How to stand up and stand up

How to stand up and stand up

The sport was brought from Hawaii to California by the paddlesurfer Rick Thomas in the early 2000s and quickly took off. It is now a competitive sport with races in Spain, Japan, Korea, France and Italy and an official Special Olympics event. SUPs flew off the shelves during the pandemic, like so many outdoor activities.

The paddlers range from five to 82 years old, said Curt Devoir, director of the Professional Stand Up Paddle Association. Our requests for instructor training exploded when COVID 19 restrictions began to be lifted in the States last August-September. He said that people were all over it because they figured out it was the perfect social distancing activity. For those of us with less than perfect balance, the sport can seem intimidating. You might think paddling and expect upper body workout. SUPing targets muscles all over the body. If only your arms hurt, then you weren't doing it right, Mr Devoir said.

Cedric Bryant, president and chief science officer at the American Council on Exercise, said SUP is what I would like to call a combo workout. Balance and stability are particularly challenged, and your upper body builds strength and endurance, too. It is also pretty decent cardio.

It may take a while before you work up a sweat as you master staying on the board and paddling efficiently. On a recent SUP trip, I was surprised by how quickly my feet grew sore from balancing my instructor said wiggling your toes to make sure they are not over-clenching, but mine still ached. As a beginner, Bryant said that beginners work their legs extra hard to stay upright. Experienced paddleboarders, who have the skill to go faster, paddle longer and take rougher waters, tend to get more cardio benefits.

Before you get into the water, size your paddle and board appropriately. The paddleboards recommended by Mr Devoir are about 32 inches wide for most novices and perhaps 10 to 12 and a half feet, which will be easy to manoeuvre but still stable.

For the paddle, stretch your arm straight above your shoulder and let your hand flop. The handle can be adjusted so that the grip sits at your wrist. The angled paddle blade is the opposite of how most beginners position it in the water.

Next, to stand on the paddleboard, Mr. Devoir said place your feet on either side of the handle, which is the board's centre. The more stable you are going to be, the wider your stance on the board with your feet, the more stable you are going to be, he said. Eyes up, stay up, he said. As soon as you are standing, start paddling, which helps to stabilise the board.

The paddle is pulled back into the water to get it back to where your feet are, Mr Devoir said. Keep the paddle vertical in the water and parallel to your board, which will help you move in a straight line. Experiment with other strokes that allow you to reverse, turn, or move sideways. An instructor can help.


Just because you stand up is in the name doesn't mean you're standing the whole time or that you have to stand at all. Christopher J Read is the programme director at the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colo., which takes people with disabilities out on the water. Participants in their programme can sit on the board or stand on the board, or have a seat or a wheelchair connected to the board.

A combination of sitting and standing is common for abled people. Beginners and pros sit and kneel while they get used to the board, when they get tired or when the water gets rough. But no matter how skilled you are, you ll probably go ker-splash at some point. Mr Read said that a good dunking can be part of the learning curve.