Okay, we’ll admit it. We came to paddling through canoeing–an ago-old tradition that makes us a little suspicious of new fads. Once upon a time, kayaks seemed high tech to us so when Stand Up Paddling came along? We weren’t the earliest adopters.
But an article in TIME Magazine this week covered the sport’s history and rising popularity. No longer relegated to Hawaii and California, the sport is making its way inland to places like Minnesota and Wisconsin (we’ve even seen it in Crested Butte, CO, land of narrow mountain streams).
According to writer Harriet Barovick, stand up paddling (or SUP) is actually a branch of surfing. It started to take off as a modern-day sport when surfing great Laird Hamilton picked it up as a way to explore surf he couldn’t reach on his surf board. Some of the cool things we learned from Barovick?
- The sport, which involves standing on an oversize board and paddling with a single paddle, dates back to ancient Polynesia (so much for thinking it’s a fad)
- Some of the roughest and toughest SUPers take their boards on whitewater
- Stand Up Paddle magazine editor Reid Inouye, a Hawaiian born surfer, took up SUP when he lost his “surf stroke” (passion for the waves) and lost 25 pounds in six weeks.
Perhaps most inspiring? The sport’s low impact has made it popular with people of all ages, and it’s getting families with young kids out on the water. Families in nature? Yes, please. Check out the full article HERE. And if you’ve jumped on SUP board, don’t forget that our friends at Bending Branches offer a great stand up paddle.