Stand up paddleboards, or SUPs, are unique platforms that allow people to enjoy a wide variety of water activities. Kayakers are naturally drawn to the paddling aspect of SUPs, but they also appeal to surfers looking to catch waves in the purest form as well as fitness buffs, yoga enthusiasts, and well, just about everyone else. In fact, there are many activities and sports involving stand up paddleboards, and here at Just Paddleboard we want to share some of these options with you. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do with a SUP.
The roots of SUPs stem from Hawaii, where they were commonly used for surfing the island chain’s epic waves. After all, a SUP is essentially a thicker, modified version of a longboard. Aside from their heritage, SUPs appeal to surfers for two primary reasons. Firstly, having a paddle allows them to catch waves quicker and easier. Surfers also like SUPs because of the higher vantage point they provide, allowing them to easily spot approaching swells. Often called paddle surfing, SUP surfing is growing in popularity each and every day.
While SUPs have their roots in surfing, today they’re primarily used by casual paddlers and everyday people who simply enjoy paddling around. Similar to kayaking, anywhere you can find water, you can probably find people paddle boarding. From oceans and surf to lakes and whitewater rivers, SUP can be done virtually anywhere. This is especially true thanks to the great inflatable stand up paddleboards, or iSUPs, being made today.
Stand up paddle boarding may have begun with surfing in Hawaii, but it’s now quite popular for touring as well. Not everyone lives near the waves or knows how to surf, but nearly everyone can paddle. SUP touring is for people who like the challenge and adventure of paddling longer distances on their paddle boards and touring their area’s waterways. Touring can take place on rivers, lakes, bays, and even the open ocean as it’s generally all about disciplined paddling and endurance. It’s a great workout and allows you to cover longer distances than recreational paddling.
Kayaking and other paddle sports have racing, so it should come as no surprise that SUP has a competitive side as well. Today, SUP races are held around the globe. While iSUPs are popular for cruising and whitewater river adventures, many SUP races involve the use of specially designed SUPs constructed with tracking and speed in mind. Originating in Hawaii, paddleboard racing has been going on for quite some time, but the sport is becoming increasingly popular year after year.
SUP Fitness and Yoga
A number of people are diving into the fun world of SUP due to the wonderful fitness aspect of the sport. When executed properly, SUP provides an awesome core workout. From the legs, which are used to maintain balance and proper stance, to the arms, abdominals, shoulders, and back, every major muscle group is employed. Stand up paddle boarding is also an excellent cardiovascular workout. In fact, it provides even more benefits than jogging but without the wear and tear on a person’s joints. It may sound wild, but SUP yoga is also a growing trend.
Wherever a kayak can go, SUPs can go too! Whitewater SUPs are generally inflatable and constructed of the same material found on whitewater rafts, allowing them to go virtually anywhere. There are many levels of whitewater SUP. When first starting out, you should stick to tame rivers with slow-moving water and few obstacles. As you progress in experience and ability, you can start tackling more challenging whitewater and Class III rapids. Just remember to wear a helmet!
Similar to SUP surfing, fishing on a stand up paddleboard provides a high vantage point, making it a much better option than fishing from a kayak. The ability to see down through the water at a much steeper angle allows anglers to spot fish much easier. It also provides fishermen with a new challenge. Some guys are even taking up shark fishing. With a SUP, nothing is off limits.
Let’s say you are touring and you want to take short break or a nap before you paddle on to the next thing on your list to see. Well, you can do that on your board because a company known as Hammocraft has designed and sells a specially made hammock that you can set up across your board. SUP touring with four friends and another board? No problem! Using both boards side by side, you can set up four more hammocks so that all five of you can take a short break and enjoy the view from the water.
Going paddleboarding can also be a fun activity to do with a date or romantic partner. Paddle to your favorite spots and even take a picnic lunch you can enjoy right on the water. Then enjoy watching the sunrise or the sunset together. After all, couples who share activities together become closer, and there’s nothing closer than a romantic paddleboard trip for two.
SUP Scuba Diving
One activity you could enjoy with your date or just a group of friends using your paddleboard is snorkeling and scuba diving. You can access more inaccessible spots using a paddleboard, giving you the ability to explore in underwater places that people on a boat may not be able to go.
Regardless of which type of SUP activities you choose to do, you’re guaranteed to have a great time and an excellent workout as well. SUPs are made of different materials and come in all shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find the right one for you and what you want to do.