SUP is one of the fastest growing watersports in the world. The media love it, celebrities love it, windsurfers love it, kids love it, my dad loves it, in fact it seems to have something to offer everyone.
Hugely accessible whatever your age, fitness and skill level, SUP is great exercise for the body and it’s great for the mind and soul.
Here are 5 key reasons why we love SUP....
Great for cardiovascular health and toning, it can burn up to 800 calories per hour and unlike many other sports SUP uses every muscle in the body. Its main physical benefit is toning as it requires the body to constantly stabilise and balance, engaging core strength and making it a fantastic all over workout toning the abs, arms, back and thighs. Way more fun than sit-ups and a great alternative to legs, bums and tums!!
Also, whilst SUP is a fantastic cardiovascular workout it’s also a low impact exercise which means it is widely recommended by physios as a good sport for rehabilitation of back, shoulder, knee and ankle injuries.
SUP is enjoyed by people of a range of ages and with a variety of watersport experience. It’s pretty quick and easy to learn the basic skills needed for paddle boarding meaning you can be up and paddling in no time.
Inflatable boards make it realistic to transport boards to new locations easily, they’ll fit in your car and can be checked onto flights like Ryanair and Easyjet as luggage!
SUP can be done on the sea, rivers, lagoons, estuaries, lakes or canals and there are now over 75 BSUPA approved schools across the UK which makes it pretty easy to get into and regularly practise SUP wherever you are.
SUP is an awesome group activity; it’s a perfect way to get outside with friends, for a stag or hen celebration, as a family, with you kids or even with your dog. You can encourage each other along, catch up on gossip as you paddle, snorkel, check out beaches or have a picnic on route.
SUP is widely acknowledged to restore balance, relieve stress and calm the mind. It requires focus and being on the water naturally brings cognitive benefits associated with positive mood and restorativeness. It’s therefore no surprise that SUP yoga is increasingly popular.
Paddle boarding offers a different kind of freedom. Standing on the board in the ocean is a unique way to observe the marine environment, sea life and coastline. There are so many beautiful and unexplored places to SUP that are just waiting to be discovered. Plus, requiring paddle power only it is eco friendly, having no negative environmental impact.
Stand up paddle boarding offers opportunities to learn a wide range of skills, build your knowledge in a variety of areas, increase your confidence in different ways and have a whole host of new experiences. It could be learning about tides and the weather, understanding local waterways or feeling comfortable in the water.
From a physical point of view there’s progression at all levels. To start with you can expected to improve your balance and paddle technique, then increase your strength and coordination and eventually enhance your stamina, recovery rate and mobility and versatility of SUP capabilities meaning you’ll become more efficient in a range of conditions.
SUP is also a great way of surfing, you can catch waves earlier than you would on a surfboard and rides can be longer. Laird Hamilton reports how practising SUP he found himself tackling new maneuvers, exploring different bodies of water and learning tricks in both big and small surf that he’d never done in his years surfing.
So whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced there’s always room for improvement with SUP! You can decide the level you want to take your stand up paddling to; you can enjoy leisurely recreational paddling at the weekends, go on social group paddles, plan trips and expeditions, take part in charity events or join a paddle boarding club. On the other hand if competitions are more your thing there are plenty of flat water races or wave competitions to take part in and disciplines like racing and distance paddles continue to grow.
So if you haven’t tried it yet maybe it’s time!