Budget Adventures: Stand Up Paddleboarding

Tue, Oct 9, 2012


Stand Up Paddleboarding Quickly Becomes Favored Surface Water Sport

People who love to play in the water are rediscovering the art of stand up paddleboarding (SUP.) In ancient times, travel between islands was by paddleboard. Then, in the 1960s, the beachboy surfers of Hawaii started using paddles to reach the outlying breaker waves, which they use to surf.

What Is Stand Up Paddleboarding?

Just like the gondoliers who paddle small vessels along the canals in Venice, paddleboarders stand on their board while paddling. Additionally, SUP is gaining popularity as an exercise activity, because it gives a great core workout. Beginners, as well as seasoned athletes, train and surf anywhere there are calm waters or ocean surf, worldwide. Stand up paddleboarding is a surface water sport, and even a swimming pool works if there is enough room.

It is very easy to learn, taking less than one hour to master the basic technique. Moreover, women find it easier to paddleboard then men do, thanks to their body’s lower center of gravity. Even celebrities are getting in on the action by using it as their exercise of choice at luxury resorts that are near water. All ages and skill levels are finding that stand up paddling is easy, fun and a great way to sight see or just relax.

Equipment Needed To Paddleboard

Paddleboarders only use three pieces of equipment: a paddleboard, a paddle and a leash. Paddleboards are wider than surfboards. The widest ones are the most stable, which makes them the best for beginners. Boards are anywhere from nine to 12 feet long, and the width is between two and three feet. Comparison charts, such as those at islesurfboards.com, explain the different shape designs and their uses. Paddleboards come in all colors, sometimes being hand painted with beautiful scenes or designs.

One paddle can propel the boarder forward, using either side for paddling, with vertically straight strokes kept parallel to the board. Turning is easy by paddling on the side of the turn in an arc motion and leaning the body in that direction. The leash is a line connecting the board and the paddler, which keeps the board within reach.

Safety Tips For Paddleboarding

This surface water sport is safe for anyone who can swim, but life jackets are legally required in the United States when paddleboarding in open waters. Slowly paddling on still water is the best way to acquire skill. Many wave surfers combine their love for speed and thrills with paddleboarding, and it is quickly becoming the number one surface water sport, worldwide.

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