Bik­ing with Bush­men

South African Country Life - - In This Issue -

A full 24 hours of MTB on the !Khwa ttu near Dar­ling

As old as the hills, the craft of pad­dling while stand­ing stretches back to fish­er­men hand-pro­pel­ling their dugouts or rafts, and to Vene­tian gon­do­liers. The re­cent in­car­na­tion of pad­dling was born in Hawaii, where beach-board surf­ing started in the 1940s. In the 1990s, stand up pad­dling was taught in surf schools there.

One of the first boards was brought into South Africa in 2008 by Paul Wagstaff of the Red Pad­dle Co. To­day there are an es­ti­mated 3 000 stand up pad­dlers, while SUPSA has around 450 mem­bers.

One Amer­i­can pub­li­ca­tion SU­Per Racer claimed sev­eral years ago that SUP was the sec­ond-fastest growing sport af­ter soc­cer, and in 2024 stand up pad­dling will be­come an Olympic sport for the first time. There are eight branches of SUPSA one each in Durban, in Gaut­eng on Em­mar­en­tia Dam, at The Strand, Hout Bay and Port El­iz­a­beth, two in Muizen­berg and one in Cape Town at 4th Beach, Clifton.

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