Standup paddleboarding is really a platform by which a paddler can do a wide variety of other activities. SUP certainly has appeal for kayakers and canoeists due to the paddling aspect of it. Of course it also is a natural crossover sport for surfers as SUP involves using a surf style board and in its purest form is used to catch waves. However, standup paddleboarding is not only for paddling, surfing, or paddle surfing. There are many other sports that can be done in conjunction with Standup Paddleboarding. Here is a list of 10 sports done on a paddle board.
- SUP board is after all a longboard style surfboard. The allure of SUP to surfers is twofold. The first reason is that with a paddle, surfers are able to get to waves quicker as well as catch them easier. Secondly, SUP gives surfers the ability to see approaching swells due to their higher vantage point. This is why SUP to surfers is generally known as standup paddlesurfing or just paddle surfing for short.
SUP PaddlingWhile standup paddleboarding might have its roots in surfing, it is most frequently practiced as a paddling discipline. Droves of people are getting into SUP for the sole purpose of paddling around. Just as with kayaking, anywhere water is found, people can be found paddleboarding. SUP can be done on streams, whitewater rivers, lakes, bays and inlets, beaches and surf, and out in open water. They even make hybrid SUP kayaks, where the paddleboard can be paddled standing as a SUP or sitting as a kayak.
Fitness, Long Distance Paddling, and SUP YogaMany people are getting into SUP for the fitness aspect of it. When the forward stroke is properly executed, paddleboarding is a great core workout. All muscles are employed from the legs in maintaining the proper stance and form to the paddler’s abdominals, back, shoulders and arms. When paddling longer distances SUP provides all of the cardio vascular benefits or jogging without the wear and tear on the paddler’s joints as there is no impact or pounding on pavement. Another trend that is picking up steam with respect to SUP and health is SUP Yoga. That’s right, stand up paddleboarding yoga. It sounds wild, I know.
SUP RacingJust as other paddlesports have racing, standup paddleboarding has its competitive side also. SUP races occur all over the world. These SUP boards are specially designed for speed and tracking. The 15th Annual Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships were just held this past July in Hawaii. So, SUP racing has been going on at a high level for the better part of two decades.
Whitewater SUPThey even make standup paddleboards for whitewater rivers . This one is a little hard to believe. But again, wherever they kayak, people will paddleboard. Whitewater standup paddleboards are often inflatable boards made out of the same material as whitewater rafts. If you thought staying upright in a whitewater kayak seems tough, try keeping your feet on a SUP while going through a Class III rapid.