G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hawaii - Day Two

August 22, 2007

Woke up at 4AM (7PDT). Did my qigong routine and checked it when it got light enough…a dawn patrol in the water. Surf much smaller this morning (I was hoping for a swell…oh well, I’ll have to wait.) So instead the consolation prize is to go snorkeling with Mariposa and Joel to Haunama. Gotta get there early (before 9AM) or you can’t get a parking space or snorkel in uncrowded water. Arrived 7:15A (a little late actually, had a little trouble getting the number two son up and at ‘em). Snorked until 9:30 and did a humongous shopping spree at Foodland in Hawaii Kai.

Surf still small in the afternoon so I rented a SUP at the beach shack in front of the condos. The guy said it was a little small, ten foot, but wide. Cool…wide is good. The paddle was too tall for me but, whatever…I wasn’t expecting to be on my feet very much anyway as everything I’ve read and researched says that it’s hard to get the hang of it right away. I put it in the water, placed the paddle in the center of the board parallel with the rails, hopped on and knee paddled to get up some speed. I popped up to my feet grabbing the paddle as I got up and off I went. To my unfettered surprise it wasn’t that hard to keep my balance. Harder to get used to paddling in a straight line, that wasn’t happening.

A tip I picked up from a Todd Bradley news story was to keep my eye on the horizon, not on my feet. Unbelievably, that works! I was on my feet and paddling for a long time before I finally fell off, and that was due to a following sea that I didn’t see coming. The sudden surge forward made me fall of backward.

Later one of the beach shacks workers told me they call the SUP I rented “The Door.” This boards real dimensions are 8’10” X 30” X 3 ¾”. The nose is as square as the tail. I learned to SUP on a shortboard! Paddling a ten footer will seem like paddling an aircraft carrier at this rate.

I’ve always heard that SUP’s work your core muscles pretty good and I can confirm that. You know you’re in for some pain when your muscles are sore twenty minutes after your workout. Wow! Shoulders, neck, forearms, hands, buttocks, hamstrings, quads, upper-mid-lower back…all sore. I did a good stretch routine, ate dinner and lost consciousness shortly thereafter. All in all, very cool. When the surf is small I’ll SUP.

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