5 SUP surf shapes I am EXCITED to try 2018!

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.

 

  1. 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.

NSP-2018-SLX-DCsurf-superX-100-x-29-blue-Deck-170x676photo 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 !

Ten-Thirty-100-VerticalPhoto 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 !!

2018SUP_ProductPhotos_1440x500_Hokua_8_6_GTW_Topphoto: 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 !

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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!!!

 

 

 

PADDLERS to WATCH

Jason Latham – the SUP’n Samoan

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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).

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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.

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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.”

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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.

Average Joes Who Paddle Like Pros

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.

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Name: Chip Bock

Age: 50

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.

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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?

  1. Have FUN (a mantra of Jim Terrell at QuickBlade Paddles)
  2. 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
  3. When you paddle (on or off the water) Live with ALOHA – what does that mean?
    1. When surfing – be generous with your waves, call out sets to the other surfers (both prone and SUP)
    2. 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)
    3. 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)
  4. Don’t ever (EVER) hold back asking for help or coaching (or giving it if asked)
  5. Always let someone know where you are paddling, when you are paddling and when you expect to be back
  6. Never stop trying new things (Hey, you’re already a SUP paddler) – SUP still has a lot of growth ahead of it – stay open
  7. SMILE (see #1)

 

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM @staynmocean!

 

The ART of not giving a F@$%

Some simple tips for water living

I LOVE the ocean and any type of water activity. But I REALLY REALLY LOVE riding waves. It is the purest form of connecting with nature. It seems every year that something comes to market to try and make you feel like its going to increase your wave riding or some how make you better. You don’t need fancy-Brand new-State of the Art -crazy shaped vessels to ride waves. SHRED what you have. 13873064_10210891558751749_4872716358720601967_n

The way the world is now a lot of the influence we get is from Social media and the big companies that pay Social media companies for ads. It seems we all get boxed into a certain type of board or sport but when it comes to riding waves as long as you can get from the line up -Take off- beach without getting anyone hurt than who cares what you are riding. A BOARD IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.

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If you want to surf a canoe DO IT if you have an old 12 foot paddle board that you want to start riding waves on DO IT. Kayak surf DO IT. I constantly get questioned for my surf craft choices but I guarantee you I am having more fun. I use a 11 foot Tandem long board for a SUP/surfboard/tandem surfboard/ race board. You can catch me on a boogie board -SUPSQUATCH-hand planes-OC1- Race sup- PRONE boards Basically anything that lets me have fun. I live by a few key concepts but nun more important than SIMPLY NOT GIVING A F#&$ what people think. PEOPLE-will always judge you on and off the water so why not enjoy the ride!!

HAVE FUN _GO FAST_CATCH WAVES_F#&$ it !!!

HydroFoil Bored…

Hydro foiling isn’t a new thing by any means…but it has really become the hot new topic in the world of water sports. The foil is an amazing tool! The Hydro Foil can turn a blown out or crappy day of surf in to the best time of your life. In some cases you can turn an amazing downwind day into an absolute mind blowing adventure. Foiling allows you to catch the power of the wave beneath the surface so you arent relying on a breaking wave to propel you forward. Being raised a foot or more out of the water allows for greater speeds with limited resistance and no board surface drag. THIS IS TRULY THE HOVER BOARD feeling we have all been waiting to feel BUT you need to learn a little bit before you start hacking up your old SUP to throw a foil in it!.

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1.HYDROFOILS ARE DANGEROUS

foils are fast moving blades cutting through water at a high speed so personal injury is a high probability even for a skilled board rider.

2.SUP FOILING ISNT FOR EVERYONE

if you are suping a hydro foil you have no business being in the clean breaking section of waves with all the other surfers. Foils are made to catch the uncatchable so it makes no sense to be on a foil on a crowded perfect breaking wave.

3. USE PROPER EQUIPMENT

I am all for DIY or saving money but when it comes to a high performance piece of equipment you gotta do it right. I found that alot of people are using kite foils -making homemade parts-installing tuttle boxes improperly etc …Spend the time to do it right and make it worth your time and you will have way more fun.

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I have said all of this to say …I like what foiling is making possible but I dont think the general user should focus on Hydrofoil first thing right off the bat. Hydrofoil takes a certain amount of ocean knowledge and just over all body control to really progress in the sport. My biggest piece of advice is if you arent savvy with surf etiquette and confident in your paddling/wave riding you shouldnt add more pieces to make it harder.

Ive gotten really BORED with hydrofoil videos and all of the hype that it got in the beginning. I work at a SUP shop and am in the community really deeply and I am starting to hear less about the foil but KAI LENNY DAVE KALAMA and others are keeping it on the front page of our social medias.

