My interest in SUPs hasn’t been as strong the last couple years as I had hoped it would be. Even when I showed up in Baja this winter I unloaded my two SUPs and they sat next to my camp unused for the whole time I was in La Ventana. I had actually begun to think I should sell them as they seemed one interest too far removed from the kiteboarding and cycling that got most of my free time.
I’m really glad I didn’t!
I decided to spend a week camped on a bluff over looking a point break on Baja’s Pacific Coast with a goal to dial in my SUP surfing. First chance I got I unpacked my SUP and headed out into the waves. The results were not pretty at first, but I stuck with it and by day 2 I was catching waves and having a blast. SUP surfing was super duper fun! After that I was SUP surfing everyday that conditions were suitable.
Looking back on the SUP part of my life what’s causing the lack of participation is that I have other interests in Victoria [mainly MTBing] that are easier to do and more satisfying than going on a flatwater SUP paddle. I guess that’s not terribly surprising since my interest in going for a chill road ride or a hike is also pretty much zero.
I’ve tried my hand at SUP surfing before, but never quite gotten far enough along to really do it or enjoy it fully. Being a beginner who is just below the threshold for competence is frustrating and the surfing world [in general] does not make a kook feel welcome. Combine that with the logistics of driving to a surf break from my house and having my arrival coincide with suitable newbie SUP surfing conditions. The result was not enough traction to get over the “hump” so to speak.
Spending a week camped right at an uncrowded surf break that had perfect SUP waves was exactly what the doctor ordered. My buddy Clint who camped with me is an accomplished SUP surfer and he gave me the tips I needed to make a break through. By the end I was paddling around with confidence and catching a reasonable amount of waves. I feel okay calling myself a bonafide SUP surfer now – albeit a kooky one who still has lots and lots to learn.
When I bought my first two SUPs used from The Easy Rider in Edmonton one of them was the 9’8″ surf oriented SUP shown above. I’ve never really used that board because it’s not suited for flatwater paddling and I was happy trying to surf on my bigger SUPs – not wanting to make things more challenging than I had to. Now that I can actually catch waves the smaller size and enhanced maneuverability of this SUP is appealing. In fact it’s the same board Clint was riding so I know it can surf really well. It’s nice to have paid off your next surfboard upgrade several years in the past!
I’m going to take advantage of my less than full time contract hours and head to Jordan River this winter when conditions look decent for my skill level. I figure if I hit the break early on mid-week days I should have the place mostly to myself. Especially considering the modest swell size that I’ll be shooting for!
I’m really glad I stuck with SUP surfing and dedicated a week in Baja to making it happen.