Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, is a fitness trend that’s swept the world. Originating in Hawaii, where it’s called hoe he’e nalu, SUP has been around for nearly a decade but has exploded in popularity in recent years. Easier than surfing or even paddleboarding, riders stand on a large board (many resemble surfboards, some are inflatable) and navigate oceans, lakes, rivers and more with the aid of a paddle to propel you and the board across the water.
Much more than simply paddling along flat water, riders navigate rapids, waves, or even perform yoga on the boards to add an extra fitness or adventure component. The result is a great workout for the arms, legs and core, along with a “sport” that most any age can enjoy.
Many of our favorite properties have added SUP programs to their fitness offerings, but we’ve rounded up a few of the best. Explore some of our favorite programs and resorts with the most spectacular scenery for SUP.
Best for Scene-Stealers: The Standard Spa Miami Beach
It’s only natural that South Beach’s hippest hotel would be on top of the SUP trend. The boutique luxury property has created a Hydrotherapy Playground, complete with everything from a Roman waterfall hot tub, an Artic plunge, a mud “lounge,” to a sunset yoga dock and, of course, paddleboarding to round out its more than 50 fitness classes offered each week.
Best for Fitness Fans: Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita has long been a celebrity hot spot, but now the 1,500-acre resort is becoming a fitness favorite as well. The resort offers SUP for all guests as part of the standard activity offerings, but true lovers of the sport can take advantage of the property’s Sports Package, which includes overnight accommodations, one surf or SUP lesson or one 50-minute tennis lesson for two guests each day. Next door, stay at The St. Regis Punta Mita, which offers lessons that are great for SUP-ers of all levels.
Best for Getting in Touch With Your Inner Yogini: The Kahala Hotel and Resort
SUP where it all started. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel in Honolulu’s ritzy Kahala neighborhood offers both stand-up paddleboard lessons and SUP yoga. Practiced on a stand-up paddleboard, SUP yoga takes stand-up paddleboarding beyond just riding the waves. You can take part in morning yoga on the water or a sunset session — you really can’t beat paddleboarding into the Honolulu sunset.
Best for Nature Enthusiasts: Bitter End Yacht Club
For years, sailors and watersports enthusiasts have loved the protected waters of Virgin Gorda’s North Sound. At the 85-room Bitter End Yacht Club, guests not only enjoy the world’s largest complimentary fleet of watercraft and three private beaches, but also special “Out of Bounds” SUP excursions where participants are led by a watersports team member around Prickly Pear Island or nearby Eustatia Reef. Take in the island’s native cacti, salt ponds and red, white and black mangroves while taking turns spotting the rare birds that inhabit the island.
Best Out-of-the-Box SUP Location: Big Cedar Lodge
When one thinks of SUP, the land-locked state of Missouri probably isn’t the first place to come to mind. Big Cedar Lodge is looking to change this. Owned by legendary outdoorsman Johnny Morris (founder of Bass Pro Shops), the Ozark Mountain resort’s newest fitness offerings are its 75-minute SUP excursions with yoga, sun, surf and night glide themes, the perfect way to explore the resort’s home along the 43,000-acre Table Rock Lake.
Photo Courtesy of The Standard Spa Miami Beach