Stand Up Paddle (SUP for short) is a relatively new water sport and activity. It requires use of a long surf style board and a paddle. The rider will stand on the board and use the paddle to propel through the water. It is easy to learn the basics and can be performed anywhere there is a safe body of water.
Not many people heard of it until the early 2000s when legendary big wave surfer Laird Hamilton started catching giant waves on an oversized long board that he propelled with an canoe paddle while standing up. Laird and another Hawaiian big wave surfer, Dave Kalama, are considered pioneers of modern SUP and have helped bring it into the mainstream; however, SUP actually started much earlier and has deep roots in Hawaiian and Tahitian Waterman culture. Since Hamilton and Kalama paved the way for SUP surfing, it has evolved to many other disciplines including racing, touring, fishing, fitness training and SUP Yoga.
SUP is one of the fastest growing water activities in the world. Its growing popularity can be documented in fashion and fitness magazines that picture many trend setting celebrities and high profile athletes that are giving SUP a try. However, the explosive growth of the sport is best seen on the beaches of either coast of the United States where new SUP shops, fitness and Yoga classes are opening to meet the growing demand. That trend is moving to inland where enthusiasts are paddling on lakes, streams and rivers.
The healthy benefits of SUP are espoused by many fitness professionals, like Brody Welte who, through PaddleFit, makes stand up paddling an integral part of fitness training and a healthy lifestyle for his clients. Of course, SUP can also be enjoyed socially as friends and families take leisure paddles in tranquil outdoor settings. No matter the discipline, SUP provides a full body and intense core workout with a heaping a cardio on top. For many, not only is SUP a workout it is a lifestyle. It has been said that SUP is peace, love, unity, balance, core fitness and fun all rolled into one activity.
SUP Oklahoma in the News: