A Brief History of SUP
Stand up paddle boarding, or SUP (“the act of propelling oneself on a floating platform with the help of a paddle or pole”), is the world’s newest water-sport craze. There is evidence, however, of early forms of SUP dating back over 3,000 years and spanning the globe from Peru, China, Israel, and beyond. Modern SUP can trace its early origins to 1960s Hawaii and the Waikiki Beach Boys of Oahu, and pro-surfer Laird Hamilton laid the groundwork for the sport with a well-documented SUP outing on September 12, 2002.
Over the last 17 years, the sport has exploded in popularity and there have been huge advances in equipment and materials design. Today, SUP-based activities include racing, yoga, touring and fishing. There are dozens of board rental companies and guides across the state of Oregon and plenty of social media groups and pages dedicated to sharing best practices and tips on optimal SUP locations around the globe.
SUP in Maupin
The Maupin area is a top choice for SUP aficionados due to the range of water conditions and our sunny, high-desert climate. Pine Hollow Reservoir in nearby Wamic, Oregon is a beautiful flat-water option for newbies to the sport. The Lower Deschutes River offers some calm stretches with slow-moving currents that are great for those with a little more experience. Expert SUPers can tackle the rapids along the Deschutes for an added challenge. Plus, if you want some extra company, you can bring your best fuzzy friend along for the ride.
One of our favorite SUP events is the X-Dog Events’ Pine Hollow Paddle, which takes place on the first Saturday in June. There are five different race events and a celebratory ‘paddle parade’ at the end of the racing day. This event truly is fun for the whole family and beginners are encouraged to participate!
Helpful SUP Information
- SUP For Beginners: REI has a series of articles detailing all that beginners need to know to get started with SUP.
- Class & Rentals (Portland): Travel Portland’s list of SUP classes, SUP yoga, and where to get geared-up in and around the City of Roses.
- SUP in the City: Travel Oregon serves up some of the best SUP sites across the state.
Stand up paddle boarding is a great workout and a fun group activity. With so many places to splash around, why not make this summer your summer of SUP?
Photo: X-Dog Events, Pine Hollow Paddle