SUP, from Jim Sogi

October 28, 2010 |

 Stand up paddle boarding didn't exist 10 years ago, but now it is a fast growing sport. It is not intuitive to stand up on a surfboard and paddle it with a paddle, and there is a short learning curve. Contrary to my initial impression that it was a fad that would soon die out, the sport has exploded. SUP can be done not only in surf, but in flat water, lakes, rivers (a guy went down the Colorado!) and the open ocean. You could do it Central Park or the Hudson River. (It won't fit in an elevator or subway tho. They are 11 feet long, 30 inches wide and 4 inches thick.) It doesn't take the strength required of surfing because the paddle leverages the power, and the board is huge and is stable and floats so many women who lack arm strength can do it, as can children, and older out of shape guys. In fact the big growth is in flat water paddling. There are even expedition SUP boards that can carry gear. Guys paddle interisland Hawaii, and from England to France.

The larger board and long paddle gives leverage. It makes is harder to turn around, and forcing one to commit to a swell sooner, and requiring one to be well committed when the swell arrives. It take longer to turn your position around, but one can ride not only smaller waves, but larger ones as well. Some friends that make them went to Florida to surf Hurricane Igor and got 15' waves a mile long on 12 foot boards.

Its a great way to get outside and get some exercise even when the waves are small.

My twist is going to be try a small kite and let it pull me on the board, rather than struggle with the small kite boards.


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