Stand-up Paddling Reaches America's Lakes and Rivers



A relatively new form of recreation that originated in Hawaii is now spreading to the lakes of mid-America.  At ocean beaches, the stand-up position offers the participant a better view of incoming swells, and on lakes and rivers it allows a modified surfboard to be propelled across relatively calm water.
Equipment-wise, the paddle is similar to those used for a canoe but much longer, about the length of a person's height plus a fully extended arm. The specially designed boards are wide, very stable and equipped with a rear fin. The trick is finding the sweet spot in the middle where one can stand comfortably, with weight evenly distributed on both feet.  [SUP board] prices range from $800 to $1,500 with styles varying by materials and weight. Paddles cost from $100 to $400.

The SUP joins a long line of inflated shoes, modified bicycles, and other devices designed to allow a person to "walk on water."   Local regulations may require a personal flotation device to be worn or carried on the board.

Link.  Image: Bill Ebbesen.

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I totally agree with Vonskippy. I remember "mountainbiking" long before anyone ever heard the term. We would find bikes on the garbage, fix them and put tires with good tread on them, then ride em through the woods. Many of these were old ten speeds. I couldn't believe the price when I first went to buy a mountainbike!
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I went kayaking at a bay in Newport Beach, California a few weeks ago and saw two people doing this.

I thought it was just something the local surfers did to get to the open ocean rather than having to walk or drive there with their surfboards. I didn't think it was a form of recreation in and of itself (though it did look fun)! Interesting.
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My buddy and I converted a couple of big wide light air sailboards into paddle boards with some added traction pads on the decks. It's really a cheap way to get into the sport and much better than spending $1000+ before you know if you'll like it or not. So now if the wind dies we put our sails away and paddle for a little while. If I'm spending the day on the lake when it's not windy i'd much rather Kayak though.

p.s carbon paddles are worth every penny.
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The people who first did this didn't have special stand-up paddle board and corresponding paddles made specifically for that purpose. They had an old longboard and a canoe paddle and had fun with that. But you can't sell people old longboards and old canoe paddles and make money. You need to find a niche, and there you go. It's not wrong, it's just how marketing works.

If you're so against it, go out in a canoe and stand in it instead of sitting, same effect.
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Vonskippy has it right.
When I was in middle school I would take my shoes off to run barefoot on the track. Then the whole Zola Budd/Mary Decker put an end to that.
Now you can buy fancy overpriced sneaks to run "barefoot" because that is the trend at the mo.
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