Unless you’re a victim of functional fixedness - the cognitive bias that limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used - it should be rather easy to come up with fifteen ways to use a stand up paddle board, which is, on average, a 12 foot long hunk of foam or rubber. Just in case you are a victim of functional fixedness, though, we’ve taken the time to list for you fifteen ways you can utilize a stand up paddle board, for when you’re not in the mood for standing up and paddle boarding as advised by its self-explanatory name.
Instead of using a stand up paddle board as you should try using it as a...
1.) Yoga Mat
Rachel Brathen @yogagirl
Rising in popularity almost as fast as SUP’s themselves, SUP yoga has swept popular interest as a way to exercise, tan, and enjoy the soothing coolness of water as one perfects their form and balance. Yogis are able to fuel their workouts with fresh outdoor air rather than the musty air of a traditional yoga studio, and can take their yoga mats out for a few waves before they pack up and head home.
2.) White Water Rafting
For the adrenaline junkies out there, here’s a good way to get your fix using what would normally be a mellow outdoor toy. Whether standing up, on your knees, or sitting down, SUP’s can serve as excellent white water rafts, as long as you’re a good enough paddler to avoid shallow rocks (and waterfalls).
Image by Northwest Rafting
Worthwhile adventures usually mean substandard sleeping situations, but with a SUP (preferably an inflatable one) you’re dreams shall always be sweet. You’re less crafty friends will stare at you in spite as they try to find a comfortable patch of dirt and a spherical rock to rest their heads on, but you won’t care... you’ll already be sound asleep.
4.) Blank Canvas
Free People's Painted SUP
This use for a SUP is a little bit of a cheap shot, because almost anything can be used as a blank canvas. However, I chose using a SUP because they make pretty amazing blank canvases with their massive size. Not to mention, your artwork will get a lot of exposure if you continue to use your SUP for the fourteen other uses listed here.
5.) Car Accessory
Image courtesy of TheAge.com
When you strap a surfboard or SUP to the top of your vehicle, you instantly gain 500 cool points. It’s recommended that you use your SUP for stand up paddle boarding or at least for enjoying in the water, but if you want to purchase a SUP simply to strap it to the top of your car and drive around, go for it.
6.) Windsurf board
Image courtesy of PaddleSurfWarehouse.com
Never believe anyone who tells you that it’s necessary to have windsurf board to go windsurfing, because a SUP can become a windsurf board with enough ingenuity. When the wind picks up, dust off the old umbrella or bed sheet and sail away. These guys seem to have figured it out pretty well.
7.) Floating Towel
Image courtesy of TowerPaddleBoards.com
Tanning on the beach is so 2010. With a SUP, you can paddle out as far as you want into an ocean or lake (or pool, but you can’t paddle very far) and soak up the sun in seclusion. Make sure you don’t fall asleep on your board too long though, as it is highly possible you’ll wake up in open water or beyond the U.S. border.
8.) Wall Decor
Need to spice up your living room? Don’t have good taste in art? No problem. Just buy a few wall mounts and hang your shiny, hopefully painted, SUP on the wall as a decorative piece. When guests come over, you can all gather around your board while you tell exaggerated stories about you and your trusty paddle board conquering the raging sea.
9.) Fishing Boat
Nick Halloran fights Tarpon on SUP - Image courtesy of Grind TV
Believe it or not, a SUP is as good a fishing boat as any. Many fishing supply companies now sell accessories for SUPs, which allow a fisherman to carry tackle, rods, and anything else he may need on his fishing expedition to help him catch the big one. Another benefit is that SUPs are virtually silent as they move through the water, reducing the chance of scaring away potential catches.
10.) Beer Pong Table
Image courtesy of College Humor
When you have the urge to play beer pong, you can do so with a SUP. Unlike smaller boards, the SUP spans long enough and wide enough to make for a good and fair game of classic BP. So the next time that short boarder calls you an Ocean Sweeper as you innocently paddle by, just yell, “Yeah!? Well I bet you can’t play beer pong on your board!” That’ll get him.
11.) Meditation Space
Image courtesy of LoverKeyAdventures.com
Meditation is a skill that can take a lot of practice to master, and one which requires great focus and mental control. Using a stand up paddle board, escaping the chaos and noise of life becomes easy. Your board is a segue to peaceful isolation, where the only audible sound is that of your breath as you breathe in, and exhale out again.
12.) Whale Watching Vessel
Image courtesy of PaddleOnMaui.com
Why pay hundreds of dollars to go on a whale watching expedition, when you can simply watch the pelagic behemoths from the deck of your SUP? With a few tips as to where the whales are located, paddling out to a pod of whales is a difficult but very possible endeavor if you’re motivated enough. Just try not to end up like Geppetto, alright?
13.) Private Gym
Image courtesy of WorldTimes24.com
With enough balance, the deck of a SUP can be a great place to workout. Some choose to train conventional gym workouts, bringing weights with them into the water. Others train with exercises like yoga, or simply paddle for hours in an attempt to strengthen their slow twitch muscles.
14.) Photograph Prop
Photo by Jonathan H. Lee
If you want a make a photograph look beachy, make sure to include a surfboard or a SUP somewhere in the frame. Whether lying on the board, standing on the board, or just posing in front of a board, SUP in photographs always look rad (so long as your subject doesn’t cap size).
Kyron Rathbone drops in on a SUP
Using a SUP as a surfboard is killing two birds with one stone - why buy a surfboard when your SUP can become one at the moment you decide it to be? Although not all SUPs are meant for surfing, most have the ability to carve down a curling wave. With enough paddling strength - and to the dismay of many traditionally paddling surfers - paddle boarders have the benefit of gliding past swimming surfers already in surfing position. Hang loose.
How do you use YOUR Stand Up Paddleboard?!