Paddleboarding opens space in Ecuadorian sport

It is like walk on water. The sensation is liberating and its communion with nature makes it highly attractive. Its about paddleboarding, a sport that despite being unconventional is developed in rivers, estuaries and lagoons, means that Guayaquil it has plenty to be at sea level.

Its original name is Stan Up Paddleboarding, which abbreviated gives the acronym SIP, as it is technically known.

The story goes that it began to be practiced around 1996, in Hawaii, when Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton, two renowned surfers, were bored because there were hardly any waves, hence they took some canoe paddles that they had in their cars to immediately get on their boards longboard (surf mode) and go into the sea. Over time they became passionate about the potential of stand up paddling on a surfboard and they never stopped again.

On Ecuador, because of his megabiodiversity, the ‘field’ to practice it is very wide. Coast, Highlands, East and Insular Region they have free spaces to do it. In Guayaquil, Paddlerider is one of the groups that has carried it out since 1996, and today it already has more than 2,500 people who have gone through their training classes.

“It is a very engaging sport. He not only tries to exercise, but to enter into the discovery of nature “, he says. Luis Fernando Marique, one of its initiators.

And it is that in a silent way, this practice has taken over the mangrove of Guayaquil at the height of the yacht club of the urbanization Blue port, on the outskirts of the city, from where the expeditions depart, although they also usually do from Puerto Hondo if what is required is estuary, while the more experienced opt for the Guayas River, where currents increase the danger or open sea.

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Manrique explains that there are different modalities of Paddleboarding, and its name varies according to the waters in which it is practiced and the way it is done.

“There is the Paddle surf or SUP surf, paddle yoga, paddle fitness, paddle rafting, among other. There is also the ‘down wind’ that is practiced in the country, and whose modality consists of rowing on the boards in the sea, from one point to another, using the wind behind them and surfing the small waves that the wind causes. Even so, the paddleboarding for a ride”, Says Luis Fernando, who together with Juan José Pons, your partner, started Paddlerider after doing two international certifications in New York and Miami, United States.

Ranges of age, weight or any limitation does not exist. You just need the desire to experiment and do it.

Regularly the first class, or introductory class, lasts about an hour and a half, from that time the first 15 minutes are developed on land and immediately goes to the technical to explain how to take the oar, how to stand on the board, as well as the security measures in which he explains what to do in case of a fall into the water, and a brief training on currents of winds and tides, since being an activity that is done outdoors depends a lot on the management that is had on it.

“It is impressive to realize that few people in Guayaquil know the Pristine Salado Estuary that exists here. We all have only the idea of ​​the estuary that can be seen in sectors such as the citadels Urdesa or Kennedy, when within Guayaquil itself there is a very lively area rich in ecosystem. Part of the ideology of sport is also to make that known ”, he says. Carlos Rodriguez, who has already taken several classes in this discipline.

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Profits For health there are many, since the activity is carried out with the whole body and from the moment in which it is practiced and it is pushed on the table, it is already working, until the feet when they are rooted to the table making force to maintain balance, as well as arms and hands when rowing.

“You work with people’s own weight, hence their practice helps in the muscle toning. If you want to do long distances like 30, 40 0 ​​50 kilometers sport becomes very cardio with greater fat burning ”, Manrique points out. With all these benefits, it only remains to dare. More than 90 percent of people stand first on the tables.


In the United States, Paddleborading is the second fastest growing sport, after Crossfit because it is accessible and can be practiced in any type of water.


At Paddlerider classes include equipment. The first (introductory) is a single one, from there the frequencies of the workouts are set according to the requirements of each person. For example, before the pandemic, $ 120 was charged for 4 classes. Including implements.

Myrtle Frost

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