A new type of paddling sport has evolved, and it’s called stand-up paddleboarding. Born in Hawaii, stand-up paddleboarding is a new concept to most water sport enthusiasts, even surfers. Since its creation hundreds of years ago, vast improvements have been made to stand-up paddleboards generating tremendous popularity. Recently companies such as Pacific Paddleboards have re-invented the SUP to serve not only the coastal water junkies, but also address flat water lakes, rivers, and streams spanning the entire United States.
Anyone and everyone can paddle a stand-up paddleboard. From children to Grandparents, stand-up paddleboards are truly an entry level source of recreation. Companies like Pacific Paddleboards make niche boards for every type of paddler. Plus, the equipment required to go paddleboarding is very minimal. For most paddleboarders, all the equipment you need is your paddleboard, paddle, and paddle leash. A PFD is recommended, but check your local laws to see if you’re required to wear one.
Stand-up paddleboards offer a number of possibilities. Whether you want to exercise, surf, or just enjoy nature and the water, your options are almost limitless with a stand-up paddleboard. And because it fits into so many uses, you’ll enjoy your stand-up paddleboard season after season.
What Is Stand-Up Paddleboarding?
Stand-up paddleboarding is very similar to surfing, only the rider is holding a paddle. Surfing with a paddle allows you to maneuver your board much easier, resulting in faster paced action and enhanced control. Stand-up paddleboarding is an intense core workout, as you use virtually every muscle in your body to stay balanced on the paddleboard. Many athletes, actors, and models have been seen on stand-up paddleboards as part of their exercise routine.
There are two types of stand-up paddleboarding, flat-water and surf. Flat-water paddleboards are usually shorter than surf paddleboards, ranging from 9’ 6” to 11’ 6” long. Surf paddleboards are generally longer for better stability in the larger waves. Surf paddleboards range from 11’ to 16’ long.
Stand-up paddleboard surfing involves paddling a very long paddleboard in regular surfing style. The paddle acts as a rudder, allowing superior control over standard surfing. In recent years surfers have been experimenting with stand-up paddleboarding not only as a surfing alternative, but also as a conditioning method. Paddleboarding has been made infamous by wild stunts from paddling icons such as Archie Kalepa, who made the crossing between Molokai and Oahu. Another amazing feat was performed by Laird Hamilton. Hamilton paddled a board through 50ft. waves and surf at Jaws.
One of the major benefits of stand-up paddleboarding is the paddler’s ability to catch and negotiate smaller waves. This allows the surfer a longer, more enjoyable ride. Plus, if you ride the prevailing winds right, you can travel dozens of miles by catching and negotiating wind waves. As I said before, stand-up paddleboarding has virtually limitless possibilities.
Stand-up paddleboarding is a very versatile sport. You don’t need surfing experience, or any other experience for that matter! The sky is the limit with a stand-up paddleboard. Paddleboards are not only restricted to the coasts or islands. Stand-up paddleboards are perfect for enjoying lakes, rivers, or any other flat-water you can find. Any body of water can be your playground. And best of all, you have a “bird’s eye” view of everything. Fish, reefs, you name it! You just can’t feel any better than paddling a stand-up paddleboard.
Flat-water stand-up paddleboarding is a fantastic core workout. It uses every muscle in your body in ways that they normally aren’t exposed to. If you are serious about your paddling, stand-up paddleboarding can be the perfect routine for the 50+ crowd to stay in shape and look good doing it. There is nothing more vibrant and youthful than getting out on the water. And best of all, it’s incredibly fun.
Cliff Steele prides himself on having a strong knowledge of kayaks and kayak supplies. He works hand-building kayaks for a variety of clients. Sharing a name with a well-known comic book character, Cliff is known to his friends as “Robotman.” Cliff lives in San Diego, California.