Standup paddle (SUP) or paddle board or paddle surf is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. The sport is an ancient form of surfing. It reemerged as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of students, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint. This increased visibility of what was going on around them, including incoming swell.


The popularity of the modern sport of Standup Paddle has its origin in the Hawaiian Islands in the early 1960s. The Beach Boys of Waikiki would stand on their long boards, and paddle out with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. This is where the term "Beach Boy Surfing", another name for Stand Up Paddle Surfing, originated.

Standup Paddle is popular in warm coastal climates, and is gaining in popularity as celebrities are sampling the sport. Use of standup paddle boards have been spotted around the globe anywhere where there is easy access to safe salt waters, as well as in lake and rivers. Supporters cite its ease of use as a key to its popularity. Beginners can be totally comfortable in as little as an hour of training. Standup paddleboarding is also popular with women.