The Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) industry is booming. Not too long ago SUPs were associated just with surfing the Hawaiian waves, but new board designs allows novices and experts alike to do so much more.
April 6, 2014 /MM-prReach/ —
The Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) industry is booming. Not too long ago SUPs were associated just with surfing the Hawaiian waves, but new board designs allows novices and experts alike to do so much more. People are using SUP on rivers, lakes, waves and on the open ocean. According to the Outdoor Industry Association there are more than 1.24 million people who stand up paddle and sales of SUPs have been doubling annually. Even the Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban knew this sport is hot and on the rise. He invested in a stand up paddle board and the company does more than $1.5 million in sales now.
The popularity of the stand-up paddle boards is not surprising. To paddle on flat water takes little skill except balance and some basic knowledge of paddle strokes. It is similar to kayak or canoeing only done standing up. It works the core muscles, arms and lower legs for a great overall workout. On shallower lakes SUPers often see the fish swim by and have a fantastic view of the shoreline without the need to purchase an expensive sail or motor boat to get the same view.
Unlike surfboarding, the rider doesn’t have to depend upon the quality of waves to get on the water. Smaller waves unappealing to traditional surfers can be ridden on a paddle board. In the crowded Southern California and Hawaii surf scene this means riding more waves with less crowds.
The sport is still new and evolving. Stand-up paddle boards now are specifically designed for different uses. Surf SUPs are shorter and are more maneuverable in order to be able to navigate the wave. The novice versus the expert surf SUP are designed differently too. Novice boards are generally wider and more stable than the narrower expert surf paddle board.
All around boards and hybrid boards are manufactured for the recreational user. These SUPs are good for flat water, small surf and tend to be thicker, wider (and thus more stable) and longer than the surf or racing SUP. These boards are also extremely popular for water based yoga classes. Some of the hybrid boards come with dagger boards and a deck hatch for gear storage of fish gear and perhaps a beverage or two.
Open ocean SUP racing has started to take off. The SUP race boards are narrower, lighter and have a pointed nose and a rounded, kayak-like hull. The pointed nose requires less effort to paddle longer distances. The Standup Paddle Industry Association is now discussing standards for race-specific boards. Helping spur on the race scene and the SUP’s popularity in Southern California and Hawaii are two annual events: the Battle of the Paddle race, this year to be held on October 4th-5that the Salt Creek Beach Dana Point, and the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship, which is a 32 mile of open ocean paddle.
The SUP industry is still expanding as athletes explore other uses. Increasingly, athletes are using SUP for cross training and other adventures. Expect flat water racing, river rapid riding and surfing, river camping and rodeo slalom to increase in popularity as the sport matures. SUP yoga is one of the most popular uses of a stand-up paddleboard. There are now more than 82 companies in the U.S offering yoga classes on stand-up paddleboards. The wider all around board is the most popular for these classes, since it provides superior stability so moves such as the downward dog or warrior one can be done with confidence.
Beginner boards range from $700 to $1,200. Since it is a large investment trying it first may be a good option prior to purchase. Rentals, typically around $20-30 an hour, are also becoming more available on beaches and lakes.
Both rigid and inflatable boards are options for purchase, depending upon storage and transportation limitations. Transporting the SUP can be accomplished with a roof rack for SUPs. SUPs in various shapes, sizes and manufacturers can be purchased at the outdoor retailer store SkiandSportShack.com.
Organization: Ski and Sport Shack
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