An Introduction to Stand-Up Paddling: SUP!

Although SUP, or stand-up paddling, has been around for hundreds of years, it's recently gained popularity as a recreational pastime.

The boards used for SUP are much more stable than a surfboard, with a flat bottom allowing for easy balance. They are also light and easy to transport without the need of a trailer.

One of the most appealing features to SUP is the versatility of it: practically anyone can SUP. Whether you are a surfer, kayaker, a fisherman, or fitness enthusiast, even if you are just looking for ways to get outside and be active, SUP is an ideal activity. It can be done on flat water, such as rivers, lakes and canals, as well as the ocean.

SUP can be very social as well. Unlike surfing, paddlers can SUP right next to each other and talk. It is also very family- and pet-friendly: many paddlers take their dogs on the water with them.

Beginners should know a few basic steps to SUP:

?   Start off on your knees. This will allow you to become comfortable being on the board and floating, gaining a feel for the rockers on the board.
?   Grab the bottom of the paddle and relax your ankles as you stand up!
?   Extend your arms out in front of you, pushing the paddle blade into the water and pulling it back.
?   Keep your eyes fixed on the horizon. This will help you relax while maintaining balance.

Stand-up paddling offers a great core workout while enjoying the water and local scenery. Resting on the balls of the feet, rather than the heels, allows the legs to work without becoming tired. Some paddlers even practice yoga on their boards while in the water.

The availability of water in the area makes stand-up paddling the perfect water activity for water enthusiasts who want to spend time with their family and friends, while getting some exercise doing something they enjoy.

Orlando Paddle Sports Examiner Natalie Norris is a married mom of six and a stand-up paddling enthusiast and blogger living on the east coast of Central Florida. is the inside source for everything local. Powered by Examiners, the largest pool of knowledgeable and passionate contributors in the world, we provide unique and original content to enhance life in your local city wherever that may be.

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