Stand up paddling began in the 1960s when surfing instructors used the technique to postion themselves to for taking photographs. More recently, professional surfers used the technique for training and has become "wildy popular."
Supporters cite the ease of learning as a key to its popularity, with beginners becoming comfortable in as little as a hour of training. Stand up paddleboarding is also popular with women.
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.
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.
Kai Lenny claimed the first SUP racing world champion title when he won the seasons finals of the first Standup World Series championship races held at Turtle Bay Resort, O'Ahu, Hawaii on 13–14 September 2012.
2012 marked the 6th year of what is now the oldest SUP event in the world drawing over 4000 spectators and over 400 competitors from around the world to compete at the Quiksilver TA-HOE NALU Paddle festival.
Ernie Brassard, Rick Thomas & Bob Pearson are the co-founders of TA-HOE NALU.
Source: Wikipedia: Standup Paddlesurfing, Facebook: Chriscut, Facebook: Standup Journal