You may have seen this new water sport out on the lake or on the ocean surf recently. Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP as some people like to call it, has become the new sensation for active nature lovers. The sport is fairly easy to learn and is the perfect water activity for smooth, calm waters, making it ideal for groups because people of all ages and skill levels can participate – with no prior experience needed.
All that is required is a paddleboard, and a paddle that is designed to help you scoop the water as move around. The board is built similar to a surfboard and features a wide base with foam padding that helps you stand or kneel while trying to stay stable. The paddle height can be adjusted, and the top forms a ‘T’ that you can grip firmly as you paddle through the water.
Some key skills that you must master when you are initially trying the SUP are balancing and maneuvering the board with your feet in conjunction with your paddle strokes. It requires a lot of core strength to be able to stand for long periods of time. Many people of all strength levels can enjoy paddleboarding because it is easy to learn, and as your balance improves, you can begin to try paddling in more difficult waters. It’s an efficient form of exercise, and provides yet another way to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
Once you have mastered standing up and propelling yourself forward, you can begin to explore the more exciting activities that people are doing on their SUP’s. Many people have begun to practice yoga on their boards. This will intensify the balancing aspects and core strength skills of yoga because you must maintain your position on a floating board. It may be wise to try this in an enclosure for your first time, near a bank and on still water.
Others like to surf small wakes on their boards. While it’s not advised to try surfing in larger size waves with the short board, catching a little wave can be fun and exhilarating.
There are so many options for locations to try this new sport, that it’s gaining traction, even at our local reservoirs. Anyone can experience this fun and easy sport, as long as they have access to some kind of open water area.