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

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Original SIMSUP Story

Prior to Kirk McGinty shaping the first high performance SUP in June 2010, based on the hydrodynamic ideas of surf legend Bob Simmons, the world had never seen a stand up paddleboard quite like the SIMSUP. (The name is derived as homage to Simmons and the abbreviation for stand up paddleboard. He called it the "Original" SIMSUP because it was in fact the first short, wide tail Simmons inspired SUP. The first board (the S1) proved to be so successful that the Original SIMSUP now makes four models, the S1 through S4.

McGinty, an avid and accomplished surfer in his own right, had fallen in love with stand up paddling on a trip to Fiji with his beautiful wife Kim. He had already been shaping and producing custom boards (primarily in Santa Cruz, CA) for years under his label, L41 Surfboards, so it should come as no surprise that upon his return home he shaped his first SUP. Never one to stand still in his quest to build better boards that excel through his incorporation of unique design elements, he eagerly signed on to a project in May 2010 with local SUP surfer, Gary Niblock, which evolved into what the world now knows as the Original SIMSUP.

In June the first eight foot Original SIMSUP, the S1, hit the water and was an unparalleled, astonishing success. Testament to Kirk's skill, the S1 needed no improvements. It was exactly what the collaboration had envisioned. It was fast, maneuverable, stable and paddled well.

From that point, in the Summer of 2010, the Original SIMSUP has evolved into four models, with each model adding more maneuverability to the design. Almost a year after the advent of the S1, the S2 was created. This model added the k-rail, and gave the board more maneuverability because of its reduced volume, surfboard-like rail which produced less drag and was easier to sink into the water, offering less resistance when turning. But the quest for even higher performance, while still maintaining stability, didn't stop there. The S2 was so successful that six months later the S3 was born. Along with the k-rail, a double-winged tail was added to decrease the width and increase the outline curve, allowing the tail to pivot tighter. The final touch on the S3 was to ensure that the board was light, so it was glassed using the vacuum bag technique. Out of the shop the board weighed 13 pounds. The Original SIMSUP S3 has proven to be the most maneuverable of the S1 - S3 models.

Finally, in December, 2011, Kirk created the apex model SIMSUP in the series, the S4. This model has proven to be the fastest and most maneuverable and incorporates a futuristic rail, along with the tried and true hull design that makes the Original SIMSUP series one-of-a-kind.

The SIMSUPs have generated world wide interest. Online SUP forums from Australia to the US are buzzing with exuberant curiosity about this breakthrough surfing SUP. Kirk has built and shipped custom SIMSUPs to the east coast as well as all over the west coast, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Santa Cruz has seen an explosion of SIMSUPs as the local crew of SUP surfers on the Eastside, as well as the Westside, has embraced Kirk's revolutionary design. There is even a rumor that the production models of the Original SIMSUP will soon be available internationally.

The future success of the Original SIMSUP is ensured because they are a perfect fit for the Stand Up market. The unique characteristics of the design mean that beginning or intermediate paddlers can ride them short without any loss in stability. Advanced riders can now go crazy small and rip on boards that are lower in volume than they ever imagined was possible. Truly the best of all worlds.

For more check out Kirk's website:

Covewater Spring SUP Sale - New and Used SUPs Blowout!

Its almost spring! That means more time on the water, and it means that we have to make room for our pre-booked orders from our manufacturers. So it's time to blow out some SUPs! This is your chance to get the top models from the industry's leading manufacturers at a huge discount. The sale begins Saturday, 3/9, and everything that's on sale will stay on sale until it is sold. Click here to check out the boards.