Acadia Stand Up Paddleboarding LLC  |  200 Main St.  |  Bar Harbor, ME  |  207-610-2970  |  info@acadiasup.com
Opening for the season in May

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions?  Read below for answers to many of our frequently asked questions.  Also feel free to call us with any question you might have at 207-610-2970

Q:
Should I pick Lake or Ocean for my lesson?

A:
Its really up to you. Both offer stunning views and are a suitable venue for learning to SUP. We do not take you into large waves or surf preferring to stay near shore in sheltered coves and bays. Our relatively secluded lake locations are worth the drive from town to get there and are usually more benign. Most people find ocean lessons more scenic so the added challenge is often worth it and there is usually no driving. However, if you worry about your fitness level, if you worry about colder water and don't want to wear a wet suit, if you worry that your kids will get tired or bored after 2 hours, or if you just tend to worry about things in general...choose a lake lesson.


Q:
Yeah right. Its too cold for paddle boarding. Ya'll are crazy! I bet the water is freezing

A:
With all due respect to people who walk into the shop and throw this line at us thinking they are being funny we get this comment a lot and it gets a bit old. If you are expecting the water to be like Florida than yes, you will be disappointed. However, the lakes of Acadia are perfect for swimming and water temps frequently get up into the upper 70s in the heat of summer.. The bay is refreshing and temps hover in the upper 50's to lower 60's. Our wet suits are very high quality and do a wonderful job of keeping you from getting cold if you fall off your board and make swimming in the ocean fun! The ocean waters are no different than what many surfers venture into on a daily basis. In fact on a hot summer day after paddling hard you may find your self slipping off your board on purpose to cool off. We are always happy to provide a wetsuit if joining us in the shoulder seasons or at any time of the year for any location you may be paddling.


Q:
When is the best time of day to go?

A:
The best times are usually early morning or evening. Although warmer, the wind usually picks up during the afternoon. Beginners often have a tough time learning in the wind. We do our best to avoid windy areas and stay near the shore areas at all times but make no promises. We have access to very sheltered lake and ocean locations and do our very best to set you up for success. IF YOU HAVE KIDS WE STRONGLY SUGGEST A MORNING LESSON.


Q:
Which lake do you go to for lessons?

A:
We use a few different spots depending on the time of day, wind conditions, and what our permit allows us. Most of the time our lake lessons take place on either Echo Lake or Great Long Pond. Both destinations are about a 20 minute drive from our downtown shop and offer an ideal environment for SUP


Q:
I don't need a lesson. What are my other options?

A:
Chances are unless you have had a thorough lesson before that you DO need a lesson. SUP is easy to learn and you can certainly figure many things out on your own, however, we meet people everyday who think a lesson would be a waste of time and then thank us for convincing them to take one. Our lessons are done in a laid back environment, will really set you up for future paddling success, and teach you how to paddle in a way that will reduce your chances of fatigue and make you more comfortable on a board. Plus, each session provides plenty of time to paddle around, do some sightseeing, and have fun on the boards.

However, if you are dead set against going out with an instructor we are happy to rent you a board that you can strap to your car and take to one of the local lakes. We offer rentals for anything from a half-day to a full week. You can also sign up for a private guided trip which can be customized to your paddling goals for the day.


Q:
I've done this before. Why cant I just rent a board for the ocean?

A:
We are very selective about who we allow to take our rentals on tidal water. The reason for this is because of a combination of factors. The first is water temperature which hovers around 55F during the summer months. Other factors include busy boat traffic, extreme tides, and wind. We would much prefer you came out on a tour with us or signed up for a lesson.

Over the years we have found that the vast majority of people who visit us really benefit from having an instructor on the water with them to assure their safety and help them improve technique.

However, we will allow allow ocean rentals if you can demonstrate to us a level of competency to which we feel comfortable or intend to take the board to a location which we feel is more suitable than Frenchman Bay.


Q:
Can you drop my rental board off for me at the lake?

