SUP is a short acronym used for Stand Up Paddleboarding. Stand up paddleboarding is a water sport activity in which a person stands on a large board and uses a paddle to move on the water. Stand up paddleboarding started in Hawaii in the 1940s and is now the fastest-growing boardsports in the world. The popularity of SUP started in 2001 when Laird Hamilton introduced SUP surfing, and now it’s trendy, and people across the world enjoy riding on a SUP.
SUP is not only used for surfing, but people also enjoy health benefits through work out on it with full entertainment. Learning paddleboarding is not a technical or challenging task; you can learn it without regarding your age or fitness level. It is the best way to spend quality time with friends and family. Before you start SUP, it would be beneficial to know a little bit about its basic techniques. The following article will provide you with all the necessary information you need to know before starting stand-up paddle board.
Types of Stand Up Paddle Boards
There are different types of paddle boards designed for various purposes to provide you with the comfort level and ease of ride. The following are some popular types of stand up paddle boards available for you.
All-round paddle boards
The all-round paddle boards are perfect for beginners and are the most common type of paddle boards used for paddleboarding. They are named all-round because they are useful in all conditions, whether you want to ride ocean waves or glide through calm lakes. You can enjoy your company of friends while gliding on all-round paddle boards or spend weekends with your loved ones.
They are not only used for entertainment purposes, but people also use them to perform different types of activities. They are the most versatile stand-up paddle boards and include activities such as yoga, fishing, surfing, or touring.
Inflatable paddle boards
Inflatable paddle boards were introduced in 2014, and due to their incredible features, they gained popularity. They feature a PVC exterior with drop-stitch construction and come with a storage bag to keep when they are not in use.
If you are living in a small apartment or home where you don’t have enough space for large solid boards, inflatable paddle boards will be the best for you because they can be easily stored due to their deflated ability. You can easily pack them in a trunk or closet.
If you are a traveler and love to explore different places, you will definitely love inflatable paddle boards. You’re able to easily bring them with you while hopping on a plane or taking a road trip. You just need to pack them in storage bags and then enjoy wherever you are going.
You can’t take your heavy solid board if you are hiking to a lake such as an alpine lake. In this condition, inflatable paddle boards will be the best companion for you. Although they are heavy, they are still pretty lighter than other solid paddle boards and can be packed in storage pages with strips for easy carrying.
Epoxy paddle boards
Epoxy paddleboards are the traditional paddleboards having EPS foam cores covered with layers of fiberglass. They have been the longest and people’s favorite paddleboard. These paddleboards also have epoxy resin to prevent dings and a woof stringer used for strength and stiffness.
Epoxy boards come in popularity due to their performance level; they travel faster and smoother. These boards are easy to control and provide the best glide to the riders. They are highly stable due to their surf style keel. Also, they have a more pointed displacement keel for faster paddling and better steering through the waves. With the help of the displacement hull, the rider doesn’t need to exert more effort to paddle. Its amazing quality and performance for the comfort of the rider make it an ideal choice.
Epoxy paddle boards are more stable and have a long length and width. For more stability, you can find an epoxy paddleboard according to your size, weight, and performance. Adults mostly use epoxy paddle boards for surfing, racing, and long-distance journeys.
People feel difficulty in storing and transporting epoxy paddle boards due to their length and weight. But if you have enough resources, then you can enjoy the ride on epoxy paddleboards.
Soft top paddle boards
Soft top paddleboards are the best choice for beginners and share with family while enjoying quality time with them on the beach or a lake. They are almost similar to epoxy paddleboards, but their top is covered with a soft and spongy material. Their top is fully resistant to slip, so they are best for kids and dogs. They are durable and show no dings or scratches.
It is recommended for children, beginners, and kids because it has a soft-top. It is fully slip-resistant and best suited to paddlers who like to run into rocky shorelines, docks, or other hazards. They are also recommended to children because falling from them didn’t hurt.
Most beginners love soft top paddle boards due to their ease of use. Their top is stable and comfortable and provides balance to its rider. The balancing feature is one of the reasons for becoming soft top paddle boards popular among people who practice SUP yoga. Yoga involves some complicated moves, and balance is necessary, or else people can fall in the water. Soft top paddle boards provide them balance so people can perform their yoga efficiently.
Different ways to use SUP
As mentioned above, people not only use stand-up paddleboards for entertainment or fun but also used for health maintenance and other activities. The following are some of the popular ways to use SUP.
