The activity of stand up paddle boarding, more commonly referred to as SUP, has been on the rise as of late. Many people across the world are beginning to take up SUP as a means of relieving stress and just having fun. Those that are unfamiliar with SUP have a puzzling time understanding what all the buzz is about.
Is stand up paddle boarding fun? I put together the following article to answer this very question. There is not just one answer to this question, but a multitude. Read further to discover the reasons why SUP might be your next fun pastime.
One enjoyable aspect of stand up paddle boarding is that it requires very little hassle to do.
Remarkable Ease of Access
SUP can be performed on virtually any body of water. Whether it be an ocean or lake, river or canal, marsh or swimming pool, stand up paddle boarders have no problem with adjusting to the present aquatic conditions.
Other popular water sports do not have the luxury of such circumstantial flexibility. Surfing, for instance, demands sizable waves. Calm, flat water is not an option when it comes to surfing. Moreover, windsurfers requires at least a bit of wind in order for them to gain some sort of momentum on the water.
This convenience makes the SUP experience a whole lot easier on first timers, which ultimately makes it a whole lot more fun.
Does Not Require A Ton of Equipment
In addition, all you really need is a paddle board, a paddle, and a swimsuit to get out on the water. This is in marked contrast to other activities that demand a substantial amount of time and effort just to get going.
Take snow skiing for instance. There are a number of prerequisite steps that you have to trudge through just to get yourself on the slopes. You have to drive out to the mountainside, wear heavy layers of warm clothing, rent winter skis, acquire goggles, buy a lift ticket, and check the conditions. Needless to say, this can get tiresome real quick. And I personally actually like snow skiing!
If you already have a paddle board and a paddle, all you have to do is carry this equipment out to the water and you are all set for your expedition. It is likely that you will be able to carry out the paddle board and the paddle in one trip considering how lightweight they are.
This minimalism is what makes SUP such a fun, easygoing water adventure.
2.) Allows Time for Relaxing Introspection
Many people consider SUP a form of unorthodox mediation in that it helps them to escape the stresses of daily life and have a reason to mentally unwind while outdoors.
Get in Touch with the Tranquil Side of Nature
An extremely fun element of SUP is that you get to connect with your lust for nature.
This activity allows riders the opportunity to venture away from everyone and everything and simply just cruise out on the water. Riders can enjoy the gentle rock of the waves and peruse the aquatic wildlife below.
Stand up paddle boarders do not even have to have a final destination if they so desire. There does not have to be a central goal in mind with SUP. Riders can merely tour the water and observe the coastline to satisfy their curiosities about the natural environment around them.
Calm, Steady Paddling Rhythm
The fixed paddling rhythm of SUP is also helps riders to settle into a meditative state.
There is something to be said about executing the perfect stroke and propelling yourself through the water. Getting the paddle blade in the water at just the ideal angle. Maximizing the use of all your muscles with one pull of the paddle. All of this puts the mind at ease. The constant paddling repetition paradoxically keeps your mind preoccupied, yet frees your mind to think as well.
I find that it helps me to reach for the parts of my mind that I usually do not have the opportunity to fully take hold of in the bustle of daily life. It is a difficult feeling to explain. The only thing I know for sure is that it is a valid source of introspection that appeals to most first time stand up paddle boarders.
3.) The Whole Family Can Do It
Another fun prospect of SUP is that virtually anyone can take part that is willing to try. This means that the entire family can get out on the water and enjoy an SUP outing together.
Quick Learning Curve
Although there is a learning curve with SUP, this learning curve is not too steep. In fact, most novices are able to stand up and paddle within their very first session out on the water, regardless of whether they are young or old.
The beauty of stand up paddle boarding is that there are not many prerequisite skills that are absolutely needed. The only real intimidating prospect for most individuals is balance. And even the balancing techniques required for SUP are easily teachable.
This is because the stand up paddle board is specifically designed to provide a stable foundation for riders to stand on while out on the water. The average stand up paddle board is lengthier, wider, and thicker compared to your average surfboard. This extra material makes a substantial difference in supporting the standing position of riders and keeping them afloat.
