Back in the 50’s newspapers reported pictures of surfers – in fact, it seems that the “Beachboys” of that time used to adopt this navigation technique in order to get closer to the surfers and, by doing so, taking pictures from better angles and with a more realistic perspective.
This new surfing technique was then called “Beachboys Surfing”. Later in the 70’s, Laird Hamilton, the greatest living surfer, was watching a group of Hawaiian surf instructors wo were following their learners standing up on longboards. They were paddling with an oar and Laird took inspiration from it – he reintroduced the “Beachboys surfing” and he lay the foundations for its ultimate and lasting success.
Laird not only stands out for the rediscover of this peculiar sort, but also for the enhancements in the board and the oar.
Today, SUP is an established water sport which is constantly increasing. The requests by more and more demanding enthusiasts leaded to the creation of the most innovating materials with the most modern technologies, such as the use of carbon fiber oars and the ongoing research on the lightening of boards.
What makes Stand Up Paddling so successful is that you can enjoy it whether you are a learner or a water sport enthusiast. While paddling on a SUP board, the simple balance on the water surface gets into a complete fitness exercise. Some of our boards are also equipped with a mast step and can therefore be used as light windsurfing boards.
The advantage in comparison with classic surfboards is that you can you are able to face even smaller waves in advance, while the characteristic feature of our boards is the oar - you can use it as a support to keep the balance or as a movable fin. More than anything else though, paddling on SUPs doesn’t need any particular weather condition, while other activities like windsurfing, surfing and kitesurfing definitely need a windy weather to be practiced.
The technique in Stand Up Paddling is not particularly difficult to learn, especially if you are familiar with the basic principles of surfing or windsurfing.
Our suggestion is to attend a specific course in any case, a course aimed at avoiding the mistakes you could make as autodidact and that could affect in a negative way your performance.
The reasons why Stand Up Paddling is getting so popular is due to a variety of factors: the first one is the most unexpected, and especially since it comes from sports enthusiasts who are into more dynamic sports like windsurfing or kiteboarding – it is fun.
When you are simply paddling on a SUP board, cruising along the coast, you will definitely experience enjoyment and satisfaction, and you will notice that you are actually working out while practicing an easy activity.
We also need to note that the most modern boards produced from the manufacturers are also equipped with a mast step, and can therefore be used as light windsurfing boards. Moreover, the difference between a SUP board and a longboard for classic surfing is the opportunity to surf even smaller waves, and in advance – this is because SUP boards are bigger.
The technique needed for surfing is basically the same, but you have the great advantage of using the oar, not only to improve your balance but also to make really quick maneuvers, like immersing it while wave surfing and using it as a movable fin.
Standing up on the board even before wave surfing makes it also easier to spot the best waves. Windsurfers and kitesurfers living in areas where the weather is not so windy can enjoy the advantage of surfing at any time thanks to the SUP boards.
One more quality that characterizes this sport should be mentioned – you can practice it in a variety of place, even on a small body of water.
“For me SUP its not a sport, it is a lifestyle. I wake up every morning preferring to be on a standup paddle board versus any other surfing platform. Riding waves are the ultimate high for me but its mostly about being in the ocean and enjoying God’s creation. The possibilities are endless with stand-up paddling. Add the wife, kids, and the family pet and you have a surfing experience that the entire family can enjoy. Why do I stand-up paddle? Because its F-U-N, FUN!”
Ekolu Kalama - World Champion Stand Up Paddler
This quote summaries the soul of SUP. This activity has really ancient origins which have their roots in Polynesia first and in Hawaii then – today, it represents a unique and fascinating way to experience the contact with the sea and much more.
Stand Up Paddling is a sport for everybody, really everybody! You can practice it at any age. If you are paddling on flat water surfaces it is not dangerous and, above all, it is easy and amusing.
You can practice this sport not only on the sea, but also on a river or lake, in a swimming pool, or more generally on any body of water. In addition, SUP is extremely healthy: combining balance and rowing is actually ideal in order to improve the torso muscular tone and firmness and to build up arm and leg muscles.
This big board with a paddle means fun for everybody. But there is something more: it is healthy and beneficial, it stimulates your body and let your mind relax! Not for nothing it is called the “sport of the kings”!
First of all, one has to say that it is a sport for everybody, t any years of age. The only elements needed are balance and coordination. Those elements are very important while training because they involve several muscles, mostly in the abdominal area which is stimulated by the upright position.
Let’s talk now about the tools needed to practice this sport:
Surfboard and paddle
The board dimensions vary from 3 to 5 meters in length, around 1 meter in width – this means a really balanced board where you can stand up and paddle long distances on rivers, lakes or on the sea. The paddle is also used as a “propulsive” (on flat water surfaces) as well as a “stabilizer” on waves.
According to the kind of SUP you would like to practice, you can distinguish different types of boards. Learners should choose pretty big boards (more than three meters), which assure more stability – they are also suitable for SUP cruising, the simplest level of this activity.
If you prefer tighter boards instead, less than three meter wide, you can chose to practice sup racing (opposite variant of SUP) and sup surfing (SUP on waves).
The paddle has to be chosen according to one’s own height.
Nowadays we know that Stand Up Paddling is an extraordinary and complete work out, in particular for your CORE abdominal area. However, we still don’t know exactly what it does – but it’s important that it is strong, firm and nice!
In effect it is the core of power, it is what starts and supports the majority of your movements and the quality of the strength and speed generated – it is made of several muscles situated along your torso, which is strained and therefore it helps balance your spine, hipbone and shoulder girdle.
The main goal of this core is to support a firm base and transfer energy from the center of the body to the limb.
We don’t have to forget that our strength needs to be built up from our abdominal area, from the center of our body to the limbs.
All this being said, your core is made of many more smaller muscles, the ones which are not visible on our reflection in te mirror – there are way more muscles than we think.
- Abdominals – it extends the length of the fore part of the abdomen
- Erector spine muscles – group of 3 muscles along the neck and the back
- External abdominal oblique muscle – front part of the abdomen
- Internal oblique muscle – below the external muscles, in a diagonal line opposite to them
- Transverse abdominal muscle – the deepest among the abdominal muscles, it wraps the spine protecting it and giving balance
- Tensor fasciae latae muscle – front part of the hipbone and of the thigh
- Gluteus medius and minimus muscle – on the side of the hip
- Gluteus maximus muscle, piriformis muscle – in the back part of the hip and of the thigh
- Hip and thigh, internal abductor muscles