When I first heard about Stand-up Paddle Boarding (or SUP for short), I wondered how this recent craze must have come about. I quickly presumed that this had to of been some kind of ancient Hawaiian or Polynesian mode of transport, to make life easier catching up with your mates on that other island on the horizon that you can kind of make out when you squint your eyes a little bit.
Countries such as Israel and Peru have been recorded to have been using the technique of stand-up paddling for eons, intended for tasks such as fishing and transporting goods from A to B. But the more modern SUP began in Hawaii in the 1950 in the post-war tourism boom. The locals saw an opening to make some extra money photographing tourists learning to surf. The only way to get the money shots was to get out on the water. In order to protect their cameras from being destroyed by the water they needed to get above the waves. It only took one brave soul to grab a long board and a canoe paddle and a new surf style was born!
Since 2007 Australian owned company, Global Surf Industries (GSI) has played a huge part in the reemergence of SUP around the world. With a wide range of SUP boards and paddles, GSI cater for all style and SUP skill levels.
These days there are many forms of SUP. Some do it to catch waves, others to paddle long distances, others do it just to keep fit.
Whichever your style, if you haven’t tried it, you’d best give it a go. Seriously, anyone can do it (I’m taking my mum out next weekend)! All you need is a board, paddle and a body of water to paddle in. If you’re not near the ocean, try the local lake, dam or swimming pool – oh and watch out for swimmers these things way a tonne!
If you’re in Sydney and a keen to have a try I recommend getting in touch with Matt from the Manly Surf School, by my second lesson I was catching waves like Laird Hamilton himself!