Stand up paddle boarding is a great sport and activity all ages of people love. The word paddle boarding is sometimes used incorrectly because paddle boarding is actually when you are on your knees using your hands to paddle. In stand up paddle boarding you are standing the whole time and using a paddle to steer yourself. SUP stands for stand up paddle board. You can use a SUP on lakes, large rivers, canals, and the ocean.
Who invented stand up paddle boarding?
Stand up paddle boarding or stand up paddle surfing originated in Hawaii. Surf legend Laird Hamilton wanted a way to cross train waves in the early 90s. The story goes that he grabbed a canoe paddle and stood up on his longest surf boards and began paddling. People think he invented this amazing sport but it actually dates back centuries ago. The early Hawaiian, Peruvian, and African cultures had some sort of stand up paddle boarding. The Hawaiians are given credit to being the first to stand up and ride waves.
Is stand up paddle boarding a workout?
Stand up paddle boarding is an intense workout. You are using your full body every time you paddle board so you will be able to work out every muscle. This activity has become wildly popular to cross trainers as an intense full body workout. It will help burn fat and gain muscle. Some people practice yoga in lakes on paddle boards.
How to Choose the Right Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
Picking the right SUP can be a difficult and costly decision if you buy the wrong one. Some boards can cost the same amount as a luxury cruise! The first thing you want to think about when buying a SUP is exactly what you want to use it for. Most SUP boards are made specifically for a certain type of water. This article will tell all the different type of boards there are and you can choose from there.
Wave Board SUPS for SUP Surfing
SUP boards for surfing are a very unique type of board. They are different from racing a touring SUP board in three major ways.
These boards have more rocker; which means they are better for carving, top turns, and to help stop the nose of the board from diving into a wave.
These boards are also less than 10ft which is much shorter than the racing and touring boards. It may be more difficult to ride since it is much shorter but if you are an avid surfer you should be fine.
The fin setup on your board will be different as well. The difference it will give you is more stability and you should be able to make turns at high speeds.
Cruise and Exploring SUPS
If you are looking for a smooth sailing SUP that you can use in open water than the SUP touring board is the one you want. These boards have higher volumes so they are perfect for cruising unlike racing boards. Once you get these boards going they don’t need much more effort to keep them going. Usually you can bring coolers full of lunch with you on these boards and tie them down.
SUP Race boards
SUP racing has been growing at a rapid race. It has become a new favorite for people and athletes across the world. Racing boards are super long and skinny to make it face for racing. These boards are very quick but they are designed to have great stability.
White Water SUPS
To stand up while white water rafting you need a special designed board for the low water depths and giant rocks. The normal epoxy stand up paddle boards are not safe to use while white water rafting. These boards are designed with a lot of volume so you will get great stability. They are hollow on the inside to make them lighter in the water. Also since they are hollow you can put a sleeping bag inside for longer water rafting trips.
Yoga and Fitness SUP
A new trend emerging in the United States is to do yoga or Pilates on your SUP. These specific boards are balanced the whole time so it doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you’re doing you will be balanced. These special boards are called Boga Yoga SUPS. Specifically designed for any yoga or fitness exercises you want to do on the water.
When you are travelling with your SUP it can be a pain. They do get heavy and they are hard to lift on top of cars. All you have to do is blow it up and you have a portable paddle board to travel with! If you haven’t tried inflatable SUPS you might want to consider it!
Kid SUP Boards
Now they even have SUP board’s for children. This amazing sport isn’t only for adults; it’s for the whole family. Kid Sup boards are smaller and easier to travel with.
How to Ride Your Stand up Paddle Board
How to stand up on your SUP.
The first thing you will want to know is how to get up on your SUP. When your new to stand up paddle boarding you will want to start off in calm flat water. You may find it easier to kneel on your paddle board then to stand right away.
- First you will need to pull your SUP to the water and stand alongside it.
- Place your paddle across the board horizontally and usually there is a paddle grip to catch it.
- Hold on to the paddle grip and the rail and then it should be steady enough for you to climb on.
- Start in the kneeling position and hold on to both sides of the board finding your balance.
- Once you feel good about it stand up one foot at a time and place your feet where your knees were
How to keep the perfect SUP stance.
- Your feet should be parallel and a hip distance apart!
- That is the most important thing when finding your perfect SUP stance.
- Keep your toes and feet pointing forward and keep your back straight.
