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"SUPerior Insights" – Part One  

"SUPerior Insights" – Part One  

Why do you invest so much time and focus on SUP? With all your knowledge and experience, shouldn't you work in a more capital-intensive area? Probably one of the most common questions and comments I receive.  

So, how do you respond to that? My work and, at the same time, my passion are about understanding us humans and our performance capabilities. If I were introduced to something that provided me with as much insight as StandUpPaddle (SUP), I would certainly consider it, but not for economic reasons. Of course, I need to support myself but what determines it, is what I can learn.  

After nearly 14 years in this activity, I am still amazed at how much new I discover on a daily basis about both myself and others by studying this phenomenon. So far I haven't come across anything as rewarding and stimulating as SUP.  

How I actually became hooked on this seemingly trivial form of recreation is a story in itself. Before SUP was even a common term, I was tasked with finding out what "stand-up paddling" was and what physiological effects it could have. During this study, I accidentally realized that there was something much more interesting than I could have guessed.  

What emerged was not was what expected; this was physiology but on a whole new level. Something I had sought but hadn't quite found. One of my missing puzzle pieces fell into place. Here appeared an optimal tool for - behavior analysis! Neither I nor any of the skiers studied in this case were aware of or could control their movements on the water. Why?  

This question is what has driven me since then and will surely continue to do so. The discovery not only opened my perspective on how we can ensure desired behaviors but also on what governs our function.  

Soon, this became one of my primary tools for understanding human trainability and adaptability. Something that comes in handy both in my ongoing quest for understanding and in my work to drive the development of SUP. Today, as a test and performance manager at one of the most innovative, forward-thinking and genuine brands, Swedish Kona Sports.  

For me, SUP has become the superb method to both learn and validate how well we have automated a movement or behavior. I find it challenging to see a simpler and more effective way to "stress-test" our abilities. SUP is, in many ways, exemplary for inducing and studying reflex-controlled behaviors. Yet, I have not seen anyone successfully hide their reactions standing on a SUP board.  

So besides this, what makes SUP so interesting and special in itself? In many cases, I argue that the training and healtheffects of stand-up paddling are both unique and revolutionary. Something that probably requires further explanation.  

We'll stop here for now, but some of the answers and much more will come in "SUPerior Insights" - Part Two. 

"Stand Up for your health and functionality"

/Magnus R Lindstedt

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