From where did paddle boarding come?
Where Did Paddle Boarding Come From?
Paddleboarding has become increasingly common in recent years. It is a sport that anyone will experience with surfing and racing opportunities and more enjoyable moments from the past. SUPs are now famous around the world, but where did paddleboarding begin?
Most people believe everything started in Hawaii – but let us look at its origins properly.
Two to three thousand years ago, people used a board and paddle to move over water. In Peru, fishermen used a board called caballitos de totora, which means ‘little horses’ for reeds. As the name indicates, these were constructed from tightly bound rods paddled into the sea to fish. Although some fishermen sat ashore like a horse, others floated and used the paddleboard for the first time.
Other civilizations in China and Africa used similar fishing boards and paddles, and some African warriors used their spears to propel silently through their seas.
These boats and boards have also been used to relax, and records indicate that these early boarders used to ride the waves.
Many countries have used poles and oars for many centuries to carry vessels, several of which are still used today.
- Visitors see gondoliers on the Venice canals. The gondola stands up and uses a sweeping gondola to pass across the water. Gondolas were used for centuries in Venice, but today they are still familiar.
- People in the UK have stood up for punting for decades. This is a flat bottom boat powered by a long pole through the sea. Originally used as a transport tool, they are now used mainly for visitors. Similar approaches are used by other countries such as Canada and Australia.
- It is claimed that the first photograph of someone standing up for paddling was taken in the UK in 1886. In eastern Anglia, Peter Henry Emerson took a picture of a man standing to paddle across the ponds. This photograph is referred to as ‘Quantity in the Hague Marsh’ and shows a very close attitude to current borders. Quantity means propelling a pole through the water.
- Israel has also used a method of paddleboarding. In the early 20th century, bird watchers used a hazard, which was a shallow, paddle-like surface.
They were standing on it with a paddle because it gave them decent water visibility. If they saw someone in distress in the water, they could step quickly and bring it on board.
Many societies worldwide use a similar method for fishing, traveling, and transportation of goods, and nowadays, many exist. These offer an idea of where paddle boarding started.
Modern paddle boarding
Hawaiians used the shape of a paddleboard for centuries, like other cultures, but they started using a paddleboard for sports in Hawaii back in the 1940s.
Hawaiian surf teachers once stood on a teaching board. This practice did not last long, but, over his 70 years of teaching, one person, John Zapotocky, continued to teach a paddleboard. Duke Kahanamoku was the first visual proof of anyone using a surfboard. Taken about 60 years ago, it shows him pushing his board in a surfing paddle.
It was a long time before paddle boarding began to take off and become today’s sport.
Dave Kamala and Laird Hamilton are regarded as a standard way of moving to a global past. They were snapped with canoe paddles in an Oxbow photoshoot to carry their longboards. The two used the system to practice on bad days and then built the right SUPs, and thus, the sport was born.
First paddle boards have been primarily used to surf, and some surfing competitions in Hawaii, including the Moloka’i to the O’ahu Paddleboard Race, have been introduced to paddleboard race. In 2003, the “Buffalo Big Board Contest,” one of the world’s most famous competitions, included the “Beach Boy Surfing” competition. Also, in those early days, there were 49 competitors in the stand-up.
You have to include Archie Kalepa when trying to figure out where paddle boarding started. He raced on a paddleboard in cross-channel races between the Hawaiian islands and made others know the SUP was more than surfing. The first SUP inland race was held on Lake Tahoe, California, in 2007 and is still running today.
New paddle boarding
- These boards became so popular that people soon began to find other uses for them. After the inland race, river running was created, with kayakers standing up to run paddleboard. Supersports now cover more than 30 miles and more, and the Trent 100 is 62 miles (100 km) in the UK.
- Nikki Gregg began using a paddleboard to perform her Pilates exercises simultaneously as SUPs were used for sailing. This quickly led to the creation of yoga teachers who could teach on the river.
- SUP fishing then became more popular because it was a faster and less friendly alternative to boat fishing. When it reached Florida, fishing from a paddleboard was very obvious.
- Then people realized that you could tour paddleboards that go back to their roots. Modern paddlers will visit families and livestock during early paddle boarders tour for hunting or fishing.
Paddleboarding now has many competitions and races around the world and could also become an Olympic sport in 2024 or 2028. If that happens, it will open the sport to many new players, and a new chapter will begin in the history of SUPs.