Posts Tagged ‘Belleair’

What SUP with this water sport?

September 17, 2010

Man with dog SUPs on the intracoastal waterway near Indian Rocks Beach

OK, so I didn’t know this until recently, but maybe you do. SUP, or stand-up paddle surfing (sometimes called stand-up paddle boarding), is all the rage, from West Coast to East, and beyond.

During two recent visits to Indian Rocks Beach, on the West Coast of Florida, we saw SUP’ers. And I just learned that a friend there is dying to get a board. I hope she does, so maybe she’ll let me try it out. She says that with the right board, I’ll be able to stand up on it and paddle. During my two attempts to stand on a surfboard back when I was younger (though not necessarily stronger), I failed miserably, so I’m not convinced.

According to the font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, SUP comes from Hawaii, where it’s called hoe he’e nalu, an ancient form of surfing. Stand-up paddling gives paddlers a major “core” workout (move over, Pilates) while also working every muscle in your body. Yikes! It’s a tame sport, unless you do it in the waves.

Stand-up paddler in the Gulf of Mexico after a colorful sunset

SUP’ing is becoming popular at water resorts and surfing areas around the world, thanks in huge part to celebrities trying out the sport. (If only I’d been reading “Us” I would have known this earlier.) Like who? Well, Jennifer Aniston for one, and isn’t that all the American public needs to know?

In July, we saw a  stand-up paddler out in the Gulf. And last week, while we were kayaking in the intracoastal waterway between Indian Rocks and Belleair, we came upon a man SUP’ing with his dog! Too cute. We were happy to see the canine wearing a PFD. We assume he knows how to doggie paddle as well.

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