No, I'm not being clever and asking "What's up?" I am talking about a relatively new activity that is spreading to waterways all over the world: Stand up paddle boarding, or SUP. I figured since I have spent the last couple posts telling people what to eat and such, that it would be nice to give you a fun new sport and activity that a whole family can enjoy.
Standup paddleboarding began in the 1960s in Hawaii as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of students. From a higher point of view the instructors could view oncoming waves as well as take pictures of the tourists. Soon the surfers figured out they could catch more waves and see above a set of waves to catch better ones as well.
The mainland growth of SUP has proven that really all you need is water. Any kind. A river, bayou, ditch, whatever, which bodes well for Louisiania's plethora of different waterways. Throw in a local boy Troy Archer, pushing the sport through free trials of the YOLO BOARD brand and more and more folks are getting out on the water.
I first got on a board 2 years ago at a free demo day Troy did out at the LSU lakes. The great part about YOLO boarding is that there is no real learning curve. A novice can get on and go immediately. Point proven, that first day my then 5 year old son got on one by himself and was soon paddling all over the lake.
Troy got involved innocently enough through his older brother Jeff, who started the YOLO Brand in Northwest Florida in 2005 (www.yoloboard.com). Currently he and Walker Higgins have teamed up to put on Paddlebattle Relays at the LSU lakes, the July version of which had almost 30 3-person teams competing in Male, Female and Co-ed divisions. Everyone from complete beginners to a team that had their own paddles and beat the crud out of all us raced the 2-lap relay.
I bet you were thinking, "I have read this post and so far no telling me I need to go exercise." Well, think no more. SUP is an awesome full body workout that really works the core. In addition, some brave souls do yoga on the boards.
Boards are priced from a YOLO Yak ($595) a great bulletproof board that is super stable and can be used to fish from as well, all the way to the $1895 YOLO Predator Race board, which is long, narrow and wicked fast. I will be soon purchasing a YOLO Original $1395 a great all around board that you can hit a lake, river, or ocean and my kids can still jump up and get after it.
So the next time you see the YOLO Trailer out at Baton Rouge beach, pull over, introduce yourself to Troy or Walker and take a spin. You will soon get it as well.
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