The popularity of the modern sport of SUP'ing has its origin in the Hawaiian Islands. In the early 1960s, the beach boys of Waikiki would stand on their long boards, and paddle to the distant outside reef break using outrigger paddles. In spite of its surfing origin the sport is gaining in popularity even in more protected coastal waters and lakes.
The sport benefits athletes with a strong "core" workout. SUP'ing is popular at warm coastal climates and resorts, and is gaining in popularity as celebrities are sampling the sport, and cross-over athletes are training with SUP. SUPs have been spotted around the globe, anywhere there is easy access to safe waters, as well as in the surfing lineups of the world.
Another reason for the rise in popularity of stand up paddleboarding is that, unlike surfing, paddleboarding is very easy to learn. Within one hour you can become very comfortable in the water and on your board. Stand up paddleboarding is also popular with women, in part because an average adult woman's lower center of gravity can give them a balance advantage.
Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama re-introduced the ancient sport of paddle surfing to the modern water sports world. The first "modern" surfer to bring Stand Up Paddle Surfing out of Hawaii and to the mainland United States was Vietnam veteran Rick Thomas.
Custom surf shaper Jimmy Lewis, created one of the first modern production boards, the All Around.
Surfers have converted because of the versatility of the new sport. Stand up paddle boarding offers surfers the ability to catch more waves in a set, as well as offering a better view of incoming sets.
River SUP'ing is gaining popularity in the boating community due to the skill and agility required to navigate rapids and obstacles.
Stand up paddle surfing is now the fastest growing water surf activity because it allows a wider range of athletic types to get involved and SUP surfers need not schedule around high and low tides
Source: Wikipedia, Facebook