Why SUP? Experts Answer The Top 11 Questions About SUP Boarding
Many people ask us why they should buy a stand up paddleboard. Among many reasons, some of our best answers are:
First and foremost, it’s fun.
It can be relaxing or invigorating.
It’s so easy you’ll be standing up the first time you try.
People of all ages and skill levels can SUP.
And, there’s no limit to the beautiful waterways you can explore on a paddleboard.
Over the last 10 years YOLO Board has NEVER had anyone return their paddleboard claiming it just wasn't fun. In fact, many customers have come back just to tell us they’ve had the time of their lives SUP boarding. Some have even said it’s been a truly life-changing experience.
YOLO Board has been making waves in the SUP industry for over a decade. Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes SUP boarding so great.
So, we want to use our expertise to answer some common questions about paddle boarding, and show you why you should be SUP boarding too!
ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT PADDLE BOARDING ANSWERED
1) WHAT IS PADDLE BOARDING?
Even though paddle boarding is considered a relatively new sport compared to others, it’s been around for thousands of years in some form or another. (Learn more about paddle boarding history). But, it’s become something entirely unique over the last two decades.
So, what is paddle boarding in today’s world like?
Now-a-days SUP is a worldwide, diverse, multidisciplinary sport. Back in ancient times, stand up paddling served a specific function, like fishing, lifeguarding, or transportation. But, in modern society, SUP boarding is mostly a recreational pastime, workout or leisurely experience.
On a SUP board, you start off standing and use a paddle to navigate, so practically anyone can do it. You can also paddle board anywhere, on any body of water. No waves required. And, there are any number of different activities you can do on a SUP board, including fishing, yoga, racing, white water rafting, racing and so much more.
2) WHY STAND UP?
Standing up on the water is so much more exciting than sitting. In addition to greater physical comfort and engaging your full core and legs, it gives you an incredible vantage point that you cannot get while in a kayak.
The ability to turn around and look down to observe underwater life is one of the most incredible features of being on a paddleboard. We promise you, once you have paddled next to dolphins, rays, or even manatees, you will know what we mean. There is nothing like experiencing the great outdoors on a stand up paddle board.
3) IS PADDLEBOARDING EASY TO LEARN?
So many people are surprised at how easy paddleboarding is. As long as you have the right sized board for your frame, anyone can learn to paddle in no time. In many cases, beginners are up and paddling within 5 minutes of instruction. We recommend taking a lesson from a certified SUP instructor, or an experienced friend who has been paddling for a while.
The best paddle board racers on the SUP circuit have all had countless lessons from many experts. It’s better to start out with a good stroke, instead of having to correct bad paddling habits. Another great thing about learning to paddle board is when you fall off, it’s easy to get back on the paddleboard. SUP boards don’t fill up with water like a kayak or a canoe, so they won’t capsize.
One advantage of this sport, over others, is that it can be done by people of all ages. We have seen a 5-year-old vigorously paddle a 14’ race board like he was Danny Ching (a famous stand up paddler). Our long-time customer, Phil S., is an 82-year-old who lives in Walton County, Florida and paddles almost everyday. He loves the low-impact aspect of the sport.
Many famous professional athletes have taken up stand up paddleboarding as a form of cross-training, because they can get great exercise doing something outside their sport, that has a very low risk of injury, unlike many other sports.
You can make paddling as difficult or as easy as you like. You can even sit down, yes, sit down on the board. You can take a break, take a stretch, take a photo of a dolphin, take a deep breath or take in a sunset.
5) WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REGULAR SURFING AND SUP-SURFING?
Sup-surfing is much easier that traditional surfing. The sheer number of people that turn into SUP Surfers, after paddleboarding for a few years, is impressive. You can surf the waves with the help of the paddle, and it makes the act of catching a wave much simpler. It makes it much easier to enjoy surf breaks with smaller waves and swells.
In paddle board surfing you also start from a stand up position rather than a prone position. Some that have never been surfers in their lives are now living their dream of surfing at 50, 60 even 70 years old. What an epic moment for so many to experience catching a wave and riding it out along the break!
6) WHERE DO YOU PADDLE BOARD?
“Any water, anytime” is a popular phrase that we used to say in the early days of SUP. The fact that you are able to take your paddleboard to any water location makes it a sport for every geography. Calm oceans, mountain or rural lakes, streams, and rivers out in the country or in a metropolitan area can all be suitable SUP destinations.