A:
Unfortunately we only offer delivery and pick up in the evenings for multi day rentals. Logistically we don't have much ability to spend the day dropping off and picking up short term rentals all over the island. We provide pads and straps at the shop so you can safely transport up to 3 boards on top of your car. If transportation is an issue, we recommend signing up for a session with an instructor who can drive you to and from the location and do all the loading and unloading of the boards for you.


Q:
Do I have to wear a wet suit? What should I wear/bring?

A:
You do not have to wear a wet suit unless air and water conditions would make it unsafe go without one. However, if on the ocean we HIGHLY recommend one since ocean water temperatures rarely rise above 60F in the summer. (You can always jump in the water if you start to get hot.) For lake lessons they are not necessary at all. You will want to come dressed in your bathing suit. It is also helpful to bring a towel and simple change of clothes for after the lesson. You will need to come to our meeting spot properly dressed. If not you may have to use the "towel" method and wrap a towel around your self to change as the launch areas do not have changing or restroom facilities. We do have a changing room at the shop that you can use before we leave.


Q:
Will I fall in? Will I get wet?

A:
Probably. Be ready to get wet and have an adventurous time.


Q:
Its my first time. Is that okay?

A:
Of course!! Our lessons are designed with the first timer in mind. They are comprehensive and introductory and move at a comfortable pace. We don't move on until everyone is ready.


Q:
Do I need to know how to swim?

A:
You do not have to be a great swimmer but you should not be afraid of the water and you should be able to float. We require everyone to wear a US Coast Guard approved PFD at all times. Paddle boards themselves are huge flotation devices and you will be leashed to your board so it can never go far away. Getting back on your board is easy to learn and do and you may even find that falling off the board into the water is fun.


Q:
I'm not in great shape. Can I still do it? Will I be able to get back on if I fall in?

A:
Just about anyone can learn to SUP. Part of the draw towards stand up paddleboarding is fitness and getting in better shape. We can't guarantee that you won't be tired and a bit sore because in fact that's part of the point! However, we are not out to build character. We move at a slow and easy pace that is comfortable for all. 99% of our customers are standing within 30 minutes and have little to no difficulty getting back on the board if they fall in.


Q:
Yeah..I mean I'm like really overweight...Should I even bother?

A:
Experience has shown that if you are really overweight standing up and getting back on are going to be much more challenging. That doesn't mean you shouldn't' try though!! Our philosophy is that success is measured differently with everyone. Our mission is to encourage and take people closer to their limits. That limit is different for each individual. For most people its not that they can't do it...its that they give up on themselves.There is no test at the end of the lesson and we have no agenda. Just do the best you can and don't give up.


Q:
My kids really want to go but this just isn't for me...what are my options?

A:
First...SUP is really fun so you should totally reconsider. However, if you are certain you don't want to try it that's okay. We allow kids 16 and older on normal group lessons. Kids under 16 can still take a lesson without adults but you will need to book a private lesson. (more expensive but more personalized as well) If there are several younger children we may require a supervising adult to participate for safety reasons. Please call to discuss specifics of your situation.


Q:
Where do we meet?

A:
We meet at our downtown shop location or prescribed meeting spot. Your email confirmation when you sign up will give you specifics on where to meet the day of. If we do meet somewhere other than our normal locations you will be notified in advance of the change.


Q:
You don't have a restroom? Where can I go pee before the trip?

A:
Sadly the shop does not have a restroom for public use. The closest public restrooms are across the village green at the police/fire station. We strongly urge you to use the restroom before you arrive.


Paddle Board Lessons

Group Instruction/Tour
1-2 People - Private Session
3 People - Private Session
4-6 People - Private Session
Addtl. People - Private Session

Paddle Board Rentals

Half-Day
Full- Day
Multi-Day
Week
Early Pick Up / Overnight Rental
Multi-Day Rental Delivery

Wetsuit Rentals

Full-Day
Half-Day