What is Stand Up Paddling?

 SUP is the abbreviation for Stand Up Paddling.

Stand Up Paddling is developing rapidly worldwide and has captivated more and more people in recent years.

When SUPing you stand on a kind of oversized surfboard and paddle with a long paddle. The size of the board ensures a more secure footing than is the case with a normal surfboard.

Water sports are also growing enormously in this country. The great thing about stand-up paddling is that the sport is something for young, old, sporty, unsportsmanlike, small, large, fat and thin.

Stand Up Paddling can be learned quickly and intuitively and everyone can choose their own workout - you decide whether it's fitness training or relaxation in nature.

How did stand up paddling (SUP) evolve?

The history of Stand Up Paddling is controversial. The most plausible explanation is that SUPing originated in the Polynesian archipelago. Since the 17th century, local fishermen have been paddling upright with wooden planks on the water.

Only later did the Hawaiian beach boys use SUP as a pastime on windless and waveless days. Only since around 2004 has Stand Up Paddling become its own real sport.

It quickly turned out that stand-up paddling is an extensive leisure sport that, in addition to mental relaxation in nature, is also an excellent physical full-body workout.

SUP is a great way to train deep muscles and balance. Furthermore, all muscles from the little toe to the fingertips are really required when paddling.

The modern SUP first spread in North America. In the meantime, the sport has also arrived in Europe and Germany.

On all types of water in this country you can see more stand up paddlers than other water sports enthusiasts. Unlike canoeing, kayaking and surfing, stand-up paddling is growing.

SUP has helped the new technologies with inflatable stand up paddling boards to break through in the masses. In contrast to bulky surfboards and kayaks, the inflatable SUP boards can be conveniently transported in a backpack.

With SUP you have what most water sports cannot provide - flexibility and spontaneity. In the beginning there was a mix between paddlers who swore by hard (firm) boards and those who relied on inflatable boards.

Today there is a large number of stand up paddlers who primarily ride on inflatable boards. Their share is around 95% to 99% today. Stand-up paddling has also been properly established as a sport. The range of competitions ranges from individual races to racing series to SUP polo tournaments.

This is how you start SUPing

The best way to start with SUPing is to start simply. I myself learned the basics of Stand Up Paddling (keep balance, paddle stroke, go straight ahead, slow turns) in about 30 minutes.
Other beginners have proudly told me about similarly quick successes. The SUP boards are really built much wider than surfboards and are therefore quite stable.

Of course, you won't learn practice from an internet video or a text about a sport. The main thing is that you just have to get in, which also includes getting wet.

It really doesn't take a lot of time to get on a steep learning curve for stand-up paddling.

You need that for SUPing

For SUPing you need less equipment than for windsurfing. The basic equipment for SUP is not that extensive. And best of all: Everything fits in a backpack.basic equipment

  • The SUP board should be tailored to your needs.
  • The right SUP paddle has the right length, is light and efficiently converts your power into speed.
  • A leash (Haltelein) ensures that your board does not swim away from you.
  • Of course you need an air pump for inflation. A pump is 99% included with the board.


  • A backpack for transport and storage of the board and paddle.
  • A (waterproof) drybag for provisions, drinks and a change of clothes for the tour.
  • A life jacket gives you security in case something happens or you are not an experienced swimmer.
  • A waterproof cell phone case allows you to take your smartphone with you on the tour. But is that what you want?
  • A wall mount for the space-saving and chic storage of your SUP boards.

Where can you SUP?

The USA lake landscapes and many canals in this country offer just as good conditions. This is another reason why stand-up paddling is so popular in USA.

Outlook on the future of SUPing

SUP is growing fast. I can feel that too with my blog. Every season more interested people come to my page. I am very excited to see where the journey will take us.

In terms of speed of innovation, hardly any sport can keep up with stand-up paddling. Apart from the numerous sub-disciplines such as SUP yoga, SUP surfing, SUP polo and SUP windsurfing, there are a number of technical innovations.

Paddlers have always wanted electric pumps, or better yet, self-inflating boards. No problem – now there are both. The motor SUPs are equipped with an electric motor that can accelerate you up to 6 km/h and thus take SUP in a completely different direction.

The really exciting thing about SUP is this high level of dynamics, which is now deeply rooted in the DNA of Stand Up Paddling and always produces new exciting developments.

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