Stand, Paddle, even Savasana


With the gorgeous Pacific Ocean right at our fingertips and a near-perfect climate, Santa Barbara is one of the few places that allows for outdoor adventure or activity almost every day of the year. It’s no wonder that more and more Santa Barbara residents are taking advantage of these incredible conditions and trying their hand at the ever-growing water sport, stand up paddle boarding. Stand up paddle boarding, more commonly referred to as SUP, originated in Hawaii in the sixties. Overtime the sport gravitated to the mainland and as of late has exploded amongst adventure-seekers across the country, quickly becoming one of the most popular modern water sports.

Thanks to its virtually non-existent learning curve, SUP is an excellent activity for those who usually admire the ocean from afar rather than actually venturing into its waters. Unlike surfing, which requires a great deal of committed practice in order to see improvement, within just one lesson of stand up paddle boarding you’ll already have the hang of it. SUP not only provides a less intense alternative to surfing, but can also be used by avid surfers as a training technique to improve their surfing skills!

But don’t let this water sport’s seemingly calm nature fool you; SUP is a workout that will push you to work muscle groups in all areas of your body. As you work to stabilize yourself and keep your balance on the board, both core and leg muscles are heavily engaged. The upper body also feels the burn as you use the paddle to propel yourself through the water. SUP is a fun way to change up your fitness routine and allows you to burn fat and tone muscles while enjoying Santa Barbara’s natural beauty.


SUP is a great way to try something new with friends, family, or your significant other and is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. ” I love paddling along the I.V. coast and being in the ocean,” says Amedea Tassinari (pictured), a second year at UCSB who started stand up paddle boarding just this year through the UCSB Excursion Club. “My friends and I go to Coal Oil Point right at the end of I.V. and paddle out to the kelp forest; it never ceases to amaze me!”

Looking for even more of a challenge? Take your stand up paddle boarding experience to the next level with SUP yoga. SUP yoga provides even the most advanced yogis with a new and exciting challenge. The tranquil ocean atmosphere lends itself perfectly for the practice of yoga, yet the uncertain motion of the water and instability of the board forces you to truly test your ability to focus and concentrate. Taking your yoga practice outdoors and to a new environment opens the door for a new perspective as well. With clouds passing overhead and waves gently rocking, an enhanced level of serenity may be achieved.

As with any new activity or sport, it is important to consider possible difficulties or hazards and be sure that you are adequately prepared to combat them. When it comes to SUP be sure you lather on plenty of sunscreen and hydrate well before you head out into the water. Whether you are looking for private or group lessons, or boards and paddles for rent or sale, Santa Barbara is home to numerous retailers and groups that can fulfill these needs. For more information on stand up paddle boarding and how to get involved check out the links below!

Alexandra Conti

Alexandra Conti

Alexandra Conti is a recent graduate from UCSB with a Communication major. As of now, her passions lie inĀ avid running: she completed the LA Marathon in 2012 (raised $2200 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation), the See Jane Run Half Marathon and the San Diego Half Marathon this past March where she had a PR time of 1 hour 51 minutes 34 seconds. One of her goals is to run an international marathon someday either in London or Barcelona. In addition to running she also plays club soccer at UCSB and loves yoga (even though she claims to be terrible at it!) When shes not exercising or studying, she loves to shop and spend time with friends and family!
Alexandra Conti
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