I was reading my Smith Mountain Laker Magazine (great site by the way www.smithmountainlaker.com) the other day and an unfamiliar phrase caught my eye. Ever heard of Stand-up Paddleboarding or SUPing? Unless you are a connoisseur of water sports you may not have. Somehow the idea of standing up and paddleboarding doesn’t seem to be compatible in my mind. But those who love it say it’s a little like walking on the water.
To me, this water sport looks a bit like canoeing from a surfboard. According to a Florida news clip, it’s getting a lot of attention these days. Some even say it’s one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world, and Smith Mountain Lake is catching the SUP bug too.
SUP is an ancient form of surfing. It started with surfing beginners using a one-bladed paddle to remain upright while learning to surf. Standing up on the board gave them a higher viewpoint, enabling them to better see big waves and such coming at them. It gradually evolved into a shorter board and a permanent paddle blade.
SUP board prices range from $500 to $1500, and most use glass-reinforced plastic construction. The boards are generally 9 to 12 feet in length, with features such as padded decks, concave hulls, and surfboard-style fins for stability.
Apparently out on the West Coast, Maui, Hawaii, and other ocean-side places, stand-up paddleboards are all the rage. If you love water sports you will no doubt be curious about this sport and how you can have fun SUPing at Smith Mountain Lake, so I found a YouTube video where you can see how it’s done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vLHihGleJU