Stand Up Paddle Board Trend Has Alarming Growth

Stand up paddleboarding, or SUP for short, is a quickly growing trend throughout the world. As an alternative to many water sports like surfing and kayaking, little experience is necessary to get out on the water. It is heralded as an activity for all ages and fitness levels.

What Is Stand Up Paddleboarding?

Invented in Hawaii, SUP is actually an early form of surfing. It’s reemergence is in part due to its use by surf instructors, whose higher point of view on a stand up paddle board allows them to manage many students, as well as observe incoming swells. Another name for stand up paddleboarding is “Beach Boy Surfing”, and this originates from the 1960s, when the Beach Boys of Waikiki would stand up on their longboards and paddle out to take pictures of tourists learning to surf.

The Stand Up Paddle Board Trend Is Growing

A stand up paddle board is most often made from resin, with an internal foam core. They can range in price from about AUD$600 to AUD$1850. There are various shapes and sizes depending on use, but most boards are 3 to 4 meters long.

Why Is SUP’ing Becoming So Popular?

SUP’ing has been spreading to all corners of the world, where there is access to water. Part of the reason for its rising popularity is the ease of which a person can learn to paddleboard, unlike other water sports like surfing and kayaking which require much more time and commitment to achieve a level of control. One can become proficient on a SUP within an hour on calm, flat water. Boards can be made for people of all fitness level, with one company making a board that can hold up to 360 pounds of weight. Another touted benefit to the sport is that it is an excellent core workout, in turn making people better surfers and kayakers. There is much crossover between the three sports because of this. Some surfers have switched exclusively to SUP’ing because it allows them to catch more waves in a set, as well as observe the swells easier. SUP’ing tends to be more popular with women because of their lower center of gravity, which often gives them more skill in paddling and steering the boards.

There is a lot of versatility in the sport, as well. Many people, having found their new favorite activity, are introducing a competitive edge to it. There are now SUP race events in certain places around the world. People who find themselves too old for competitive surfing are turning to competitive SUP’ing with relative ease. There are new SUP yoga classes, to help fine tune the core muscles used in controlling SUP boards. There are even yoga classes in the water ON SUP boards! Other SUP’ers have begun to fish (recreationally and competitively) from their boards, introducing another edge to the sport. They are becoming a staple accessory to many yachts and boats. Many successful new businesses are emerging around the world to meet the increasing demand for the production, sale and rental of the stand up paddle board.

On its own, SUP is extremely simple. It is composed of only the board and the paddle, and is a “green” sport as well, as the board is self-propelled. This in itself is enjoyable and relaxing way to explore waterways – oceans, seas, lakes, ponds, streams, marshes and swamps are all open to SUP’ing. It becomes even more versatile and fun when combined with other sports like fishing, yoga, racing, or surfing. The possibilities are endless with SUP’ing, and expect to see much more happening with this sport in the near future. Due to its rising popularity, it is so easy to find a retailer or outfitter and begin stand up paddleboarding!

Photo source: dcysurfer/Dave Young

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