Sapsurfing (Stand Up Paddle (SUP) – standing with an oar) is a water sport discipline in which long-distance competitions are organized using a board (slightly longer and wider than for ordinary surfing) and a one-blade paddle. Racing is carried out on vast expanses of water: the coast of the sea or ocean, lake, full-flowing river.
The Initial Sapsurfing
The homeland of this sport (Ku hoe he’e nalu) is considered the Hawaiian Islands. Europeans in 1778 described how Hawaiians on oar boards go out to the “big” water. They could silently get to the territory of the enemy, and the paddle pointed at the top was used as a spear or fishing harpoon.
In the middle of the 20th century, amateurs and journalists “went out” to take photographs from the water of athletes training or tourists trying to master surfing.
Like a true Hawaiian, Duke Kahanamoku instilled a love for surfers in sappboarding. He always began to exit, standing on the board, and not sitting, like many. Paddle boarding (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) has become popular and thanks to fans of surfing: Rick and Deborah Thomas, Brian Keaulanu, Archie Kalepu. At first, they struggled with calm during training, and then the lesson acquired a separate kind of entertainment.
New sports discipline
The very first professional athletes were Dave Kalama and Laird John Hamilton. On their initiative, competitions began in Hawaii since 2003.
Since the founding of the California SUP Surf Federation (2005), discipline has spread across all continents. The Ta-Hoe Nalu Paddle Festival is systematically held in California on Lake Shore. Tahoe, and the beginning of it was laid down by the competition of sapboarding, which took place on 08.08.2007. Racing arranged 34 participants at a 7-mile distance.
In the summer of 2007, enthusiasts of a new sport “SUP surfing” organized their own publication. For the first time, the Standup Journal was published in March 2008.
In 2016, there are already several subspecies of sapsurfing:
• SUP racing – traditional saversurfing, racing;
• downwind (tailwind) – transitions between islands, crossing channels;
• Recreational SUP – sports and recreational surfing;
• White Water SUP – the passage of mountain rivers.
Whatever kind of sport a person is engaged in, positive emotions are ensured for him.
Previously, only wood was used to create the board and oars. The new millennium has brought new manufacturing technologies using modern materials. Now you can find both classic equipment and new items – inflatable boards.
The standard sizes are:
• sappboard: length – from 2.4 m to 4.5 m, width starts from 65 cm and reaches 100 cm;
• paddle: length – 1.6 m – 2.2 m, diameter is 2.5 cm – 3.25 cm.
When choosing equipment should adhere to certain standards. The length of the oar should be equal to the growth of the rower + 20 cm of the reserve, the length of the safety leash (leash: fastened at one end to the ankle of the rower, and the other to the sappboard) should exceed the length of the board by 30 cm. The protective suit should be selected accordingly to the subsurface. For sports competitions and outdoor activities, smaller boards are suitable, and for more relaxed activities, people choose the maximum board sizes – they are much more stable.
Outdoor activities and more
Surfing with a paddle while standing on a board is a type of outdoor activity and is applicable not only in sports. Some catch the waves, others resist the current, conquering the rapids, others simply explore new places, quietly moving along the coast, or go fishing. Many people practice meditation or yoga in the middle of the pond, sitting on a board for sapsurfing. Everyone can find in water entertainment their attractive zest. In addition, such loads positively affect the physical and psychological health of a person.