You Can Even Bring the Children Out
The additional material of the stand up paddle board is not only able to support a single rider, it is also has the potential to carry two people.
Thus, the little ones that do not have the necessary strength or swimming capacity needed to man their own paddle board can ride with an adult. With all of the excess material of the paddle board, there is plenty of room for a child to sit and come along for the ride.
Many children revel at the opportunity to enjoy nature in this way. There are few other opportunities where they can feed their adventurous side by travelling out on the open waves.
4.) Fresh, Original Way to Strengthen Your Body
In addition, many people see stand up paddle boarding as a fun and unique form of exercise.
Exercises a Variety of Muscles
Many people are under the mistaken notion that SUP only works your arms and nothing more. If you do not engage in proper form this might be the case. However, if you paddle with the correct technique, the work will be displaced throughout a number of muscles in the body.
The paddling stroke technique places a heavy emphasis on the latissimus dorsi (back), deltoids (shoulders), pectoralis major (chest), trapezius (traps), and rectus abdominis (core). All of these muscles carry the load of paddling if done correctly. There is no denying that SUP is a full body workout.
A Nice Change-Up from the Run of the Mill Work Out Routine
Furthermore, SUP is unlike any other form of exercise out there.
The majority of people that are into fitness operate on a strict workout schedule, doing the same thing day after day. Running on a treadmill or lifting heavy weights without a break in routine can grow monotonous real quick. Every so often you just need a workout to offer a change of pace to the norm.
SUP is one of the best ways to go about doing this. Not only do you work on an assortment of different muscles, you get to have fun while doing it! Absorbing all that nature has to offer and concentrating on the form of your paddle strokes has a way of taking your mind off the workout itself. It is a rare occasion that you get to burn off some extra calories while simultaneously enjoying the delicate sway of the waves.
5.) Exceptional Perspective on the Watery Depths Below
One compelling attraction to SUP that many people commonly overlook is the unique vantage point that riders have on the water.
SUP Perspective versus The Perspective of Other Water Sports
In most other water sports, the participants must lie prone or sit for the majority of the time that they are on the water.
Take kayaking for example. Kayakers have to sit in cramped quarters for practically the entire expedition. There is no room to really stand or even lie back within the restricted space of the kayak. For this reason, kayakers never really have an ideal perspective on the aquatic landscape below.
The stand up paddle board provides ample room for riders to sit, kneel, lie back, and stand on the paddle board. The most unique vantage point is from the standing position. From this elevated height, stand up paddle boarders have more of a bird’s eye view of the water.
Rather than having to peer over an edge and strain their neck to look down, stand up paddle boarders merely have to tilt their head down slightly to get a peek at the depths underneath. This makes it far more fun for people that venture out on the water simply for exploratory purposes.
More Favorable View of Aquatic Wildlife
This elevated stance makes it much easier to observe the aquatic wildlife underneath in their natural habitat.
It is extremely captivating to see a school of fish dart past or see the kelp ripple with every wave. This view helps riders to feel more in tune with the water without having to go the extra lengths of straining their neck and body to do it.
It may seem like a petty detail at first glance, but many seasoned stand up paddle boarders can attest to how tremendous of an advantage this perspective really is. So if you are looking for a fun way to get an unparalleled glimpse of aquatic wildlife, I would definitely recommend trying out SUP.
6.) Unconventional Way to Go Fishing
Many people are surprised to find that you can go fishing on your stand up paddle board.
The paddle board is built to support a pretty hefty amount of weight. For this reason, riders have no problem paddling out to deeper waters with their fishing gear in tow.
This allows people that have a passion for fishing to discover new hot spots out on the water without having to go through the hassle of managing a boat. The only thing riders have to do is load up the paddle board with their fishing gear, hop on the board themselves, and start paddling away.
This provides a fun way for people to spice up their next fishing adventure and change things up a bit from the norm. You get the benefits of SUP and the benefits of fishing all rolled up into one activity.
