I picked up two used Starboard Stand Up Paddle [SUP] boards from The Easy Rider in Edmonton. They are lightly used 2008 models that together cost less than a single 2009 demo SUP I was looking at. I have to give Warren at The Easy Rider some major props. He has been super nice to deal with. It’s hard to complain when a shop is knowledgeable, friendly, provides great service and is willing to offer some killer deals at the end of the season. At every turn Warren has gone that extra step to make an interaction really positive. If I lived in Edmonton The Easy Rider would be my new favourite board shop.
I’m going to have between 4 and 5 friends down in Baja with me over the Christmas holidays so I’m happy I’ll have some SUPs for them to use as well as a couple sea kayaks. I’ve only got one Pugsley and kiteboarding gear is too hard to use, too delicate, too dangerous and too expensive to unleash on a novice! Anyone can paddle a SUP on flat water with a 5 minute introduction. Now I should be able to keep everyone occupied and happy…=-)
The 11’2″ SUP is good for surfing and okay on flat water. The 9’8″ is more surf oriented, but should be fine for a newbie to mess around on flat water. It just won’t track exceptionally straight so it won’t inspire anyone to go on a long distance paddle. One cool thing is that the 9’8″ SUP has a mast track and foot strap inserts which means I’m only a cheap mast/boom/sail away from owning a light conditions windsurfer – cool!
With 3 weeks and counting until I hit the road South for Baja I’m trying to get everything major done at work so I can do the distance work thing as well as get all my Baja gear together. Not to mention spend some quality time with my GF so she doesn’t feel like a Baja Widow! I’m starting to feel the pressure of too much to do in too little time, but it’s all for a good cause so I don’t mind.
I know that I said earlier no significant capital purchases until the truck is paid off, but I decided that getting to spend 2 months on a beach in Baja was in itself priceless and having the opportunity to SUP literally everyday made this a smart choice. If I can come back to Canada with some serious SUP skills that will make it all worthwhile.