Stand Up and Paddle in DC

Stand Up and Paddle in DC

Stand Up Paddleboard, sport, fitness, exercise, Washington DC, NewsWe may be a little behind those beachside cities, but stand up paddleboarding has hit the capital, and last weekend’s Paddle for Humanity race proved that in droves.

Stand up paddleboarding or SUP was invented in Hawaii by surfers who still wanted to work out when the waves weren’t up to much. Enabling long distances to be covered whilst providing an intense core workout, SUP is an exercise pretty much anyone can do.

The Watermans Paddle for Humanity race series took place last weekend, drawing over 200 competitors all armed with paddleboards. But when the location was announced last year, event director Pete Stirling was sceptical, “We didn’t know if anyone paddled there. We just wanted to see if we could do it on thePotomac.” But luckily, the word of paddleboarding has spread around the world and indeed to Washington DC too.

Not only do several boathouses in the DC area now rent out SUP equipment, but businesses are adding the elements of speed and fitness too.

“Racing is starting to explode. Everybody wants to train for distance,” states Kathy Summers, founder of Stand Up Paddle DC.

Suffering an injury in 2009, Summers could no longer run as she used to, and so got into paddleboarding off the back of that.

The fact that SUP is a sport many from all backgrounds can enjoy is part of its appeal, as Summers explains, “If you can stand and walk, you can do it.”

Providing a great workout, Summers plans to launch PaddleFit next year, a bootcamp based on the exercise system devised by fitness instructor Brody Welte who is currently developing boards for indoor and land use.

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