Stand Up Paddle Boarding

by Megan Hill

Jan 3, 2015

© Melissa Fague | Dreamstime

Health & Wellness

Stand up paddle boarding (or “SUP,” in industry lingo) is increasingly popular around the world. The sport, which involves a large, stable board and a single-blade paddle, originated in Hawaii. Paddlers may race, though most casual participants simply laze about on flat rivers, large lakes and calm sections of ocean.


Stand up paddle boarding exploded around 2007, when the first company opened a shop in Santa Barbara, Calif. There are now stand up paddle boarding companies around the world, with some even offering SUP yoga classes — the act of balancing on a board in water while doing yoga offers an additional balancing challenge.


Stand up paddle boarding affords a unique way for travelers to take in a location. Few travelers can explore the nooks and crannies of a coastal city’s waterways. It’s also incredibly relaxing, because unless you’re racing, you’re probably not going anywhere fast. SUP is also a moderate workout if you’re not used to paddle sports, so you’ll burn a few calories in the process.


SUP can be found in places like Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, Aruba, Key West, Lake Tahoe and countless other locations. To learn the basic technique of stand up paddling, REI has a useful video and article tutorial.



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