7 12 2009

Brian Hovnanian, shaper/designer/promoter

So, what’s wrong with Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boards?  Who knows?

Surfers are at the same time the most tolerant of our breed and the most intolerant of our breed.  When it comes to accepting people the way they are, surfers take the lead, because surfers want to be left alone to be themselves.  On the other hand, when a new piece of equipment or trend shows up at the beach, there are always a lot of naysaying foam jockeys ready to tear it down.  I’m not sure where I fit in when it comes to SUP’s, but let me explain.

I feel threatened by SUP’s and I’m not sure why.  

Could be the price tag.   I’m afraid I might get hooked and have to invest a few thousand on stuff that takes up more garage space.  If I don’t spend the money, am I missing out?   Will I feel like I’ve been “one-upped” once again by the guy that is going to brag about his SUP in the lineup?

Could be the potential for conflict in the water.  Will that SUP lurking outside the lineup suddenly flash by me from a deeper position?  I hate to think what would happen to my board, let alone me, if I don’t move out of the way fast enough.   What will that do to the pecking order in the water?  It seems like one more gimmick used to trump the rest of the crowd.

Could be the radical change it could bring to surfing as it’s currently known.  Reading through my old buddy, Brian Hovnanian’s, website (www.hoviesup.com), it sounds like SUP surfing is actually a more pure form of soul surfing, taking us back to earlier days in Hawaii.  And, it also sounds like the real growth for SUP’s is for inland rivers and lakes, similar to how windsurfing grew in the 80’s.  Look how change over the last 50 years has improved the experience for all of us already.  I’m seen as a change agent at work, why not in the water?  

So, with all this revealed, I know there is really nothing to dislike about SUP boards.  Not everybody is going to jump in; and if they do, all the better.  Let’s welcome them into the fold.  We’ll need to figure out a good way to drag them down the bike trail.

Can we just come up with a better name for them?  SUPer boards?  Standups?  Megaboards?

Let’s all stand up for SUP’s!




One response

2 01 2012
Matt Kellerman

Well said! I have been surfing tressels for almost 10 years. I am from Capo Beach/SC and welcome anyone in the water that has a respect for the ocean and for others. -Matt Kellerman

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