What’s the big fuss about Stand-Up Paddleboarding?

“I don’t get it. Isn’t it just stand up kayaking? Or surfing for the uncoordinated? ”

If you’re a stand up paddler, you may have encountered a few people who simply just don’t get the appeal of stand up paddleboarding. And chances are, those people probably haven’t tried it yet.

Photo by: Shannon M at PaddleWagon
Toronto Waterfront. Photo by: Shannon M at PaddleWagon

Stand-up paddleboarding is reportedly one of the fastest growing sports in the world, so there has got to be a few good things about it. Here are just a few reasons why (I think) the sport is becoming so popular:

It’s a good workout: unless you’re a SUP racer, stand up paddling won’t give you an intense Crossfit-style workout. However, what it will do is provide a low-impact full body workout. Paddling will sculpt your arms and shoulders and the balance required to stay upright on your board provides a great workout for all your stabilizer muscles in your feet, ankles, legs, hips and abs.  SUP yoga has also been gaining popularity as a new take on the ancient practice.

It’s accessible: Unlike other board sports like surfing and kite-boarding, stand up paddling has very few barriers to entry. Some people are reluctant to take up a new sport if they feel that they can’t commit enough time to it to become a least marginally decent at it. With stand up paddling, you’ll get the hang of it on your very first time. This makes stand up paddling something that people of all abilities and ages can participate in, even people recovering from illness and injury. A post from last week highlighted the results from a great research study on the effects of stand up paddling for recovering breast cancer patients. Stand-up paddling is also a low fuss sport – all you need is a board, a paddle and a sense of adventure. There is no need for super fancy equipment (unless you want to splurge).

Sauble River, ON. Photo by: Shannon M at PaddleWagon
Sauble River, ON. Photo by: Shannon M at PaddleWagon

The cool factor: It’s true. Stand-up paddleboarding is just plain cool right now. Social media is full of pictures of celebrities stand-up paddleboarding, like Jen Aniston in Hawaii and supermodel Gisele Bundchen and hubby Tom Brady in the Bahamas. Even pro surfers like Laird Hamilton have taken up SUPing which has created some street cred for the new sport.

What do you like most about stand up paddleboarding? Leave your comments or send me an email 🙂