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Paddling ‘craze’ is here to stay

READY TO PADDLE: Visitors Anna Henkenhaf and Madeleine Cleland enjoy the Noosa River.
READY TO PADDLE: Visitors Anna Henkenhaf and Madeleine Cleland enjoy the Noosa River. Geoff Potter

FOR those who thought stand-up paddling was just a craze, it looks like it is here to stay.

During the holidays there were dozens on Noosa's waterways, meandering along on the distinctive boards, having fun while getting a full body workout.

Rick Halkett of Noosa Stand Up Paddle said his hire business had been "run of its feet" during the holidays.

"There's certainly a lot of people in town and it's been really great weather," he said.

"We have been really busy for the last week and a half and now families are just coming in from Western Australia and ACT because their holidays have just started."

Noosa Stand Up Paddle was one of the first companies to introduce the sport in Australia and has been operating since 2008.

"More people are willing to give it a go," Rick said.

"It used to be just the enthusiasts and now everybody exposed to the water is giving it a go.

"It's a good way to explore Noosa because you can get in and explore all the shallow waters and the mangroves.

"Our classes are supervised by an instructor but when people hire a board we give them a suggested itinerary based on the wind and the tide, and a safety rundown.

"It is quick to pick up and it's particularly easy to pick up in flat, calm water. It gives people a high level of confidence very early.

"That's the beauty of stand-up paddle boarding - it's not restricted to people who do surfing. It's more about how anyone can do it and really feel good about themselves.

"It's often the catalyst for getting back into an active life."

FAST FACTS

Stand-up paddling in some form or another has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures from Africa to South America used boards, canoes and other watercraft propelled with a long stick to fish, travel, make war and even ride waves.


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