Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

2012 April 2012 Terry Sovil

By Terry Sovil from the April 2012 Edition

SUP? Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)! This fast growing sport has made the scene, again, and it is gathering people wanting to try! There are some elements of Hawaiian history in the sport. It started as a type of surfing allowing an instructor to better see his class and any large waves coming in. Surfers enjoy the opportunity to catch more waves in a set. Riding them on the rivers is gaining popularity because of the skill required to move those boards down river and through rapids.

The boards tend to be long, nine feet (3 m) or more and have one or more fins or skegs on the bottom rear, like surfboards, to help maintain tracking and steering a straight course. They are longer and wider than typical surfboards which allow you to balance and propel yourself with ease. It is a fun and easy way to go play on the water. You can paddle on the open ocean, lakes and rivers. No waves required! The modern boards are light enough to carry down the beach by one person.

In addition to the fun aspect, paddle boarding provides a full body workout. It is popular with skiers who use it as a cross-training exercise as well as with snowboarders and other athletes. Since you can stand you also get great views of sea creatures, activity around you and what’s on the horizon. It is close to walking on the water! No experience is required; you can embrace the sport on your own or seek out instruction to help you get started. The new water sport!

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