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What does SUP mean?

Jenny Buckley |

If you search: ‘What does SUP mean?’ on the internet you will get a ton of varied definitions. We have collected a few below…

‘SUP means What’s Up?’ Source: Internet Slang

SUP: ‘take or drink in swallows or gulps’ Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

But, we are more familiar with a different definition of SUP. We know SUP is an acronym for ‘Stand Up Paddleboard’ or ‘Stand up paddleboarding’. 

What is Stand up paddle boarding?

So now we have answered the question: ‘What does SUP mean?’ Let’s talk about what stand up paddle boarding is. Paddleboarding is an offshoot of surfing and originated from the land of surfing and ‘sup’ dudes, Hawaii. Unlike in surfing where you ride waves by balancing on a board, paddleboarders use a paddle to propel themselves through the water.

The history of Stand up paddleboarding

Have you ever wondered where stand up paddle boarding came from? We have, and we decided to find out. It doesn’t look like anyone knows for certain who established this amazing sport but there are a few ideas about, so here is a brief history of the SUP.

Some claims for the creation of the paddleboard date back to the ancient Egyptian times, and World Surfing champion Felipe Pomar declares that his ancestors in Peru were stand up paddling for fishing purposes over 2,000 years ago. It is also argued that SUPing started in Africa where warriors carried out attacks by paddling stood up on their canoes, whereas many insist that it was the Waikiki beach boys from Hawaii that started it.

Although it seems that there have been different versions of the stand-up paddleboard all over the world throughout history, it seems to be that the Hawaiian adaptation of stand-up paddleboarding is the version we have today, the one that is used as a sport.

It is thought that SUPing began there in the 16th century where surfers would use a paddle to handle large, unmanageable boards. In the 1940s surfing instructors would stand on their boards to have a better chance of seeing incoming swells. Beach Boy Surfing was introduced in the 1990s and the craze took off from there.

And here we are. A brief history of the SUP and stand-up paddleboarding is now one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK, and we stock them here at Bluefin

Can I SUP?

Now you know ‘what does SUP mean?’, what it is and where it originated from, the question is: Can you SUP? The answer is yes! Head to our Which Board page to find out which SUP is right for you.