Standup paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun sport which provides you lots of health benefits at the same time. Despite its ancient roots, standup paddleboarding has exploded in popularity just recently. If you are a fan of paddleboarding or are just beginning to learn the sport, check out the fun facts about it that you may not have probably known (but you’d like to):
1) Standup paddleboarding may be called “surfing for the lazy” but that remark doesn’t stop the sport from becoming increasingly popular. As a matter of fact, it became the fastest-growing paddle sport in the US in 2009. In addition, there are about 150,000 Americans who take up the sport. It seems there’s no stopping paddleboarding’s rise in popularity.
2) If you think that paddleboarding reminds you of some other sport, you are not alone. Paddleboarding is a cross between surfing and canoeing, only using a paddleboard or a surfboard instead of canoe or kayak.
3) Paddleboarding is not a recent sport as you think; in fact, paddleboarding traces its origins from the practices of ancient Peruvian fishermen. During the 1500s, Hawaiian surfers would mount on boards that measured as long as five meters, and they required oars or paddles to propel.
4) However, the modern version of paddleboarding that we know today began in Hawaii during the 1940s, when instructors such as Duke Kanahamoku would mount on boards to get better views of the approaching waves as well as other surfers.
The sport was only exclusive to Hawaii for many decades until a man named Rick Thomas brought the paddleboard to California in 2004… and the rest is history.
5) Is there a difference between a paddleboard and a surfboard? At first glance, they may look the same. But if you get to investigate further on the properties of the two boards, you may notice that the stand-up paddleboard has more volume than a surfboard, making the former more buoyant.
6) In 2008, the US Coast Guard classified the paddleboard as a “vessel,” similar to canoes and kayaks. This may probably have been one of the reasons of standup paddleboarding’s surging popularity.
7) Standup paddleboarders under 12 years of age are required to wear a life vest or a life jacket.
8) It’s possible to do standup paddleboarding on a hurricane. Popular dare-devil surfer Laird Hamilton rode the huge, treacherous swells off the Southern California coast during Hurricane Marie in 2014, which a few would dare to do. Despite his “heroics,” this is not something that we would advise you to do!
9) The late stand-up paddleboarding pioneer John Zapotocky is considered the father of modern-day standup paddleboarding. He pursued surfing and paddleboarding for more than 55 years. Even though he was well into his 90s, he was still actively surfing and paddling, becoming the oldest standup paddle surfer ever.
10) Flat-water standup paddleboarding was only recent, being introduced in 2007. There are paddleboards specifically designed for flat-water SUP and touring, and their shape and material are designed to carry additional gear. If you want to paddleboard in a more leisurely way while connecting yourself to nature, this type of SUP is an ideal option.
If you want to know the best places in the US to do standup paddleboarding, check out the suggestions here on this link: Best Places to Standup Paddleboard in the United States.