A New Craze for Oregon Coast: Stand Up Paddling Makes a Splash
Published 08/10/2015 at 6:05 PM PDT - Updated 08/10/2015 at 6:25 PM PDT
Story and photos by Janice B Gaines-Ehlen
(Nehalem, Oregon) - Stand Up Paddle Boarding, aka SUP, is one of the world's fastest growing recreation water sports. There is good reason for that. It is so user friendly that anyone can learn it and enjoy the sport in less than two hours - essentially immediately. And it is fun and fun counts!
Once you try it, you will understand why it's fun and why it's becoming a bit of a craze.. Basically, you are standing on a giant surfboard and propelling yourself with a paddle.
The origins of Stand Up Paddle Boarding come from Hawaii about 40 years ago as a way for surfing instructors to manage large groups of learner surfers. Standing on the board gives you a better view of what is going on around you such as incoming waves. When standing up you can also see much more clearly down through the surface of the water than you can in a canoe or kayak. The Hawaiian translation is Ku Hoe He'e Nalu - to stand, to paddle, to surf, a wave. However, the history of this sport goes back much further even than Hawaii. It has been documented that Polynesian fisherman going back 1000's of years have used stand up style boats with long paddles to fish and travel with.
The visuals are astonishing: standing on the water and enjoying nature and fitness in a new and easy way. You will paddle in the estuary of the Nehalem River Valley on the North Oregon coast. The river enters Nehalem Bay, just south of Manzanita. You'll also be able to paddle around Nehalem Bay State Park. And it's all about 70 miles west-northwest of Portland.
It's quick and easy to learn the basic SUPing skill, allowing you to be up and paddling in no time. Whatever your age, gender or previous watersport experience, you can do it.
You choose how hard you want to paddle: it is like going for a slow walk, a fast walk, a jog, a run or even a sprint. Your choice.
Wherever there is water you can paddle, allowing you to explore places that most do not see. Standing up on the water gives you an amazing new perspective on the world - and guess what - you can sit down if you want. There are no rules in SUPing.
There are many ways to experience SUPing: in fact, in all seasons. Flatwater is the easiest to learn on, then ocean touring/surfing, and even rivers with rapids. You can even fish off your board or go crabbing.
You'll learn to stand on water, enjoy the outdoors and get some great exercise without knowing it because you are having so much fun.
You will discover hidden treasures on the North Oregon coast that few get to see by land. SUP Manzanita teaches on the flat waters of the Nehalem River and Bay. Located 2 miles south of Manzanita. 503 368-4777. www.supmanzanita.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/supmanzanita
More about the Manzanita, Nehalem area below, and at the Manzanita, Nehalem Bay Virtual Tour, Map.
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