Globe & Mail Article on Stand Up Paddleboarding

Here’s an article from the Thursday July 23rd issue of the Globe and Mail.

Pretty thorough article that features Colin Kearns from Island Longboards and Deep Cove SUP instructor Adam Cole…

It’s a warm, almost sultry evening in Deep Cove, a placid inlet tucked into the forest-bearded mountainside of Vancouver’s north shore. All kinds of self-propelled watercraft and paddles lie scattered on the beach: pastel-coloured sea kayaks, Clipper canoes and, stacked along the seawall, four new Starboard surfboards. A curious sight since the closest rideable wave is likely in Tofino, a six-hour drive away.

But these are “stand up paddle” surfboards, the latest summer toy. While catching a good wave certainly makes the emerging sport more fun, lively waters are not essential. SUP, as it’s known, can be done on flat lakes and rivers. And as celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey take up the activity to help maintain their beach bodies, it’s gaining popularity on the West Coast – and even places as unlikely as Edmonton.

Earlier this month, about 200 amateurs and 20 pro paddlers participated in the first International Pro/Am SUP World Cup in Hamburg for more than €15,000 ($23,500) in prize money. Organizers called it “an indicator of what is to come in SUP world.”

The modern sport has its origins in Waikiki, Hawaii: The famed “beach boy” instructors of the 1960s would keep their surf classes organized by standing up on a longboard and paddling from one pod of students to the next. The upright perspective also made it easier to determine where and when a set of waves would break.

But SUP was all but forgotten until about 2002, when pro surfers Laird Hamilton and David Kalama started paddling longboards to stay in shape in still water. Once the surf was up, they found that they could get more rides by standing up and paddling out through the water as opposed to lying prone and stroking with their shoulders and arms.

Now, “the sport appeals to athletes of all ages who want a full body workout,” says Adam Cole, a SUP instructor with Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak in North Vancouver. “It can be as relaxing or as vigorous as you want to make it.” The paddle stroke works arms and abdominal muscles, while standing on the tippy board improves balance.

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