Stand Up Paddle Lombok

What is Stand Up Paddle & does Kuta, Lombok, offer good SUP options

The history of SUPing

For thousands of years, there have been recordings of water-goers worldwide using wooden paddles to propel themselves along whilst standing on some sort of flotation device, but it comes as no surprise that Stand Up Paddling as a sport seem to be clearly based in the home of surfing, Hawaii. In the mid 1940s, Waikiki lifeguards such as Duke K and the AhChoy Brothers, making up the Beach Boys, would stand on large surfboards to keep an eye on people in the waves, and to get through incoming swells. They then began playing around on them outside of their lifeguard duties. Others followed but it remained fairly unknown until the late 1990s, when the likes of Laird Hamilton and Brian Kahula used them to train when the surf was down. Beach Boy Surfing, as it was then titled, was added to the Buffalo Big Board Contest in 2003, after which a photo of Laird Hamilton cruising on a wave, paddle in hand, was circulated and the modern day boom began. Since then, it has ever increasingly grown in strength and variety to now be fairly widely braced worldwide.

Definition of SUPing

What exactly is Stand Up Paddling or SUPing? Essentially it is a sport or recreation done with a board and paddle. The SUP refers to an oversized surfboard that has enough flotation and stability to allow you to stand up (hence the name). This is used in conjunction with a unique, one ended paddle with an extendable shaft. The differing board designs and shapes leads to the huge appeal of SUPing; it is incredibly versatile; cruising on flat, calm water, surfing on ocean waves, or navigating down river rapids.

Learning to SUP

Stand Up Paddle is appealing to a large array of people beyond just surfers. We make it a family affair - my child and my dog regularly jump on for a excursion round the bay. While it looks, and is, relatively easy, particularly in flat, calm water, you will still find yourself using muscles you didn’t know existed. The simple act of standing and keeping your balance engages your inner core, and your inner thighs, legs and butt get a workout which leads to noticeable toning and definition. Like any sport, a bit of knowledge goes a long way and some basic tuition is highly recommended. An easy 1 hour lesson providing you with a basic understanding of the equipment; the styles as well as the impact of length, width and thickness of boards, as well as how to set the paddle length. Technique is also covered, including the correct posture, keeping your knees slightly bent to maintain balance, and how to correctly paddle, stop and turn. The most common mistake is using the paddle backwards. SUP paddles have a distinct angle from the handle, designed to prevent the paddle from turning into a giant brake.

SUPing in South Lombok

At What Sup? Lombok our boards are designed for all round use in South Lombok; the majority are big enough to learn on, but have a shape which allows you to venture into the smaller surf. We do have a few dedicated surf SUP boards for the more experienced surf SUPer, upon request. While traditional surfing is still definitely the number one sport in Kuta, Lombok, SUPing is becoming more popular, as there are plenty of flat water spots around the area, or on smaller wave days.

Kuta Bay is the obvious first choice for the majority of flat water SUPers, as it offers a huge lagoon of mostly flat, clear blue water. There are a few reef breaks where you can try out a bit of wave SUPing without it being too overwhelming, if you are inclined. The floor bed is reassuringly sandy with seagrass, and orange and black seastars are often to be seen. Mangroves at Monkey Forest on the east side of the bay are fun to pull up into to try and spot monkeys, while the west side of the bay has some gorgeous, secluded beaches. Do remember that you need to take tides into consideration in Kuta Bay, as at low tide, there are many exposed rocks. The What Sup? Lombok shop is perfectly located on the main beach of Kuta, in the middle of the freshly paved beach section opposite the big red Mandalika sign, making it the perfect launching spot to explore Kuta Bay by SUP. So stop in, and find out the best time for you and your friends to give it a go. See you soon, and happy SUPing.


























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We are located front and centre Kuta Beach, in Kuta, 25mins south of the International airport at Praya.