Author Topic: When did you learn SUP?  (Read 2245 times)

Miss Adventure

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When did you learn SUP?
« on: February 28, 2017, 07:36:38 AM »
I'm curious. When did you first learn SUP? What got you interested in it to start with?

I'll start. I started in my late 20's. A family member bought a used paddle board and asked me to try it. I immediately fell in love! 


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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 07:50:22 AM »
Early 30's, mainly as something to partner with kiteboarding. I surfed when I was younger, mainly longboarding. So, I started off on a SUP just to get my water fix on some flatwater when the wind was dead. It quickly moved to surfing again and I remembered how much I loved surfing and how much fun a SUP was in mushy, weak waves.

Fast forward 3 years, and I'm totally addicted to SUP surf, probably more so that kiteboarding. I've made multiple trips to Costa Rica, and I'm constantly swapping boards to try something new/progress. It has helped my overall fitness as well as my surfing with a kite.
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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 08:18:26 AM »
Iím 63 years old and I think I first started about three years ago. My background is in kayaking. I developed a muscle problem in my lower back and it got to the point where I just couldnít sit in a kayak for any longer than about one hour. I saw people stand up paddle boarding on the lake I live on and got curious. Took a lesson for my first time on a board and loved it. Fast forward to today and I now own six boards and just last September took my instructors course.


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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 08:33:37 AM »
When the Dom came out a few years ago.  Thought it would be something fun to do on the water to improve balance.  Def was and is still a good challenge.  Liked it so much bought 4 more boards.   :)
Fast is FUN!   8)
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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 08:35:40 AM »
My interest in SUP was that I figured it would really help my surfing.
I used to prone longboard surf once every other week or so.
Proning, I figured I'd maybe catch 10 waves max and actually stand up for about 20 seconds a wave (if I didn't fall) or less
- so, only 3 minutes max & probably a lot less standing up per hour!  With SUP I'd be standing up for 60 minutes of an hour!
Whoa did my strength, balance & surfing improve.  Been SUP surfing about three days per week ever since.

I first saw a woman standing on a surfboard with a short paddle probably back in 2003 or so.
I was longboarding at Cowells/Indicators in Santa Cruz. It was a weird day - lots of people out, kind of foggy
and pretty flat.  I'm not sure if she was actually surfing but more likely she was paddling around standing up looking for someone.
She circled by several times.  It definitely got me interested in the concept.

A few years later, around 2007 or so, I was longboarding at Doheny and out of the blue came several SUP surfers.
They were in very good shape and very aggressive.  Thinking back on it - the reason they came out
of nowhere was probably because they came from the harbor instead of the beach.  Anyways, I was very intrigued.
They disappeared as quickly and mysteriously as they showed up.

Finally, in early 2010 I saw Costco had a SUP which I purchased.  It was very light and floaty & 5" thick/high.
LOL - I had more faceplants in an hour than in 10 years prone surfing.  And, my ankles ached like crazy.  I searched the internet
and found the Zone and asked about improving my balance for SUP - people correctly told me I would improve rapidly.
I waited a day or two to heal and went out again.  Making sure to look out over the horizon, etc.
and I was able to balance much better.  I cruised over to the break - what I found was I was too heavy for the board
in that it would bend/flex  (it was soft foam) too much so it wouldn't steer correctly on the wave.  I even tried to prone it,
but it wouldn't work right.  However, yup, I was hooked.  I took it back to Costco and started doing more research on SUPs.

I flat paddle demo'd a few boards at an event at a lagoon.  Then at the Battle of the Paddle, I was able to demo an 11' Laird Pearson Surftech -
it was the first time I really caught a wave on a SUP & just one wave as some race was starting and I had to give back the board.  A
few weeks later I was able to pick up a used 10'6" which just fits in the van.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 08:38:58 AM by Subber »
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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2017, 08:38:53 AM »
2010 in Waikiki.  My shoulders were unbalanced (impingement syndrome) from 40 years of surfing and my morning paddle out at Kaisers was brutal.  So, I borrowed an SUP and never looked back (I did give the board back). 

Been really good PT for my shoulders.


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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2017, 08:49:37 AM »
I started the summer of 2013 when I was 56.

I had surfed a little when I was young and followed the sport my entire life but never actually became a full time surfer until four years ago.

When shopping for my first board, I originally wanted to get a classic longboard which I grew up surfing on but herniated discs in my lower back and neck as well as tendonitis in my shoulder made it impossible for me to paddle prone.

I had seen a few standup boards on rivers while kayaking and wondered why they were popular. I had also seen them surfing at the beach. As it turned out, kayaking caused great pain in my back to the point where I had to give it up. That's when I started seriously looking at standup boards.

After a bit of research and without even trying one, I bought my first board, a 10'6 Riviera Select. I couldn't believe how fun it was. I could stand on it and paddle all day and not have any back pain or shoulder discomfort. After a week or so of flatwater, I gave surfing a try and it totally blew me away. I was catching waves the first day. I became immediately addicted and obsessed. Now eight boards later, I'm still as stoked as ever and healthier than I've ever been.

