Monday, March 17, 2008

Are Women & Families the Future of SUP?

Photos of sleek watermen charging down overhead waves dominate the photo galleries on most stand up paddle sites. Though standup paddling originated with the ancient Hawaiians, stand up paddling (or SUP) was re-invented and popularized during the past decade by Laird Hamilton and his compadres. Riding 50' waves and paddling across the English Channel, Laird got SUP into the minds of other watermen and women. Despite his amazing accomplishments, unless a person follows surfing, most people didn't know stand up paddle boarding was anything other than another form of macho surfing until last August when actress Jennifer Aniston caught the camera lens while stand up paddling in Hawaii.

For standup paddling to really grow, the word needs to get out that Flat water SUP stand up paddle boarding is fun, easy and a great sport for women, kids, and ordinary guys whose first thought when hearing the term "six-pack" is a cold beer. Stand up paddling isn't just a sport for the macho elite athlete. Put the board on flat water and SUP is so easy that most people can learn in less than 20 minutes. And with the move to flat water, anyone near a lake or navigable river can stand up paddle. New paddles and boards out this season that is especially user-friendly for women.

Not only is Stand up paddling gear simple and elegant, the sport is pretty detail-free. Strap the board on top of the car, tuck the paddle between the seats and head to the water's edge.

Most women with families are constantly running a mental multi-tasking list that would stun a NASA project manager. Food, beverages, sunscreen, towels, first-aid supplies, extra clothes and bathroom breaks are just a few things on the mind of any parent trying to get the family out the door and onto the water. With very little extra effort and (after production) no extra fossil fuel, a few SUP paddle boards in the garage give families and friends the opportunity to play together on flat water waterways around the country.

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