Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the fastest growing sports today. Here's what you need to know to get yourself started!
Stand up paddleboarding is a great, fun way to get in some exercise while on the water. SUP is wonderful because you don't need a lot of equipment to and you can paddle on any kind of body of water, not to mention it's an amazing workout for your body!
It's easy to get started with SUP. Just read our five things you need to know and you’ll be ready to go!
5 Things to Know Before Going Stand Up Paddleboarding
1. Have the Right Gear
You don’t need a lot of equipment to go paddling, you just need the basics. This includes your board, paddle, life vest, and clothing. Your board is the most important part of your gear. If you are newer to the sport, you want a wider, flatter board that will provide more stability and be less likely to tip while you’re out on the water. Paddles that are made for stand up paddleboarding have an angle to them to help you travel across the water more efficiently. In general, you want to select a paddle that is about eight inches taller than your height. A life vest is key to make sure that your SUP journey is always a safe one, and you will probably want to wear either a bathing suit or a wetsuit if the weather is cooler.
2. Be Ready for a Great Workout!
Many athletes use SUP as a way to train for other sports like skiing and snowboarding, but it is great exercise for anyone who is willing to try it! SUP works your entire body, but it especially works your core muscles like your abs and back. The reason the sport focuses on these muscles is because you are using them to balance yourself on the board, in addition to twisting and paddling your way across the water. You will also work your legs from balancing for a long duration of time, and your arms and shoulders will get a workout from all the gripping and paddling. On average, men can burn about 800-1,000 calories per hour from hardcore paddling, while women can burn about 500-700 calories per hour.
3. Where Did Stand Up Paddleboarding Come From?
Modern stand up paddleboarding started back in the 1960s in Honolulu, Hawaii. The “Waikiki beachboys” would use canoe paddles to steer oversized surfboards so that they could manage the water and take pictures of tourists catching their first waves.
4. You Want Calm Water
If you’re just starting out, you probably want to paddle on calm water. Ideal SUP conditions would be flat, calm water that doesn’t have any major obstacles that you would have to navigate around. Maybe think about starting out on a lake before you opt for a choppy ocean beach.
5. SUP Boards vs.Surfboards
Stand up paddleboards are not the same as surfboards! SUP boards are larger, wider boards that have a longer fin on their underside. With an SUP board, you don’t have to start out on your stomach as you paddle out. Instead, you can stand the entire time. SUP is definitely an easier and simpler choice if you’re just starting out and have never tried either sport before.
It's always good to challenge your workout regime by trying something new. Stand up paddleboarding is something fun and different that will make working out fun again.