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What's SUP

old-farts.pngHistory

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (or SUP) is an emerging global sport whose roots run deep in Hawaiian history. The sport is an ancient form of surfing that originated in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian translation for SUP is Ku Hre He's Nalu. Traced back to the early 1960's surfers known as the Beach Boys of Waikiki, used to stand up and paddle out the break. Standing allowed instructors a higher viewpoint of their large groups of surfing students and help them take pictures of their students. Standing up also enabled them to better see the incoming swell.

Fast forward to the present and SUP is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It is a new fun, amazing way to explore and experience the many rivers, lakes, streams, seas, and oceans.
Because of the standing height over the water, one can see both deeper into the water and further across the surface of the water allowing better visualization of surrounding features.

Fitness

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is a multidimensional sport that promotes balance, strength, and endurance, and is one of the best workouts for developing core strength and overall fitness. Stand Up Paddling is easy to learn and is a non-intimidating sport that appeals to all ages and physical abilities. Paddlers are able to easily progress and develop their skills to improve their strength and fitness. SUP allows you to enjoy local waters of your community while giving you a complete workout. Many communities are now offering Yoga SUP classes

CHOOSING A PADDLE

SUP Surfing
Paddles used for surfing should be small. Surfers need quick short bursts of speed to catch waves, and small blades excel at this.   Resistance is greatest on the surfboard when it is not moving. A small blade will allow for a high stroke rate and get the surfboard up to speed more quickly. 

Performance surfboards are also getting smaller and less buoyant. Because these surfboards sink deeper in the water, they are inherently slower when paddling. As a general rule, the slower the watercraft, the smaller the blade. 

Fitness Paddling
SUP Surfing and Racing are both great fitness activities, but there are a number of SUP paddlers who do not use their boards to surf or race. Fitness paddlers generally use boards which cross over from surfing. Because of this, we recommend that paddlers use equipment similar to that used in surfing. 

SUP Racing
SUP race paddles should be chosen based on the length of the race, type of board, and fitness and strength of the athlete. The most important factor in choosing a distance paddle is the physical condition of the athlete. For an aggressive downwind racer who is able to link swell after swell and prefers a larger blade.  A good choice for long events and most mortals is our smallest paddle.

Water conditions (the board moves fastest when it is flat on the water and not bouncing up and down), wind direction, the conditioning of the athlete, and type of surfboard, are all "moving targets" when trying to pick the optimum blade. Just keep in mind; if you are moving more quickly, you can use a larger blade, if you are moving more slowly, you need a smaller blade.