After a blizzard in the northern United States, we have even seen some daredevils use their thermos-molded boards as a version of a sled in the snow, by removing the fin and surfing down a big, snow-covered hill, although this is one thing we don’t recommend trying at home!
You can even pack up an inflatable paddleboard and pump in a backpack and take it on an airplane! One of our team ambassadors recently brought her board on a flight to Australia and is enjoying the beauty of paddling in the Land Down Under. She’s traveling throughout the continent with her inflatable paddleboard and teaching stand up paddleboard yoga at scenic destinations along the way.
7) WHAT IS SUP YOGA?
SUP yoga is a fast growing activity that was born in the SUP community. It has been held in YMCA pools, hotel pools, private swimming pools and of course on the water in the great outdoors.
The added element of balancing on a SUP board lends itself to yoga stretches, activating your core much more so than on land. Plus, doing yoga out on the open water is a great way to get centered and focus.
8) ARE THERE PADDLE BOARDING GROUPS, OR IS IT A SOLITARY SPORT?
There are many social paddle groups forming all over the world. If there is water, there is a SUP boarding group. There’s probably one in your city right now! It is so much fun to enjoy this activity with others. Lone paddling definitely has its “zen moments”, and is a great way to relax and rejuvenate, but paddling with a community, or just a couple of good friends, is the bomb. Nothing makes us happier than seeing groups on the water, laughing and experiencing the water in a new and unique way.
Gulf Therapy is a group founded here in the panhandle of Northwest Florida. Every first Friday of any given month (weather permitting), friends and families from around the area gather together to paddle out in the early morning hours and watch the sunrise, welcoming in another new day.
Join our YOLO Tribe and receive exclusive invites to events, meetups and access to the YOLO reward program.
9) WHAT ARE OTHER SUP ACTIVITIES AROUND THE WORLD?
SUP is becoming part of a positive lifestyle experience for people in their local communities, but is also becoming a foundational activity for people as they travel around the globe. Bands of friends, old and new, are escaping the exhausting grind of their daily jobs at home to have adventures on SUP excursions and retreats.
YOLO Board leads one in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In Nicaragua one of our ambassadors just led a retreat of women from around the country to the picturesque beaches of the Pacific coast. There they experienced the rustic luxury of Rancho Santana, a coastal resort full of adventure, including surfing, paddling, hiking volcanoes, scouting trails for monkeys and sloths, exploring the local Nicaraguan community and enjoying fun times and wonderful food together. It’s true that SUP can take you anywhere, both on the water or on adventures around the globe like this one.
10) HOW IS SUP BOARDING GOOD FOR THE SOUL?
Everyone knows that to stay healthy and improve your well-being, it is imperative to take time for yourself. To leave behind your daily responsibilities and recharge is something that’s proving over and over to be advantageous for the mind, the body and the spirit. Discovering new waters, new locations, and new cultures only serves to make us more well-rounded and well-balanced human beings.
Putting oneself in the position to better appreciate the outdoors and meaningful activities leads to a greater gratitude, making each day count. Likewise, nurturing positive relationships centered around positive and enriching activities, like stand up paddling, are as important for our mental well-being as it is our physical well-being.
11) WHY SUP?
So many individuals and communities around the world are recognizing the power of being on the water. Leonardo da Vinci referred to water as, “the driving force of all nature”. Paddling and gliding atop the water is something that is hard to explain. Many liken it to the same feeling of exhilaration as taking those first pedals on your own when learning to ride a bike.
You have to try it in order to understand fully the world of benefits stand up paddling offers. When we first started this company, no one in our area of Florida had seen a stand up paddle board. As we would draw nearer to the shoreline, sunbathers would come up to us to ask what we were doing? We even had people tell us it seemed ridiculous, and that the sport would never catch on.
Well, ten years later, we can report that we have seen thousands of first-time paddlers as they take their maiden voyage on a SUP board, as well as all of our long-time Tribe members who have made stand up paddling a central part of their lifestyle.The unforgettable look of joy, fear, excitement, and accomplishment, all wrapped up in a huge smile, is something that never gets old.
We hope you get to experience paddle boarding soon. We bet you’ll love it!