Most people will heard of Standup Paddleboarding or SUP by now and if not you mustn’t live too close to water! Standup Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and the most versatile of all board sports. SUP’s can be used in flat water, rivers and rapids, touring, racing and surfing. And more recently there is SUP fishing and even SUP yoga!
As a sport and exercise it has some great benefits:
- Standup paddleboarding is one of the best workouts for a complete body workout.
- Improves balance: Standup paddleboarding requires you to stand upright on the board, which requires a lot of core stability and leg strength to maintain balance
- SUPing is a low impact exercise that is a combination of balance, strength, and endurance which are exercised whether you are paddling or just balancing on your board
The sport may be added to the Olympics in time.
Records of earlier forms of SUP and prone have been found as early as 1,000 B.C. (i.e. 3,000 years ago). The contemporary form of the sport originated in the 16th century where Hawaiian surfers would surf on boards of up to 5 meters in length. But it was Hawaii that really help pioneer SUP, and then California helped spread it’s popularity. The world’s first inland SUP event and race was hosted at King’s Beach on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, California. It was dubbed “Ta-hoe Nalu” and still runs to this day. That event back in 2007 was arguably the world’s first stand up paddle specific event. Source – Wikipedia
Depending on the time of year, water temperature and experience you may need a 3mm+ wet suit, but if you’re an experienced boarder then you’re not as likely to fall in so probably won’t need one in colder conditions. If your not a strong swimmer of paddling far then wear a life jacket.
Paddleboards are generally broken up into 4 categories – Surf, all round, flat and race boards. And can be solid or inflatable. Inflatable are very easy to transport and cheaper but solid boards and super stable with stronger wind or choppy water and have ultimate performance regarding speed and agility or for tricks while surfing.
Lastly you need a paddle.
There are lot’s of regional SUP event in many countries around the world but these are 10 big annual competitions on the SUP calendar.
Major SUP Races
- Battle of the Paddle
- Gorge Paddle Challenge
- Carolina Cup
- Payette River Games
Notable Regional Majors
- AUSTRALIA: King of the Cut
- ASIA: The Japan Cup
- EUROPE: The Lost Mills
- EUROPE: Bilbao Paddle Challenge
- SOUTH AMERICA: Battle of the Paddle Brazil
The full season of important SUP events can be viewed at SUP Racer
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