It’s also very durable and covered with a soft EVA foam top, which means it won’t hurt if you fall on the board—or if the board hits you!
There are other soft-top style boards on the market but this one is our favorite because it has a solid core which makes it stronger and it won’t get waterlogged and heavy over time like other SUPs. For a paddle, check out the Riviera Seal R6.5 Aluminum Adjustable Paddle ($75; rivierapaddlesurf.com) a durable, lightweight paddle that can be adjusted to fit your height—which is handy when sharing the board with your friends.