About Standup Paddle (SUP)

I remember my first trip to Oahu – Waikiki and the long, gentle rollers at Queen’s Surf – one of the oldest & most famous surf spots in the world. I remember seeing some of the older Hawaiian beach boy surfers stroking out on their bigboards standing straight up with a paddle in their hands.

I haven’t forgotten that image. They just looked so kingly, so confident & so relaxed.

Flash forward twenty years later & I’m watching the king of surfing, Laird Hamilton, standup paddle into a 20-foot beast of a wave at Teahupo, Tahiti… or Robbie Naish cruising blissfully down the canal in beautiful Venice, Italy… or Skip Brown shooting the standing curls of the mighty Potomac.

There is no one word to define standup paddle – the fastest growing watersport in the world.

Perhaps “unique” would be best. Or maybe the word is “kingly” (“queenly” for you gals). The act of paddling a smoothstable surfboard – standing tall & proud – down a body of water is a feeling like no other. It’s unique in every aspect.

Perhaps the best word to describe SUP is versatile (or adaptable). You can standup paddle in any body of water – on waves, down rapids, or as we do right here in Richmond on the upper James River, cruising the flat water. I can’t think of a sport that gets more good things going for you.

  • It’s easy.
  • It’s fun.
  • It’s natural – water, fresh air, trees, birds, fish, otters… its all there.
  • It’s relaxing (unless you’re challenging the waves or rapids for the first time on an SUP).
  • It’s beautiful working out your strokes as you watch the sun rise or set on the water – or just kicking back, working on your tan.
  • It’s a great workout from top to bottom. You probably won’t feel it right away because of all the fun you’re having, but do it for any amount of time & you’ll notice changes.

I’m a surfer, paddler & fitness instructor who has found a way to enjoy a fitter lifestyle on the water. Come see see for yourself. Come paddle with us on the James.