We want our kids to follow in our foot steps right ?
We all want our kids to follow in our footsteps and be able to safely have them enjoy the things we love. When it comes to the ocean the most important thing is safety and once you have that the rest is pure fun. There are many ways to ride waves with your kids but surfboards, paddleboards and traditional bodyboards didn’t have 2 riders in mind when they were being designed. So what should you do to get your kids stoked on wave riding?
Get them started young
Like anything with kids it takes time and building a positive fun experience. Getting your children comfortable with a board can be as easy as letting them play with it in the living room or kiddie pool. You can emulate waves by adding turbulence and making it a fun game to stay on the board. By the time they can walk they will be ready to ride!
The best board for the job
Bullyboards are specifically made to be a tool not a toy. You wont find these at the local wholesale store, they are built to last and perform in head high to ankle high surf. They are thick durable and made to hold up to 400 pounds. They are customizable, so they can be your favorite color or have extra handles for added safety. Bullyboards are a very versatile board. People have used them in flatwater, pools, rivers and are easy to ride with or without a partner. Having a board like this as a parent you worry less and surf more. Catching more waves are guaranteed with a Bullyboard and being able to progress with your child is priceless. With a Bullyboard you aren’t just building skill or confidence, you are making lasting memories with your loved ones.
X marks the Spot
When you are getting your kids into waves you shouldn’t take them to your normal wave spot. You should find a place that is fun on the beach and in the ocean. Kids will enjoy riding waves more if the whole day is an experience. Find a beach with nice sandy beaches, fun boardwalks and things to do. Kids will appreciate the diversity and make it easier for you to get some waves in on the weekends.
Want to give it a try?
Bullyboards are available to demo in California and Hawaii.
Its an art form forgotten
SUP in its early years was really another way to enjoy waves. It wasn’t until about 2011 that the racing and touring side of the sport gained traction with the general riders. When we look back we can see alot of SUP surfing being done in places like Hawaii and California with high level competition. Contests were being held at Sunset Beach, Oahu, Mavericks, CA and Makaha, Oahu. These contests had some of the best young and old surfers who could also get busy on a bigger board. SUP progressed so fast that within a 5 year span people were starting to stay away from the boards you see below… and opting for boards that resembled short boards.
With the growth in popularity and more options for boards SUP surfing has been put to the side. SUP racing has quickly become the popular event because on any given weekend there can be 200 or more people racing SUP up and down the coast of California. Racing has No need for waves – big sponsors -safety teams or high pay outs, just on sheer number of participants you can create a big chunk of the winning money. SUP racing will continue to thrive because of the amateur weekend warriors boosting every event. The entry skill level is way lower than in a surfing contest, participants need to have wave riding experience as well as a number of maneuvers in their back pocket to use at any moment along with the ability to navigate currents shore break etc. Surfing is also more of a solitary competition while racing is all about inclusion and community.
The problem lies in the pro circuit of SUP surfing. It is trying to hard to simulate short board surfing. SUP was intended to stand out in the line up it shouldn’t land in the shadow of the WSL guys. If we can create board size regulations and paddle use rules it could create something special. People like Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Chuck Patterson and Brian Keaulana should be the ones to guide the next evolution of the SUP contests because they are widely seen as the godfathers of the sport. SUP surfing needs to regain some of the athletes its lost to racing and other water sports. some of the best guys have no place to compete so they turn to races and now foiling or free surfing to pay the bills.
dave kalama on a proper wave SUP
SUP surfing when done right is a beautiful thing. Boards that are no smaller than 9 feet and shaped to ride waves are the perfect vehicle to carry the sport to new levels of competition. It can be just as popular as the main WSL shortboard events but can appeal to alot more people. In AUSTRALIA I have seen a few classic contests bring in a 10 foot class for SUP surfing and some of the surfing done down there is amazing. If we can take some of those notes and apply them to SUP here in the STATES we could breathe life into the SUP surf realm. I am tired of going to these events and seeing guys on 7 foot sups and 2 foot waves doing slashes and sloppy cutbacks trying to be high performance when a bigger board would have easily made it more aesthetically appealing and more fun to ride the wave.
