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Adventure Costa Rica Blog

Stand Up Paddle (SUP): destination Costa Rica

Category: General 

Dec 21, 2013

Let me give you an advice: try the fastest-growing paddle sport during your vacation in Costa Rica! SUP, as it's called for short, is exactly as it sounds: you stand on a large surfboard and propel yourself forward with a paddle. Uunlike traditional surfing, you don't have to wait for the waves. In fact, SUP can be done on lakes, rivers, pools or any sufficiently large body of water. Stand Up Paddling (SUP) was developed by surfers in Hawaii but has its roots in ancient Polynesia as an early form of transportation from island to island. but it didn't really enter the modern mindset until the mid 20th-century, when Waikiki's "beach boys" decided to stand up on their longboards and paddle around with outrigger canoe oars to get a better look at their surfing students, spot far-off waves, take photos for tourists or simply to have something to do on flat days. It wasn't until the late 1990s that the modern explosion began. Now it's the latest craze among water enthusiasts! Try Stand Up Paddling in Costa Rica, you'll feel like you're walking in water!

Since then, it's attracted everyone from the old lady to the tough guys, and become the new favorite sport of celebrities: Julia Roberts recently bought a board, joining the paddling ranks of Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey among others. It's already spawned new manufacturing: the SUP boards are specially designed, longer and wider than traditional boards. Meanwhile, multiple SUP magazines are now being published, races and wave-riding contests are popping up every month, and, as with any new-wave trend, a whole slew of entrepreneurs are trying to cash in, selling everything from boards and paddles to board bags, car racks, and specialized clothing lines. You can do Stand Up Paddling (SUP) just about anywhere in Costa Rica. If you're a first-timer, you should try doing Stand Up Paddling on the picturesque Lake Arenal while you are in the La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano areas. You will have the picturesque, behemoth Arenal Volcano as gorgeous the backdrop of your photos if you do Stand Up Paddling in Arenal! Once you get the hang of Stand Up Paddling, you'll fall in love with the sport and want to try it again!  Or, you can try Stand Up Paddling on the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica on the beaches of  Central Pacific: Esterillos Oeste, Jaco or Playa Samara & Playa Carrillo!

The Stand Up Paddle Race in Playa Danta in Costa Rica

Playa Danta, Costa Rica  hosted the second annual standup paddle challenge at Pura Vida Ride, Playa Danta, on June 23, 2012!  This event supported La Paz Community School’s “Guardians of La Paz”.   Sponsored by Pura Vida Ride, Lola’s Norte, and Surftech, this event was for families.

The Distance race was 9.4 km in distance starting at Playa Danta and racing around Isla Plata located off of Flamingo point and back to Playa Danta.  Boards are limited to 12’6 in length.  In year 2012 there was a Men and Women’s class, with both classes receiving prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.  A chase boat supported services and first aid medic. 

Sprint Race

The Sprint race was 4 km in distance and a circuit around 3 buoys located close to the beach.  This race was designed to be challenging and exciting for both the contestants and also for everyone on the beach!  Racers had to paddle through the surf zone multiple times, battling waves, white water, and their fellow racers. Boards were limited to 12’6 in length.  In 2012 there was a Men and Women’s class, with both classes receiving prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

Family Race

Designed to be the most fun race of all, the rules were simple: Any human powered, floating vessel is allowed with a minimum of two people on board.  The race was1.3 km in distance around the race buoys once.  1st, 2nd, and 3rd places receive prizes.

The 3rd Annual Pura Vida Paddle Battle was back and set for June 1, 2013. prepare for the 2014 edition!

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