Stand Up Paddling

/Stand Up Paddling

What is SUP?

SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle surfing.

And, no prizes for working out that it entails Standing on a surfboard and Paddling yourself around. Stand Up Paddle surfboards are much longer, wider and more buoyant than ’normal‘ surfboards, enabling you to comfortably balance on them and propel yourself with the paddle.

Aside from being another way of catching waves, SUP is also an increasingly popular way of keeping fit, and improving core-stability – flat water SUP trips, and ‚down-winders‘ are both a great work out, and a good way to get on the water when the surf’s junk, or it’s flat – and a SUP session is definitely more fun than hitting the gym. In fact, with the cash you save on your gym membership, you’ll be able to buy a new board (or maybe a fin) in a few months time: so a cash saver too!

Where does SUP come from?

Stand Up Paddle surfing (or SUP) is – depending on which way you look at it – either the newest or the oldest kid on the watersports block.

With roots that predate surfing as we know it, SUP has technically been around since ancient Polynesian times although – granted – it did have a 300 year or so hiatus. It was picked up again in the 60s by the Waikiki ‚beach-boys‘ in Hawaii, who found the higher vantage point a better way to keep an eye on the pupils in their surf schools.

Modern materials can be thanked for SUP’s most recent renaissance. The heavy redwood board of Polynesian Paddle Boards would probably be too heavy to even put on the top of your car, whereas modern Epoxy boards are light enough to be easily carried down to the beach, and can be more effectively manoeuvred once out on the water.
So, with modern materials (and knowledge transferred from the last 60 years of surfboard development), plus endorsements (and some pretty startling video footage) from some of surfing’s genuine ‚watermen‘ – this time round it seems that SUP is here to stay.

Text by: