What Is Stand Up Paddling And Top 10 Reasons To Try It

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SUP = Stand Up Paddling

SUP stands for Stand Up Paddling (including Stand up paddle surfing) and as the name suggest it is a sport where we stand on an over sized surfboard and paddle. We stand, paddle, observe and admire the beautiful nature that surrounds us or just paddle like crazy and work out. We can sup alone or together with friends quietly sliding over the surface of the water, along the rivers, cross the lakes and sail under the majestic cliffs of ocean coast. Sport has taken off since day one and is getting more and more popular, it also inspired many celebrities and successful athletes to try it on.


Inflatable SUP and the sea.

Why? You do not need any prior knowledge and specific preparation to begin stand up paddling, all you need is the right equipment. As soon as you step on the SUP board and grab the paddle, you will understand why today this is an increasingly popular activity. It is easy, relaxing and fun. For those that are more into adrenaline sports you can take your sup board to the waves and rapids. SUP will give your holidays by the sea or lake a completely new dimension – a freedom to explore the nature from the water. Furthermore it is also first-class exercise for the whole body.

Who is it for?

Basically it’s a sport that anyone can do and this is why it is gaining popularity so quickly. It is simple, accessible and much easier to learn than lets say surfing, kiteboarding or windsurfing. You will be surprised how quickly you can maintain balance on the board, if you have the appropriate board size. Most of the people need about one hour and they can already confidently paddle across the water. Due to the lower center of gravity it is even more popular with women. 


A camping SUP trip to a small island.

Ten Reasons to Try SUP

1. It is a fun activity!

2. It is a sport which can be enjoyed by all – men, women, children, seniors, small and tall, thick or thin. It’s suitable for the whole family and even your four-legged friends are usually happy to jump on board.

3. There are many locations where you can SUP – lakes, rivers, seas.

4. You can SUP alone or in company. Especially in calm waters it is fun to paddle together with someone and chat while enjoying the nature.

5. It is a good workout for the whole body! To maintain balance on the board your core needs to work all the time and while paddling you are exercising your upper body and upper abdomen. You will develop strength, flexibility, performance, stability, and if you paddle intensively it is also good for your cardiovascular system. It is ideal for maintaining fitness training in all sports. The faster and harder you rowed, the more intense the workout. And a lot more fun than exercise in the gym.

6. It’s relaxing yet still intense. The feeling of floating over the water, you have to feel it to understand why it is so appealing. It’s a great way to shake off your daily stress, it’s an exercise for your mind and spirit as well as your body.

7. The view from the stand up paddle board is a lot better than from the boat. This includes the view of the surrounding as well as what lies beneath the water surface and under your board.

8. It is truly “green” activity. All you need is a board and a paddle – you do not need an engine and oil, you do not produce noise, damage the waterways or in any way interfere with the peaceful water that you glide on.

9. There is a lot of variety to the sport – you can easily paddle up and down, you can explore and go on an adventure, even bring your tent and go camping, you can surf the waves or have and intense exercise, you can even use your SUP board instead of a yoga mat and do yoga or pilates on water or go fishing.

10. It is a simple sport, which is everyone can learn in only a couple of minutes.


SUP can take you to some interesting places…

SUP as a Workout

Stand up paddling is a fun activity that strengthens your whole body. The main muscles that are active when suping are the muscles of the back which improve your posture and stabilize the upper part of your body. Abdominal muscles are also active with each paddle stroke, they  support the rotation of the body and cooperate with back muscles to balance us in the standing position on the board. The rowing also strengthens the muscles in the neck, triceps and biceps on your hands. While keeping balance we also strengthen the buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Because of all this snowboarding, windsurfing, even football and ski coaches introduced suping as a part of the physical preparation for their athletes. Suping will improve your strength, stamina, coordination and flexibility. Some physiotherapists in US even prescribe suping as primary therapy for people with back problems.

Famous People that Stand Up Paddle

  • Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, two legends of surfing on waves riding some of the biggest waves in the world.
  • Rick Thomas who brought SUP to mainland America.
  • Brazilian Andrea Moller and Maria Souza, first women team, who in 2006 crossed the channel between the islands of Molokai and Oahu (51 km long channel with strong currents, large waves and unpredictable weather conditions) on their SUP boards.
  • Mickey Eskimo (Michael Ribloitol, former professional windsurfer), who started doing airs on an SUP board.
  • John Zápotocký, who was one of the surfing pioneers and was actively suping into his 90s.
  • Archie Kalepa, the legendary big wave surfer, who is known for his high-profile SUP expedition to the Grand Canyon (300 miles).

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