About Standup Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUP for short, offers a fun, relaxing way to play on the water while providing a great core workout, as well as increased visibility of your surroundings both above and into the water since you stand at your full height. Given these benefits, it is no wonder why SUP is the fastest growing paddlesport in North America with the most first time participants of any sport in 2013. As SUP has seen massive growth over the last decade, so to have the number of activities using a standup paddle board. From surfing to racing to even yoga, renting a SUP from paddleOKI is fun for everyone. So whether you plan on surfing the waves of Oak Island, North Carolina or exploring the Intracoastal Waterway with friends, standup paddle boarding is a exciting way to experience all of what Oak Island has to offer!

History of SUP

Ancient Times: It seems that stand up paddling in some form or another has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures from Africa to South America used boards, canoes, and other watercraft propelled with a long stick to fish, travel, make war, and even ride waves. For nearly 3,000 years, Peruvian fisherman used a craft with a long bamboo shaft and legend has it that after a day’s fishing they would surf the waves in for fun. But while stand up paddling may have developed in various places around the world, the modern surfing tradition has undeniable Polynesian ancestry. In 1778, Captain James Cook sailed into the Hawaiian Islands and became the first European to witness the Hawaiian people surfing. He’e nalu, as it is called in the native Hawaiian tongue, was done either in canoes or on special, ritually carved boards from the Koa tree. The village chief got the biggest board, sometimes as big as 5 meters long. Because of the size of the board, a paddle was often used to power out and onto the waves.

Modern Day SUP: The modern version of stand up paddleboarding remained a Hawaiian thing until Vietnam veteran, Rick Thomas, brought one back to California in 2004. It caught on instantly with surfers in California, enabling them to paddle farther into the ocean than typical and increased the number of waves a surfer could have in a session. Across the USA, stand up paddlers realized that the “surf” could be taken out of it and recreational and racing SUP were discovered with the first race being held at Lake Tahoe in 2007. Spreading all the way to Europe and Australia in recent years, paddlers have started using stand up boards as a replacement option to the canoe or kayak for their many activities on the water. SUP has had an amazing journey to popularity and after just 7 years from the first SUP store opening in the USA, paddleOKI brought the fun to Oak Island, North Carolina. Offering standup paddle boarding and standup paddle surfing rentals to St. James, Caswell Beach, and Oak Island, paddleOKI delivers the fun to your doorstep!

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