The history of stand up paddle boarding, and why we love it
More people than ever are taking to stand up paddle boarding in Australia. According to the Outdoor Foundation, the sport tripled in popularity between 2010 and 2014. (Okay, these are US figures, but offer a good idea of global uptake.)
Also known as Supping, the water sport actually started as an ancient mode of transportation for residents of cities with lots of waterways.
Hundreds of years later, some legends in Hawaii decided to bring stand up paddle boarding back, this time, as a water sport. And we’re glad they did.
Why we love stand up paddle boarding
Head to any bay, river or ocean when the wind is low, and you’re likely to see a bevvy of people seemingly floating across the water. (Or falling in if they’re just learning)
The good news is that Supping is easy to learn, and low impact. This is probably why the water sport has gained such popularity in such a short time.
Unlike surfing, which requires a level of dexterity and strength, stand up paddle boarding is relatively low impact. Adults, young kids and older people can get ‘on board’ and give it a go. And well, if you fall, the only repercussion is a refreshing dip.
How to get started
If you’re interested in giving stand up paddle boarding a go for the first time, jump online and Google ‘stand up paddle boarding’ and ‘beginner’. You’ll find there are quite a few hire spots all around the coast of Australia, with many offering introductory lessons.
If not, consider going with a friend who already knows how. Some quick tips on where to place your feet and how to hold the paddle is likely to be all you need. Yes, you will fall in at first, but after a few weeks of practice, you’re likely to be as good as the friend who taught you.
We do recommend that you choose a calm body of water – like a river or bay, before the wind has kicked in. When the water gets choppy or wavy, it’s much harder to concentrate on your style and technique, which is what you’ll need to focus on in the beginning.
Most importantly, have a bit of fun with it. If you fall in, clamber back up and go again. If you feel like standing is too much of a challenge, just kneel and focus on getting your stroke even and smooth.
After all, water sports are all about having fun and enjoying the water!
For the pro’s
If you’re a seasoned Supper, then you may like to kick things up a notch by entering a stand up paddleboard race, or even learning to surf on a SUP. Racing SUP’s tend to be skinnier and longer than the wide, sturdy vessels used by most recreational stand up paddle boarders.
This streamlined designed allows them to cut through the water faster, but it also makes them more difficult to stand on.
SUP Australia has a comprehensive list of flat water and SUP surfing competitions all around Australia, including rules for taking part. Head here to check them out.
Cheap stand up paddle boarding cover
As well as providing competitive insurance for recreational and commercial boat owners, we now offer cheap stand up paddle boarding cover for water-lovers in Australia. Our marine underwriters can also assist you with insurance for kayaks, and other smaller vessels.