SUP History

The History of SUP

Stand up paddle boarding is part of the Polynesian waterman legacy, popularized as a sport in the early 1960s. Called “Beach Boy Surfing,” it made its way into the mainstream through the Beach Boys of Waikiki, who used outrigger canoe paddles to maneuver and balance their longboards as they snapped pictures of tourists learning to surf.

The recent resurgence of traditional surfing brought SUP out of a decades’ long hibernation. It has been embraced by everyone from big wave surfers like Laird Hamilton, who use it to tone for the massive waves of tow-in surfing, to celebrities and supermodels.

Thanks to its easy learning curve — and the ability to SUP regardless of waves — the sport has also gained a huge following in places with lackluster surf and in the ponds, rivers, and lakes of landlocked locales.