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What’s SUP (Stand-Up Paddle Boarding)?

What is Stand-up Paddle Boarding?

The only thing I really knew about stand-up paddle boarding before this weekend was that it looked fun. All summer I have been wondering if I could even do it, so I had to give it a try!

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a surface water sport where a person stands on a surfboard and uses a paddle to move through the water. You can do it in oceans, lakes, rivers, harbors — just about anywhere with a body of water. SUP is a unique opportunity to improve fitness levels. Over the last several years, it has become increasingly popular.

Whether you are looking for a fun time on the water, a new adventure, or a full-body exercise routine, SUP is the answer. Some of the benefits of SUP include:

  • Low impact cross-training: Stand-up paddle boarding can provide a total body intense workout by combining both aerobic and strengthening movements. The level of intensity will depend on the body of water, so think about adding intensity if you don’t feel challenged.
  • Total body strength training: Paddle boarding makes you use almost every major muscle group at some point. Paddling utilizes the arms, back, and shoulders to propel through the water, while the legs and abdominal muscles are busy helping you keep balance on the board.
  • Balance: Anyone can benefit from working on their balance; it’s essential in all areas of our lives. The entire time you are on the board you are focused on balancing your body on the board, thus improving your sense of balance and spatial awareness.

For my SUP experience, I decided to try riseUP at North Park. My instructor Amanda Heinz gave an overview and went through the basics with me to get started. Amanda showed me how to use the paddle, keep my balance, and most importantly stand up. She gave me all the tips and pointers I needed to feel comfortable on the board and in the water. Within a few minutes of being out on the water I felt like a seasoned pro.

If you are thinking of trying SUP, I absolutely recommend it. There are locations all over the city at most Kayak Pittsburgh locations. I recommend that you wear loose, comfortable clothing that can get wet (in case you do fall in). Don’t forget your sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat. They provide the equipment, personal flotation device, and fun!

I had a blast on the water yesterday and I can’t wait to go back and do it again. There were people of all ages having a blast. I even saw one man who had his dog with him on the board.

Have you ever been stand-up paddle boarding? Were you surprised about how fun it is? Share your experiences so others can join in!