Stand up paddle (SUP) surfing, stand up paddle boarding, or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he'e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. The sport is a recent form of surfing, and has emerged as a way for surfers to paddle longer distances. Though there are a few examples of someone standing on a float with a pole or oar earlier, stand up paddle surfing really began taking off after 2005. The sport of stand up paddle boarding has, in less than ten years, spread from surf beaches to nearly ever other type of watercourse. Races are held on lakes, large rivers and canals; paddlers navigate river rapids and ride standing waves that are common therein; gliding is the practice of covering long distances along sea coasts, often using tail winds to aid the trip.
Supporters cite the ease of learning as a key to its popularity, with beginners becoming comfortable in as little as an hour of training. Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama developed paddle surfing for the modern water sports world. The first "modern" surfer to bring Stand Up Paddle Surfing out of Hawaii and to the mainland United States was Vietnam veteran Rick Thomas. Custom surf shaper Jimmy Lewis, created one of the first modern production boards, the All Around. Traditional style surfers have converted to stand up paddling because of the versatility of the new sport.
Paddle boarding on rivers is also gaining popularity. Paddleboarders can ride standing waves which are created by the river flow over rocks. The standing waves can be anywhere from ankle high, to head high. The standing wave handles essentially the same as an ocean wave.
We started stand up a few years ago before the sport became increasingly popular in Yellowknife. Because we have so much waterfront access at our disposal, we felt that the sport was perfect for anyone wanting to get out and enjoy our awesome summers.
After two seasons of paddling ourselves, the idea of Old Town Paddle & Co. was born. We want to grow the sport in our community and encourage anyone from families to seniors to fitness fanatics to get on a board and hit the water. Whether you want to jump on a board with your kids, do some recreational racing, try your luck at white-water SUP, or venture out on a long tour, SUP is fun, easy, and great exercise.