SUP stands for “standup paddleboarding” and has been taking the water sports world by storm since the late 2000's. Standup paddleboarding is quickly becoming the water sport of choice due to it's accessibility and fast learning curve. While SUP might not be the most popular (yet) it certainly is the fastest growing and you will have no doubt already seen more and more people taking to the water to enjoy this fabulous new sport. 

History of SUP

Paddleboarding has a hawaiian heritage  and translates in hawaiian to Ku Hoe He’e Nalu; to stand, to paddle, to surf, a wave. It’s history dates back to the 1950’s when the beachboys (surf instructors) on Waikki Beach used to stand up and paddle out to the surf break using their regular surf boards and a one bladed paddle. They did this because the higher view point offered by the sup style provided better visibility of their group and incoming swells.  Also, it allowed them to keep their wealthy customers cameras dry and take pictures of them surfing!! As surfing developed and fashions changed, the paddle was lost and only a few surfers in Waikki continued to stand on their board and use a paddle.

There are also stories about Charlie Force, a carpenter and builder from the UK  who in 1953 designed and built a hollow wooden surfboard which he successfully rode in Newquay Bay. So there is evidence of SUP surfing in the UK some 50 years before it became popular in the UK.

Why Should You Stand Up Paddle Board

SUP is currently the fastest growing watersport in the world, here are a few reasons why it is gaining so much popularity across the world: 

Accessible

All you need is a board, paddle and leash and then you are set to go!! You can paddle anywhere there is water, and with a Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP the whole world is your oyster!

With a little bit of guidance from a qualified instructor you can be up and paddling in no time. There are also lots of different types of SUP's available depending on what type of paddle boarding you want to do. For more info check out our page on what board should I buy?

Fitness

You can choose how hard you paddle. You can either go for a leisurely paddle with friends and explore new areas of the coastline or inland waterways. Or if you want to build your fitness then you can up the intensity level for a great core and cardio work out. 

SUP is also a great cross training exercise for surfers looking for a way of staying fit during flat spells or as a way of making the most of small swell when it is to small to surf.  

Exploration

Paddle boards a great way to explore new parts of the world or even just your local area. You can go for a short paddle with friends or take the camping gear with you for a multiday adventure and you will be amazed at what you will find around the next bend!! 

With a greater vantage point from standing up you can see more both above and below water than you can from a canoe or kayak, allowing you to see more fish and any underwater obsatacles. 

Relaxation

It has been scientifically proven that spending more time at the beach helps reduce stress and increases mental health. SUP is the perfect low impact, holistic sport, to get fit or stay in shape, benefiting the mind as well as body.

It can be extremely relaxing and allow you to escape the stresses of everyday life. In fact it has become very popular with those who enjoy yoga/meditation as they are now able to do it out on the water.

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