Well what do you make of it? 'It', being Stand up paddle surfing or as I prefer to call it stand up paddling. I watched a surf fitness video featuring the guru Laird Hamilton and listened to his take on SUP which was a fun activity to add to his vigorous cross training regime.
I have been dabbling with various boards over the last year not for their surfing ability but for open ocean paddling. Like most surfers I have a large back and fairly skinny legs due to the fact that we are constantly paddling, using our arms, shoulders and back muscles in order to spend a few precious moments riding a wave.
Like Laird I am addicted to the freedom and work out these boards give me, this week I have paddled for about an hour and half each day with trips across Swansea Bay and along the beautiful Gower coastline. The freedom of walking on water and being by yourself in the ocean is awesome.
The sights that only perhaps someone sailing along the coast would view, however, I feel that I must state that my SUP is mainly for 'STAND UP PADDLE TRAINING and use in waves that are un-surf able. I have spoken to fellow surfers in Hawaii, USA and here in Europe and it is quite clear that conflict is on the horizon. Surfers are getting fed up with guys using these massive boards to catch and ride waves at popular spots.
I have my reservations about them 2, they are great to train on, use at distant breaks such as the Mixson bank, Langland Boilers etc The reason being is that you are not going to get in peoples way or cause problems when you wipe out. What an awful prospect, a 12 foot SUP board ploughing towards the beach taking out anyone in it's path with it. I wonder when Coastal based Councils will ban them from busy beaches probably after the first serious accident.
I KNOW THE ABOVE SOUNDS NEGATIVE, but like me do you think that SUP's are really only meant for training, open water paddling, playing in small surf when you can't surf it and accessing distant reefs or bombies that normal surfers do not paddle out to. Also another point is that perhaps we can use them to start paddling into waves that normally we would need PWC's for surely that would be a more purer form of water man skills.
I love walking on water and when in London next weekend am going to paddle along the Thames, why? I have never seen Big Ben and the houses of Parliament from the water.
The bottom line is that SUP boards should not be used to be greedy with and unfortunately are at various locations to often.
Here is a good article from Santa Barbara: walking on water
More info on SUP click here: British Stand Up Paddle Surfing Association