By Chuck Millsaps
Photo by Bryan Regan http://www.bryanreganphotography.com/
The casual glance suggests the standup paddler is walking on water. A closer look reveals the real miracle of Standup Paddleboard (SUP) to be an intense full body workout while enjoying an exhilarating cruise atop the water with merely a board and paddle. With 70% of the earth’s surface covered in water, SUP can help you find adventure right in your backyard.
Stand Up Paddleboards first hit the surf scene in Hawaii. As the ancient sport gained popularity, folks began designing, shaping and using SUP boards for inland use such as touring, fitness, racing, fishing and general recreation. SUP has spread to the East Coast and is now taking hold here in North Carolina.
The sport strives for the elegance of simplicity. In its purest form, the SUP experience’s most basic ingredients are the Rider, the Board, the Paddle and the Water. Most would also add a water bottle, a belt worn inflatable PFD (to be legal) and perhaps a leash to keep you from getting separated from your board (should you fall off on a windy day). However the basic concept of the sport is very uncomplicated and intuitive.
The nature of the water and mindset of the athlete determines the experience. Whether you are looking for cardio exercise or simple relaxation, the sport is accessible to any inland body of water or the coast. And equally important – it’s just a whole lot of fun. A growing number of athletes are using SUP to support their primary sport thru core and upper body strength training.
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Chuck’s title as Great Outdoor Provision Co.’s Minister of Culture speaks of the company’s effort to serve as curator for the local active outdoor lifestyle. He enjoys connecting folks with places to play and the gear to make the experience the best possible.