This post is an interview from a series of interviews i had originally planned on submitting to SUP the Mag or another publication but have decided to just put the content out and let the people enjoy! Look out for CHIP in your local Florida line up and paddling events !
THIS PADDLER is a fellow C4 Waterman supporter CHIP BOCK.
Name: Chip Bock
Location: Melbourne Beach, FL
Job: Director of National Accounts & Contracting for Argon Medical Devices (Medical Device Manufacturer)
When did you first start SUP? 2005/2006 – I read a small article in Outside Magazine about Laird Hamilton raising awareness for Autism biking from Paris to the coast of France and then paddling the English Channel on a new lemon yellow 12ft SUP that SurfTech was going to start making later that year. Loved what I saw in the pics, went to my local shop the next day, had them call Randy French at Surftech to find out what the deal was (they had no idea what to think when I showed them the pics) – I put a deposit down that day and took delivery of one of the first 3 x Laird SurfTech 12’1” SUP’s that they shipped to the Right Coast (6 months later). It was supposed to come with a paddle (but didn’t) so after some web searching I found Todd Bradley (then just making Pohaku Paddles out of HI) and set up my local shop to get some paddles from Todd. Getting to know Todd, Dave Parmenter and Brian Keaulana when they launched C4 Waterman lead to my first C4 10’6” 2+1 Classic shape from C4 that they were already testing in Makaha – that changed EVERYTHING and the progression started…
How often are you getting out in the water? 3 to 5 days a week
What is your favorite part about SUP?
1) The Versatility; with one 10ft Longboard style SUP (with medium rocker) you can surf, paddle flat water for fitness, cruise, explore, fish, you name it. The stance and stroke in SUP just comes naturally to people, all the while you can’t beat the visibility too. 2) My other favorite part of SUP is the PEOPLE, the Global Tribe; the people I have gotten to know from the original innovators like Todd Bradley, Brian Keaulana and Dave Parmenter to legends like Mikey Munoz, Gerry Lopez and Dave Kalama, to first time paddlers (their stoke is always off the chart) – I have met so many great people globally through SUP, it is a family like no other that I have found before, even when I was growing up as a sailor and surfer.
Do you have a go to board? What gear sees the most action?
I have an extensive quiver of SUP boards that range from super progressive surf shapes (quads with progressive rockers) to party boards (12ft with full neoprene deck) to custom race shapes for Battle of the Paddle style racing, flat water, all water, downwind, Unlimited class, the works – currently if I am counting correctly; 10 x SUP Surf shapes, 5 x SUP race boards and a recently added OC-1 race hull (not including 3 x blow up SUP’s and several surfboards). Believe it or not they all get used throughout the year. If I had to say which get used the most it would be: For Surf – 10’ and 9’ C4 Waterman SubVector Quad designed and shaped by Dave Parmenter and Brian Keaulana. For Racing – 2017 14’ Custom Infinity Blackfish with Larry Allison Twin Fin set up (actually a 4 fin system) and my 18’ Custom MHL Unlimited with Ventral Fin set up (I just did my first OC-1 race at the 2017 Chattajack too).
What is some advice you would give to other paddlers?
- Have FUN (a mantra of Jim Terrell at QuickBlade Paddles)
- Wear a leash ALWAYS – things happen and they can happen quick to ANYONE regardless of skill level – don’t be “kooked” by people that may scoff at you when the water is flat and you’re wearing a leash – just smile and paddle – a leash has saved my life numerous times and I have experienced the panic without one – WEAR A LEASH
- When you paddle (on or off the water) Live with ALOHA – what does that mean?
- When surfing – be generous with your waves, call out sets to the other surfers (both prone and SUP)
- If a Non-SUP person hassles you in the water – smile, introduce yourself and offer them your paddle and board to try – most Non-SUP people don’t understand because they haven’t tried it – share the Aloha (can’t tell you how many times I have done this in a crowded line-up, parking lot or on the beach)
- No matter where you are (in traffic, at the gym, at work, with your family) Live Aloha – if you are a paddler, you are now part of something special (I think you get it, I know my SUP Tribe does)
- Don’t ever (EVER) hold back asking for help or coaching (or giving it if asked)
- Always let someone know where you are paddling, when you are paddling and when you expect to be back
- Never stop trying new things (Hey, you’re already a SUP paddler) – SUP still has a lot of growth ahead of it – stay open
- SMILE (see #1)
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