SAVE OUR SUP SURF EVENTS
Dont let one thing define you..
When we look back at the greatest athletes we see a similar pattern. It is an amazing ability to adapt. Adapting doesn’t just mean switching stance while riding a wave or running for a touchdown on a hurt leg, its more than that. The best athletes are the ones that see them selves as more than just ONE dimensional. You saw it with Bo Jackson, a HULK of a football player with the speed -finesse – and IQ to also play baseball (along with many other sports) so well that he became an all star in both the NFL and MLB. When you put all your eggs in one basket alot of the time you come up short. Like an all state football player who goes to college and just wants to play ball but then gets injured..and now all he has is a bad leg and little experience in anything else. Being well rounded is the key to longevity….and well longevity is key.
(BO KNOWS -nike campaign- BO SURFS!!)
When it comes to the ocean athletes this idea adapting is taken to another level. On any given day you have most likely have to choose between at a short or longboard. But for some Watermen/women they have endless possibilities when they see a body of water. One great example of well rounded in GERRY LOPEZ. He is a certified legend of the short board world but he didnt stop there. He surfed all sizes of boards -went on to do SUP surf – board shaping and design- SUP racing-diving for fish -canoe-and snowboarding. To take it even one step further you can look at someone like Dave Kalama who has literally every water sport in his repertoire. (Windsurf -kiting-tow in -foil-SUP- surf-canoe-diving-OC1 -kayak -prone paddling.) The ocean is so full of variables that its always a guessing game. Its a beauty and a beast. BEING able to adapt can change your life and not adapting can take your life away.
Duke Kahanamoku always said that “the best surfer is the guy who is having the most fun.” Having options when it comes to daily activities is proving to be more and more beneficial (more fun too) every time I step back and think about it. Switching up the little things in my day to day life to break the routine/the grind has opened alot of doors for me. Each water sport I’ve participated in has all helped one another being a good canoe paddler helps my SUP and being a good SUP surfer helped my regular prone surfing.
Recently I adopted the motto BE LIKE WATER. It comes from the great BRUCE LEE –
” Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.Water can flow – water can crash. ”
BE WATER MY FRIENDS!
This past week San Diego was hit by a big south swell which made for an epic couple days of summer surf. I just happen to find out that the ISA SUP surfing contest was green lighted and set to happen in Oceanside CA. With over head conditions-brutal rip currents and foaming white water the contest WAS AWESOME to watch. It became more of a chess match as the paddlers had to navigate different peaks along with where and how to paddle out. For most of the paddlers it seemed like the best rides were only may be 2 maneuvers before the wave blew up !
While watching from the beach I felt that the judging was a little more generous than I would have been but there was a few classic rides that really make SUP surfing special. It Wasn’t that the waves were crazy huge or dangerous but they were unpredictable and no matter how ell they were predicted they looked a little hard to read which left most paddlers caught inside or struggling to get back to the waves after a good ride. I havent been to a SUP surf contest and SO CAL REALLY needs more!! The amount of progression you see is so inspiring and although I can go surf every day at my local break you arent always getting to see the best riders. I love seeing people SEND IT but i also like seeing the latest and greatest in boards and paddles. And I seriously fell in love with the CAMO CUSTOM from infinity. Contests bring out the best in the wave riders and is just a overall fun time.
With this contest I was expecting a few of the bigger name SUP surfers to come and compete but some of the main paddlers from INFINITY-NAISH -STARBOARD were all competing in SUP races. With it being summer I figured that would be the case but there is also a new group of SUP surfers sometimes I forget that the STARS of the SUP world are already 10 years deep in their careers and have other things to focus on.
