Hello, I am Derek. I am SUP and surf instructor at the OTRO MODO Surfschool in Morro Jable.
While SUP (stand up paddling) the surfer stands on a special surfboard with a lot of volume and paddles with a large paddle, similar to canoeing. As the paddle allows the surfer to accelerate the board and to maintain speed in weak waves, it's easy to stay longer on the wave.
Since a few years, SUP surfing grows fast and SUP surfers are not only seen on the sea, but also on many rivers and lakes. The smooth and steady paddling in an upright position is a healthy whole-body-training in nature, which strengthens arms, shoulders, back, abdomen and legs.
First SUP surfers were Polynesian fishermen, who stand in their canoes while navigating in the waters off the Tahitian coast. Even today, small bamboo rafts are seen in Indonesia, where fishermen are moving forward with the help of rods and paddles.
In the last century Hawaiian surf teachers used SUP surfing to get a better view on their students. The large board was comfortable, easy to maneuver between the reefs and offered space and stability to take photos of their surf students. Since a few years, SUP has become a recognized sport with various disciplines, such as stand up paddle surfing and distance stand up paddling.