As featured in The AUSTRALIAN Weekend Edition-16-17 July 2011 …… COAST with the MOST article
Paddling the Noosa waterways: Stand up paddle (SUP) surfing has become so popular that at many beaches relations between surfboard riders and “stick surfers” are at flashpoint. Still-water paddlers face no such problems, and Noosa’s varied waterways have become a paddling nirvana.
Using a paddle to support yourself while standing on a surfboard was originally a trick of the Waikiki beach boys so they could take photographs of tourists plunging down the waves in outrigger canoes. Leading beach boys Leroy and Bobby Ah Choy turned it into an art form in the 50s, but it took another half century to catch on.
In Australia it was pioneered by Noosa waterman Chris De Aboitiz, himself a former Waikiki beach boy, and introduced as a competitive sport at the 2007 Noosa Festival of Surfing.
These days Noosa Standup Paddle runs the best SUP school on the coast, and after mastering the flat water basics on the canals of Noosa Sound, you can take off on your own with endless kilometres of rivers, creeks and lakes to explore. And not only is this a great way to see Noosa from the water, but SUP involves a full work-out of muscles you didn’t know you had.