- Balance is all in your hips not in the upper body.
- Your gaze should be at the horizon and try not to look down at your feet
How to paddle
- This is where the real fun begins when you are able to tread through water.
- When you are trying to paddle towards the right you need to have your right hand on the paddle shaft and your left hand is on the top grip.
- It is important to keep your arms straight and to twist your body when you paddle.
- You have more strength in your upper body than your arms.
- Push the paddle down under the surface and pull it back by your ankles and out of the water.
- Start off small to not tire yourself out.
- To go straight paddle 4-5 times on one side then switch to the next and do the same thing.
- When you switch to the next side you will need to switch to the opposite hand positions above.
How to do SUP turns
Just say you want to turn right? You would paddle on the left and it will turn you to the right. Same for if you want to turn left? Paddle on the right and it will turn you left.
Place the paddle at the front of the board and sweep back to the tail of the board. You board will turn to the opposite side of the board.
This is for a faster way to turn. Drag the paddle on either side of the board and it should turn you the way you want.
If you look over your shoulder your upper abdominal muscles kind of will help turn your SUP the way you are looking. Sometimes paddling with your dominate hand will help push more weight on your feet and it should allow you to pivot and make turns that way too.
- Many people try to hold their paddle like a broom stick and with both hands on the shaft it will make it harder for you to move through water.
- Make sure that you are always holing your paddle from the top handle and the other hand is on the shaft.
- You need to keep those feet parallel and not a surf stance.
- The surf stance will make you fall off your board and lose your balance.
- Remember let your big muscles do the work don’t waste all your energy moving from your arms.
- Your upper body muscles will propel the board.
What should you wear while paddle boarding?
There are a variety of things you can wear when paddle boarding. It all depends in what kind of place your paddling. A variety of wet suits and swim wear is warm depending on the climate and temperature since you are standing up the whole time.
What gear do you need to stand up paddle board?
You only need a few pieces of equipment when stand up paddle boarding.
First would be you need the stand up paddle board. This is the most significant gear investment; your board choice needs to be determined on paddler weight and skill.
Next you will need a paddle. Stand up paddles usually have an angle or elbow which is important so you have maximum efficiency. You should use a paddle that is 6” to 8” taller than you are.
Proper clothing will be the next thing you will need. We talked earlier saying the type of clothing you wear varies and it does. But if it is cold outside you may want to think about wearing a wet suit. A wetsuit can help on cold days when you think you might get hypothermia. In milder conditions you can wear a swimsuit, short, tank top, just something that will move with you when it gets wet.
Next you will need a PFD – personal floatation device. A coast guard has advised that vessels and paddle boards need to have some sort of PFD. A popular option is an inflatable PFD that is compact until inflated. You should also carry a flashlight and a safety whistle in case of emergencies.
Lastly you should get a leash. A leash will tether you to the paddle board that way if you fall of the paddle board can’t get away from you. There are leashes designed for seas, rivers, and lakes so make sure you purchase the right one. They are usually sold separately from the stand up paddle board.
Sun protection would be good during the summer so your back and legs don’t get burnt.
Traction pad should come on your paddle board if not it is inexpensive and it will prevent falling.
How should I transport my stand up paddle board?
To transport your paddle board on your car you will need racks and padding so the racks do not scratch the board. You will want to put the fins facing the windshield that way it can’t slid back. If you want to stack a few paddle boards on top of each other you need to strap them down with straps. You should check the straps whenever you stop and tighten them if needed.
How to carry your stand up paddle board to the water
Most of stand up paddle boards have built in handles in them. Just lean the board on its edge and grab the middle in the middle and carry it under one arm.
If your board has no handle and you have the carry the board on your heads here’s what you do…
- Stand the board on its end with the top of the board facing you.
- Lay the paddle on the ground but make sure you can still reach it.
- Grasp the edge of the board with both hands.
- Walk under the board and make sure your head is about halfway in the middle.
- Stand up straight hold the rails with the board on your head.
Stand up paddle boarding is a fun and relaxing way to work out and play on the water.
Paddle boarding is an intense full body workout which will help you burn weight and fat.
You only need minimum gear and then you can paddle ocean, lakes, and rivers.
Safety should be your number one concern so make sure you have a personal floatation device and whistle in case of an emergency.
This is a fun exciting sport for every one of all ages!
Get your stand up paddle board today.