Yaeyma Standup Paddle Boarding Association launched to promote the sport in Okinawa

Yaeyma Standup Paddle Boarding Association launched to promote the sport in Okinawa

Standup paddle boarding, a new marine sport which is getting popular in Japan (Photograph provided by the Yaemaya SUP Association).

September 8, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP), in which boarders paddle standing up, is becoming a popular sport in Okinawa. On September 1, the Yaemaya SUP Association was set up in Ishigaki City, with the aim to promote the sport in Okinawa. On the same day, people involved with the association held an organization meeting and press conference at Ishigaki Port Rito Terminal.

The number of SUP lovers and businesspeople related to the sport is increasing in the Yaeyama region. The association was established to prevent accidents from occurring and further promote the sport.

It plans to hold training sessions and competitions, and train instructors. It will promote SUP as a new marine sport in Okinawan tourism, and try to attract more members.

According to the association, the Hawaii-born sport is getting popular in Japan. However, there have been accidents involving loss of life.

The head of the association Chikara Tsuyama who is a president of Island Club Co., said, “Although SUP is an easy sport to learn, there is a possibility boarders could be swept out to sea almost before they realize it.” He went on to say, “As the number of people practicing the sport increases, we need to work on preventive measures.” Tsuyama added, “The association can contribute to promoting Okinawan tourism by providing high quality SUP services.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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