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Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Home > Melbourne > Sport
by Lisa Williams (subscribe)
Freelance journalist? Guilty. Adventure, food, people and performing are my passions.
Published February 9th 2011
Image by Bill Ebbesen
Image by Bill Ebbesen


Several weeks ago I stood on the shore of St Kilda beach and watched a lone fella paddle his way around the pier on a long board, though this was no surfer. He stood upright, gripping a kayak-like paddle, and moved effortlessly over ripples of water like a Venetian gondola guide, minus the singing.

After some basic research, what I deemed to be an odd form of pre-season footy training, I now realise what's becoming a wide-spread phenomenon - Stand Up Paddle boarding has established itself in Melbourne.

Originating from Hawaii in the 1950s, SUP, aka Supping, provided a way for surfers to better scope the next big waves rolling in. It also gave instructors a broader view of their students.

Nowadays, SUP is recognised as its own sport altogether.

Due to its low impact nature, SUP accommodates all skill levels: treat it as a training session and work up quite a sweat, or take it at a leisurely pace. It's up to you.

There's also the possibility of paddling alongside all kinds of marine life, including dolphins, penguins, fish and rays.

So whether it's for increasing fitness, to get a closer look at what's happening below the water line, or as a team-building challenge for work colleagues, why not try it for yourself?

Several clubs operate in Melbourne and along the Mornington Peninsula, offering lessons, tours, and general gear hire (around $25 per hour). Stand Up Paddle Boarding St Kilda even run night tours.

Just remember to slip, slop, slap if this looks like something you want to try during the day. And if it gets too hot on deck, you can always take a dip in the deep blue.
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Why? Challenge your fitness, and enjoy the water from a new perspective.
When: Any time you like
Where: St Kilda, Sorrento, the Yarra River
Cost: $25/hr to hire - $90 for a private lesson
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