4 02 2013
Warming the body and feeding the stoke before hitting the waves...

Warming the body and feeding the stoke before hitting the waves…

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!

Heading out into the waves...

Heading out into the waves…

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.

Paddling to catch a wave...

Paddling to catch a wave…

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.

My buddy Clint showing me how it's done...

My buddy Clint showing me how it’s done…

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.

More Clint SUP action...

More Clint SUP action…

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. 😉

My new old surf SUP...

My new old surf SUP…

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!

Starboard Extremist 9'8" surf SUP...

Starboard Extremist 9’8″ surf SUP…

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!

This is what it feels like to me even when the waves are only 3' high... ;)

This is what it feels like to me even when the waves are only 3′ high… 😉

I’m really glad I stuck with SUP surfing and dedicated a week in Baja to making it happen. 🙂



7 responses

4 02 2013

Oops..I thought you were talking about Mavic SUP rims…

4 02 2013

Now that I’m employed again, my mind is wandering to getting into SUP here on the Columbia. But as you mention about other interests, I’m similar. I’d love to get out on the recumbent for an all-day (or just all-morning) ride; compared to hauling myself and a board down to the river.

Eh, maybe its time to start looking for used gear, just give it a try this year.

4 02 2013

@Ian – they make inflatable SUPs that are bike portable and quite nice for river use. I plan on getting one at some point when $$ allow.

4 02 2013

@Vik – Inflatable, ya say? Something to contemplate. Though what’s been on my mind is the one that you tried (have?) that has the sharp pointed nose, much like a boat. Basically flatwater only. And I do still have an Xtracycle, so could rig something up for a three mile ride.

4 02 2013
James S

I bought my SUP intending to just cruise around on San Francisco Bay but found it too boring after awhile even though the views from the water were incredible. Then I started surfing it… Now that’s fun! So yeah, I wouldn’t bother to load up the SUP and drive somewhere unless there is some surfing involved. It’s also season dependent – I rarely SUP in the spring or fall when I could be kiteboarding instead. Mountain biking is so much less condition dependent than surfing or kiting, so it’s always on the agenda.

4 02 2013

@James – sounds like we think alike! 😉

4 02 2013

Jordan River almost never goes off, but you can always stop and take a look on your way out to Sombrio. That’s how you have to do it, plan for Sombrio and take advantage of the 1/50 chance Jordan is going. Sombrio is a great break and you can count on the swell being there when it’s forecast.

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