If you live near a body of water deeper than a puddle, you’ve probably seen some crazy coot moving across the horizon, a long paddle sweeping first on one side, then the other. You may even have seen your local yoga studio advertising Stand Up Paddle Yoga.
In Stand Up and Paddle: 10 Tips for fun and Fitness, I called us 21st century gondoliers, though we are not usually carrying passengers. So why is this awkward-looking sport growing so fast? Here are my top 10 reasons to give it a try.
- You can launch from almost anywhere: beach, bulkhead, dock, or ramp.
- It’s easy to learn. If you can walk up a set of stairs, you can paddle a standup board.
- Wildlife viewing is fantastic; you can see all around you—and down below the surface.
- Like walking, it can be a great cardio workout—or just a leisurely water-top stroll.
- You can take your pet along.
- Exploring a harbor, bay, lake, pond, or stream is easy and fun.
- Inflatable SUPs can double as an extra tender or water toy.
- It’s a great way to cool off on hot summer days.
- Paddleboards are narrower than a rowboat and draw only about six inches, so they’re perfect for narrow or shallow waterways.
- It’s the fastest, easiest, cheapest way to get out on the water.
Bonus for fishermen (are you listening, Lenny Rudow?) Watch this video and start fishing from a SUP.
Got a reason to add to my list? Still asking "why SUP"? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.