Matthew Hayden

Stand-up paddle surfing is a traditional Hawaiian sport that promotes balance, strength and general fitness. It began in the 1950s when tourists in Hawaii wanted pictures of their surfing lessons. A local put a camera around his neck, grabbed a longboard and paddle for balance, and stand-up paddle caught its first wave.
It is excellent for surfers and non-surfers as it gives an isometric workout, which strengthens the core muscle groups, and is great fun.
Noosa Standup Paddle (with its surfing origins beginning in Noosa back more than 23 years ago with Surf Legend and waterman Ross Phillips) provides lessons in the sport, and supplies paddles and specialised stand-up paddle boards for all skill levels….and by the way, Ross also founded one of the very first surf schools in Noosa, and has been advisor to Government on Surf School policy and safety for many years…
While it looks simple, it’s much easier to learn in still water before taking on the ocean, so Operation Sunshine , as seen on Getaway, went to the Noosa River with Rick Halkett of Noosa Standup Paddle, along with cricket Australia Legend , Matthew Hayden, to experience some expert SUP tuition.The Stand Up Paddle Surfing course teaches you advanced strokes for turning and catching waves, safety on the water, safe methods of carrying your gear, basic strokes and turns, correct stances and how to use the paddle for stability. Rick also recommends that the first lessons be in virtually windless conditions, so that usually means early morning, or a sunset paddle. It’s the most beautiful part of the day and the water, where lessons are undertaken, is usually like glass.

Carrying the equipment correctly is crucial. Beginner boards have carry handles, but as with all boards, the safest carry is on the shoulder. Simply pick it up by the nose end and walk with outstretched hands down the deck until the weight feels balanced. Ease the board onto your shoulder and place the other hand on the top.

Once the basics are under control, you go on an a very serene SUP excursion around the estuaries. From Noosa Heads Lions Park there are more than 40km of estuaries to explore.Every year the town hosts the Noosa Festival of Surfing. It was established in 1992 by members of the Noosa Malibu Club as an amateur surfing competition. It provided the perfect excuse for members to invite friends to surf Noosa’s pristine right-hand point breaks at their best. The event’s popularity among longboarders far exceeded expectations and encouraged the club to take the classic competition to the next level.While tandem surfing and nose-riding have always been popular at the festival, this year stand-up paddle surfing has hit the popularity stakes.