The original Stand up Paddle Boarding
Where does SUP come from?
Stand Up Paddleboard surfing (or SUP surfing) is, depending on which way you
look at it, either the newest or the oldest kid on the water sports block.
With roots that predate surfing as we know it, SUP has technically been around
since ancient Polynesian times, although it did disappear for a little over 300
years. 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 maneuvered
once out on the water. So, with modern materials (and knowledge transferred
from the last 60 years of surfboard development), as well as all the new SUP
disciplines out there it seems SUP is here to stay.
Choosing the Right Board
If riding waves is going
to be your priority, consider a higher performance board, thatís around 10ft
and under. The more SUP skill you have controlling the board the smaller you
can go. Consider a 10ft SUP surfboard an appropriate beginner size if youíre
just getting started. Next, the more rocker in the board the better, as it will
help with maneuverability while riding waves.
Surf SUP boards arenít
very stable when paddling on flat water due to their shorter size and large
amount of rocker present in comparison to standard SUPs. They are designed to
be more stable when riding waves. Stability is achieved once moving on a wave,
forward motion equates to stability.
Paddle size is also an
important choice. As Laird Hamilton one of the most famous names in SUP &
surfing says: ďYour paddle should be as tall as the reach above your head. If
itís too short you will be reaching forward Ė if itís too big you will be
reaching too far back.Ē
SUP surfing is a new and
exciting sport that isnít actually new. Whether or not you live near the ocean,
every SUP enthusiast should partake in SUP surfing at least once in their