- $100 for $200 use on gear/board (must spend at least $300)
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.
Since its founding in 2008, SUP ATX has helped shift the status of stand-up paddleboarding from "something surfers do en route to huge, far-off waves" to "sport unto itself." Though their online store and showrooms stock plenty of paddles and board accessories, the crown jewel of their stores has always been the boards themselves. Here's how they're made at SUP ATX's factory.
A Stand-Up Paddleboard Is Born
Phase One: The Foam. Belt saws cut giant hunks of EPS, or high-grade foam, into planks.
Phase Two: The Spine. Workers install a balsa wood rocker down the middle of each plank. This adds rigidity to the board, much the same way a solid pepperoni core adds rigidity to pizza.
Phase Three: The Shape. Workers hand-shape the board into a symmetrical, gently oval shape suited for paddling through ocean waves, river waters, and everything in between.
Phase Four: The Color. After applying SUP ATX logos and a coat of color, the team protects the paint with epoxy resin, fiberglass fabric, and another coat of resin. The resin has to set for a full day.
Phase Five: The Final Touches. Workers install add-ons like leash plugs and handles, and sand each board down to its final, dolphin-smooth finish. A final coat of resin gives the board extra shine.