Standup paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. and is gaining more and more traction worldwide. The Sports and Fitness Industry Association found that participation in the sport has increased 120 percent over the three years between 2014 and 2016, and it is estimated there are currently over 3 million paddleboarders. Paddleboard enthusiasts everywhere are using paddleboards for surfing, racing, sightseeing, yoga, and cardiovascular exercise.
People have been paddleboarding for thousands of years in some fashion or another, and while some have been enjoying it for decades, it has really started to grow since 2005. There are all sorts of competitions, festivals, and races planned around paddleboarding, and some people have even speculated that it will one day become a sport in the Summer Olympics.
Paddleboarding is a low impact sport that can be stress-free and relaxing, or it can be rigorous and exciting depending on your preference. Stand up paddle boards (SUPs) are similar to surfboards, but they are longer, thicker, and wider. The sport has properties of both surfing and paddling, and those who participate claim health and fitness benefits along with pure enjoyment. Beginners often use larger boards with a big, round nose and tail because they offer added stability.
The Shark SUPs team scoured the web to learn fun facts about paddleboarding. Here’s what we found!
15 interesting facts about stand-up paddleboarding:
- The U.S. Coast Guard gave SUP boards the classification of ‘vessel’ in 2008.
- Standup Paddleboarding officially became a sport in the 2000s.
- Peter Henry Emerson took the first picture of a man paddleboarding in the UK.
- The longest Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) ride with a man and a dog is 1.05 miles in Brazil on a river bore (wave created from incoming tide).
- Hawaiians refer to standup paddleboarding as Ku Hoe He’e Nalu which translates: to stand, to paddle, to surf, a wave.
- Vladivostok, a major Pacific port city in Russia, is the home to the Guinness world record of the largest parade of standup paddleboards with 844 participants.
- Dugout canoes have been used by African warriors, and their spears were used as paddles, so they could quietly travel into lands of their enemies.
- Versions of standup paddleboards have been used throughout the ages for fishing, travel, and recreation.
- Lifeguards in Tel Aviv have been using standup paddleboards to get a better view of swimmers.
- The largest demographic of standup paddleboarders for men and women is the 35-44-year-old category.
- A South African named Chris Bertish crossed the Atlantic on a standup paddleboard. In just 93 days, he traveled solo from Morocco to Antigua, totaling 4050 nautical miles. He paddled between 12 and 15 hours daily, and it is estimated he used more than 2 million paddle strokes. He lived off freeze-dried meals, and encountered numerous types of sea life, including the deadly types.
- Maui-born Connor Baxter is currently the fastest man in the SUP sport.
- Annabel Anderson, a New Zealand native, is the sports fastest woman.
- Antonio de la Rosa is currently attempting to paddle 2200 km around the Arctic on an 18-foot inflatable standup paddleboard.
- Robert Norman, from Florida, has paddled the most miles in a 24-hour period with a record 111.8 miles.
Why not set your own stand-up paddleboard record. Get there with a Shark SUP!