There is a buzz on the local waters, it's name is Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP). It may be the newest addition to the surfing family but has quickly become one of the fastest growing surface water sports in the world. Derived from Polynesian roots the Hawaiian translation is Ku Hoe He'e Nalu simply put "To stand, to surf, to paddle, a wave”. However our ancestors have been stand up paddling on watercrafts for thousands of years, using it for fishing and exploration of new lands. It is only in more recent times that Stand Up Paddling has become a recreational sport done simply for pleasure.
The sports growing success can be attributed to a number of factors. Anyone can participate regardless of age or fitness level. It can be done on all bodies of water and is suitable for the whole family. It’s a full body workout, improves core strength improves your balance.
On the right equipment ones successful entry into the sport is almost guaranteed. The biggest skill involved is your ability to hold onto a paddle while learning to stroke with your paddle enough times to get you moving!
Stand Up Paddle Boarding consists of two main disciplines, flat-water paddling and wave riding (surfing).
The easiest entry into the sport is by starting on the flat water in a calm and protected environment. The Zandvlei Marina and the Cape Town Canals offer the ideal locations for first timers. SUP wave riding is fundamentally the same as surfing except done with a paddle in hand and waves are caught standing up.
For the adrenaline junkies the SUP ocean “Downwinders” are a fantastic addition to your paddling regime. A combination of paddling, and riding unbroken ocean swells chasing a distance with the wind against your back.
Let today be your start to something new. Jump on a board, dip your paddle blade into the water and join the movement! There are a number of registered SUP Clubs in Cape Town ready to take you through the basics for your first SUP experience. For more information www.supsa.org.za.