I have foiled with some really good glides and a deeper understanding. In my mind I am just going to stay focused on getting really good waves and finding my perfect board that will allow me to work on turns cut backs and all the aspects of traditional board riding.Stay safe and make the right choices when unleashing your new foil.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ?

 

 

 

My Favorite SUP paddle

With literally MILLIONS of option when it come to paddles, you can get a little lost when it comes to finding your favorite.  Paddles today are becoming more and more similar with most brands copying designs or using the same factory to produce a brand paddle(starboard-surftech-boardworks etc) when they don’t really specialize in paddles.You can find paddles on amazon ebay and everywhere boards are sold but not every paddle is equal.

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When you have gotten past that initial group of paddles and brands that are lower level or not as performance based you are only really left with 5 or less brands that a majority of people trust. Brands like Kialoa- QuickBlade- Hippostick- Black Project-Werner are common sights in the average surf line up and Saturday race event.

For me personally i want to stand apart in anything I do. I want to stand out. I am 6’1 250 pounds at the moment so I need a strong reliable paddle that’s going to be able to get me through a race course or in and out of pounding surf. When it comes to paddles I have literally tried them all and alot of the paddles that are popular are really good marketing and HYPE … Some features I ve found to like are carbon- medium flex shaft- longer blade for more pop- longer dihedral for cleaner pull through the water.

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Me with X wing in action at San O : photo by Aaron Black-Schmit/ Sup the Mag

I came across this paddle in Hawaii in 2013 but only last year was I reunited with the new and improved version! The C4 Waterman X-wing paddle. Its got a design like nothing you have seen and has proven its self successful but has remained under the radar..It comes in 3 different constructions for any type of waters. Its been my go to this winter in 7-10 foot waves (not hawaiian scale) and it allows me to catch waves quicker with more efficient strokes.

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Pictures dont do this paddle justice- Here is a link to the product video —(X-Wing)

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THIS IS MY FAVORITE !! let me know what you guys think and what you look for

The future of SUP ..(I am calling it NOW)

If you havent noticed SUP is changing…

For a long time the main focus of SUP was ~Growth-PROs- race style events & pushing board sizes/shapes. We went from race boards 28 wide now to a pretty standard 24 inch wide also in the surf we are seeing most people pushing for the your weight in liters for the SUP, which normally means you are sinking the board to some extent. These have all been common place in the magazines and websites for the past few years. In everything progression is key but with SUP I think we are going in a different direction.

 

I work, surf and live in Southern California boards here can range from 7 foot surf performance SUP all the way to 12 foot by 34 inches. I see alot of variations and have talked to alot of paddlers of all levels and a few things have stood out to me. Ive seen a few big shifts also in this past year so here are some of my predictions for the SUP industry moving forward.

PREDICTIONS

  1. SUP Media will be more average Joe (&Jill)  based. The magazines and social media clips will be focused on general paddling-intro to surf-touring adventures.

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2. Some of your local board shops and favorite brands will have to call it quits in the coming year. Most local shops and brands have been taking a big hit from the multitude of brands and ways to buy (online, eBay, Craigslist, warehouse sales, etc. ).

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3. The popular board is going to be something that can be used in multiple conditions. A rebirth of the touring surf hybrid will be a killer shape. in the surf you will see more of the performance longboard style, meaning fuller nose shape boards and a big focus on detailed designs.

4. A focus on the family and ultimately including the younger paddlers and the more seasoned paddlers. Kids are a big part of buying and if the kids get interested the family will need to paddle too !

 

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LIVE ALOHA!

stayNmOcean

 

 

SUP PROs and CON-men

When the beach boys in Waikiki started Stand Up Paddling they had no idea it would become what it is today. Duke Kahanamoku and the boys used their paddles and 100 pound Koa boards to catch waves and take pictures of tourist. I dont think anyone ever imagined being a “pro” paddle boarder.

Being a pro paddler is not like being a pro football player or NBA star. The plain and simple fact is that the money especially recently is not in SUP. The biggest ambassadors of our sport have all pivoted out of SUP and don’t live off of winning events. People like Kai Lenny and Dave Kalama were once at the top of the race scene but now do clinics-hydro foil-surf-big wave surf and designing boards.

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The pros that are just racing on the tour and dont have other skills arent making real money- and most of them come from rich or spoiled families/ backgrounds. We arent doing any of these kids any favors by making them believe SUP is going to make them rich and famous. It will be interesting to see how the “prodigy kids” will become irrelevant and live off trust funds. May sound harsh but its a reality I have seen.

