Who would have thought, that a simple board with a paddle can supply so much enjoyment. All you do is stand there, keep your balance, look around and paddle in your own tempo. Sailing on an SUP is easy, it is a sport viable for everyone – of course as long as there are no significant waves. All you need to do is sustain an upright position, keep your balance with slightly bent knees and hold the paddle appropriately. You can start the training by sitting down – slow drifting on the board is very enjoyable too. An important thing is that, no matter what you are planning on doing, the board has to be connected to your foot with a special leash equipped with a Velcro strap, which is to be chained around your ankle. This is because, during a fall, the board has the potential to sail very far away.
It is difficult to say, where the activity originates from. Surfboards, canoes and even rafts propelled by a paddle have been used for a long time – also in Hawaii, where surfing was born. In the Hawaiian language, a board meant to be stood on top of is called Hoe he’e nalu. In 1778, British captain James Cook was the first one to observe locals surf on such a board. In 1930, King Thomas Edward Blake crafted a replica an ancient Hon he’e nalu used by multiple Hawaiian kings. In 1940, two surfing instructors from Waikiki, namely Duke Kahanamoku and Leroy Bobby AhChoy, managed to stand up on their boards and use a paddle for the first time. The now so-called Beach Boy Surfing was born out of the need of greater control and enabling observation of students scattered in the water. With time, men started surfing with the use of a paddle to redirect the board more easily.
The mix of a surfing board with a canoe achieved grand popularity a couple of years ago – now, SUP races take place all over the world. Unlike surfing, paddle boarding does not require a long learning process or great abilities. Everyone can try and, within a few hours, be able to control the board without any mishaps. Trouble only starts when waves arise – in those situations, keeping your balance needs a much greater effort.