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Photo Credit: Ke Zhao

Photo Credit: Ke Zhao

Grab your paddles! We’re going surfing! That’s probably not something you hear every day, however, it is becoming more and more common as the world of SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) begins to carve out a place for itself in water sports and recreation.

Its history is still being created as we speak but as far as we can tell, SUP dates back much further than many might have thought. From ancient Peruvian fisherman to the gondoliers of Venice, the slow progression of SUP seems to have been developing for centuries. Even the famous Hawaiian surf legend, Duke Kahanamoku, was known to have stood up on his board and paddle out with a long oar. And with the countless articles that can be found online recanting the achievements of other surf legends of Hawaii such as John “Zap” Zapotocky and John “Pops” Ah Choy, it is apparent that they were some of the first to take it to the next level. However, it wasn’t until its recent thrust into the spotlight that the activity has finally garnered somewhat of a cult following and opened it up for a new wave of people to experience.

And it’s not just on the beaches of Waikiki or calm morning waters on Maui; people are stand up paddleboarding on rivers, lakes, and reservoirs all across the country… and even the world.  From landlocked states like Arizona and Colorado to the East Coast along the Potomac River in Virginia; more and more people are turning to SUP as the latest revolution in water activities.

SupYogaIts calming sensibility is attractive. A morning meditative session can soothe the soul and bring you closer with nature and your surroundings. Done alone or with company, SUP can be the perfect way to start or end a hectic day. Much like Yoga, it can center you and provide you with piece of mind. In fact, there even exists a combination of the two aptly named SUP Yoga.

Whether paddling on still waters or maneuvering through choppy waves, Stand Up Paddleboarding provides an excellent workout and strengthens the core. It requires balance above all else; keeping a steady eye on the horizon and smooth motions with the oar. Finding your groove may take some time but the patience will be worth it as you cruise the waters with a view.

As the sport is evolving, there are new events being created all across the country. One of the first to take hold of SUP as a racing sport was the Molokai-2-Oahu, founded in 1996. The 32-mile race, now in its 18th year, set the groundwork for what’s to come. Today, there are many events including racing based on distance, racing based on technical achievements and SUP surfing. What’s next for the future of SUP is unknown but with its ability to reach people near and far, it’s definitely here to stay. All you need is open water.

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