Over the years, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has increasingly grown in popularity and is slowly catching up to kayaking as one of the biggest outdoor water sports out there. You get a taste of nature’s open waters all while maintaining your fitness levels to a certain degree. So, what is SUP really? In order to further understand it, let’s trace back the roots of this growing sport and find out what made it so popular in the first place.
SUP traces its roots back in the ancient days in parts of Hawaii and South America where many people believe that our ancestors used wooden boards to coast the open waters and catch the waves on the beach. You can say that SUP is a close cousin of surfing where the difference is you use a paddle when doing SUP. It was only until the last decade that stand-up paddleboarding saw a significant growth and it quickly emerged as a popular outdoor water sport that had many people hooked.
The great thing about SUP is that it’s a very enjoyable hobby to pick-up and anyone from all ages can try it and learn the basics without any problems because of the relatively low learning curve. It’s also a great way to get a total body workout while enjoying sights you’ve never seen before.
Nearly any open body of water with calm waves is the perfect playground for SUP whether it be rivers, lakes, flat oceans, and many more. Since it skyrocketed to popularity, the sport has now become more accessible to everyone that’s interested. You don’t need to bring a large, bulky paddle board if you want to catch the waves because inflatable paddle boards are now available.
SUP has also extended to not only cruising through open waters and catching waves. You can also do yoga, fishing, and even pilates when paddle surfing. The number of activities that you can perform with SUP makes the sport very versatile and rewarding.
Today, many people enjoy SUP as a recreational activity with family, friends, and even their pets. But for the more hardcore enthusiasts out there, open-water competitions are also being held around the world where riders sprint, race, surf, and compete.
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider trying SUP. It provides an exhilarating experience like most outdoor water sports out there but is more relaxing and is perfect for people of various ages and fitness levels. It’s easy to get started and once you do, you’ll find yourself craving the waves and the open waters like never before. Here are plenty of reasons to pick up a paddle-board and try out SUP!
1. You get a full-body workout. SUP is a great way to maintain your fitness levels all while enjoying the beauty of nature and the calm, open waters. You get a good cardio workout and involve multiple muscle groups when performing the activity like your core and your upper body. You will be able to train and heighten your sense of balance when doing SUP which makes it a fun way to keep yourself healthy and fit.
2. It’s like a toned-down version of surfing. It’s thrilling to ride with the huge waves much like surfers do, but what if you’re not as adventurous but still want to experience the feel of catching the waves? SUP might be for you. You stand up with a paddle-board just like you would on a surfboard. The difference is you get to use a paddle to propel yourself forward.
3. It’s very easy to learn. Most newbies believe that SUP is very difficult to learn but that is completely the exact opposite. SUP has a rather shallow learning curve compared to other water sports activities out there. Usually, all it takes are a few hours of learning how to stand properly on the paddle board without falling. If you go to a licensed paddle-board instructor, you can learn how to SUP within a day!
4. It’s quite peaceful and relaxing. Unlike many outdoor water sports activities where it involves a hefty dose of an adrenaline rush, SUP is actually quite relaxing and peaceful. You get to connect with yourself more and put yourself in a zen-like state. That’s why some people do yoga and pilates on a paddle-board to channel their inner thoughts and you can do the same as well while enjoying the beautiful view of the horizon.
5. It’s also a versatile sport. You can enjoy SUP purely as a recreational activity. But if you’re looking for more thrill and excitement, don’t overlook this sport. You can try SUP with the waves and participate in competitions like sprints and races that will surely test your skills on the paddle board.
6. It’s a sport that’s continuously growing. The SUP community is continually growing and the sport is expanding as the days go by. Inviting your family and friends to go SUP with you is a great way to enjoy the sport altogether and be part of a whole new craze that’s taking the outdoor watersports world by storm.
7. You can SUP on any large, open water. You don’t need to be by the beach all the time to try out SUP. You can enjoy it over calm lakes, rivers, and inland waterways where beginners will appreciate the still waters to master their technique. If you’re totally new to the sport, nail down your form and technique on the paddle board before heading out to challenge the waves.
So, what is SUP? It’s an ever-growing outdoor water sport that’s getting everyone to join in the bandwagon. What are you waiting for? Jump right in and get into stand-up paddleboarding!
I suppose you could say I came to surfing later than most. I didn't grow up by the water, but after years working the 9-5 grind I felt its draw and decided it was time to lead a slower life. These days I try and spend time in the water every day and consider the ocean as my living room: a place to relax, have fun, and just enjoy life.