- $42 for an 8-hour stand-up paddleboard rental ($60 value)
Standup Paddleboarding: A Hawaiian Hybrid
Standup paddleboards have become more and more common on the waters of the world—learn where they came from with Groupon’s exploration.
Though standup 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…hold[s] 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.