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What SUP? – A guide to stand-up paddle boarding on Ibiza

Stand-up paddle boarding is one of the biggest sport trends to hit Ibiza in the past years. The calm sea around Ibiza is the perfect place for anyone from kids to adults to learn this fun activity. Here is our need-to-know guide to get you in the water.

What is SUP?

Stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) is a variation on surfing that has ancient roots. According to some sources, it originated in Africa where it was used by warriors and hunters. The modern sport, not surprisingly, comes from Hawaii. Native Hawaiians used paddles to guide their long, heavy boards. Modern surfers started doing stand-up paddle boarding when the waves weren’t big enough to surf. The sport has exploded in popularity in the past 10 years.

What’s so great about it?

SUP offers a perfect alternative for people who want to explore the sea without a lot of noise, expense or getting tired swimming! It is 100% human powered, so no exhaust fumes or engine trouble. Basic lessons and equipment are inexpensive and readily available. It is suitable for a range of ages and fitness levels, so ideal for families. You can make it either very relaxing, or a tough workout too, depending on how you feel.

What equipment do you need?

The basic gear for SUP is a board, paddle, leash to keep you attached to the board and personal floatation device. This is especially important for kids! Depending on the time of year you might need a wetsuit, but for most of the summer in Ibiza you should be fine in a bathing suit!

What board to I need?

SUPs come in a huge range of shapes and sizes. As a beginner, you want one that is long, broad and flat on the bottom for maximum stability. For example, 3m long x 75cm wide x 10cm thick. The bigger the board, the more stable it will be, giving you a chance to get comfortable on the water. Once you’re confident you can progress to a smaller board that is faster and more agile.

What about the paddle?

Look for one that is 15-20cm taller than you are to give you greater leverage in the water.

Where can I SUP in Ibiza?

Stand-up paddle boarding really took off on the island these last few years. You can find companies that offer lessons and guided paddles all over the island, including Santa Eularia, San Antonio, Talamanca and the north of the island. Check online to find the one nearest you.

Anything else I should know?

SUP isn’t just for drifting around. You can do SUP yoga, race your SUP, or go even go fishing.

About Cila Warncke

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