stand up paddle boarding

As one of the most effective cross training activities you can do, it’s no wonder celebs such as Jennifer Hawkins, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey and Australia’s ultimate bachelor, Tim Robards, have been snapped SUPing up a storm.  And, as an activity that’s super fun and simple for almost anyone to master, it’s no surprise that SUPing is quickly becoming the most popular water sport around.

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“Anyone who tries stand up paddling for the first time will feel the effects the next day,” says Australian surfing legend, Tom Carroll, who has recently launched his own range of high performance Stand Up Paddle boards – Tom Carroll Paddle Surf, through Global Surf Industries.

“What’s great about stand-up, is it’s a full body workout. When you’re paddling hard, everything is working – your lats, your back, your shoulders, your arms, even your hands and feet. Think about doing 1,500 side sit-ups with rotations per hour. That’s pretty much what you do when you go for a hard stand up paddle workout,” he said.

Here are Tom’s tips for getting the most out of a SUP workout:

1. It’s all about technique

“As with most sports, technique is really important when it comes to mastering the SUP,” says Carroll.  He suggests taking a lesson, getting a coach or watching a training video when starting out. “This way, you’re likely to get the hang of things more swiftly, then you’ll be able to get the most of paddling by starting out with excellent technique and setting up good muscle memory from the outset.”

2. Get on the right board

With surf, racing, flat water and all-rounder SUPs available, Carroll emphasises the importance of choosing a board that is appropriate for your skill level. “The Allrounder style is best for most beginners and a good board to start out on is the Adventure Paddleboarding Bamboo All Rounder SUP (RRP from $1,020). If you’re a little more advanced and are keen to mix up flatwater SUPing with some wave riding, opt for the Adventure Paddleboarding Sixty Forty SUP (RRP From $1,293),  and if you’re really advanced and want to get some serious wave action while working out, try my Tom Carroll Paddle Surf Long Grain SUP (RRP $2,200),” he said.

3. The perfect paddle

“The type of paddle you use is equally as important as the board itself and when you’re holding a paddle for an hour or more, the weight of the paddle is critical,” says Carroll. “It’s well worth investing in a top of the line carbon paddle that’s super light and easy to manoeuvre.” Carroll recommends the Trident Adjustable Carbon paddle (RRP from $249).

4. Size it up

“It’s important to select a board according to your weight,” says Carroll. “If you’ve got too much length, it will be much harder to push all that extra board around.”  Carroll suggests using the manufacturer’s suggested rider weights as a guide and then having a good chat with your retailer before choosing your board length.

5. Heads up

According to Carroll, the reason you can lose balance when leaning too far forward or leaning over the board is because of the significant weight of your head, compared to the rest of your body. “Keep your gaze up and become aware of the horizontal plane ahead and practice resisting the temptation to control by looking downward to the board, this does two things. One it keeps your head over the centre of balance and two, it increases awareness of where you are. Also by maintaining a slight bend at your knees you will create natural shock absorbers, keep shoulders centred over your hips,  and feel the movement throughout your body, like a dance with the water, this starts the process of awakening your stabilisers.  And, before you know it your up and going!” he says.

6. HIIT it up

To up the ante on your SUP workout, Carroll suggests incorporating some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). He suggests repeating the below routine five to 10 times per paddling session to get “one hell of a workout.”

Always warm up at moderate pace (approx 60 per cent), within our best form stroke for 10-15mins (minimum):

  • Paddle 100 per cent for one minute.
  • Paddle at 80 per cent of your fastest pace for three more minutes.
  • Rest one minute.
  • Repeat five to 10 times
  • Paddle at a slow pace for 10mins
  • Stretch to cool down

All Stand Up Paddleboards featured in this release, including the Tom Carroll Paddle Surf range, are available from Global Surf Industries.

To purchase online or find your nearest stockist, check out