There is a new water sport that’s taking the world by storm. A sport that’s accessible, leisurely, and opens a world of activities to those who find most aquatic action sports too difficult or demanding. In Hawaiian it’s called Hoe he’e nalu; or in English, stand up paddle boarding.
This sport has become a popular alternative to some of the more traditional water sports because of its accessibility and teachable ease. Within a relatively short stand up paddle boarding lesson, a novice can soon begin to get the hang of it, able to navigate and control their movement and glide through the water. Also, as strong waves are not a necessity for propelling or navigating the craft, it can be easily adapted to many climates and geography, fueling its booming popularity.
The sport actually began out of convenience of the shores of Hawaii. During the surfing boom in the 60s, surfing instructors and tourists needed a way that they Inflatable paddle board could easily navigate the surf while watching their trainees, taking pictures of competitions, etc. As the practice became more developed, this sport became a smooth method of traveling shorelines. In the past few years, races have popularized stand up paddle boarding into an event in its own right.
The accessibility of stand up paddle boarding lies in the equipment used. With equipment consisting of a hollow constructed board and a long paddle, the paddler simply stands upright on the board and paddles themselves along the surface of the water. The materials used in crafting the board (glass-reinforced plastic, wood, epoxy resin) enable balance and durability that standard surfboards lack. The paddle is long enough to facilitate smooth travel, while light enough to aid maneuverability. Rentals are usually available by boat accessory stores and services to offer the sport without the high initial investment.
As this activity continues to swell in popularity, events are appearing throughout the country and indeed the world. Last year, the world’s first stand up paddle boarding World Series was hosted in O’Ahu, crowning professional water sports athlete, Kai Lenny, as the reigning World Champion. Boat accessory shops across the country are building their stock of paddle board rentals and equipment, as more and more people are inquiring about the sport. Currently, you’d be hard-pressed to find a lake that DOESN’T offer stand up paddle boarding lessons at competitive fees for interested students.