Welcome to Washington Area Stand Up Paddling, District of Columbia Kayaking. This Meetup group is dedicated to SUP-friendly paddling as well as kayaking in the Greater Washington D.C. area. Our activities center around the Potomac running through D.C but also include activities in Northern Virginia, the Maryland Suburbs around D.C., and even occasionally in some far flung locations such as Annapolis.
This group would like, in theory, to be inclusive of all SUP and kayak activities. However, the truth is in this area the vast majority of SUP and kayak activities involve simply paddling on flat water but there are other activities out there such as ocean surfing, downwinders, white water, and yoga to name a few. Hopefully we will have some chances to organize activities in these other areas but these will most likely be the exception and not the rule. This group is dedicated to mixed paddles that include kayaks and SUPs. For kayak-only paddles see our sister group DoCK (District of Columbia Kayaking). For SUP-only paddles see our sister group WASUP (Washington Area StandUp Paddling).
While we do feel spreading the "gospel" of SUP and kayaking is important, this group's primary focus is filling the needs of those already converted, i.e., those that feel the constant desire to get out and paddle. To that end, while we will have plenty of activities that are designed for beginners and for those that have not paddled (so "rental-friendly" events), the larger portion of the events on this group (particularly in the cold half of the year) will be on SUP and kayak activities for those that already have invested the time and money into their addiction and are ready to go to locations that may or may not support rentals and may require some more advanced board/boat handling skills. However, that being said, please note that during the summer season we will try our best to expand the number of opportunities for beginners or for those who have either not paddled SUP or kayak before or those who have perhaps just had a chance or 2 to try SUP or kayak on something like a vacation. For beginner friendly and rental friendly adventures, also try the following other wonderful Meetup groups (also great places to learn initially): Lake Ridge Park Paddlers aka LRPP (typically run at locations with kayak and SUP rentals and the leader is one of the best certified instructors in the area) and Chesapeake Kayak Adventures aka CKA (the leader of the group actually provides kayak rentals so is not dependent on locations with rentals).
Also this group is not just seasonal but will be paddling year round even in the dead of winter. However, we are dedicated to safety so activities in colder water will have requirements that the Event Host of each individual event will set. Those requirements should be clearly laid out for each event and must be met to participate. Across all activities regardless of what time of year, a PFD is required to be worn when we are anywhere that can get potentially choppy (not just placed on the board/boat but be worn). We will make exceptions on very calm locations with few underwater hazards (still have to have the PFD by law). In warmer weather, we highly recommend the manual inflatable belt PFDs as being adequate for SUP and Sit On Top kayak (they are generally more comfortable) but in colder weather (particularly in winter) even for SUPs and SOTs we recommend regular PFDs .
Lastly, everyone should be mindful of when they sign up for an event. If someone signs up for an event but then can not make it, they need to remove themselves from the event so the Event Host and other participants do not end up wasting time waiting for someone that is not coming.
All that being said, the idea is to have fun paddling out on the water. SUP paddling and kayaking can be a magically experience and we are here to facilitate that magic!