The History of Stand Up Paddling
Stand Up Paddling- commonly known as SUP is very popular among most of the water sport lovers. It is a vibrant sport in which you paddle while standing on an SUP board. The SUP board is similar to a surfing craft and a long paddle is used to row or move the board forward. The paddle also lets you take control over the board when hit by waves.
Stand up paddling is said to have fixed roots in the history which can be looked back at almost thousand years from today. Nonetheless, we cannot exactly tell when the modern form of stand up paddling originated. To fix a particular instance or time as the origination of stand up paddling, we first need to clear cut this sport from rest of the water sports which resemble it.
The clear distinction of stand up paddling is not really possible since it is a vibrant sport that many people enjoy in their own style. For now, all we know is that there is an SUP board and a paddle that are the major qualities of this sport.
Watercrafts like canoes and fishing boats or logs of wood with a long bamboo paddle were used in different parts of the world like Africa and South America which forms a part of their culture. These watercrafts were used for fishing, war, and travelling. Over 3000 years ago, Peruvian fishermen, after a long day of work used a watercraft which they called “Caballitos de Totora” to unwind by surfing on the waves. May be this was the beginning of all forms of modern surfing.
However, stand up paddling has a Polynesian ancestry that no one can deny. In 1778 Captain James Cook discovered the surfing habits of the Hawaiian people. They called the carved wooden boards which they used to surf as “He’e nalu” in the Hawaiian tongue. These wooden boards were ritually carved from a particular type of tree called the Koa tree. The village head gets the biggest board than the others and these boards were used with a paddle to power through the waves.
The modern stand up paddling has a history that is more specific again in the Hawaii. Surf instructors, in Waikiki , in the 1940s would take their surfing boards to the sea and stand on them to check on the surfers and if anyone’s getting in trouble or not. These instructors would take their paddle along with them and would use them to steer their boards from timed to time.
In the 1990s, Fletcher Burton from California used his surfing board it new innovative ways that made him one among the pioneers of stand up paddling sport. Unfortunately, his surfing techniques weren’t taken seriously by anyone back then. If they would have taken notice of the new and awesome style, stand up paddling must have been much ahead of where it is now today.