(above: Jason Latham off the lip )
It led me to think what is more important in SUP… WAVES or RACING ? (this topic can go so many waves and the arguments are endless but here is just a few thoughts) When it comes to ISA and other big events for the most part SURFERS PAY FOR everything and while it is cool to represent a team or country most the time you can make more money racing/ traveling and having your sponsor front most of the fees.LETS MAKE SURF CONTESTS worth it so the best guys comeout! For me I rather see guys making as much money as they can because if I could I would so I dont blame people for missing out on certain events. MORE money and effort should be put in to getting so SOLID CONTESTS in place and it can be high performance or longboard style SUP. We have already seen the best guys(Kai lenny -Dave Kalama etc.) switch to more of a wave focus and it would be great to see more of it !
RACES will always be around and on any given weekend there is sOOO many up and down the coast of California so we need to shake things up!! As a spectator I want to see the best guys SURFING stand up as much as possible. The racing side of the sport is in very good hands with all the new aggressive paddlers we have now. There is many debates for BOTH RACING AND WAVE RIDING but for the core group of Americans and Hawaii paddlers I think surf should be the main focus. With so many new faces maybe the scene will shift and new people will be on top of the SUP charts.
WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER SEE THE PROS DOING ??? race or surf????!?!?!?
Why conform to one craft???
THE WORLD OF WAVE RIDING HAS A F@#$%%*$% PROBLEM…. & Its something you wouldn’t think existed until you’ve experienced it first hand. Its hands down absolutely the most annoying thing to deal with. If you haven’t been through it MORE POWER TO YOU but for alot of SUP surfers PURE HATE from “REAL” surfers and straight up disrespect is something you have to deal with (probably a lot). NO MATTER WHAT “rules or guidelines ” we try to follow as SUP surfers there is always someone who has a negative comment. You can just be parking your car at the local break and some short board surfer is already giving you a dirty look. In surf , line up banter is a great way to learn and make connection but when you have a SUP under your feet you almost get discredited right off the bat.
For whatever reason the SUP community doesn’t ever talk about it. Or if it gets brought up in a chat or message board it gets glossed over and people just try to “keep positive vibes” and “its not that bad”. I hate shining light on negative things but sometimes shining a light brings attention to the things that other wise would lie in the dark. There is full blown websites and clothing that protests SUPS in surfing. Literally the stupidest things i HAVE SEEN LATELY. Why are people so triggered by SUP??
I might be a little biased but I get it SUPs are a new thing “threatening” surfing but if you ask SUP surfers they dont give a damn about you !! they just want to have FUN…isnt that the point of riding waves??
THE WORST TYPE OF PERSON>>>>> Instead of worrying about themselves they immediately want to talk SHIT about a sport they probably cant do. Its such a pointless struggle to go through. At the end of the day why waste energy being pissed off when you can use some of that hat eto catch more waves that SUPers supposedly STEAL.
One of the biggest things i hear is that SUPS are dangerous….when in reality all boards are dangerous ..ESPECIALLY HUGE LONGBOARDS THAT DONT HAVE LEASHES…
THERE IS SOOOO much arguing that can go back and forth -pros and cons and all of that. The fact that anyone would yell at someone while in the water is ridiculous.
SUPs greatest ambassadors cant even escape the hate..this was the comments section from KAI LENNY SUPing THE KELLY SLATER WaVE POOL..literally days ago so this is a current problem not just old thinking…(see below)
THE SURFZONE is a magical place and is where alot of us go to zen out or have a really good time. WHen you really think about it its people on short boards and the “real ” surfers that create the static. Cutting people off or snaking waves is never OK but it is forgivable. Not enough people practice what they preach. THey wan to be all ” good vibes and aloha” but when they arent on instagram fronting they are being bullys at the beach!! SO NEXT TIME YOU ARE SURFING KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND HEAD ON A SWIVEL and think of ways to keep the trash and trash people out of surf and our line ups…not SUPs
This GREAT DIVIDE really seems to be one of those things that are just going to be there no matter what and realistically wont change. But i will throw this challenge to any “real” surfer …GO SUP SURF one day a week and you will have fun and you will help your surfing I swear. Why conform to one craft??? Be of the water and ride all of them.
