As most of you know, SUP or stand up paddling is a big part of my life and I enjoy teaching others and sharing the health benefits of this sport.
Here is an article I wrote for ATHELTA to share my knowledge and enthusiam for how I see the sport shaping the world but more importantly, how it’s getting more people healthy.
I encourage you to read and share how SUP has benefitted your health! Click here to read the full story:
Well, by the overwhelming response and stories I read as one of the judges for the most recent ATHLETA and SIREN SUP contest, one can say that any age, any person can “sweep” their way to better health, just about anywhere there is water. People all across the world are “sweeping” their way to better health and having more fun than they ever imagined. “Sweeping” is a slang term used to describe the sport that is going viral faster than any social networking media and changing the world of sports on any body of water — and just about anyone can hop aboard.
Stand up paddling, paddle surfing, or SUP is helping people of all ages and sizes catch the surfer’s glide, and helping people in all walks of life get fit and healthy, faster and safer. People are simply getting addicted. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the rise in popularity — not just for those, like me, who are fortunate enough to live in Hawaii or California, but anywhere there’s an ocean, lake, bay, or even river rapids, you can find this world phenomenon catching on. There are SUP fitness boot camps and clinics popping up anywhere there is water. You may have noticed more races and events happening in your community too.
Below are some photos of a recent FREE women’s Sup clinic last month, and these gals were wonderful. In the first hour, there were smiles across the ocean and a new found ticket to health. I do these monthly to ensure the health of our community and introduce women and men to a new way to get fit! For “fun” I had the girls attempt a few push ups. They were amazing. On the right is Amy Hampton, the Director of Maui’s American Heart Association, getting her heart pumping!
According to Wikipedia: Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he’e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. The sport is an ancient form of surfing, and began as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of learner surfers, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint, increasing visibility of what was going on around them — such as incoming swell. To begin with, this started with using a one-bladed paddle, whilst standing on a normal length surfboard. The popularity of the modern sport of SUP has its origination in the Hawaiian Islands. In the early 1960s, the Beach Boys of Waikiki would stand on their long boards, and paddle out with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. This is where the term “Beach Boy Surfing”, another name for Stand Up Paddle Surfing, originates.
THE BENEFITS OF SUP
Not only can you lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol and feel more energized after a session, but the overall experience of being on the water is often touted as “aqua therapy.” The benefits of having a sport you enjoy and can do on a regular basis can alter many of the morbidity factors that decrease our health and plague our society.
I use this sport as a cross-training tool for almost all my clients who are comfortable in the water and who can swim. It is low impact on all joints and is also being used to improve balance and core strength for people recovering from serious injuries. I used my stand up paddle board to recover from a serious bilateral leg and ankle accident. I have also witnessed this sport transform people’s lives overnight, by instilling a new found level of confidence and achievement, making them feel invincible!
As a sponsored team SUP rider for Naish International, instructor, and SUP clinic organizer, I love to introduce the sport to everyone who visits Maui, and help others perfect their paddling stroke — from flat water fun to waves, and the really popular coastal long distance down winders we do here on the North Shore of Maui.
But, before you hop aboard, I’d like to offer my professional experience and expert resources about water safety, board and paddle selection, and how to maximize your fun to maximize your health so you can glide into your later years with a smile and healthy body!