Though it’s a relatively new sport — only about four years old — stand-up paddle boarding is poised to take Manhattan. But this isn’t your ordinary sports fad: Even skeptics like Randall Henriksen, owner of New York Kayak Co., who had been teaching kayaking for 18 years, were won over.
“Standing up on those boards looked so dopey,” he says with a laugh, before adding that he changed his tune once he tried it out. It was the challenging nature of it that made it enticing.
“Your body’s most dramatic response to stand-up paddling is in the muscles you need for balancing,” he explains. “It’s the fast twitch muscle fibers instead of the slow-twitch, and so it’s a different kind of workout. It’s such excellent cross-training that a lot of professional athletes are using it.”
Henriksen says stand-up paddle boarding has taken off especially this year, as the sport gains more fans. And he has an idea as to why.
“We haven’t had anyone who’s tried this yet that hasn’t been able to do it. People catch on really quickly.”