Learn about the steep history behind this popular outdoor water sport.
Whether you live near the beach, the lake or even a nearby river, few sports offer more beautiful views than ones that take place out in the middle of the ocean or on top of glassy water. For many decades, water sports such as surfing, windsurfing and sailing have been a popular way for outdoor enthusiasts to soak up the sun and get in touch with nature, while at the same time getting in a great workout.
While many of these new water sports have faded in popularity as their trendiness and novelty wore off, there is one particular water sport that seems to be sticking around as a popular outdoor activity for people of all ages-- stand up paddleboarding.
In the last few years, there has been a sudden influx in the popularity of stand up paddleboarding
(SUP) among people all across the country. One of the greatest aspects about this particular activity is the fact that it can be performed on virtually any body of water and with any person, despite their level of experience.
However, while stand up paddleboarding has become the latest and greatest new craze in the world of water sports, you may actually be surprised to learn that this activity has a long history that dates back nearly 50 years.
While there has been traces of stand up paddleboards all across history, the popularity of the modern sport has it origination in the Hawaiian Islands around the early 1960s. It was there that the Beach Boys of Waikiki, such as Duke and Leroy AhChoy, would paddle out on their big surfboards
to take pictures of the tourists who were learning how to surf.
From there, it caught on with several other beach boys at time, but later died out when short boards were introduced as a lighter, easier mode of surfing.
However, in the early 2000s, Hawaiian surfers Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama reintroduced the sport of stand up paddleboarding back to the modern sports world. They first started using SUP boards as a way to train during the off months when the surf was down, but they soon came to realize just how much fun and beneficial it was to paddle across the water on these boards
. Soon enough, it took off as a popular water sport among the surfers in the Hawaiian regions.
The sport gained its first big recognition in 2004 when popular surfer Brian Keaulana introduced SUP as a division at his father's famous surf event, Buffalo's Big Board Classic at Makana. From there, it gained major media coverage and began popping up in popular surfing areas all across the country. Within another couple of years, the world of stand up paddleboarding was up and running.
This relaxing, simple sport is a great way to explore the waters in your area while having fun and getting in a great workout. If you would like to learn more about how you can get started with stand up paddleboarding, check out our informative article on stand up paddleboarding for beginners
. Soon enough, you could be gliding across the top of the water, soaking in the magic of this wonderful outdoor sport.