PIPI MY KAULA AND I’LL LOMI YOUR SALMON
the best in performance and play ?
*disclaimer …NOT A PAID AD ..i use a different brand of paddle just giving props where props are due. *
In SUP there is a lot of brands that specialize in paddle production, some being QB-Kialoa- Ke Nalu…but have you heard of BLACK PROJECT ?? The company started in 2010 and has been pushing for performance in paddles fins and racing fins for SUP. Will there paddles be your next SUP related purchase.
With so many options these days for equipment it can be a bit overwhelming. Price-materials-shape-pro riders- all make a bit of an influence in our decisions. Me personally I have my favorites and pretty much stick to those when I am heading out into the ocean. For about the last 2 years I have worked at a SHOP in California that sells BLACK PROJECT paddles. From the moment I first saw them I thought they have 2 things going for them. 1 being that they are very eye catching but only have a carbon and red look to them its basic but really aesthetically pleasing. 2 they have an aggressive shape and are SUPER LIGHT.
The thing I like most is that they push for the highest quality and lightest strongest designs. Another great thing is you can specify SIZE OF BLADE-AMOUNT OF FLEX (stiff x medium x soft ) and WHICH GRIP you want and make a custom fit for you. In all of the paddles they have a very long drawn out dyhedral (if i spelleed it right) but its the spine down the middle of the blade that connect to the shaft. With this design you get a very clean and efficient stroke ..(NO MORE RAIL DINGS LOL) A great paddle is important because the PADDLE IS YOUR ENGINE SO DON’T CUT CORNERS!
In the last year or so they have added Zane Schweitzer and Bernd Roediger to they’re team of paddlers so you know they are doing something right. Zane and Bernd are both high level paddlers sponsored by other board companies and are normally required to use those brands paddles and fins but BLACK PROJECT equipment has been so good that they use them in racing -surfing and touring equipment anyway.
In Racing every pound …even ounce counts if you are in a paddle battle with the guy next to you. So when i looked in to the line up of paddles BP offers I saw that the race paddles are only 375 grams….and with them being 100 percent carbon (unlike your local sup package deal with a carbon facade) they truly give you a jump on the competition.
With paddles I see a lot of people flock to a brand simply because a paddler that is somewhat famous uses them. With BP i have already seen a massive growth in popularity. It will only grow with more average joes wanting to progress and more pros wanting that competitive edge.
CHECK THESE PADDLES OUT !
(all pictures- BLackprojectsup.com)
THE GOOD BAD AND UGLY REVIEW
REVIEW Rating System
Middle finger: sucked
thumbs up: just good but has to improve
Shaka: Great board
Double Shaka: Amazing Loved it
I ride a lot of different boards and have dabbled in pretty much every shape or feature that production boards have offered over the years. Recently though I have been really focused on more of a high wave count /more laid back surf session but i still want to be able to whip a few performance turns if the waves allow it. To me I consider anything over 10 feet with the round nose a true longboard as far a SUP surfing goes. I had the chance to get my hands on a JP Australia Longboard in the carbon pro construction and it did not disappoint.
Coming in at 19 POUNDS !!! this thing is crazy light and very responsive. Its 149 L so you can still sit back and be comfy no matter the conditions. I paddled out on a decent sized day with waves maxing out at about 5 feet. I caught my first wave and dropped back all the way to the tail and was able to do big snappy bottom turns and was bale to get a great amont of speed out of maybe A 3 foot wave….I was REALLY surprised. I used a thruster set up on the board and it was nothing but fun. Its 4 inches thick which is more than enough flotation for any size wave. If you are a bigger guy that wants performance this is your board or a small guy who wants to be able to shred and stay dry this this is the one.
