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Home > Magazine > River > SUP: Now HUGE but still no canoes...

SUP: Now HUGE but still no canoes...
January 30, 2010

That's Jennifer Aniston doing "Stand Up Paddling." So you know it's big.

SUP has a buncha websites, companies, races...and its own magazine.

Lots people do it on flatwater for exercise. They use windsurfer boards. (There's a guy who does it on our local lake.)

But I've yet to see any mention of people doing it in a CANOE.

Yet that's the first way I ever thought to do it.

Heck, there's even a style of SUP called "canoe" -- where you sit on your surfboard and use a standard, short canoe paddle. C'mon, people! Think outside the box!

They talk about how it's simple and doesn't require much special equipment. Hello? I know there are lots of old windsurfer boards around but there are even MORE canoes out there!

OK, the basics are that people do SUP on boards to make it easier to catch smaller waves and for a workout. It also offers a nice view of the water -- while standing up you can easily look around and see down into the water -- many times better than while sitting down.

Why do I use a canoe? Coz that's what I got!

But the details are:

*It's, likewise, a great workout.

*A canoe handles great -- that is, it runs true, is fast and has lots of carry. Sure, they're heavy and don't spin on a dime. And so far I'm no good at surfing in my canoe, but we have mostly flatwater around here anyway, so no loss.

*Like poling, it's a great break from regular paddling and for a great view of the water and the riverbank and land beyond (when sitting in a canoe you're largely blind to a lot of river terrain -- in fact, if you want to scout a stretch river ahead of you, you often stand up to get a view). It's just for deeper water than my pole can handle.

*A canoe can be a VERY handy thing. Worldclass handy, in fact. People can EASILY ride in them. High'n'dry. They're great for carrying stuff. --Far better than a board can carry anything, of course. I carry my regular paddle, pole and SUP paddle, plus picnic stuff -- cinchy.

*A canoe can easily be darn fast. To get a fast SUP board, you likely have to get a special one -- a couple guys are making race SUP boards.

*Lastly, canoes are SUPER COMMON. (I suppose windsurfer boards are darn common, too.)

I'm still curious if one should be able to handle waves or surf while doing SUP in a canoe -- the hull shape of many canoes is somewhat similar to a board shape -- flattish -- or, it's a cross between a regular SUP board and a deeper, rounder racing SUP board shape -- can they surf and handle waves with the racing SUPs? But so far there aren't any comparison datapoints out there.

My neighbor George Stockman (an original WW racing wildman) and I seem to be the only folks trying this in canoes. Crazy!

--JP

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