Cool Exercising

Madeline Cassatt and Brooke Beasley try their ‘toes’ at stand-up paddleboarding in the Intracoastal Waterway with Long Beach Paddle Company, LLC. Photo by Kris Beasley

Madeline Cassatt and Brooke Beasley try their ‘toes’ at stand-up paddleboarding in the Intracoastal Waterway with Long Beach Paddle Company, LLC. Photo by Kris Beasley

“SUP” is not the common slang inquiry asked by my teenage son and his friends. SUP is short for “stand-up paddleboarding.” Originating in Hawaii as surfers sought ocean respite despite a lack of waves, this latest exercise craze has finally hit the beaches of Brunswick County! Opportunities abound in our area for exploration of creeks, rivers and coastline, making SUP an excellent outdoor activity to try, and a cool way to exercise in the heat. Try SUP for a six-pack of abs, improved balance, and a relaxing fitness experience close to nature.

SUP provides a simultaneous aerobic and strength-training workout that is low impact—so it’s perfect for those suffering from knee or hip pain. As always, check with your physician before trying SUP, and especially if you suffer from back or shoulder issues.

Standing on a board while propelling yourself forward will utilize the core muscles of your lower back and abdomen. Think of “ core” as the middle section of your body that joins the upper and lower body. Those fanatical about SUP claim six-pack abs as a side benefit. In addition, balance is challenged as you work your legs, toes and even feet to maintain an upright and dry position in the water. Finally, your arms, shoulders and back get an excellent workout as you paddle.

Intensity and cardio benefit are dependent on your pace, as well as the area chosen to play. Cruising along the waterway or a back creek will not be as intensive as paddling while blasting through ocean waves. At all times, however, paddle boards are considered a vessel and do require use of a life vest for safety.

Relaxing as you cruise on a paddle board contributes to stress relief. In addition, yoga done on a paddle board is a fun yet challenging way to practice. Southport Paddle and Sail even offers SUP yoga classes in a pool! Although I did not participate in their class, I did attempt several yoga poses on a board recently. Addicting!

Julie Stiller, Long Beach resident and entrepreneur, combines her education in outdoor recreation along with her love for the outdoors and family activities to provide SUP rentals in our area through Long Beach Paddle Company, LLC. Recently, she provided instruction along the Intracoastal Waterway for me, my family, and friends. Julie and her family can be found on the beach, at the west end, or several other locations. They will provide delivery for your SUP adventure.

Opportunities also exist for those with a competitive spirit. On September 21st, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Brunswick River Park near Leland, there will be a SUP race. Early-bird registration, just $30, begins August 1st in conjunction with Brunswick Waterfest. Registration includes an awards banquet meal ticket and a T-shirt. Sign up at

Contact one of the outfitters below to get going on your adventure! Southport Magazine gives thanks to Julie Stiller and the Long Beach Paddle Company for their willingness to outfit and instruct us as we tried our skill!

Adventure Kayak Company
Sells SUP accessories
807-A N. Howe St., Southport
(910) 454-0607

Cape Fear Water Sports
Paddleboard rentals
4500 Fish Factory Rd., Southport
(910) 457-0008

Long Beach Paddle Company
Paddleboard rentals and tours
(910) 368-3075

Southport Paddle and Sail
Paddleboard rentals and lessons
606 W. West St., Southport
(910) 294-0601

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