SUP 101 - Pakaloa

SUP 101: History, Benefits, Paddle board Type, and Much More

SUP (Stand Up paddleboarding) is a refreshing water sport that is getting more and more popular with time. In it, the person stands on a flat paddle board and uses a paddle to move ahead in the water. You can enjoy this activity in the river, ocean, lake, and bay water as you like. 

Now people have started using inflatable paddle boards to do many different fun activities like fishing, yoga, touring, racing, etc. It is also a great form of full-body exercise that helps people burn hundreds of calories.

In this article, we have explained SUP more deeply so you can have a better understanding of this fun activity. 

Stand Up Paddle Boarding History

So far, no one has figured out who invented paddle boarding as its history has its roots present all over the world. However, evidence shows that paddle boarding is not a new sport. People used to paddle board thousands of years ago by using equipment similar to the ones required to paddle board today.

Many people claim that Peruvian fishermen were the first people who special boats to paddle on the seawater. Their history dates back to more than 2,000 years ago. The special boats they had were called “Caballito de Totora.”

These boats are a bit similar in shape to the paddle boards. They were actually made up of reed. The fisherman would use it while sitting on it, but those who were more proficient would stand up on their boats while reaching back to the shore.

Modern-day SUP was originated in Hawaii. In the 1950s, there were three Waikiki surf instructors who would occasionally stand up on their boards while surfing. They had kayak paddles in their hands and kneepads on their knees. The instructors used to do it to capture photographs of their customers without getting their cameras drenched in water.

These instructors are considered the first people to ever paddle board. However, paddle boarding still took time to become famous among the masses.

Key Benefits of SUP

SUP paddle boarding has multiple benefits. Some of the main advantages are mentioned below.

Helps to Burn Calories

One of the reasons why SUP is getting popular among the masses is that, like any other form of exercise, it helps in burning extra fats. SUP is a fun exercise as it not only helps you burn your calories but also allows you to do it while enjoying the sun, fresh air, and water in the surroundings.

The calories a person burns while brisk walking is half the number of calories you can burn during a recreational SUP in one hour. It is because it involves the movement of several body muscles where fats are stored. You can burn more calories through a SUP race. The number of calories you burn during standup paddling highly depends on the techniques and movements used during SUP.  

Keeps the Whole Body Fit

Standup paddling involves the whole body. That is why you can try it to keep all muscles in your body moving and fit. If you are a beginner, then your main focus would most probably to keep yourself balanced on the paddle board. While doing so, you will involve your core, back, and abdominal muscles. It will help you develop these muscles and keep them fit.

Similarly, you will be standing throughout paddling, so your leg muscles will keep on working. SUP paddling will make your shoulder, back, and arms muscles stronger. All in all, we can say that standup paddling will move your all muscles from neck to tow and help you keep them fit.

Brings Freshness to Your Mind

Taking time out of your busy hours is essential to keep your mental health well. Standup paddling is a great recreational practice that allows you to spend time on the ocean while enjoying the calming breeze and soothing sun rays. It not only relaxes your body muscles but also reduces mental stress.

Your body also starts secreting “happy hormones” like serotonin and endorphin. All these things collectively elevate your mood and eventually help you become effective and productive. You will notice an improvement in your mood, attitude, and level of productivity.

Allows You to Explore Nature

SUP boarding is advantageous in many ways. One of its amazing benefits is that you can explore nature while standing steadily on a paddle board. You can go alone with a friend or take a furry friend to enjoy its company. Similarly, you can go with a group camping and explore new areas of a designated site.

Unlike kayaking or boating, standup paddling allows you to get a better view of the nature around you. You can look in the water and get a better view of fishes and sea animals swimming around you. You can also have a better view of the sky and everything that is ahead of you while standing on the board.  

Increases Vitamin D Production

In this fast-paced world, we barely get enough time to sit in the sun and let its rays do the magic. So if you are one of those who rarely get a chance to boost their vitamin D production, then standup paddle boarding is the right option for you.

Paddling in the sun will increase vitamin D production in your body. This vitamin will help you make your bones stronger and healthier. So, you not only get your muscles improved, but your bones also get stronger through standup paddling.

Improves Balance

To enjoy standup paddle boarding, the first and foremost thing you must learn is how to keep your body balanced on a moving and unstable surface. You may find it challenging initially. But worry, not that is why surfaces of standup paddle boards are kept larger than the surfaces of surfing boards etc.

Once you have learned how to use your muscles and which techniques to use to stay balanced on the board, you will have no trouble in covering the long distances. Your body posture will also get improved.

SUP 101 - Pakaloa
SUP 101

Types of Paddle boards Used for SUP

You can group paddle boards into three general types based on their different features. You can choose any of these types depending on feasibility and the purpose of paddling. Let see what these types are.

Inflatable Paddle board

As the name indicates, this kind of paddle board can be deflated after being used. You will have to pump air through a hand pump or an electronic air pump. This paddle board is preferably used while going in the white water. Other than that, it is also preferred to be used for recreational SUP, yoga SUP, and fishing SUP.

Hard Paddle board

Hard paddle boards are also called epoxy paddle boards. They are made up of different layers of fiberglass and epoxy resin for their extra protection against scratches and dents etc. They have a hard surface comparatively. Mostly, experts prefer this kind of paddle board. It is also more expensive than other forms of the paddle board.

Soft Top Paddle board

This kind of paddle board is more suitable for beginners. Its surface is soft, and beginners, while learning to keep their bodies’ balanced, fall multiple times either on the board or in the water. Its deck is made up of a spongy material. So, if you are planning to learn standup paddling, then go for a soft-top paddle board.

Basic SUP Accessories

Standup paddle boards come with different basic accessories. The common accessories include:

Inflatable Paddle board:

Carry a backpack in which you can pack your paddle board after deflating it, snap-in fins for the better movement of the board, electronic or hand pump for filling the air inside the paddle board, leash, and paddle.

Hard Paddle board:

Leash, paddle, and fiberglass fins help in movement.

What Else Should You Bring while Going for Paddle Boarding?

There are certain things that you should take with yourself while going paddle boarding. These things include:


During paddle boarding our skin gets in direct contact with the sun rays. Usually, people do paddle boarding for at least one hour. Spending this much time under the sun can damage your skin. That is why do not forget to apply sunscreen before going for paddle boarding.

Bathing suit:

Paddle boarding becomes more relaxing and enjoyable if you practice it in your bathing or gym suit.

First aid kit:

Balancing your body on a board above the surface of the water is a challenging task for beginners. That is why keep a first aid kit with you. Falling in water and on the board is common when you are learning to paddle board.

Life Jackets

A life jacket is essential for your security, a life jacket for your kid and one dog life jacket for your dog.


Wearing a hat can help you have a better view of your surrounding while you are paddling under the sun.     


Standup paddle boarding is a fun activity you can enjoy with your friends or family. It helps you keep your mind as well as your body fit and healthy. You can also get a boost of vitamin D while enjoying soothing sun rays on your paddle board.

Due to its multiple benefits, it is growing in popularity every year. We hope this informative and easy to digest article will help you make your paddle boarding journey more enjoyable and pleasant. Let us know in the comment section how your first paddle boarding experience was!

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