Stand up paddle boarding goes by many names, including SUP or stand up paddle surfing. It’s quickly gaining popularity, especially in warm areas where surfing is popular, and is actually relatively new compared to many sports.
The sport uses a surfboard designed to be used while you stand upright with a long paddle that helps you move on top of the water. The advantage to using a stand up paddle board, as opposed to a surfboard, is it can even be used on calm waters as well as challenging waves.
The use of stand up paddle boards really began in Hawaii in the 1960’s. It was eventually adopted by athletes because it provides an excellent core body workout.
Surfers also found the sport was great during low surf as a training activity, but enjoyed it enough that they began using it in competitions and events. Surfers even began switching to stand up paddle boards because it’s an easier way to see and grab incoming waves.
Today, riders and paddle sports enthusiasts are turning to SUP sports faster than ever to look for a new challenge and a fun way to handle rushing rivers, lakes and waves. Of course, inflatable kayaks is also great for beginners because it can be practiced on calm waters.
If you’re interested in stand up paddle boarding you’ll only need a few pieces of basic equipment. The main piece of equipment, of course, is the stand up paddleboard. While you can use a normal surf board, SUP boards are longer and wider for added stability. Inflatable paddle boards are even available today and make a great option for casual paddlers or beginners.
You’ll also need a paddle, which should be about 6 inches longer than you. Most are made from carbon or fiberglass and include a single blade, unlike those for kayaking. If you’re still learning the sport, you can rent gear and even take lessons to get started.
You should also be aware that entry-level SUP boards usually cost around $600, while high-end versions may cost over $2,000. Paddles are much more affordable with an average price around $100. While this may seem like a rather large cost, it’s really an investment in a wonderful sport that allows you to get a great workout, see local wildlife and scenery and enjoy the warm weather.