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AUSTIN Stand-up paddling is the fastest growing water sport in the world, and it s also gaining fans on Austin s waterways.

Enthusiasts say it s a fun way to exercise on the water. Stand up paddling takes some skill. You begin on your knees on the paddle board and slowly stand up. You must keep your balance, or you could fall in the water. Instructors say one in ten paddle boarders go overboard the first time they try the water sport.

It was way easier than I thought it would be, paddle boarder Jaidev Amrite said.

On Sunday mornings Austin Paddle Sports gives free demonstrations on Lady Bird Lake west of Mopac. Participants launch from the Rowing Dock near Stratford Drive.

Andy Lukei started Austin Paddle Sports two years ago when he moved to Austin. He said the number of paddle boards in Austin has grown from thirty in 2009 to 500 today.

That will more than likely double by the end of this summer, Lukei said.

Tara Battie paddle boards to stay fit.

Your core gets quite the workout, your entire body actually, Battie said.

It costs $15 an hour to rent a paddle board. Instructors say it s easier than it looks.

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