Its is 29 inches wide but I would like to see it in a 27 … would be really fun rail to rail. The only down side for me is pricing. Brand new all carbon boards are pushing 2 grand or more and for me its just a bit shocking but it is something where you are getting exactly what you pay for. It is a great board but it is very similar to what other companies have out and nothing stand s out CRAZY to me. OVERALL i throw this board a SHAKA and would recommend this for the average SUP surfer who wants to get better at surfing but doesn’t want to loose out on waves.
Progression is natural and every year the sport of SUP has made giant leaps as far as wave riding goes. SUP is a great tool for catching a wave but there has always been a huge riff between SUP surfers and traditional wave riders. SUP is currently being claimed all over the map by different associations. Whether it is Canoeing -Surfing or Kayaking all of these sports/association have been trying to capitalize and lay claim to SUP. This battle for identity has really made SUP surfing get a lot of flack.
With SUP surfers getting more radical the obvious comparison will be between short boarding but SUP is so much more. In SUP we have the ability to cover distance like a canoe or kayak -Surf like a longboard and SHRED like a short board. But with that versatility lies the problem. We have such a dynamic sport that we will always be compared to other things.
SUP surfing is my favorite aspect and it is one of those things that people can just jump right into and gain confidence fast. With a fast learning curve people jump from 12 foot wave SUP to a 9 foot and smaller with out really mastering SUP and it becomes a sloppy version of something that could be beautiful. When you see Dave Kalama or guys like Brian Keaulana (people that surf all types of stuff) surf SUP they use the whole wave and engage the paddle they are very radical but aren’t on SUPs that are 7 foot they walk a fine line of PERFORMANCE LONGBOARD/ SHORTBOARD styles. This sweet spot is what I consider to be the perfect place to aim for when looking to improve SUP surfing as a whole.
I think the days of killing your self to go paddle on a board that is negative liters to weight need to be put behind us and obviously everyone will always push for smaller boards. Aesthetically when you go to short and try to mimic short board you end up looking sloppy and just throwing your tail around and don’t get the most out of each session. bump up your board dimensions a bit and do things that others aren’t PUSH for individualism NOT COMPARISON.
Stoked for 2018 ..Here are my picks for top shred sled!
I am not the average SUP surfer by any means and my preferred board size is around 9 -10 foot. I live in San Diego and most waves don’t require “high performance”. A board that gets me excited is something I can SHRED!!! including – making solid turns – fast down the line- able to ride ANY SIZE wave …within reason. Here are my TOP 5 SURF shapes that I am excited to ride from 2018 lineups in NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
- NSP DC surf-SUPERX -The SUPERX looks absolutely amazing just off of aesthetics. Its has a super slim sleek design. It combines a Performance long board nose with less rocker with a nice pin tail that has KILLER rocker. As far as dimensions the SUPERX is 10 foot by 27 which is comfortable but at the same time aggressive and is only 126 L of volume. Normally boards this size get a bit bulky and hard to ride in better surf but this thing has all the weapons to SLAY a good over head day. I was actually able to get my hands on a early prototype from last year that was a little bigger and still rough around the edges but it was an absolute BLAST at my local reef break. DEFINITELY EXCITED to try the new one NSP! 😉 😉 hint hint.
photo courtesy of NSPsurfboards.com
2. C4 Waterman x TEN-THIRTY – C4 Waterman is hands down my favorite brand !! When it comes to versatility and reliability these boards have always been the best for me. The TEN THIRTY is another board that can be your “SWISS ARMY KNIFE”. I’ve had the chance to also ride a previous model in flat water touring and the board has really nice round edges that made the board glide WAY more than I thought. With a generous amount of width and volume this board can fit the whole family but still feels right for each paddler so performance isn’t sacrificed. its name is its dimensions so 10 foot by 30 wide and it is 160 L so for me I see this board SHREDDDDIINNG on days when you aren’t quite sure what the waves are going to be and you need a board that lets you paddle peak to peak to find waves. On wave I can see this board being a bit slower down the face but with extra stability charging better size waves will be no problem also with the semi pin tali turns are going to be buttery. CAN’T wait to get one in the quiver !
