How did SUP begin?

There has been dispute over the origins of SUP for a while now. It has long been thought that SUP, or Hoe he’e nalu (to stand, to paddle, to surf), began in the surfing kingdom on the Hawaiian island of Waikiki in the early 1960’s.

Many believe that surfers at the time, such as Duke and Leroy AhChoy, began standing on large surf boards using long outrigger paddles to move around. Occasionally they used their new height to their advantage and took photographs of the many tourists learning to surf.

Others believe stand up paddle boarding started over 3,000 years ago by fishermen in Peru. The convenience of standing high above the water meant the fishermen could clearly see their catch below.

Later the sport caught on again with the likes of Laird Hamilton, who used a Long board and Paddle to aid him with tow-in surfing in Hawaii. Stand Up Paddle surfing was a great way to exercise and train his core and legs. Stand Up also gave Laird a paddling advantage, allowing him to catch waves earlier than with a regular surf board. Another benefit was when surfing with these boards, the paddle could be used to help carve into turns, improving the maneuverability of the long boards he used.

However, many surfers became agitated with stand up paddle surfers 'stealing' their waves and decided to print stickers simply saying 'Blame Laird' and posting them around Southern California. They were blaming Laird for re-introducing SUP to the surf again. Laird saw the positive in these stickers and now produces and sells them himself. What an amazing compliment to be blamed for re-igniting a sport that means so much to so many people.

Check out Laird's Website full of information of his influence on SUP today.


SUP Today

SUP has taken the world by storm. Today stand up has evolved into many different varieties of paddle boarding, not just surfing.

Events all over the USA and parts of Europe have been introducing SUP into their competitions over the past 12 years or so. The "Buffalo Big Board Contest" had an overwhelming response, with many of Hawaii's elite waterman and past world champion surfers taking part in the event.

Over here in the UK there has been some amazing achievements accomplished.

Our very own Mr Anthony Ing has been pushing the boundaries of White water SUP and has been doing so over the world, venturing into California and Oregon and Europe.

New stand up paddle boarding competitions have started up each year around the UK. In 2008 the worlds first national stand up paddle surfing and racing series took place, appointing national champions at the end of the season. Events were held at West Wittering, Gwithian Beach, Isle of Wight and Newgale. The events are becoming ever increasingly popular each year.

This year we are hosting the second year of the White Water SUP Fest North Wales! The event is a chance to gather like minded white water SUPer’s together to paddle the white stuff!

Not forgetting that people of all ages enjoy the freedom of stand up paddling over the UK every day!