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Reviewed February 4, 2016
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What You'll Get
Choose Between Two Options
- C$35 for 90-minutes of Stand Up Paddleboard lesson for one (C$75 value)
- C$69 for 90-minutes of Stand Up Paddleboard lesson for two (C$150 value)
Standup Paddleboarding: A Hawaiian Hybrid
Stand up paddleboards have become more and more common on the waters of the world—learn where they came from with Groupon’s exploration.
Though stand up paddleboarding’s (SUP) origins are often traced to ancient Hawaii, author and surfer Bonnie Tsui notes in the New York Times that it can be attributed to the Waikiki beach boys who used “canoe paddles with surfboards in the 1960s, as a way to keep an eye on their tourist charges.” The beach boys were a group of Hawaiian watermen who served as surfing instructors and canoe guides at Waikiki’s hotels when Hawaii fielded its first influx of international tourists at the turn of the century. Though popular in Hawaii, standup paddleboarding did not experience global recognition until the 2000s, when surfing legends Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama began practicing and promoting SUP.
The Wall Street Journal credits SUP’s increasing popularity with the fitness community to the fact that “like yoga, standing on a board requires basic balancing abilities, which in turn strengthen and tone any and all muscles used to stay in position.” While nascent SUPers should opt for wider, longer boards as they’re starting out, Tsui notes that “the ‘anyone can do it’ maxim…holds true” for SUP, thanks to the sport’s adjustable pace, relatively stable boards, and ability to be practiced on flat, wave-free waters. The sport’s pros advise that, once on the water, beginners should assume and paddle from a kneeling position before standing up to ensure stability. Once standing, boarders can take the paddleboarding stance with feet parallel and hip-width apart, toes forward, head and shoulders upright, and gaze level with the horizon.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires 270 days after purchase. Amount paid never expires. Must sign waiver. Subject to weather. Reservation required. Merchant's standard cancellation policy applies (any fees not to exceed Groupon price). Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Valid only for option purchased. 24-hr cancellation notice required. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
How long does it take to strike out on a paddleboard of your own? According to LondonSUP, most newbies are at home on the water after just 60 minutes. During lessons, instructors help students to find the "sweet spot" on their board, which is the place where they can balance most steadily while eating an entire chocolate cake. Groups then practice basics like proper stance, safety techniques, and correct use of a paddle, including different paddling methods for navigating smooth or choppy waters. Once they've mastered the basics, they can set off with rented boards to explore the surrounding waterways with family and friends. The aquatic environment makes for a fun, safe workout, strengthening the core and arm muscles and helping to improve balance.