Lorette and the 11'9" Angulo Nui were a perfect match this morning for a first time SUP. After a few preliminary instructions, Lorette pushed off from the beach, pushed up to a four point stance and then right up to a nice and steady parallel stance. She was a bit hesitant as she took her first tenuous strokes. "I feel a little wobbly," she says..."Well duh!" says I (not really, I was nicer than that). But it didn't take her long to get her sea legs.
Now Lorette doesn't surf but is a water enthusiast and certified diver. She's interested in SUPing for fitness and fun, and the Nui provided her with both this morning. This flagship Angulo SUP is perhaps the perfect starter board. It's stable, paddles like a dream, surfs really well, is an excellent fishing and diving platform, hauls booty down wind and is a board you would want to hang onto, even when you decide to move up to another SUP when building a quiver. There's a reason why the Nui took top honors at Pono Bill's Maui SUP showcase this year. Everyone loves it for it's very user-friendly versatility.
This chilly May morning (AT=45, WT=49, ten degrees colder air than this date last year) was overcast with a light easterly wind blowing. No surfable waves though, so the sea surface was smooth, and launching from the beach easy. We paddled out of the light wind ripple and into where everyone is usually riding waves. But with the paucity of surf, we had the place to ourselves. Inside the kelp bed it was glassy with water visibility easily 8-10 feet. The rock reefs would rise up and fall away to meet the sand bottom. Sea grass and kelp strands big and small languished in the lagoon-like setting. Saw a couple of tennis ball like jellies and there were lots of sea otters and seals. But mostly it was just Stand Up Peaceful.
After about an hour touring towards NB's and then heading out to sea while circumnavigating the big offshore kelp beds, I paddled in to feed the parking meters and Lorette stayed out SUPing, just getting better and better. How'd she like it? We had to send Andy down to the beach to wave her in! Lorette, you're violating the "Having too much Fun" Rule!
The verdict: another SUP convert.