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

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I remember when I first heard about stand up paddle surfing. I read a post on Swaylocks about Laird paddling into the lineup at Malibu on a stand up with an American flag flying off his paddle. That was 2003. In the following years, one at a time, people were paddling around my area. They were the aberration. Last September I decided to give it a try because it looked challenging, different and I'd heard it was a great core workout. The perfect exercise for someone with my history of back injuries to avoid medications, surgery and most stay surfing.

Today the spread of stand up is moving like wild fire. This morning's session (I SUP surfed for four hours, from 0630 to 1030) saw no less than eleven people out on SUP's during the course of the session. Over half of those folks were first-timers. As we move into summer, and the nicer weather we'll see that the SUPsplosion has arrived.

It will be up to those of us who are already SUP surfing, to educate the newcomers as to the proper etiquette in the line-up for those who want to SUP paddle and surf. There is (and always has been) resistance to change, especially among surfers. Congested surf spots with tight take-off zones should be avoided by any but the most expert and proficient SUP surfers (I'm thinking pro's only here). Extra caution and surfing with aloha must be exercised when surfing anywhere on a SUP. "Give away" more waves than you take should be the rule. Because there is so much more to SUPing than just surfing, it's not just the waves. Take a paddle up coast. Surf four or five different spots, don't monopolize any one break. Make friends, call out sets, if there are too many people in the line-up, move on. Hopefully people will use good judgement and there will be room for all of us to share the ocean and appreciate it together.

Thus endeth the Sermon.

Paddled out early into a really low tide. The little windswell was putting up close-out sections all up and down the many reef breaks. I surfed Batrays and got a ton of small ankle biters that mostly closed, but every once in a while there was a long wall and fast section that held up. John paddled over after about an hour and we surfed there for a while before moving down to the area of Sarge's. I caught a few more here and there before paddling out into the kelp beds and ocean with Mash on the Mahi I, far past the line-up just to take a walk on the water out in the deep. Visibility was 15-20 feet. The ocean surface was lotion smooth. Andy wanted to check the bottom inside the lagoon so we paddled in through the surf line to check it out. He's crazed for fishing off his SUP and hooked up a big halibut last eveining. He wants more. After that I paddled over to GDubs but the tide was still too low and the Kelp Fiesta was in full party mode. They all wanted a piece of me.

Around 0900 the rising tide and the wind swell (which has jumped up considerably compared to yesterday and the few previous days) conspired to dish up an hour's worth of sweet and ridable ola's. By that time everyone was bailing out for work except me and two longboard pronies. It was the icing on the cake of a great morning.

The surge in the wind swell is forecast to maintain through the weekend perhaps aided by a southie that's supposedly heading our way. Dawn patrol even if the tide will be too low.
June 5, 2008 (Th)
In: 0630
Out: 1030
AT= 46 to 62 degrees
WT= 51-52 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Partly foggy to clearing to blue skies
Tide: -1.22 Falling to -1.68, Rising to 0.6
Wind: Calm to SW at 4 mph
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind rippling
Buoy: NWS
0600: 6.7 feet @ 8.3 NW
0700: 6.2 feet @ 9.1 NW
1100: 5.6 feet @ 9.1 NW
1200: 4.9 feet @ 8.3 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with Bluecoil 5.5" center fin and FCS Occy sides
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: 3.7 feet at 8 seconds from 320 degrees and .8 feet at 17 seconds from 195 degrees

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