Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is fast growing in popularity as a weekend family activity. Gliding through the water, it is quite relaxing and something everyone is able to have a go at. The sport is pretty self-explanatory – you stand up on an oversized board and propel yourself through the water with a paddle. It sounds tricky, but we have been assured it is not! Many people are now enjoying the sport as a way to unwind, sneak in a bit of fitness and spend time outdoors with the family. On a more serious level, SUP can be used for whitewater, racing, and surfing, although these variations might take a bit more practice! Some people fish from their boards, and there is such thing as SUP yoga too.
Sunset Stand Up Paddle offer two-hour beginner classes to get you going. To learn the art of SUP, you don’t need to be super fit – it really is something everyone can try. It strengthens your core and improves your balance, but is also very relaxing and a lot of fun. According to Mike from Sunset Stand Up Paddle, “if you can stand on the land, you can stand on the water”.
If you have SUP before, you can hire the equipment for up to a week. This is a perfect option for locals who want to spend the weekend on the water without committing to purchase a board themselves, or for visitors to the area who want to have a bit of fun on the beautiful river or serene beaches while in town. Sunset Stand Up Paddle also offer fitness classes with a difference – cardio and strength sessions on the water. This is not like your average gym. What a spectacular environment to workout in – you won’t even feel like you are exercising!
For more information on Sunset Stand Up Paddle, visit www.sunsetsup.com.au
Watch our Destination WA clip on SUP here.
History of SUP
What is now a popular sport has undeniable roots in tribal African and South American cultures. Long watercraft propelled with sticks was used for fishing, transport and even war. Peruvian fishermen 3,000 years ago also used a similar method of getting about on the water. Closer to modern day is the use of SUP by lifeguards in Tel Aviv since early 20th century. Using a board almost five feet wide and a double-bladed paddle, the lifeguard was able to easily and quickly reach distressed swimmers and transport them back to shore. Standing on the board gave then the added advantage of being able to see further out to sea and be more efficient in their route.
The modern-day form of recreational SUP is credited to Hawaii, home to some of the best waves – and surfers – in the world. Although it has most likely been a common form of fun on the island for centuries, the first photographic evidence is only around 60 years old. Young men were seen using outrigger paddles to propel their heavy boards into the iconic waves, and from here the idea became a popular way to surf more efficiently and effectively. It is now a sport of its own, with international competitions and worldwide appeal to a vast array of people.
Images courtesy of Sunset Stand Up Paddle.