If you love yoga, you have already heard about performing yoga on stand-up paddleboards. Maybe you have tried it out or want to try it. SUP yoga is the common fitness activity people perform while floating on water. It is mostly practiced on calm bodies of water, such as lakes or bays. SUP yoga is becoming popular day by day, and people are enjoying it. Moreover, yogis are improving their yoga skills because SUP yoga requires more strength, balance, and focus than performing on plane earth.
SUP yoga has many fantastic health benefits, similar to stand-up paddleboarding. SUP yoga strengthens our muscles and provides them with more flexibility and durability. Performing yoga in the middle of nature while listening to the beautiful songs of birds and enjoying gorgeous scenes help us to relieve our stress and feel like a calm body. SUP yoga also helps us to improve our breathing techniques and refines techniques on land. The most important benefit of performing SUP yoga is the practical improvement of balance.
People sometimes feel bored going fishing, but there are a lot of ways to enjoy fishing. SUP fishing is a new and better way of fishing while doing sports. The popularity of SUP fishing is increasing, and it’s now becoming a trend.
Fishing paddle boards are entirely designed with everything needed for fishing to make your day on the water. Fishing paddle boards consist of scotty mounts to attach bait trays, rod holders, fish finders, downriggers, etc. Instead of boat or kayak fishing, SUP fishing is more advantageous and enjoyable.
There are many benefits of doing SUP fishing because fishing paddle boards are lightweight and easy to transport. They provide quick mobility to reach where fishes are spotted and sometimes more agile than kayaks. SUP provides you more freedom of movement and offers you a better vision of fish swimming around you. SUP is also silent, so they don’t scare the fish which you want to catch. Fishing with a standing position provides you with enough space to cast your rail properly.
SUP racing is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and now it’s also an official sport that is gaining popularity day by day. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not an easy task nowadays due to busy days and junk food people can’t control themselves. What if there is an enjoyable way to maintain health? SUP seems to be the best enjoyable way to become healthy and to keep health fit and sound.
SUP is a hard and disciplined workout; racing with your friends while floating on the water includes “HITT” techniques, which increase your heart rate and speed up your blood circulation level. So, help you to improve your cardio routine.
SUP racing also helps to lose weight. It is a hard workout and allows us to lose a large number of calories, and burning calories causes weight loss. SUP racing is the most intense form of paddling and burns more than 1000 calories in one hour. Burning calories also depends on gender; according to a study, men burn more calories than women.
Many people use stand up paddleboards to explore the places. Most of the people try to explore California’s place known as Big Sur. It is a notorious tourist place with less than 1000 permanent residents. People come here to explore nature. This natural place attracts more than a million people every year.
SUP touring is a unique thing, and if you have experienced SUP touring, I’m sure that the trip will be unforgettable for you. Exploring the places while floating on water is a very blessed feeling. SUP touring is becoming popular now because people now want to feel nature while floating on nature. Inflatable paddle boards are best used for touring purposes because they are lightweight and have a storage bag with strips that help us carry them wherever we want. If you haven’t experienced the SUP touring yet, I strongly recommend you go whenever you have time, and you will witness the pure feelings of exploring nature.
Paddling with dogs
People have feelings for dogs, and they don’t want to leave them alone while they are enjoying stand-up paddleboards. It is now becoming a trend to go for a ride on a paddle with a dog. But before you set sail with your dog, you need to learn some important things which are necessary for you and your dog.
The most important thing to learn before going on a ride with your dog is to feel comfortable on the paddle before including a dog. Some people make the mistake of going for a ride with a dog while they are still in their learning procedure or are beginners. Please don’t include your dog with you until you feel comfortable in the middle of a body of water. It will be safer for you and your dog. Learning paddleboarding is not challenging work, but if you have more experience, there will be fewer chances of any difficulty for you as your dog.
Basic SUP equipment
Once you decide the type of paddleboard you want according to your use, you should also look for some necessary basic equipment that helps you to enjoy safe paddling. The following are some of the important basic equipment used for paddling.
Stand up paddles
Stand up paddles are available in the market in a variety of constructions such as aluminum, plastic, wood, carbon fiber, etc. All these constructions are available in a variety of different handles, blades, and shaft shapes. The paddle used with your paddleboard must be 6 to 10 inches above the height of your paddler; it is the general rule for stand-up paddles. Paddles consider the second-most important piece of equipment after the paddleboard. Therefore, you need reliable and high-quality paddles that will perform for years to come at an affordable price.
