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SUPing/Paddleboarding at Owen Beach At Point Defiance In Tacoma.

On Wensday 22, Backpackers Supply hosted its third Standup Paddleboard ( SUP ) Social, at Owen Beach in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. What is SUP ?

According to Wiki:

Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he'e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. It can be traced back to the early days of Polynesia. The sport is an ancient form of surfing, and began as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of learner surfers, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint, increasing visibility of what was going on around them - such as incoming swell. In the early 1960s, the Beach Boys of Waikiki would SUP to stay in shape when there were no big waves. SUP'ing is popular at warm coastal climates and resorts, and is gaining in popularity as celebrities are sampling the sport, and cross-over athletes are training with SUP. SUPs have been spotted around the globe, anywhere where there is easy access to safe waters, as well as in the surfing lineups of the world.

May be the Pacific NW is not Hawaii and our climate is far away from "warm coastal", but SUP is making its way in our state. More and more folks began SUP surfing because of its own merits: since you have a paddle and aren't reliant on waves, you can paddle surf in lakes, rivers and on relatively flat water such as Puget Sound; you can travel great distances; it's relatively easy to learn, it's a great workout and it's a LOT OF FUN.

Learning how to SUP is as easy as 1-2-3 :
1- start on your knees, use your paddle on both ends
2- lean forward on the board
3- pop up and paddle

This Wednesday, there were about a dozen people giving SUP a try : men, women and even kids ! SUP is truly a family sport.

If learning SUP is relatively easy, getting into this water sport is not that cheap. In general, stand-up paddle surfboards cost between $1,000 and $1,700 + specially designed SUP paddles that go for $ 200 -300.

If you are not ready to make a commitment, the best way to sample this outdoor adventure is to rent a SUP board and see for yourself if it's something you could call a passion.

Like I've mentioned before, SUP is gaining popularity in our state and nowadays there are quite a few shops that have SUP for rent.

"Wave Hounds" in Seattle rents out epoxy SUP at $ 40 per day.

At "Perfect Waves " in Kirkland, you can rent SUP and get a quick 1 hour introduction lesson ( one hour should be all you need to get started and feeling comfortable on the water on your own) for just $ 30 ( great deal !: board + lesson). Also, if you decide to purchase a SUP board, they will give you your lesson fee ( $30) credit towards the purchase of a board, if the purchase is within the same month.

Here is a short video featuring the owner of "Perfect Waves" in action.

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