You would think that I would have gotten bit by the SUP bug years ago. I mean, I lived in Austin, TX, where it’s practically “old news” these days! Anyhow, after wanting to give it a shot for way too long, I FINALLY got to experience it yesterday!
Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he’e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. The sport is an ancient form of surfing, and reemerged as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of students, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint. This increased visibility of what was going on around them such as incoming swell.
When I was in Pensacola a couple of weekends ago for DeLuna Fest, it was entertaining to watch people giving SUP a shot out in the Gulf. The waves weren’t super-big, but they were present, and I can’t tell you how many times we saw people fall off their boards.
For now, I’ll stick with calmer waters!
More from Wikipedia:
The popularity of the modern sport of SUP’ing has its origin in the Hawaiian Islands. In the early 1960s, the Beach Boys of Waikiki would stand on their long boards, and paddle out with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. This is where the term “Beach Boy Surfing”, another name for Stand Up Paddle Surfing, originates.
The sport benefits athletes with a strong ‘core’ workout. SUP’ing is popular at warm coastal climates and resorts, and is gaining in popularity as celebrities are sampling the sport, and cross-over athletes are training with SUP. SUPs have been spotted around the globe, anywhere there is easy access to safe waters, as well as in the surfing lineups of the world. Another reason for the rise in popularity of stand up paddleboarding is that, unlike surfing, paddleboarding is very easy to learn. Within one hour you can become very comfortable in the water and on your board. Stand up paddleboarding is also more popular with women because of their lower center of gravity, women are more often skilled at paddleboarding than men.
I have clients who just bought two boards, and yesterday we took trip to their house on the Tchefuncte River to give it a shot. All I really knew was that it supposedly wasn’t that difficult to balance once you got up, and that it was just FUN!
I wish I knew how far we traveled. It wasn’t that hard to get the hang of it, and when you get over that initial “I’m gonna fall into the cold water” worry, it’s all good! No one fell. I could feel my muscles working (which I love, big surprise), I enjoyed figuring it out, and despite a few boats and Jet Skis, the water was relatively calm.
The action of rowing from an upright position really does engage every muscle in your body, especially the posterior chain (which is a very good thing)! I kept thinking about how good this would be for all of my clients! I will have to plan a field trip!
The trip back felt easier…until the wind hit us. Let me tell ya, going into the wind is no joke! At one point I felt like I was going nowhere! Definitely got a workout!
Almost two hours later, we were back to the pier with shaky legs and better tans! I can’t tell you how much fun it was!
Today I sit here with a sore butt, hammies and calves, and the upper part of my abs are sore as well. My upper back and obliques are also sore.
So, do I recommend it? Most definitely! Give it a shot and let me know what you think!