Why Surfing & SUP?
Surfing was developed by Polynesians over 3000 years ago and first described in 1779. In Ancient Hawaii, The chief of the tribe was the most skilled surfer in the community. Commoners were not allowed on the same beaches as the ruling class. Surfing was integrated into the culture where individuals would pray to the gods before entering the water for protection and strength to take on the powerful mystifying ocean. Constructing a surfboard was regarded as a spiritual ceremony where mainly the upper class would be aided by the priest in this sacred ritual. In modern day, surfing has become well established as a recreational and professional sport which continues to blend total athleticism and the comprehension of beauty and power of nature. It is one of the few sports which create its own culture and lifestyle.
The benefits of surfing impact body, mind and soul. It promotes health and wellbeing including cardiovascular fitness, along with strength in the core, back shoulders and legs. It is also well known for improving balance and flexibility and leads to increased endurance and energy. Surfing provides an effective outlet for stress and tension and is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy the natural environment. Surfers thrive on the energy of the water; waves of pure energy that have travelled miles to reach a breaking point. There are equally mental benefits of surfing as the 'stoke' reduces stress and often gives surfers a more relaxed attitude about life which is beneficial to their psyche. Today's world is high stress and can be detrimental to our mental health. Physical exercise that allows you to connect with your environment while having fun such as surfing works to offset the negative effects of stress.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
It is difficult to pin point the origin of SUPing as defining exactly what it's style is, can prove controversial. Some forms have been around for thousands of years. In Ancient Africa and South America, communities used boards with long sticks to propel themselves during war, fishing, travel and even to ride waves. Over 3000 years ago Peruvian fishermen used 'Caballitos de Totora', a small craft made of reeds which was propelled by a long bamboo shaft. After a day's work they would surf the waves just for fun. It is possible that this is the true roots of all Stand Up Paddleboarding. In 1940's Duke Kahanamoku and Leroy and Bobby AhChoy would use paddles and let people stand on their boards to get a better view of surfers. Today, Stand Up Paddle Boarding was modernized by John Zapotocky. This ocean and surf lover began surfing with a paddle in 1940 and remains the oldest SUP surfer in the world. In contrast, Stand Up Paddleboarding offers instant appeal and accessibility allowing individuals to freely move about. The sport offers a great core workout as well as increased visibility both above and into the water.
SUPing provides a great, low-impact way to cross train while having fun. Such training on unbalanced surfaces trains new neural coordinations between muscle groups and provides a great way to strengthen multiple muscle groups including core, legs, shoulders, and back. Its cardiovascular implications allow for effective fat burning and muscle toning and SUPing is also known to reduce stress. Tuning into the gentle water movement of the water, watching the light dance on the surface, being in rhythm with the water is a Zen-like activity that can bring a calm awareness to our lives.