Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Schram, B., Hin, W., Climstein, M., & Walsh, J. (2014). Profiling elite stand up paddle boarders. Journal of Fitness Research, 3(1), 40-51.

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© Copyright, Australian Institute of Fitness Research, 2014

Articles published in Journal of Fitness Research are in an Open Access format and complies with the Budapest Open Access Initiative.





Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a rapidly growing sport and recreational activity where anecdotal evidence exists for its proposed fitness, injury rehabilitation & core strength benefits. A review of the literature failed to identify a single article which examined the potential physiological adaptations associated with SUP.


The purpose of this study was to profile elite stand up paddle boarders in relation to balance, muscular strength and muscular endurance.


Eight elite SUP’s were recruited from the Stand Up Paddle Surfing Association of Australia. Anatomical measures of multifidus cross-sectional area (via ultrasound), postural control under static and dynamic conditions and an isometric test of lumbar extension were performed.


Results found no significant differences in height, significantly less mass (p = 0.001) and significantly lower BMI (p < 0.05) than published Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Significantly lower static postural control indicated by increased velocity of sway ((p < 0.01), Eyes Open (EO) = +72.02% Eyes Closed (EC) = +76.34%) and significantly higher levels of dynamic postural control indicated by decreased velocity of sway (p < 0.01, Eyes-Open-Anterior-Posterior instability condition (EOAP) -34.54%, Eyes –Closed-Anterior-Posterior instability condition (ECAP) -35.83%, Eyes Open Medial Lateral instability condition (EOML) -16.91%, Eyes Closed Medial Lateral instability condition (ECML) -10.42%) were recorded in all but one condition when compared to national level surfers, which we attributed to time spent in the standing position on an unstable surface.


These results indicate that stand up paddle boarding may indeed be beneficial for strength and endurance training of the trunk musculature, for balance training for other sports and useful as a rehabilitation tool for musculoskeletal dysfunction



This document has been peer reviewed.


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