Standing paddling has probably been practised for thousands of years. In Asia, in particular, one-man bamboo rafts are still in use today, in which paddles are used in addition to poles to generate propulsion while standing. In the 20th century, standing paddling was initially only used as a means of locomotion for surf photographers and surf instructors in Hawaii in order to get from the shore to the reefs and back faster by using a paddle. It was also seen as a substitute for windsurfing or surfing, as it can be used in the absence of wind or waves. Meanwhile this technique is becoming more and more widespread and is developing into an independent water sport. Standing paddling is mainly practiced in the Pacific region, but is also increasingly finding its way onto inland waterways. Today national and international competitions are held.
The athlete stands upright on the surfboard and produces propulsion with a paddle similar to the one used in Outigging. The side on which the paddle is pulled backwards in the water and forwards above the water is alternated regularly or irregularly. In the most commonly practiced game, paddling alternates with surfing. The paddle is used in addition to steering the surfboard and supporting the balance. In combination with the technique of surfing, the speed can be temporarily increased by the thrust of waves. This makes it possible to cover distances faster and with less effort than with pure paddling. In general, longer distances can be covered by paddling standing up on lakes or on sea coasts.
In the beginning, mostly longboards were used, which generated enough buoyancy to fully carry the weight of the athlete with equipment. Today manufacturers offer special boards and paddles. Even for the different types of this sport there are specialized models: surfboards (mainly for surfing), "Flatwaterboards" (mainly for paddling on seas and lakes as well as for tours with luggage), "Whitewaterboards" (for river courses) and "Raceboards" (for competitions). For beginners, so-called SUP softboards are produced, which are much cheaper. SUP boards are on average 3 m long, 75 cm wide and 12 cm thick and therefore a bit wider and thicker than longboards. The load capacity is 120 to 280 kg depending on the model. They are made with the same materials and technology as other surfboards. In order to ensure a safe stand, the surface is usually covered with a non-slip mat made of perforated rubber or foam. Some models offer additional eyelets to which luggage can be attached. The paddles are about two meters long and made of plastic, aluminum or carbon fiber.