For flatwater use, size your paddle on the longer side, and for surf used, size your paddle for the shorter side. The blade should slightly be bent toward an angle to the shaft to allow for more forward reach when you are taking a stroke. Your paddle should start between 6 inches taller than your height as a general rule.
A SUP leash is required to keep your paddleboard attached to you with the help of a Velcro strap around your ankle. Leashes available in a variety of sizes. But as a general rule, the size of your leash is equal to or slightly smaller than the size of your board. Do not forget to use your leash because, in events, current and wind can quickly sweep your paddle board from you, and in oceans, your paddleboard must sweep quickly by water if you do not use a leash.
When you come to your inflatable SUP board, we have a strong desire to give you complete peace of mind by ensuring that your board is protected with the best SUP accessories. This is why we created durable, lightweight paddling cases that are strong enough to protect and prevent any accident and scratch while traveling or long-term storage.
SUP boards bags
During transportation or storage, many incidents happen outside the water, which causes dings and scratches on paddleboards. SUP board bags are the best designed for your convenience in traveling and also remove all the risks during transportation and storage. It works as the protection of your paddleboards and increases the board’s life.
If you own a paddleboard, then you already knew the value of your precious paddleboard. You never want to see your paddleboard damaging in front of your eyes. You will always be conscious of its safety. Board bags are the protection of your investment in paddleboards; they take care of your unique paddleboards and help you to feel free about their safety. Inflatable paddleboards are lightweight and come with a board bag, so if you are going to own an inflatable paddleboard, you don’t need to buy a separate one.
Personal floatation device (PFD)
A paddleboard life vest or personal floatation device is your safety. Paddling on your favorite paddleboard is fun and entertainment, but safety is important in everything you are doing. So, participating in these types of activities with a life vest is important.
If you want to go beyond limits, the US Coast Guard requires you to have an approved life vest of USCG. Before going paddling, it’s important to understand the Life Vest Safety Laws because nothing is more important than life. If you have life means you can enjoy it, but if you put your life at risk and go beyond your limits, you will risk all the enjoyment you can have in the future.
PFD provides you with safety and freedom of movement so you can enjoy paddling in a safer way to your destination. Paddlesport life jackets help you to prevent chafing while performing repetitive motions.
Guide to SUP
If you are a beginner or feeling nervous about starting paddling, I want to tell you that there is no tricky thing to start paddling. With little instructions, you will be able to stand up on a paddleboard and start practicing. The basic things you need to know are
- Standing up on SUP
- Maintaining balance on SUP
- Holding SUP paddle
- Falling and getting back on the paddleboard
How to stand up on SUP
As a beginner, you should always start with a nice wide board in calm and flat water. Selecting a size of around 11 inches in length is the best for beginners.
- Stand next to the board and get the board in water so that the fin can’t hit bottom.
- Hold the edges of the board and work your way in the kneeling position, just in the center of the board. You can locate the center of the board by finding the carry handle.
- Keep your hands on the edges of the board and move your one foot to place it where you have placed the knee.
- When you stabilize yourself, start raising your chest and stand up after your chest is vertical to your legs.
Maintaining balance on SUP
Once you succeed in standing on the paddleboard, the next step is to balance yourself as long as possible. This activity will improve your balance and make you capable of enjoying paddling.
- To maintain balance, position your feet in the center of the paddleboard means your feet should be parallel and hip-width apart with your back straight.
- Keep your toes in a forward direction and bent knees slightly with your back straight.
- Hold your head and shoulders upright and move your hips to shift weight.
- Keep looking forward or in water, and avoid looking at your feet.
How to hold SUP paddle
It’s a common mistake at the beginning of learning stand up paddleboarding that the beginners don’t hold SUP paddle correctly. There are basic mistakes that can be corrected easily. The following are some tips to avoid making mistakes while grabbing a paddle.
- Keep the tear-dropped-shaped blade of the paddle angle away from you and keep it towards the knows of the board.
- When you are paddling on the right side of the board, keep your left hand on the T-grip and right hand on the few feet down, almost on the shaft. When you switch sides, don’t forget to reverse your hand positions.
Falling and getting back on the board
In the beginning, you will try your hardest to maintain balance and don’t fall in the water, but it’s an obvious thing that you will fall many times. It’s not a bad thing; it’s part of the learning process. If you ask experts what their difficulties are when they start paddling, they will tell you about how many times they fall and get up. So, if you are feeling unstable, don’t worry about it; you will learn faster like that and become an expert one day like the people are now.
