Stand up Paddling can be interpreted in many ways as there have been recordings of people stand up on a floating device moving forward with a paddle, dating way back… Let’s check them out chronically
3000 BC Apparently the Peruvian fisherman paddled on their knee and stood up when they caught a wave (archaeologically evidenced from pottery shards). Board made from reed and were called TUP (pretty close to SUP!)
1275 BC Egyptian pharaoh’s daughter Queen Bithia
The Bible and Midrash assert that she was the foster mother of Moses, having drawn him from the Nile and bestowed upon him his name (Exodus 2:10). Apparently she was standing up so she had a better view to spot the baby prophet and future Savior of the Jews.
400-900 AD Polynesians develop stand-up surfing as a recreational/ cultural practice. Apparently only the king was allowed to ride the expensive long boards (the olo) on which it was possible to stand up! Common Hawaiians rode cheaper shorter boards, described around 1850
500 AD China river drifting. Apperently first time sigthing of a Monk on a reed crossing the river, later on followed by what is now a cultural sport in China single bamboo drifting. 13ft bamboo poles.
800 AD -1300 AD Hasake. this is a board-boat hybrid of the Stand-up Paddle (SUP) Board family, with alleged Israeli and Arabic roots, possibly dating back to as far as the 8th century A.D. The Hasake was used primarily for fishing. At 10’x42’’x5’’ this thing comes pretty close to a now-a.days SUP
1200 Burma, Inle Lake one-legged paddling fishermen. Stand up on one leg and paddle with your leg around your paddle. A must try for summer 2017?
1712 Report from the Gold Coast of West Africa by Frenchman Jean Barbot describing recreational playing in the waves amongst other with boats with paddles.
1769 Matavai Bay, Tahiti recreational surf riding described by Joseph Banks (member of James Cook’s first Pacific expedition). Mark Twain writes about recreational surfing in Polynesia in 1860.
1869 Mark Twain writes about gondolas in venice
1912 Australia BREAKTHROUGH – instead of all these open canoes a closed hull is made that doesn’t catch water and to be stand on. It’s called the surfski and is made and first rode in Australia.
1939 The SURFSKI gets most known after it has been brought to Hawaii where Duke Kahanamoku rides it, as can be seen in the movie Blue horizon. Wearing a leash to his two-bladed paddle, stand up paddling waves. Watch him on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPnM4ymNj3o
1945 John Zapozocky picks up Stand Up paddling from the Duke and uses single-bladed paddles. Together with Pops AhChoy they continue paddling in the 50’ 60’ and 70’ties.
1995 Laird Hamilton starts experimenting with long 12’ surfboards to ride with his child together and in small surf. Together with Dave Kalama they start using paddles. A renaissance of the DUKE’s stand up paddling.
2001 US brand ULLI uses dropstich-material to create inflatable surfboards. The material was developed by the US Army in cooperation with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to create the the Goodyear Inflatoplane. The US military abandoned the inflatable plane project (nobody wanted to fly an aircraft that could be brought down with a bow and arrow). In 2008 inflatable stand up paddleboards become more and more common.
2002 Laird Hamilton rides a six-foot south swell at Malibu with an American flag on a specifically designed board and paddle (with US flag) for stand up paddling after experimenting and developing the SUP sport since 1996.
Everything that has happened in what is now known as SUP has happened since that day… If you want to read more, we recommend the book from Ben Marcus (Art of Stand up Paddling).