Stand-up paddleboarding is the hottest craze, taking the world by storm as the world’s fastest-growing watersport. Why? Simply because it’s so darn relaxing. Less focused on the action and more on spending quality time in the great outdoors, SUP is something everyone wants to try. And it’s a whole lot easier than it looks!
Stand-up paddling may seem like a relatively new sport, but the truth is that it’s been around for quite some time. In fact, SUP is considered much older than surfing, with its roots traced back to Africa and South America thousands of years ago.
In the 1940s, pioneer surfer Duke Kahanamoku saw stand-up paddling as a means to go further into the ocean and observe the waves and swells. It became more popular in the 1990s when it was taught at surf schools as an alternative when there wasn’t enough swell. Yet it wasn’t until recent years that SUP entered the spotlight as a mainstream sport.
Here are a few more reasons to try stand-up paddleboarding:
You don’t have to live by the ocean to do it. You don’t even need waves. The nearest lake or winding river can easily become your playground. In fact, SUP is much more popular on inland bodies of water. Imagine a sightseeing tour of London with a twist – you can paddle your way down the Thames.
Anyone can partake, regardless of age, athletic background and skills, and become a master at SUP in no time.
Stand up paddling is similar to surfing, but not nearly as hard. You stand on what looks like an oversized surfboard and paddle your way. Easy as pie!
The trickiest part is learning how to stand. As opposed to wave surfing, you don’t have to learn how to read a wave, get barreled, get wiped out, and so on.
SUP is all about the enjoyment – the views, the sunsets, the silence, time well spent with friends.
It is deeply relaxing, but it can be challenging if you want it to be. Think about SUP yoga, SUP racing or something totally crazy like crossing the Atlantic on your SUP board. The only limit is your imagination, so get creative!
If you’ve ever had difficulties learning to surf or are simply afraid of the ocean, SUP is the perfect alternative.
Stand up paddling is an original first-date idea!
You can catch some serious waves on a SUP too!
Some good laughs are guaranteed.
Health benefits of stand-up paddling
Stand up paddling is a full-body exercise and has become a popular cross-training workout. While the leg muscles do most of the hard work, as they are the ones supporting all the weight, virtually every muscle in your body will be engaged at some point. The arms, back, and shoulders are used when paddling. The core, back, and abdominal muscles keep your balance.
Here are some other health benefits of stand up paddling:
SUP teaches balance. Standing upright on the board requires core strength and stability as well as leg strength.
Stand up paddle boarding corrects your posture and improves flexibility.
It is a low-impact exercise and there’s little chance you’ll get any injuries from practicing it. SUP is great for those recovering from an injury and anyone who wants to take it easy.
Water therapy – water is known to soothe the mind. This is perhaps one of the top health benefits, as stress often leads to serious health problems.
SUP improves endurance and is a great cardio workout. For a greater challenge, you can race your friends and get your heart rate up.
It builds strength. Even though it is a low-impact exercise, engaging so many muscles in a repetitive exercise will leave some parts of your body sore. This is a good thing, it means your muscles are working out and that you are developing strength.
Improves your cardiovascular health – stand up paddleboarding is similar to running, aerobics and various other cross-training workouts, which keep your heart in good condition, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
SUP helps you lose weight. You will burn calories. Many, many calories. One hour of intensive paddling can burn 735 calories. An hour of casual paddling can burn up to 430 calories, which is twice the amount you would burn on an intense walk. One hour of SUP racing can burn over 1,100 calories.