What’s SUP? Standup Paddleboarding Appeals to Adventurers.

Photo: Facebook.com/outsidehiltonhead/

Standup paddleboarding, or SUP-ing, is generally considered to be a new addition to the leisure activity and sporting scene. If the scores of people signing up for Intro to SUP classes with Outside Hilton Head are any reflection, its popularity is continuing to grow among adventurers of any generation.

Interestingly enough, the phenomenon of SUP-ing is by no means a brand-new fad. The origins of standing on a floating board or vessel and propelling oneself with a paddle can be traced back over 3,000 years. Various iterations of this watersport have been documented in a multitude of countries, including China, Peru and Israel.

Even the more contemporary form of standup paddleboarding, where Hawaiian surfers surf on longboards using paddles to maneuver the waves, dates all the way back to the sixteenth century. For many moons, SUP-ing was almost exclusively a surfing discipline, but in the early 2000s, some Hawaiian boarders began unofficially participating in cross-channel racing between the islands. Shortly thereafter, the sport finally made its way to the mainland United States.

By 2007, the concept of SUP-ing on flat-water had exploded on the scene, and the first touring board manufacturer, Tahoe SUP, was born. With the addition of SUP fishing and SUP yoga, this adaptable mode of transportation was well on its way to becoming one of the most popular outdoor activities.

Here in the Lowcountry, our intricate waterways and the tidal saltmarsh environment offer the perfect terrain for SUP-ers of all abilities. Here are a few of the reasons to (pardon the pun) jump on board:

Balance. SUP-ing is a fantastic way to challenge and improve your balance. Most SUP beginners go from wobbly- legged to firm-footed in the course of a 90-minute Intro to SUP class. The most common review heard from new paddleboarders? “I never thought this would be so easy!”

Exercise. Leisurely touring on a SUP burns, on average, 300 to 450 calories an hour. It’s a full-body workout that’s low-to-no impact, making it perfect for all ages.

Stress Reduction. Gliding along with the sensation of walking on water, coupled with the rhythm of paddling, will melt away stress.

Photo: Facebook.com/outsidehiltonhead/

Connect with Nature. Taking a nature tour on a SUP elevates your perspective, allowing you to see wildlife and scenery that may be invisible from a different vessel or from the shore. Standing on the board can also provide a better angle for spotting manatees, bottlenose dolphin and other marine life.

So grab a paddleboard and take a walk on the SUP side. Check out Outside’s Intro to SUP classes at outsidehiltonhead.com, expand your horizons with a guided SUP nature walk or rent some boards and #getoutside in a whole new way.

For more than 30 years, Outside Hilton Head has provided personalized adventures for all ages, from kayak, fishing, nature and dolphin tours to kids’ camps, history excursions, family outings and standup paddleboarding. Don’t miss the guided full moon kayak tour, which explores the salt marsh. 843-686-6996 or outsidehiltonhead.com.