Monday, July 23, 2012

Paddle Boarding (SUP) at Pohick Bay

Experience the Hottest New Trend on the Water

Have you seen those people standing on surf boards and paddling with a long handled paddle? Maybe you have seen pictures of movie stars paddle boarding or seen them at the beach this summer? Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is the newest thing in paddle sports and is growing fast. Now you can try it out locally.

Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton Virginia is the only public park in Virginia that rents paddle boards. So now for the same price as renting a canoe or kayak for an hour you can try this exciting new sport. The boat rental operations are open from 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. on weekends and holidays until October 8, 2012.

“Over the last 10-15 years kayaking has grown rapidly in popularity and they are still our most popular boats to rent. Paddle Boards may be a similar trend in the future with more and more people becoming familiar with them,” remarked Paul Gilbert, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. “I hope many people take advantage of the great opportunity to rent on and give it a try. The first time you get on one of these it is a little wobbly, but after a little practice it gets easier,” continued Gilbert.

For residents of Fairfax, Arlington or Loudoun Counties or the Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church or Fairfax it is just $8.50 per hour including paddleboard, paddle, and life vest. For residents of all other jurisdictions it is $9.50 per hour. Canoes and Kayaks are available at Pohick Bay Regional Park for the same prices.

Pohick Bay Regional Park is located off U.S. Route 1 on Gunston Road. The address is 6501 Pohick Bay Drive Lorton, VA 22079.

History of Paddle Boarding from Wikipedia:

The popularity of the modern sport of SUP'ing has its origin in the Hawaiian Islands. In the early 1960s, the beach boys of Waikiki would stand on their long boards, and paddle out with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. This is where the term "beach boy surfing", another name for Stand Up Paddle Surfing, originates.[1]

The sport benefits athletes with a strong "core" workout. 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 there is easy access to safe waters, as well as in the surfing lineups of the world. Another reason for the rise in popularity of stand up paddleboarding is that, unlike surfing, paddleboarding is very easy to learn. Within one hour you can become very comfortable in the water and on your board. Stand up paddleboarding is also more popular with women because of their lower center of gravity, women are often more skilled at paddleboarding than men.[2]

Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama re-introduced the ancient sport of paddle surfing to the modern water sports world. The first "modern" surfer to bring Stand Up Paddle Surfing out of Hawaii and to the mainland United States was Vietnam veteran Rick Thomas. [3]

Custom surf shaper Jimmy Lewis, created one of the first modern production boards, the All Around.

Surfers have converted because of the versatility of the new sport. Stand up paddle boarding offers surfers the ability to catch more waves in a set, as well as offering a better view of incoming sets.

River SUP'ing is gaining popularity in the boating community due to the skill and agility required to navigate rapids and obstacles.

Stand up paddle surfing is now the fastest growing water surf activity because it allows a wider range of athletic types to get involved and SUP surfers need not schedule around high and low tides[4]