PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One of the fastest growing water sports in the world is now available in Pittsburgh.

Paddle boarding has been around since the 1960s, but it’s no longer just for surfers looking to catch big waves.

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The sport started to take over Pittsburgh waterways thanks to Lisa Volpe, a paddle boarder from the area.

“I discovered it out on vacation in California,” she said. “So I brought the boards back, put them in the water and wanted to bring it to the rivers here in Pittsburgh.”

Less than two years ago, she started RiseSUP, a paddle boarding company that offers lessons and gear.

She started with a location in Oakmont and now has three locations, including a spot along the Allegheny River at the Fox Chapel Yacht Club and in North Park.

Those in the know, call the sport SUPing, short for stand up paddling. It’s been a huge part of the surfer community for years, but it is now being used by a plethora of athletes and non-athletes alike.

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Volpe says the best part of paddling is the ability to do it on any water source and it’s good for any age.

Celebrities like Taylor Swift have been seen paddle boarding — and we decided to send Susan Koeppen out on the water with Volpe to give it a try.

It took Koeppen about 30 minutes before she felt like a pro on the paddle. It’s a great workout for the upper body and your core. And to kick it up a notch, people are now doing yoga on their paddle boards — even fishing.

With paddle boarding — you can take it at your own pace — gliding along to check out the scenery — or digging in to go fast.

Some SUPing 101:

  • You do it barefoot.
  • Very rarely does anyone fall in.
  • To go straight, the paddle needs to be straight up and down in the water.

For more information on RiseSUP and lessons: http://www.riseup-pittsburgh.com

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