What is stand up paddle?
Stand up paddle, also known under its abbreviation SUP, is an easy-to-learn and very versatile new sport, which has grown in an explosive way in recent years. While stand up paddling you can discover the world in a relaxed way, standing on a special SUP-board and with your paddle in your hands. For those who choose to paddle in a more intensive way, SUP will provide a complete workout and if you're into a challenge, you can take your board to sea.
Often being on the forefront of new trends, a lot of Hollywood actors and actresses have been spotted standing on a SUP board. In The Netherlands, a large number of events have been organized in 2011, while the number and popularity of the competitions are expected only to rise in the coming years. Among these events are the world renowned 220 kilometer long 11-city tour and Supboardshop's own Sprint Cup during the Sneekweek in early August.
Mastered within five minutes
Almost everyone will be able to get the basics of stand up paddle down within five minutes or less. After this, you will be able to explore lakes, canals and other waterways 365 days a year. On Hawaii, the spiritual home of the sport, almost every family owns a SUP. The biggest advantage of stand up paddle compared to other water sports is that you only need a board and a paddle and no special preparations are needed before paddling away. Also, if you own a large enough SUP, you can take one or two kids along with you on your trip, as bigger SUP boards have more than enough buoyancy.
Bikini proof in no-time
Why confine yourself to a sweaty gym, while you can achieve the same effects while experiencing the freedom SUP offers? One of the reasons this sport has grown so quickly is that it offers a complete workout. Every muscle in your body is used to paddle ahead and staying in balance, while you burn calories with every stroke and inhale the fresh open air.
The ultimate surfing feeling
In The Netherlands, more and more places offer you the opportunity to rent a SUP or take lessons. With 523 kilometers of coastline, The Netherlands has now become a true Surfer's paradise. The 'classic' wave surfing demands quite a lot of skill and the right conditions. With SUP, surfing is also interesting in smaller waves, because you can also paddle while surfing and catch a lot more waves. Laird Hamilton, one of the founders of SUP, half of the practitioners is female. This is mainly due to the low barriers to entry to the sport compared to other surfing sports.
Find your balance with SUP
When you're under a lot of stress, your body quickly depletes important nutrients and you'll be out of balance. Fatigue, unrest and the pains that go along with it, are important signals that your body is not balanced. Stand up paddling literally and figuratively rebalances you. The natural surroundings and fysical effort will get you in the right state of mind quickly.
SUP in competition
According to Laird Hamilton, SUP is to surfing what snowboarding has been for skiiing. Stand up paddle has had its inaugurational competition in 2009 and the numbers are rapidly growing. In 2011, the grueling 11-city tour has been held for the third time already and each year more people are competing in a field with also a lot of international athletes.
In 2011, Supboardshop.nl has organized the SUP Sprint CUP during the Sneekweek for the first time. Despite variable weather conditions, it was a great success with around 50 competitors and even national coverage on the evening RTL News.
Photo by Jasper van Overbeek
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