Offering Convenience, Freedom, and More, Standup Paddleboarding Explodes in Popularity

Year after year, getting out onto the water remains a favorite past-time for Americans. While rowboats and canoes are still a couple of the most popular means of doing so, another form of human-powered aquatic transportation has been catching up quickly. Experts predict, in fact, that so-called “stand-up paddleboarding,” or “sup,” is likely to overtake kayaking in popularity within the space of a few short years.

There are good reasons for the growing interest in this relatively new sport. While a kayak pilot sits low on the water and with much of their body ensconced in the craft itself, sup can feel far more liberating. Standing freely atop a stand-up paddleboard, someone enjoying this rapidly growing sport can see farther and lean into every stroke with all of the body’s muscles.

That makes sup a great way of getting exercise and also an especially fulfilling means of enjoying the beauty of the nation’s lakes, ponds, and streams. Even if that was all the sport had to offer, it would likely be a hit with Americans today, but it also provides something even more important in the form of great convenience and accessibility.

While putting a high-performing kayak into the water typically means acquiring a rooftop car rack or a tow-behind trailer, sup is far less demanding. An owner of a common inflatable sup can simply toss a light, compact package into the whatever empty space a personal vehicle might offer, with most such packages even coming with lightweight, integrated pumps.

Once at the desired launching point, all it takes is a few quick minutes of pumping, whether by electrical or manual means, and the sup board will be ready to go. Because sup is a relatively slow-speed sport, a stand-up paddleboard of this kind does not need to include the sleek contours and sharp lines that are common with kayaks and canoes.

This means that even inflatable ones tend to be extremely stable and reliable. In addition to making it easy to really enjoy all that the water has to offer, then, sup paddleboards also make it convenient to get there in the first place.