This post is on stand-up paddle board (SUP) in the vicinity of Kaohsiung, specifically.
Mama: What is this thing you do, Yiling? Paddleboat, like with your feet?
Me: Um, no mama, it’s called stand-up paddleboard.
Me: No, BOARD. It’s like a surf board, but bigger and more stable. You stand on it, and you row with a paddle.
Mama: Oh. Okay.
Me: Just call it ‘sup.
Mama: Um, okay…paddle …boat…?
This was the conversation that was repeated several times with my mother as I tried to find a place for SUP near Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Some things always get lost in that relationship, even when it’s all in one language. Even so, she did her best to help find a place for this one indulgent endeavor of mine on this trip to her home stomping grounds.
Eventually, I also learned that those who do know of it call it S.U.P. there, pronouncing each letter separately. Esss-yooo-peeee. If you’re asking around on your visit, that’s what you should ask after. Also: googling kayak tours can increase your chances. To save you a little trouble, here’s what I found at the time in my search.
Here are three options I found:
- Lessons from some hotel nearby: Chateau ($200/person)
- Kenting South Bay Lessons in scenic Kenting ($45 on the ocean!)
- Unofficial loaner SUP board on Lotus Lake: via Lotus Wakepark, just newly renovated this summer!*
*Okay, the last listing is not necessarily a real option. I lucked out with the crew at Lotus Wakepark, who had an extra SUP board on hand even though their primary business is wake boarding. They were nice enough to ‘call me friend’ and loan it to me pro bono. Stop by and try their wake boarding so you can tell them I say hi and thanks!
Bonus listing: I found this very lengthy listing of surf shacks and accommodations across the island.
Sources and experience not verified by yours truly. Still looking for more options? I find checking out kayak outfitters, and looking up good put-in spots at GoPaddling useful too. If you find more, feel free to write and let me know so we can spread the word!
I also had pipe dreams of finally taking surfing lessons -in Taiwan, but time and family and schedule didn’t work out for it. It’s possible they’d have SUPportunities too.
>> Check out more Taiwan posts
>Read up on stand-up paddle boarding.