SUP World Series

Check out ‘Positively Kai Lenny – Episode 16’ SUP video. It showcases perfectly where the sport of SUP is going in terms of wave discipline and race boards, promoting fitness. Kai, a young protégé of Robby Naish, conquers the Race World Series for 2012. And like many these days, is not an exclusive rider of any one discipline – a true waterman – windsurfer, kiter, SUP’er and surfer.

He demonstrates just how SUP is developing much like Windsurfing before it, into categories of Wave and Race … But we’ve yet to see Freestyle!

The speed of the race boards is impressive, and what stands out to me is their range and total flexibility of movement within the seascape – no more trying to get up wind.  Check the riders’ ability to surf waves back into the beach.

‘Race’ is definitely a board I want to add to my quiver!

Short SUP Technique

If you’re anything like me and into your SUP’ing, you’ll be on the ‘journey down’. 11’2″ to 9’8″ to … Well, where is the limit for short usable SUP’s?  Gong have one at 5’9″. But the Pro’s seem to be in the 7’4″ to 8’5″ range with varying widths. Having just moved to 7’4″ and loving the portability – leaving it in the car for those sneaky, wave sessions – I’ve found the shorter boards demand better technique; but offer so much more in terms of wave riding, flow and manoeuvrability. So here are some tips I’ve gathered to help get those magic carpets into waves.

Flat water paddle just to get the balance points. Before I even went out into waves, I paddled about just to get used to my 7’4″ Starboard Pod. I found the shorter SUP’s are dynamic – they need paddle strokes and a bit of speed for stability. Stop paddling … you fall in.

Wind – avoid it. Choppy waters aren’t best suited to them, due to obvious instability. Each board has its place in a quiver. So far I’ve targeted smooth swell. Ankle bitters to start, and then build up.

Catching the wave: I’ve tended to paddle out towards them using the natural yaw of the board to turn and start the paddle in. Surfing stance has been best for the last few power strokes to get in, and bring your weight forward to bring the nose down, matching board angle to the wave. If necessary, you got to move back quickly to prevent the ‘dig in’ at the nose once you pick up the wave.

Here’s a great little video. It’s shows the above technique.

And remember, it’s a journey. If at first you don’t succeed try, try , and try again. If you don’t try … you get nothing, those are the rules! I just surf here.


Surfing in North Devon – the guardian

“As a clean three foot swell hits the world class surfing beaches of Woolacombe, Saunton and Croyde, Alastair Sawday heads to North Devon to look at areas vibrant and ever growing surf culture through the eyes of the men that make it happen. He spends time at the local point break with Andrew Cotton, the Devon lifegaurd, boy turned big wave hero. He visits the Gulf Stream Surfboards factor and talks to founder Julian ‘Jools’ Matthews and spends some time with surfing historian Peter Robinson”.

Portrait of a surfer

A beautiful video filmed on location in West Cornwall, Swami’s short film profiles multiple British and European longboard champion Sam Bleakley: surfer, explorer and writer.

An insightful glimpse into a surfer’s state of mind, travel wonder lust and the ultimate draw back home.