When you are feeling unstable and doubt that you are going to fall, then aim yourself to the waterside of the board so that you don’t fall on the paddleboards. Falling on the paddleboards have chances that you may get an injury, but falling in water will be normal. Try to take advantage of your handle while falling, and if you fell, then first retrieve the position of your paddleboard and then get back on.
To get back on your paddleboard after falling out, position yourself again alongside your board and near the center. This time grab the handle at the center of your board with one hand and let your legs float up to the surface behind you, then jump while pulling the handle to slide yourself on the board.
SUP strokes are the next stage for beginners to understand stand up paddleboarding. There are three basic strokes for beginners that help them in moving.
As the name indicates, the purpose of this stroke is to move forward your board through the waves of water.
- Plant the paddle in the water two feet forward from you, then push the paddle’s blade towards your ankle and then take it out of the water.
- Avoid changing the position of your arms and keep them straight. Twist the paddle from your torso. Push the paddle backward with your top hand rather than lower hand because it will need more strength. Some people think it helpful and easy to pull the board past the paddle instead of pulling the paddle through the water.
- To keep moving forward in a straight line, you will need to alternate the strokes on both sides of the board. There is no specific number for strokes on each side, but you can try stroke three to four times on one side and then change the side.
- Try to keep your paddle vertical because it will help you to keep moving straight.
Reverse stroke is also as simple to perform as a forward stroke. It is used to slow, turn, or stop the board on the body of the water.
- If you are paddling on the right side, plant your paddle in the water near the tail behind your board. Try to keep the whole blade under the surface of the water.
- Avoid changing the position of your arms and keep them straight. Twist the paddle from your torso. Push the paddle forward with your top hand rather than lower hand because it will need more strength.
- Doing the above procedure on the right side of your board will allow you to turn right and vise versa.
Sweep stroke is used for turning the paddleboard while moving or standing still.
- To turn, if you are paddling on the right side of your paddle, move your shoulder so that it comes forward. After reaching forward by moving shoulders, plant the paddle under the surface of the water and make sure the blade is entirely under the water.
- Sweep the paddle away in a rotating motion or a big arcing motion from the nose of your board to the tail. Keep making this motion by rotating your torso and using the leverage of legs and hips.
- Doing the above procedure on the right side of your boards will allow you to turn on the left side and vice versa.
Benefits of SUP
The benefits of stand up paddle boarding are not bound to counting; instead of fun and entertainment, there are countless other benefits of stand up paddleboarding. The following are some of the best benefits of SUP with fun and joy.
SUP positively affects our mind and provides us with the peace of nature. According to a study, people who live near water are happier than those who don’t. SUP is a stress-relieving activity and executes negative thoughts of our mind and replaces them with the beauty of nature.
SUP is also known as moving meditation because it needs attention and concentration, so it whisks our mind away from any type of negative thoughts that causes stress. While floating on water, you become aware of winds, waves, and surroundings like a moving meditation along the water.
Stand up paddleboarding is the best workout because it targets a number of our body muscles and provides them with strength, mobility, and flexibility. It especially works on the core abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, oblique during the spinal and lower back extension, arms, legs, and thighs muscles.
SUP has many benefits, but it is easier than you think. If you are one of the people who find it hard to balance. Don’t worry. The above-mentioned tips will help you to maintain and create your balance in an easier way. Starting from your knees, then standing up, maintaining balance, and keep practicing will make you an expert at paddling, and then you can enjoy as much as you can.
Stand up paddleboarding is accessible to everyone, if you are living in a country having beaches, then you can enjoy a lot while surfing or many more activities. But if you are living in a country without any ocean, don’t worry, you can enjoy and take advantage of SUP in lakes.
With modernization, people also love to have fun in a new and creative way. They love to discover new things and places. Stand-up paddleboarding is gaining popularity year by year, and people are also enjoying it way too much. It is the best way to enjoy the weekend or holidays with the family, and it is a great idea to spend quality and unforgettable time with friends.
If you are a traveler and haven’t experienced paddling yet, then this time, you can enjoy something different that is worthy of your time and money. You should gather your crew and set on a journey where you can enjoy paddling with your crew. I will bet you that you will never forget this trip ever in your life.
With new innovative constructions, designs, and ways to use paddleboards, paddling is growing in popularity, and people are getting into the water sport. Paddleboarding is for everyone. If you are thinking of enjoying it, then it’s a perfect time to make it happen.