Scene from 2013 BIC SUP race held at Nor'Banks Sailing.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) has really been growing in popularity over the past few years, and it seems like it’s everywhere on the Outer Banks now.

That makes sense in a lot of ways. With extensive flatwater on the sounds and the Atlantic Ocean with what is often calm waters past the surf zone and waves to ride for more excitement, this area is about as good as it gets for the sport.

There are a number of businesses renting SUP boards and offering lessons as well as taking people on tours. Two of the most active—although by no means the only ones—on the northern Outer Banks are Nor’ banks Sailing in Duck and Kitty Hawk Kites who seem to be just about everywhere.

Technology just seems to keep moving forward with the boards. Originally based on surf board designs, a SUP is longer, wider and more buoyant. 

Because buoyancy is at the heart of what differentiates a SUP from a surf board, manufacturers have been developing inflatable SUPs. They have been out for a couple of years now and the reviews consistently show the inflatables perform as well as the hard shell boards in most conditions.

Kitty Hawk Kites have a number of SUP events coming up that include demos, so for visitors whose travel brings them to the Outer Banks at the right time, check these events out.

BIC SUP One Design Series | Waves Village-Jul 23, 2015

BIC SUP One Design Series | Whalebone-Aug 6, 2015

BIC SUP One Design Series | Sanderling Resort in Duck-Aug 20, 2015

BIC SUP One Design | Final Event in Manteo-Sep 6, 2015