Biking with Bushmen
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.