Standup paddle (SUP) boarding has its roots where all board sports have their beginnings; in Hawaii. Known as Hoe he’e nalu, standup paddle surfing actually has ancient roots but became popular in modern times among surf instructors and photographers trying to get a higher vantage point than the surface of the water.
Basically, SUP uses a surf-style board and a long paddle. In that regard, it is a cross between canoeing and surfing. While originally made popular by surfer Laird Hamilton as he used the paddle to help him catch the towing waves found in Hawaii, SUP is not only for surfing any longer. Standup paddling can be done in a variety of forms such as on flat water protected lakes to easy beach paddling, to open water paddling, and all the way to to surfing waves.
In Singapore, Standup Paddling is gaining popularity as we see more and more enthusiasts picking up the sport around the island. It is a great activity for the family, a company of friends and even your pets. This sport is great for everyone of any age group with the feeling akin to walking on water. All you need is to balance yourself on the Stand Up Paddle board and propel yourself across the surface of the water using a paddle.
Apart from having fun, Standup Paddle can also be added to your fitness regime as it works out your core muscles, balancing skills and most importantly, its low impact characteristics are well suited for your joints.
As this sport is gaining popularity, there are also limitations faced by enthusiasts, for example, a suitable venue. Currently, Standup Paddle activities (mini healthy races, training classes, trainings, introduction classes) are done in popular open water sites such as East Coast Park, Pasir Ris Beach and Tanjong Rhu Beach, Sentosa. For new participants, it is encouraged that you learn Standup Paddle in an enclosed water body to gain confidence and skills, with safety equipment such as life jackets and SUP leash attached. ActiveSG together with Outer Quadrant Venture Pte Ltd, is actively introducing Standup Paddle clinics for beginners at various swimming complexes around the island, with one venue being Jurong Swimming Complex.
We are encouraged by the growing numbers of participants and we hope to expand this sports to many other locations such as the reservoirs. Reservoirs are currently active with several water sports activities such as canoeing and dragon boating for the public. Standup Paddling can be a part of this exciting adventure for the public.
This article was contributed by Nur Suhardi Mohamed