by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
Are you interested in more aquatic sports for this summer for a good workout? Then here is something that I think you would like very much.
Stand Up Paddling, an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage has been taken in by many surfers giving them the ability to paddle for longer distances and a fun packed full body workout. The sport has spread from surf beaches to nearly all other types of watercourses in the last ten years. These watercourses usually are lakes, large rivers, and canals.
In this sport, paddlers navigate river rapids and ride standing waves. The sport of paddleboarding is sure to bring out the best in your upper body, while focusing on building strength, resistance, and muscles.
This new surfing technique came about in the 1960s when surf instructors used it to position themselves for taking photographs. Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama developed paddle surfing for the modern water sports world. Although, before Stand Up Paddling become a sport, it was used by professional surfers for training and has now become a popular surfing-related pastime.
Within an hour of training, any beginner becomes comfortable and ready for a long, nice, and refreshing ride. Many traditional style surfers have switched over to stand up paddling because of the versatility of the new sport.
It offers surfers the ability to catch more waves in a set, as well as offering a better view of incoming ocean waves they may want to ride that are approaching from the sea.
Gaining popularity in the boating community, based on the skills and agility needed to navigate rapids and obstacles is, the River Stand Up Paddling. This sport is now the fastest growing water surf activity because it allows a wider range of athletic types to get involved. Plus, there is no need to schedule around high and low tides.
Festivals being held nationwide in the USA as well as in many other countries where the sport has been put into practice are inspiring many fitness fans to try it out. One festival event, The TA-HOE NALU paddle festival, marked the 6th year of what is now the oldest SUP event in the world. It attracted over 4000 spectors and over 400 competitors from around the world to participate at the Quicksilver TA-HOE NALU Paddle festival.
This sport has become well known that Deb and Warren (WARDOG) Thomas, owners of Standup Paddle Sports, LLC, and SurfingSports.com, Inc, in Santa Barbara, CA pioneered and helped setup the sport and industry of standup paddling in California over 8 years ago.
The Technique to Paddle Surfing
The correct form for paddle surfing requires a paddle of the correct length and size. A common rule of thumb is a “shaka” length, or 5 to 7 inches, above the rider’s height. While standing on board, the rider holds the paddle with one hand on the handle and the other hand approximately 1/3 of the way down the shaft. The hand placement alternates depending on what side the rider is paddling on. When paddling on the right side the handle is held with the left hand and the shaft with the right, vice versa on the left side. When paddling, the blade is placed in the water 1 to 2 feet in front of the rider. The paddle is then pulled through the water with a motion similar to the rider punching with the top hand. The motion is continued until the blade is pulled through the water to a point approximately 6 inches to a foot behind the rider’s body.
What do you require to get involved in this action packed water ride? Well, participants usually wear a wide variety of wet suits and other clothing, a paddle, and a surf board. But what you wear also depends on both water and air temperature.
Paddle and Board
A stand up paddle is a type of paddle used in stand up paddle surfing. The stand up paddle is used to propel an individual across the surface of the water while standing on a surfboard. The paddle consists of a blade, shaft and handle.
The price range for new SUP boards are from US$600 to US$1500, and most use glass-reinforced plastic construction using polyester or epoxy resin that is compatible with the polyurethane or expanded polystyrene foam used in the core. Some SUP boards use a hallow wood construction instead of foam with epoxy resin. In the last couple of years inflatable boards have been introduced as well. The boards are generally longer than 9 feet (3 m), and can be longer than 12 feet (4 m), with features such as padded decks and concave hulls; they generally have one or three surfboard-style fins in the stern for tracking.
So, as you can see this is yet another refreshing fitness trend that I recommend you try out for this 2013 summer. Go on, get yourself ready, pack your water suit, mount your board, and take on the watercourses near you!