Friday, October 1, 2010

The New Way To Surf: Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding is currently the fastest growing water sport in the world. Although this sport has been very popular in Hawaii for years, it is now becoming popular worldwide. Many surfers are even swapping their sport to paddle boarding because of the versatility it offers.

Stand up paddleboarding, also known as SUP, was originally started in the sixties by the Beach Boys of Waikiki. These boys would paddle out on their boards with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. The nick name, Beach Boy Surfing came from this. Also in the early years of SUP, the sport was used as a way for surf instructors to manage their classes for beginner surfers. The view point that SUP gave the instructors was beneficial in watching out for waves that the beginners were not quite ready for.

This type of surfing is a lot like regular surfing except easier and is more of a relaxing experience. Also, no waves are needed to partake in this style. Many beginners actually prefer to start out in smaller bodies of water such as lakes and ponds rather than large oceans until they feel more comfortable with the sport. Those more advanced in the sport can ride larger waves as a surfer would.

To take part in this incredibly fun sport one must stand on a board and row like you would with a canoe. Once a wave comes along they ride it and guide themselves with the paddle. This sport is great form strength training for the entire body. The motion of the paddle is a great upper body workout while the balancing of the paddle board is great lower body training.

There are many competitions held every year all around the world. These contests can get very competitive and the contestants are judged on their performance and skill. These contests bring out hundreds of viewers and are a great form of entertainment.

This hobby is not cheap; the equipment used is very expensive. Paddleboards cost anywhere from four hundred to nine hundred dollars and the paddles that are used cost between three and six hundred dollars. This equipment will last a fairly good amount of time if well taken care of. Many people buy special bags for their paddle and board in order to protect the precious equipment when it is not in the water. It is also suggested to never sit a paddleboard in a standing position, in order to avoid harmful falls.

While stand up paddleboarding has been around for years, this sport is just now really getting started. It has been predicted that this sport will eventually take the place of surfing. We will be hearing a lot more from this sport in years to come.

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