Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is gaining popularity and has health benefits


You might have seen the paparazzi shot of a well-trimmed celebrity standing up on what looks like a surfboard and paddling in some beautiful, exotic location. But you don’t have to be famous or on vacation to enjoy and experience the health benefits of this new fitness trend.

It’s called stand up paddle boarding and is gaining popularity along the Space Coast. If you love the water and a challenge, you’ll be hooked from the beginning. The sport requires balance so it works your core muscles and burns calories- and is sometimes referred to as yoga on water. The gear can be expensive, but there are places that you can rent equipment for as little as $30 an hour. The cost of a board ranges from $700 to $2,000.



















If you’re not ready to brave the ocean, try the calmer waters of a river or lake. Of course this always provides the opportunity to view wildlife like birds, dolphins and manatees. People of all ages can enjoy the sport and it’s easier to master than traditional surfing.

Beginners should start out in calmer waters, free of obstacles like buoys. Try kneeling first, just behind the center of the board. Get your balance, keep your hands on either side of the board to stabilize it, and then stand up one foot at a time- placing your feet where your knees were.  You can expect to fall at least once, so don’t get frustrated.