Stand-up paddle boarding (a.k.a. SUP) is quickly becoming popular today. It started in Hawaii like many other board sports we now enjoy. There Laird Hamilton called it “Hoe he’e nalu.” Essentially, what he created was a mixture of surfing and canoeing, where you’re using a type of surf board with a long paddle with which you catch waves. However, you can also take part in SUP on flat water lakes, estuaries and beaches..
Ready to give this sport a try? A great way to give it a test run and see if it’s right for you, is by visiting an on-location rental booth like Naples Beach Adventures. There are a variety of SUP boards and paddles on the market today, making it difficult to simply go out and buy the right one. You probably don’t want to start by putting a lot of money into a sport you’re unsure if you’ll even enjoy. By renting, you’ll get to try different boards and have the opportunity to get proper instruction of how to use them. Contact them for more information on what they have to offer.
While you will need a paddle board and a paddle, there are also some other types of gear you may also want that will help you enjoy this sport, even more, including:
A PFD (personal flotation device) – typically a life jacket. The U.S. Coast Guard classifies paddle boards, used outside of swimming, surfing or bathing areas, as a vessel. There are inflatable, lightweight, and compact safety flotation devices available for people using SUPs. Especially in Florida, solid, bulky life vests can quickly get hot and bothersome.
Proper clothing and sun protection are necessary and will depend on the weather.
A leash to tether your SUP to you so it’s close to you if you fall from it. Different leashes are available depending on where you plan to use your SUP.
Besides having the right gear for this sport, you also need to know how to swim with it, stand up on it, what stance to hold once you are standing, how to turn your board, and what to do when you fall off. All of these are things you can learn before buying a SUP yourself. If you choose to buy your own board, consider the added difficulty of figuring out how to transport it to and from your destination.
As this sport continues to grow in popularity, you’ll want to take the time to learn all that you can, so you will have enough experience to possibly even partake of various competitions. Yes, there really are competitions for SUP. In fact, several takes place right here in Southwest Florida each year. Check local media to see if there are any upcoming events. Even if you don’t want to join in on any of these competitions, you’ll appreciate how this activity continues to grow and increase in popularity, as it does so.
Naples Beach Adventures
11135 GulfShore Drive
Naples, FL 34108
Parking Lot #4