7.) Finally Quest Your Thirst for Exploration
Another element that makes SUP so fun is the prospect of exploration. The majority of people that take up SUP for the first time cherish the time that they have examining the water in a new light.
Traverse the Open Water
Riders that partake in SUP can move practically anywhere they desire on the water. If there is a particular area of interest they would like to further explore, there is no real obstacle that is preventing them from doing so.
Ordinary people that do not have many chances to enjoy the water in its most natural form jump at the opportunity to take an aquatic trek. Both the maneuverability and the clearness of vision that the paddle board offers is unprecedented. There are not many better ways to simultaneously explore the coastline and the depths below.
Access Areas Where Boats and Cars Can’t
Furthermore, stand up paddle boarders can gain access to areas that boats and cars cannot.
Boats and cars are big, bulky vehicles of transportation. In contrast, the paddle board is rather lightweight and easy to navigate. It is for this reason that stand up paddle boarders are able to cross into a vast assortment of aquatic environments that are closed off to boats and cars.
For example, paddle boards can cruise on river beds, marshes, shallow coves and even nearby islands. Boats and cars cannot compete with this motility. Boats are unable to access shallow depths of water and cars are unable to reach any small, isolated islands.
This exploration phenomenon makes SUP all the more alluring to riders, which ultimately makes for a more fun experience overall.
8.) Rare Opportunity to Practice Yoga Out on the Water
Stand up paddle boarders also have the unique opportunity to participate in yoga while floating atop the water.
When most people think of stand up paddle boarding, they do not automatically make any sort of correlation to yoga. However, people across the world have discovered that practicing yoga out on the water is more than a mere reverie.
Individuals have used the foundation of SUP as a springboard for this unorthodox form of yoga. SUP yoga has all of the benefits of land yoga, plus the added bonus of being outside. Being able to take in the fresh sea breeze rather than being cooped up in a hot yoga studio is very alluring, especially to those who have a hankering for nature.
SUP also further tests the fitness of individuals with the challenge of first paddling out to calm water and then engaging in yoga following their trek. This adds another element of rigor to the workout without taking away from the fun of the yoga itself.
9.) Can Adjust the Tempo to Your Liking
Another source of attraction with SUP is the ability to modify the pace of this activity to whatever you prefer.
Stand up paddle boarding has a broad range of slow-paced and fast-paced activities that people have the luxury of choosing from. It is really up to the rider to decide what tempo suits them best.
For instance, riders can leisurely tour a lake on flat, calm water and paddle at their own set pace. They can even lie down and sit if they feel like they need a break. There are not many other water sports where you can stop everything, sit down, and enjoy the sunset at the drop of a dime.
On the contrary, riders also have the opportunity to take the more up tempo route. These riders can take on the challenge of surfing on harsh, choppy waves. They can even sign themselves up for SUP racing competitions to test the extent of their paddling ability.
Stand up paddle boarding has an activity for nearly anyone that is just looking to explore their passion for the water. It is just a matter of going out there and finding it.
10.) Welcoming Community
Lastly, the stand up paddle boarding is a rapidly expanding community that is open to anyone that is willing to try something new.
Since SUP is so easy to learn, there is always a fresh batch of people attempting SUP for the first time. One of the first things that SUP instructors tell their clients is to not be afraid to fail. For most first timers, SUP is not meant to be a competition, it is meant to be a fun form of water recreation.
Those people that do lose their balance and fall into the water often have a a better time because of it. It is fun to laugh it off, hop back on the board, and try to paddle with renewed vigor.
Seasoned stand up paddle boarders are aware that everyone has to start somewhere. It is for this reason that the SUP community strives to make everybody’s first SUP experience the best that it can be.
This community backing helps make the sport of SUP all the more fun.
The Bottom Line
So what are you waiting for? All of these fun reasons are just lying there in wait the next time you head for the water. Expand your comfort zone and try something new! Trust me, you will not regret it.