SUP SURFING TRANSFORMATION

Stand up paddling is taking the world by storm, but the same cannot be said for Stand up surfing. Actually seeing people riding waves while on a SUP with a paddle in hand brings about a lot of different emotions for people who have spent the better part of their lives prone surfing.  I grew up surfing in Southern California and I must admit when I saw the sport of SUP for the first time (about 4 years ago) I shrugged it off as a fad and in all honesty not very cool. I did not see purpose in it. I was very content surfing and never thought I would incorporate SUP into my life.

Things have changed. In summer 2011 I found myself in Dana point for The Battle of The Paddle.  This is the SUP industries premier SUP racing event. I was there to watch the race for fun and for first time took to the line up on a SUP. After the event, with a new 10’6” Riviera paddle board under my feet and a Kialoa Methane SUP paddle in my hand, I thought this has to be easy, but quickly realized I was about  to learn how to surf again. The waves were small but still challenged me to learn this new sport (see photo my first SUP surfing wave). I am hooked and look forward to continuing to master the craft of SUP surfing. I now find myself as a partner in a start up business in the SUP industry. We are located 150 miles from the Pacific Ocean and realizing very quickly that this sport is for real and is offering the surf industry something I never saw coming. The surf industry now has a product that can be sold all over the world no matter how far someone lives from the ocean!  This became very real when we began shipping paddle boards to Tennessee last year. The entire continent and beyond is open for business.

I remember the days when the core skiers hated snowboarders and banned them from the slopes years ago. They marked snowboarders as dangerous and reckless on the mountain. The same is happening in SUP with designated “prone surf only spots”.  Many core prone surfers and surf shops have yet to embrace the sport. But whether or not you like it, the sport of SUP surfing and racing is growing at an amazing pace. If you haven’t already, it is only a matter of time before you’ll be forced to deal with it. The tidal wave is still on the horizon. It hasn’t even broke yet, but it is coming, and as we have all witnessed when a tidal wave hits shore there is no stopping it.

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