PaddleSurf.ca’s goal is to help promote the new sport of Paddle Surfing, also known as Stand Up Paddle Surfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, in Canada.
So What’s Stand Up Paddle Surfing?
Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP) is a derivative of surfing, but where traditional surfers lie prone on their boards and use their arms to paddle around the water, Stand Up Paddleboarders remain standing at all times and use what’s essentially an extra long canoe paddle to move around the lineup on oversize surfboards.
The sport got its start back in the 1950’s when Waikiki Beach surf instructors would use their longboards and paddles to travel around the line-up. The upright position made it a lot easier for them to keep an eye on their students, while also allowing them to bring along cameras to take photos of the action, later selling the images to their students on the beach.
The sport faded for a number of years, only recently being revived by World renown waterman and habitual gear tinkerer Laird Hamilton and his Maui based crew of surfers, who found it to be a great way to cross train for surfing when the waves were flat.
From there, Stand Up Paddle Surfing has become widely regarded as the fastest growing water sport in the World, and for good reason… Where traditional surfing can only be done at beaches with waves present, Stand Up Paddle Surfing can be done almost anywhere there’s water!
With this explosion in popularity of Stand Up Paddle Surfing has come a variety of subcultures and the design and development of specialized equipment. From the exceptionally durable boards specifically designed for whitewater paddling, to long sleek hulls designed for flatwater touring and expeditions, to mini disc shapes designed for optimal wave performance, they’re all helping to boost participation in the sport!
Stand Up Paddle Surfing in Canada
The sport has taken a while longer to catch on here in Canada but I expect this (2010) Summer to be SUP’s breakout year in Canada… Gear is becoming much more widely available through a growing list of retailers, and there are dozens of races scheduled all over the country!
Seeing as we’re located in Vancouver BC the site’s content is primarily focused on flatwater paddling in and around the Lower Mainland. Though we do make a number of trips out to the west coast of Vancouver Island each year to find some real surf, the majority of that time is spent on a quiver of traditional longboards and the SUP’s are usually left at home.
We’re also planning on running a few trips into the Okanagan and across the border to Washington and Oregon, and will be sure to document our travels for our readers here on the site.
Hence, the purpose of this site is not to infringe upon traditional shortboarders’ or longboarders’ territory. Instead, we want to help to grow and promote the sport of stand up paddling to areas where surfing otherwise doesn’t take place like protected ocean areas, rivers, lakes and so forth.
So with that said, enjoy the site and join in the discussion!