SUP is one of the safest approaches to water sports. The best bodies of water to paddle are lakes, rivers, and bays. However, if you’re a surfer, you can challenge yourself to paddle into waves. If you’ve always been fascinated by surfing but were a bit apprehensive, SUP just may be the water sport that will satisfy your recreational and fitness goals.

Paddle boarding is an old sport that started during the 1960s in Hawaii, but has only grown in popularity in the last 15 years. SUP is an activity for all ages, and can be enjoyed as a relaxing paddle out on the lake, or as a wild ride in the surf. Paddling only requires balance and a little effort to move across the water with ease.

SUP requires constant balance and core strength, which is essential for everyone. Paddlers stand with feet apart and knees slightly bent. Newcomers should first kneel on the board and paddle before trying to rise to a standing position. Once standing, it is pretty easy to stay standing. Larger boards can accommodate two people for a combo ride.

If you need a full body exercise while really having fun, stand up paddling is a great way to strengthen and tone a wide range of muscles. Since humans are made to stand upright, stand up paddling leads to less muscular imbalance than regular surfing. The position of standing parallel on the board works the legs, while the pivoting and leaning works the abs. Paddling exertion will also benefit the arms, back, shoulders, and abdomen. This watersport turns a day on the lake into a workout, without even realizing it!

Brand name SUP boards are made from wood or foam that is treated with epoxy resin, similar to how surfboards are made. The new SUP board prices range from $600 to about $1500. A high cost with a high payoff—a single board can last a lifetime.

Board sizes range from 9 feet up to 12 feet and require paddles that are 6 to 8 inches taller than the paddler. The different styles of boards are made for different activities on the water, whether it is for fishing, yoga, paddle surfing, or just a casual ride on the water, there are sizes, shapes, and colors that will fit your

Paddle boarding popularity makes seeing a person gliding across a local lake a common sight, and many boaters have learned to keep an eye out for SUP boards on major lakes. The US Coast Guard now considers the Stand Up Paddle Board as a vessel, requiring the paddler to wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) in some states.

SUP is a watersport most everyone can enjoy, and is easy to start. The cost of a board can last a lifetime for all generations. SUP can tone muscles, bring tranquility on the water, and enhance any other water activities.