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Stand Up Paddleboards are readily available in Austin. The #1 stand up paddle board maker in the world is based in Austin, Texas. SUP ATX (Stand Up Paddle Austin Texas) has a wide range of models available including EPS/Epoxy contruction models in 12 and 11 foot lengths. SUP ATX also offers two soft top models and an exclusive line of Lahui Kai Racing Boards. SUP Resources in Austin - SUP Jam Austin - SUP Jam Austin on SUP ATX

History of Paddle Boarding (Paddleboarding)

Paddleboarding began in the early 20th century. Tom Blake is the obvious link between the ancient Hawaiian waterman and the 20th century Anglo waterman. Most paddleboarders feel that they are part of a waterman tradition that spans back to the early 20th century, and that they are carrying on a part of the waveriding culture that nearly vanished altogether in the early 60s, once the so-called "Gidget-era" surfers became less interested in being complete watermen, and more focused on "performance" surfing.

In 1926, while restoring historic Hawaiian boards for the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Blake built a replica of the previously ignored olo surfboard ridden by ancient Hawaiian aliʻi (kings). He lightened his redwood replica (olo were traditionally made from wiliwili wood) by drilling it full of holes and then covering them, creating the first ever hollow board as well as introducing the first modern paddleboard. Two years later, using this same 16 ft (4.9 m), 120 lb (54 kg) board, Blake won the first ever Mainland surf contest, the Pacific Coast Surfriding Championships, an event integrating both surfing and paddling. Blake then returned to Hawaii to break virtually every established paddling record available, setting half-mile and 100-yard records that stood until 1955. In 1932, using his drastically modified chambered hollow-board (now weighing roughly 60 lbs), which over the next decade he would tirelessly promote as a lifeguarding rescue tool, Blake out-paddled top California watermen Pete Peterson and Wally Burton in the first ever Catalina crossing race (29 miles in 5 hours, 53 minutes).

Over the next decade, Blake-influenced hollow boards (called “cigar boards” by reporters and later “kook boxes” by surfers) would be used in roughly equal proportion to solid plank boards for both paddling and surfing until the late 30s Hot Curl innovations led wave-riding in a new direction. For paddleboarding, however, the basic principles of Blake’s 1926 design remain relevant even today. Paddleboarding experienced a renaissance in the early 80s after Los Angeles County lifeguard Rabbi Norm Shifren’s “Waterman Race” (22 Miles from Point Dume to Malibu) inspired surf journalist Craig Lockwood to begin production on a high quality stock paddleboard—known as the "Waterman." Its design, that has arguably won more races than any other stock paddleboard, remains a popular choice today.

Shortly after, L.A, surfboard shaper Joe Bark and San Diego shaper Mike Eaton began production. L.A. lifeguards Gibby Gibson and Guy Bond revived the Catalina Classic event in 1982 for a field of 10 competitors. Concurrently in Hawaii, the annual Independence Day Paddleboard Race from Sunset to Waimea was drawing a few hundred competitors, many using surfboards due to lack of proper paddleboards on the Islands. As paddlers began ordering boards from the Mainland, local surfboard shapers like Dennis Pang (now one of Hawaii’s largest paddleboard makers) moved quickly to fill the local niche. On both fronts, paddleboarding has been consistently gaining momentum and popularity.

With the launch of SUP ATX in 2008, Stand Up Paddle Boarding has become a national and even international craze. SUP ATX is producing well over 10,000 stand up paddle boards in 2010 and is planning on producing over 20,000 stand up paddleboards in 2011.

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