For a “pro” you still end up having to pay money out of pocket to travel to places like Tahiti-france-denmark-hawaii-brazil. You can be the best paddle boarder in the world but still live at home simply because spending money to travel/race/surf is going to drain your PRO paycheck real fast. ITs the reason you dont see the BEST paddlers at the “best” events.

Dont get me wrong I love seeing kids interested in racing. I love that this generation coming up will be able to say that SUP was their first sport its crazy…but we need to set a more realistic example of a pro. We need to look at people like Laird Hamilton someone who is across the board successful and used his water skills to develop brand deals -get into movies/ tv- the ultimate goal is diversity.

Dont let the Board companies sell you on the hype and dont let Instagram photos shape your idea of what a pro paddler looks like. RACE FOR THE LOVE and THE STOKE.

ALOHA

 

SUP saved my life…

At an early age I realized the ocean was my safe place, my home and my love. My life revolved around the ocean but my heart was stolen by the game of basketball. To me it was more than a game it was LIFE. Basketball gave me purpose…it gave me something to focus on and was what I wanted my life to be centered around. In high school basketball got even more intense and my love didnt waiver. I practiced everyday shooting jumpshots and doing drills at every chance I got.

Basketball had consumed my life and I put my eggs all in one basket. I joined teams that played all year round- I went to camps and worked out with the best players in my city. I got pretty dang good. I was a varsity basketball player all 4 years of HS and fell even deeper in love no matter what happened during the season win or lose.

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The summer before college something happened….I found SUP. Paddleboarding was really new to me ” 2011″ but I absolutely enjoyed it and still sucked lol. It took me about a month to be super confident and have the ability to even attempt riding a wave. When I left for school I had basketball on my mind but the further I got away from the water the more distracted I got.

I ended up not making my college team…..twice. Both schools I went to were excited to have me but inside i knew I was done. I denied it for along time and when people asked I always said I was going to play another sport which I did..(football and track) but those were just not the right fit.

I was depressed for a while …I constantly thought of things that I could refocus my life around and one thing stood out…the OCEAN. I began paddling everyday while watching as much footage as I could on SUP. I truely became a student of the sport. I found my passion- my love-my midnight dream…IT FELT SO RIGHT… It was the culture the people the environment the competition that created a lifestyle for me.

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(PHOTO BY SUP THE MAG- AARON BLACK-SCHMIDT)

Ive now attended over 80 events traveled to multiple states and work for the only SUP brand that matters to me. I have a garage full of boards and I can surf almost everyday…MY JOURNEY IS NO WHERE CLOSE TO BEING OVER but Ive come a long way from the cold basketball gym in WA…

As basketball season approaches I look back at aall those nights in the gym…But now my gym lights are shut off and i am motivated by the bright sunrise surf and miles and miles i am going to paddle.

 

If you read this far thank you and COMMENT YOUR SUP STORIES!!!

The SUP industry (exposed)

As I write this the Pacific Paddle Games are currently wrapping up out at Doheny Beach in San Clemente California. To be honest the whole event was really lack luster. It was very plain and the turn out was just really depressing. I can remember going to BOP 4 years ago and just being in awe of the crowds, competition and overall atmosphere. Each year since  has just become less and less interesting.

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PHOTO by Aaron Black Schmidt/SUPtheMAG

The SUP industry as a whole is in bad shape. Everyone and their moms are making boards and gear. Ask multiple brands and they will tell you “our boards are basically the same as (insert big brand design ) they are made in the same factory”. All of the integrity and purity seems to be stripped away. All of these brands are gobbling up kids and trying to find the next Kai Lenny by having them pay for race training while slapping stickers all over the kids to promote their board brand. I am not against team riders or starting them young but it seems so forced and the natural progression that once surrounded SUP also SUP racing has seem to come to a stand still.

With all of the racing events its the same people doing the same thing and its just really getting boring. The contests seem scripted and just overall played out. this is coming from a big big fan of the sport. I am not a hater I am not throwing shade.

On the flip side the “amateurs” that compete in races and are genarlly stoked are the ones keeping hope alive. When new people do races its for health- social interaction- and general stoke on SUP. For a long time SUP has had a big growth but it really seems to be bottoming out. People new to SUP will always have a positive out look and dont really see alot of the things that are wrong. I feel like I have been around enough events and companies to make a pretty clear evaluation.

Hopefully we see a more modest approach from the SUP brands. We need to weed out the fly by night brands. The SUP events will slowly need to be scaled back as well. If we take a SOUL SURFER approach and have a more grass roots out look we can restore SUP to its former glory.

MAYBE i am wrong, maybe I am just seeing it differently. If I am way off LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS