An aquatic activity that has taken the beaches, lagoons and rivers of our country. Although it has been installed in Chile for some years, it has not yet become a totally massive sport.
A table, an oar and the desire; That’s all it takes to start practicing this adventurous sport that has emerged slowly but with enough strength in Chile. But what is it about? For those who do not know, stand up paddle, better known by its initials: SUP, is a water sport coming from surf, which consists of crossing seas, lagoons or rivers, standing on a board while rowing. The ideal option to exercise in the holidays and enjoy the natural surroundings. Also, a great way to travel through landscapes sometimes known, but from a different angle.
It all began in the 1960s, when surf instructors on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, used their longboards and rudimentary canoe paddles to take pictures of their students. It also allowed them to have a better visibility of their group and give notice of the arrival of the waves in an easier way. Years later, reaching 2004, it begins to become an increasingly popular sport in different countries of the world.
In Chile it is not yet a totally massive sport, it came in 2008 and five years ago it is exercised as a sport that has national circuit. Commonly classes are given in the surf schools of Playa La Boca in Concón and in Maitencillo. For those who have the necessary equipment and only need a place to paddle and contemplate landscapes; It is possible to do this practice in different lakes and rivers of Pucón, Rapel, Pichilemu, Vichuquén, Valdivia and even in the Lagoa de Piedras Rojas de Chicureo in Santiago.
Felipe Pizarro, national windsurfing champion and expert in water sports, says that the benefits of the stand up paddle is the versatility in the conditions that can be used, for example in waves or flat water; Plus you can enjoy it quickly as it is easy to learn. “It is a very complete sport, that mixes the physical with the balance, obtaining a very good musculature and reinforcing the ligaments, besides correcting the back”. Pizarro points out.
What to choose?
Being able to practice in rivers, lagoons or seas, each athlete gives him his own level of difficulty, depending on the place to begin the journey. In the case of those who prefer the rivers, they generally look for them to be calm and not so fast, which are mostly found in southern Chile. Some recommendations are the San Pedro Lagoon, Bío-Bío River and the Rocoto Caverns in the Lenga sector. The Llanquihue, the Tagua Tagua, the Rupanco, the Gulf of Ancud and the one of Corcovado. In the fjords, lakes and island where Patagonia begins, the possibilities for water sports are endless.
Felipe explains that it depends a lot on the adventure that we want to have to choose the perfect place to practice this sport. “For example, if it is a race it can be anywhere in flat water, if it is a trip, places of long distances with a nature and special geographic place are recommended to appreciate the route. If they want waves and near Santiago, it can be Viña del Mar, Algarrobo or Piedra Roja “.
Other places to do SUP in waves and near the capital, which Felipe recommends are: Matanzas, Puertecillo and Pichilemu (to the south). Punta de Quelén in Pichidangui, Los Vilos, Chigualoco and Pichicuy (to the north).Algarrobo, Viña del Mar, Concón and Ritoque (central zone).
For adventurers and more extreme places, where the adrenaline level is higher, the perfect places to practice stand up are Purema, Curanipe, Buchupureo and all the coast of the country.
Sports on the table
On the other hand, thanks to the arrival in Chile of boards with new innovations, the versatility of these, is so wide that can be complemented with different sports like Pilates and Yoga. For example, the Indus Fitness model, a new design, is the size of a yoga mat that features padded feet and allows the perfect balance to perform yoga positions in the water, and thus enjoy and complement with another sport outdoors livery. “You can perfectly practice the two only that you have to have the table indicated with enough buoyancy so you can practice it comfortably and not be complicated.”
Stand up paddle has become the fastest growing water sport in the world. A new sport, but that definitely is increasing and this summer has become the preference of outdoor life lovers, who enjoy the rivers, seas and lakes.