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Stand Up Paddle Boarding: New Eco Fun in the Water
Health & Beauty

Stand Up Paddle Boarding: New Eco Fun in the Water

stand up paddle boarding (SUP) in Sea Isle, NJHappy Shark Week! To continue in the aquatic tradition of this week, we’ll explore a few activities you can do in the H20! (Plus, Shark Week mentions some encounters of Sharks with Paddle Boarders…)

For Family Beach Week 2012, I was itching to do something athletic & aquatic… My bike on the boardwalk could only get me so far mentally. Since it’s important to support sustainable tourism where you can to prove that animals are worth more money alive than dead, I was psyched when my cousin asked me to join her in Stand Up Paddle board Lessons.

What is Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP), is a new craze where one stands on a buoyant, wide surfboard and use a paddle similar to kayaks. Paddle boarding can be relaxed (on a calm body of water) or more adventurous in the ocean. Plus, you’ll work out your back, shoulders, legs, arms & more. (There’s even Paddle Boarding Yoga for those who want an aquatic Namaste.)

Stand Up Paddle Boarding at the Jersey Shore

Regardless of a slight hiccup (of signing up for a “Paddle Board Eco Tour” which we really wanted but wasn’t available), the adventure was a lot of fun and a great workout! Local Harbor Outfitters of Sea Isle City, NJ ran a bargain of 2 hours for instructions & surf time for only $40. Beginning with paddle board basics, we learned proper forms and techniques in the water. I was definitely off-balance at first, and we all took turns with spills in the water to cool off. But soon enough, my 2 cousins and I adventured with our knowledgeable instructor out on the Bay.

Starting to Stand Up Paddle Board in the bay!
Learning the ropes of Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Harbor Outfitters in Sea Isle!

Going out to the bay, the water was relatively calm and easy to paddle. Given our recent initiative, I was upset at one point when I saw a plastic bag floating in the water (and therefore, fell into the bay as a result). After paddling a decent distance, we returned to the dock with rougher waters. This was the most challenging (and best) part of the workout!

Is Stand Up Paddle Boarding Sustainable?

One could argue that paddle boarding itself isn’t a sustainable activity if you add up constructing materials (boards/paddles) on top of humans interfering with a natural habitat. However, outdoor activities like this are great for the environment and ocean (and renting is reusing boards!).  The more people who get out and experience nature, the more people will care about their actions (especially when you see trash in a pristine area). Getting yourself (or anyone) to reconnect with nature reminds us of what’s out ‘there’, besides the city and ourselves.

Green Stand Up Paddle Boards

Want to turn paddle boarding into a hobby? Companies like Everpaddle are committed to constructing eco-friendly surfboards and paddles. Paddleboard Direct mentions there are two aspects of sustainable boards – the factory and durability of the construction. Cruiser ECO ACS and ECO COMP boards are made with no-toxic materials, zero emissions & little waste material (having waste recycled at the factory instead).  These boards also are durable, so you won’t have to replace a ‘cheap’ board. (Note: I didn’t reach out to companies for details on construction besides what was on their websites. If you’re serious about purchasing and want to find the best eco-friendly paddle board, I’d recommend asking about materials used in the boards.)

Readers, have you tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

1 thought on “Stand Up Paddle Boarding: New Eco Fun in the Water

  1. Does this mean we’ll be seeing you out on the lake at Marsh Creek State Park? More and more paddle boarders out there all the time.

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