Standup Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports in the world. Inflatable SUPs can be bought in Walmart and CostCo, Cameron Diaz hasn’t been photographed off one since 2014 and it is vying for Olympic inclusion. Yet if you thought SUP was just for surfing or a quick paddle on the lake, think again.
From sleeping to fishing to rafting, the SUP world is now very broad one indeed. With summer upon us, there is no better time to try some of these more unconventional approaches to SUP.
Yes, a SUP Hammock is a thing. Hammocraft are one company that provide a kit enabling up to five hammocks to be attached to two inflatable SUPs. Perfect for floating on slow rivers or anchoring up for a read or some shut eye on your favorite stretch of water. You can always ditch the hammock and use the SUP in the traditional way, but really, once nestled in your floating bed, we really can’t see that happening.
Amelia Travis, SUP Yoga guru, told the Yoga Journal that, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga. If you can stand on one foot, you can do SUP yoga.” Simple really.
Lessons are performed on the widest, most stable boards with the theory that in learning to adapt to the motion of the board your balance is tested continuously. Core muscles are worked harder and new ones discovered. Being on the water also slows down the pace adding focus to the practice. And nothing keeps you quite “present” as knowing a false move on your upward dog will have you soon performing the drowned rat.
Ready to eliminate all the downtime that can comes with fishing? SUP fishing is now huge with specifically designed paddleboards equipped with rod holders, bait trays, down riggers, fish finders and whatever else your little scaly heart desires. You will need a fair amount of SUP experience before you tackle (pardon the pun) fishing, but once happy with your balance, the freedom to reach rivers, streams, bays and beaches that boats can’t access should have you hooked (apologies again) on this new addictive angling pursuit.
SUP Whitewater Rafting
On the opposite end of the spectrum to the hammocks, SUP whitewater rafting is more for the adrenaline junkies out there. Say the experienced whitewater rafter who wants to try something different, or the expert SUPer who wants to add some speed and excitement to their prone persona. However, SUPers will need to stick to the easy Class I and II rapids (and still will do a lot of swimming). However this is a new sport with endless potential. Why not get in early this summer?
SUP Touring entails paddling for long distances at a moderate pace in calm waters. It adds both adventure and exploration to the fun of SUP. Specialized touring boards come with profiled, or pointy, noses that are perfect for high-speed cruising that mean you can paddle farther for longer periods of time.
From the Himalayas (see video above offered by Water Skills Academy) to the Caribbean, you can now book extended SUP Touring holidays where you can enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in the most serene manner possible.
SUP Scuba Diving
Possibly one of the newest wave of SUP upgrades, divers can buy a scuba-specific boards and access their favorite close-to-shore sites with little effort involved. These boards are easy to maneuver and come with a kit that include tank cradles, gear storage seats and pontoons and that make staying afloat easier. The effort of wading, swimming, and lugging along gear to favorite dive sites are eliminated, while the chances of finding new treasures is magnified.
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