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The History of Stand Up Paddleboarding


Stand Up Paddle Boarding, often referred to as SUP boarding, is one of the world’s most popular on-the-water sports. Humans throughout our history have used this method of stand-up paddling to get around for thousands of years. Although, stand up paddling may have originated in numerous places around the world, the new and improved surfing tradition has roots in Polynesia. Modern stand up paddle surfing has origins in Hawaii as well. In Hawaii, lifeguards have been using a stand up board, known as a Hassakeh, ever since the first decades of the 20th century. The use of these boards came from an idea that they adopted from fishermen that dates back hundreds of years. Using a board almost five feet wide and a double bladed paddle, the lifeguard can easily and quickly paddle to a person in the water who needs help and haul them on the board. The fact that they’re in the standing position, it allows them to have a better view of what’s going on the whole time. As you can see, paddle boarding has been used for a variety of things, in different cultures, and in different times. Today, SUP boarding is mainly a recreational activity.

Two people paddle boarding

Who Invented Paddle Boarding?

It has been said that stand SUP boarding originated back in biblical times. There’s a very important story in the Old Testament involving a SUP board. When Moses was first seen floating down the Nile by Queen Bithia, Pharaoh’s daughter, she, herself, was floating on a watercraft that she stood on in order to see better. This was back in 1275 B.C. SUP boarding is not a new concept at all, in fact, the human will to stand on two legs is what sets us apart from any other species. So, it’s no wonder that traveling across large bodies of water while standing upright is a no-brainer for us. Traveling across water in this way is a more efficient way not only to hunt, but to fight, explore, and just relax. People in Peru were SUP boarding over 3,000 years ago, as peruvian fishermen were some of the first known stand up paddlers around.

What Types of People Paddleboard?

People who take on this kind of paddle boarding as a hobby are usually pretty laid back people. They are usually the type of people who go out looking for a challenge. More often than not, it’s the outdoorsy types who enjoy the beach, surfing, and being out on the water, that tend to do well with SUP boarding. Personally, I’ve never really been into outdoor sports. My idea of fun is reading page-turning books, watching comedies, and allowing me to try my luck at roulette games online. I’d much rather spend my time figuring out how to beat the slot machines than trying to beat the waves, but to each its own. There are plenty of people who enjoy this sport and SUP boarding is insanely popular in warmer parts of the world. Since SUP boarding is done on large bodies of water, it goes without saying that many paddle boarding enthusiasts enjoy traveling. They will travel far and wide to get to the best paddle boarding destinations. Since most of the time, you have to travel to find the best locations to paddleboard, having a love for traveling to new and exciting places definitely helps.

Outdoorsy people love paddling

Where Can You Paddleboard?

SUP paddleboarding is a great way to get out on the lake, river, or ocean and enjoy a good time out on the water. It’s also a great way to get some exercise in too. Whether you’re a newbie or experienced, there are some really great paddle boarding destinations around the world. The best spots for paddleboarding, of course, have large bodies of water readily available for you to take your board out on. Also, you want there to be tons of sun for relaxing close to the water when you’re not paddling. One of the best and most popular places to paddleboard in the world is Hawaii, particularly, Oahu. Since Hawaii is a surfing hotspot, many people navigate to Hawaii where the water is calm and perfect for SUP boarding. Another very popular spot for paddle boarding is Santa Cruz, California, which is one of the best places that you could go paddling in Northern California. Santa Cruz holds great spots for beginners, although, you may run into several surfers, kayakers, and sea lions while out there. Lastly, one super popular destination for SUP boarding is Bali. Everyone loves vacationing in Bali, and for good reason. It’s the perfect travel destination no matter what time of year. Its constant waves make it the perfect spot for paddle boarding, and welcomes both beginners and the more experienced. While in Bali, you can also enjoy hiking, biking, scuba diving, and dining at their finest restaurants.

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