How the stand up paddleboard revolution began
For perhaps thousands of years, people in coastal cultures around the world have been using long floating craft with paddles for propulsion.
But just as Hawaii gave us the modern sport of surfing, it was also where the surfboard evolved into the stand up paddleboard. In the 1960’s the beach boys of Waikiki took outrigger paddles to help them stand on their long boards and manoeuvre into position to take pictures of tourists learning to surf. It took some decades before hoe he’e nalu, in the Hawaiian language, developed into it’s own sport. Stand up paddle boards went mainstream in mainland USA in the early 2000’s when surfer and Vietnam vet Rick Thomas introduced SUP boards to California (on an 11ft Muñoz board with a Leleo Kinimaka paddle – for the purists).
Surfing legend – or as Surfer Magazine called him, surfing’s “test pilot” – Laird Hamilton, and fellow big-wave legend Dave Kalama both took to SUP, taking on extraordinary waves and motivating thousands with a new paradigm for surfing. By 2009, stand up paddle boarding was the single fastest growing paddle sport in North America.
Stand up paddleboards for all!
Surfers took to paddle boarding because it allowed them to catch more waves and see the sets coming earlier & much more clearly. Kids love it because, well, what’s not to love about having a whole new way to play in water? Adventurers love it because it allows them to get to places only accessible by water. Fitness fanatics love it because working a stand up paddleboard helps strengthen legs, belly, arms and shoulders, develops balance and coordination. Families love it because it’s great sport for all ages. Best of all you need very little equipment – just you, a board and a paddle.
But you do need water – and the type of water you choose for your stand up paddleboard adventure determines the best board for you.
Where do you start?
Right at the beginning – with exactly what you want to do on your board. Maybe the first step is some SUP lessons to try it out, what sort of waterway do you want to explore – riding the waves, racing on a lake or exploring the coves around a harbour?
At Stand Up Paddle Gear Australia we’ll work with you to find the perfect match between your idea of a great time on water and your ideal SUP board package.
Using the correct stand up paddle length/height for the type of paddling you decide to do will help you maximize your performance and enjoyment on the water.