Photo courtesy: C4waterman.com
3. NAISH HOKUA- The HOKUA shape has been around for a while but this 2018 version looks killer not only because of the bright yellow/red/woodgrain look but because of the sleek lines and noticeably aggressive rocker. I have ridden the smaller 8’6 version from a couple years back and had a blast but that was on a pumping swell so for more all year round shredding I am looking to get the 9’6 by 29. its got rolled down rails and a very nice concave out the back that makes me think this thing could be my most comfortable wave specific “bigger” board. its still got 145 L so with that type of flotation recreational paddling will still be easy but a bit harder simply because I push that suggested rider weight limit LOL. I am going to see if Kai Lenny has one of these in his garage somewhere he can give me since he is leaving the brand this year ! will be fun to watch !!
photo: Naish SUP
4. JIMMY LEWIS-KWAD 9’11 x 32
The KWAD is easily the most forgiving of these boards just with the simple classic designs and overall shape. I am hearing more and more good things from people about jimmy lewis SUP and it will be interesting to see what else rolls out in the future. At nearly 10 feet with a wide nose and flat bottom the 32 inch board will be a bit of a bruiser on waves but will perfect for when waves are small or I have new SUP friends wanting to get a feel for a wave riding sup. JIMMY LEWIS arent really seen much in my area but if someone knows how to get me one LET ME KNOW !
5. ROGUE SUP
I am interested to see what shapes the ROGUE board guys can put out with the recent rebirth through Boardworks. With Mo Freitas leading the progression on the signature athlete surf side it will be cool to see what other boards they can come up with and these ROGUE/BW boards honestly have the most potential for me because I haven’t really dealt with any other previous shapes they offered so maybe with all the updates they can produce an all around SHREDDER of a board
ANYTHING I MISSED ? ANYTHING YOU ARE EXCITED FOR ?? let me know and I will try to get my hand on one!!!
Jason Latham – the SUP’n Samoan
If you follow any SUP social media pages you might have stumbled upon the profile of JASON LATHAM or more commonly known as Jlay. He is a SUP surfer that absolutely SHREDS but manages to still have a day job and chase his dreams of SUP WORLD TOUR championships. The 29 year old is currently based out of Brunswick, Georgia- proving it doesn’t matter where you are + if you can shred people will notice. I first noticed him when I was watching the APP SUP tour on Oahu. He was a little bit older than the guys I was used to watching and I had just never heard about him honestly but when I asked around I heard nothing but good things. And I saw him turn a small day at sunset into an entertaining day on the waves.
I AM CHOOSING HIM AS THIS YEARS SILENT KILLER for the SUP SURF division (calling it now lol).
Jason is the first Pro SUP surfer from the state of Georgia and is also the first PRO to come from American Samoa which is a crazy accomplishment in itself. Jason didn’t start SUP until 2013 and says “SUP feels different-its natural for me. Better perspective/ easier access to breaks. With SUP its pioneering something new while exercising body-mind-soul.” Jason proves a few points that I constantly preach: SUP where you can and Don’t listen to the people around you-FOLLOW your plan.
I asked him what his favorite boards were and he has a SOLID quiver of JIMMY LEWIS SUPS that range from SMALL wave catchers to PERFORMANCE sleds that you can Check out on their website for more info I will list the boards so maybe you can get radical like Jlay does. (7’7 StunGun-7’5 Super Tech- 6’11 Super Frank)
He had some solid advice for his fellow paddlers: “If you truly want to get better, just go out no matter what the conditions are. Rain, shine, choppy or glassy. “A smooth sea never made a good sailor” Same applies to paddling.”
If I had to sum him up HUMBLE-HARDWORKING- POSITIVE.
.If you aren’t already ADD JASON LATHAM to your watchlist for 2018 in the SUP SURF Division. Follow him on SOCIAL MEDIA.