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Do You Know the History of SUP?

iRocker Stand Up Paddle Board

Have you ever pondered how stand up paddle boarding became a thing?

Some people believe SUP was inspired by early cultures in Africa. Ancient Africans would use wooden boards and paddles to make searching for fish and transporting their belongings easier and faster. American and Mayan indians are documented to have done the same.

However, it wasn’t until 1939 that paddle boarding went from a survival tool to a sport. Surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku was spotted tweaking his board with a wooden paddle. Duke was known for constantly personalizing and adding to his boards in order to get the perfect ride. But this was the first time anyone was videotaped surfing with a paddle.

This technique inspired one of Duke’s surfing buddies, Bobby Ahchoy, to pick up a paddle after a car accident left him unable to swim. Bobby used the technique to make his way out into the surfer action. According to SUP world Magazine, Ahchoy (also known as “Pops”) would paddle into the surf zone allowing him to take photographs and give tips to surfers waiting to catch the best swells.

Later, AhChoy passed his technique on to John Zapotocky, who had moved to Hawaii in 1940. He was a gifted athlete who automatically fell in love with surfing. “Zap” came to be considered the father of SUP, which was not surprising, as he paddled daily until he died at the age of 95 in 2013.

The trend caught on as more and more surfers began to pick up paddles to find uncrowded waves. This also allowed surfers to find a new training tool, as SUP began to improve the core strength and balance of surfers. Even better, world class surfers discovered a solution to the inevitable lull in the set, allowing them to spend every day on the ocean.

Every day!

By 2009, SUP had become the fastest growing paddle sport. This growth sparked competition to build the best board on the market. Boards became more durable, faster, and sleeker, with the only downside being that the early boards were bulky and difficult to carry.

The iROCKER team was inspired to streamline bulky SUP boards and decided to solve the challenge. We created an inflatable board that not only offered durability but also convenience. We wanted to create something fast, stable, durable and convenient. Finally, the inflatable iROCKER SUP board was born!

The best materials on the market are used to create iROCKER boards. They can withstand water hazards without affecting the stability of speed. Our boards are able to handle multiple riders, and pets. Bonus points for yogis, iROCKER offers a stable platform for those looking for a yoga challenge.

But iROCKER didn’t stop there.  All of our boards are designed to give riders convenience and flexibility. Every board comes pre-rigged for easy conversion to a kayak. All you need is our expertly crafted Kayak Bundle to make it happen.

We couldn’t have crafted the best SUP boards and accessories on the market without the early surfers who discovered the beauty of SUP. Thanks to them, iROCKER was born!

Are you a surfer who was wooed by SUP? If so, we’d love to hear about it and see your photos. Please use the fields below to share.


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