Learning to SUP with Nikki Gregg


Mark 100x100Just because NRS associates get a lot of opportunities to stand up paddle doesn’t mean we’re all experts. We thought our technique could use a tune up, so we invited Nikki Gregg to come teach a clinic.


Here in northern Idaho we have a reputation for being rugged individualists. Or at least we like to think we do. The characterization may be overstated, but there is some truth in it. The fact of the matter is that we have to be somewhat self-sufficient, because we don’t have access to many of the services and amenities that urban dwellers enjoy. For example, we don’t have a lot of professional SUP instructors in these parts. As in none. So most of us who SUP have learned the sport on our own the old fashioned way – by watching YouTube videos. And with advice from friends. And through trial and error. Lots and lots of error.

Which is why some of us – not pointing any fingers, ahem – have less than awesome technique. But that all started to change this September when NRS SUP athlete and certified stand up paddling instructor Nikki Gregg stopped by for a visit.

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For two glorious 90-degree days we paddled and played on the Clearwater River while Nikki taught us the finer points of SUP.

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Experienced stand up paddlers worked on improving their skills while some newbies learned the ropes. On day two, Nikki taught a group of NRS customer service associates the basics, which we made sure to capture on video.

Turns out some of us weren’t as good as we thought.

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While others were better.

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Even our founder, Bill Parks, got in on the action.

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And our favorite office dog, Montana.

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We practiced the forward stroke, the sweep stroke, the pivot turn, the cross-bow turn and other SUP skills. We were already pretty good at river picnics, but we practiced that too.

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All in all, not a bad couple of days at the office here in northern Idaho.


If you look closely at the right side of the above photo, you’ll notice that Ian and Geoff need to work on their dance routine too. Don’t worry, Geoff was okay. Maybe a cheer-leading clinic should be next.

All photos copyright Jacob Boling/NRS