I'm not disappointed at all that I can't prone surf. Paddling with your hands is old fashioned and inefficient. It's also not a good workout. Standup makes way more sense.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 09:50:42 AM by Badger »
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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 09:44:44 AM »
I'm 45 and started in 2008 after my cousins wedding in Laguna Beach. I saw a couple folks SUP surfing and then paddling down to a less crowded spot and I said man I gotta try that and thought I'll have way more fun back in New England. The thought of being the new Kook at my local break didn't even matter as I saw how quickly it spread. When I had gotten back from that trip I found a shop in little RI that gave lessons and rented boards so I scheduled a lesson and within 30 min we where catching waves.... boom sold.... bought a board and paddle then and there.....several years and many different boards and paddles later the rest is history.

Now I'm eyeing a custom SUP Foil being made by Dave Daum at King's and might have to visit his shop and go for a demo and fly home with the newest next best thing.
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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 10:22:09 AM »
Summer 2008-
My son worked at the harbor in Discovery Bay, here in the Delta.  He came home with a carbon paddle, that someone left at the launch ramp.  We called the harbormaster and told him that if someone called looking for a paddle, have them call us.  Well it turned out it was the Doyle paddleboard rep.  Since we live on the Delta waterways, we figured it would be great to have a couple of boards to play around on in the bays, in the backyard.  He gave us a great deal on a 12' and 11'6".  It took until the next year to actually take them out in the surf.  We are about 1 hour 45 minute drive from Santa Cruz.  One weekend we got rooms at the Dream Inn or whatever it was called back then.  A nice swell was in.  At high tide the surf wasn't very good, so we paddled out from the hotel to Cowells.  The waves were not really breaking due to the tide, but the swells were nice, so we knew once the tide dropped it would be fun.  When we first paddled out, I paddled for and caught a swell (can't really call it a wave unless it breaks) on my 12' board.  Holy crap, I was shocked that it caught the swell and I rode that thing all the way into the beach in front of the hotel.  My wife and I caught a lot more waves and had a lot of fun. 

At Cowells Beach, which is one of the learning spots in Santa Cruz, longboarders will park and sit at the top of the cliff and wait until the tide drops and the waves are surfable.  This was the case this day, and after watching my wife and I catch a bunch of swells, 3 or 4 longboards paddled out thinking they could do the same.  Bad decision.  None of them caught a swell, and we just kept catching them.  They all went in after about 30 minutes to wait for the tide.

Our whole family has surfed for years, but at that time my wife probably hadn't surfed in several years.  When the kids started moving out we just didn't go as much.  That day at Cowells got my wife back into the waves.  Although she will still paddle out on a longboard, she is hooked on stand up surfing, in spite of having two teeth knocked out last year in Kauai when her board hit her.  It is great to surf with her again.   And over this past year with all the wakesurfing we have been doing behind the boat at home, her surf style and skills have really improved and it shows in her sup surfing.  So basically we are going on 9 years of SUP.

Needless to say that the 12' and 11'6" have dropped to a 7'4", and 8'0", and I still like shortboarding with my boys, but stand surfing is number one.  The boys even enjoy it, when I make them paddle out with me.
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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2017, 10:48:56 AM »
In 2010, I was 46 or 47 and a lifelong longboarder/kneeboarder/body surfer. My wife learned shortly after I bought a board and picked it up much quicker than I did.  Shortly thereafter, we bought his and hers boards from Wardog and she's been as (or more) addicted than I am.  It's what we do on our weekends and vacations, and it's what we love to do. Both kids will join us on occasion too.


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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2017, 10:53:15 AM »
No surfing or boating experience.  My neighbor took me out because I was curious on the Santa Cruz Harbor when I was 62 August of 2012.  I floundered badly, and he yelled at me and basically told me I was a fat fuck that wasn't in shape.  He confessed later on after I was doing it a couple of years he thought I would never keep it up.  He now says he is proud of me and considers me his creation.

Practiced on the Harbor with an inflatable, lost 40 pounds (since about 15 came back).  Very slow progress for somebody with basically no boat, surf or balance practice. My improvement was very gradual.  At my age, I can never know exactly how much further I might take it, so it was a great mystery as I went along.

Finally went out on the ocean when I was 63, stood up on my first wave three months before my 64th birthday.  Now SUP surfing for three and a half years, old kook eccentric style, with knee wave entry, prone wave entry, or standup wave entry depending on waves and circumstances.  I like all three ways of wave entry, because it increases my wave count, but entering standing up is the most organic and enjoyable.

I have finally learned to turn.  I am hoping I will be able to master 180 degree roundabouts sometime in the future, but with my slow progress, who knows when and if that will happen.
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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2017, 10:59:17 AM »
Fall of 2007.....brain tumor.... :o

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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 11:27:38 AM »
I bought my first sup; a Hobie ATR-2, in 2015 when I was 65 years old, took it out to our subdivison's private lake and paddled it around for 3 hours. Then took it over to Lake Conroe and paddled it around for 4 hours.

Then took it to 21,000 acre Lake Conroe for an over night camping/fishing trip. Wanted to get a second sup for surfing (with the ability for flat water cruising) and in May of 2016, I ordered my custom Hammer which you can see in my signature.

BTW, I sold my Hobie in January of 2017. Looking now to purchase a 10'6" sup to be able to do both flat water leisurely cruising and surfing.
SUP Sports Hammer: 8'11" x 31" x 4" @ 140 Liters


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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2017, 12:39:46 PM »
6 months ago @ age 38. Addicted & upset I wasted the last 10 years not SUS'ing. Paddled in from renting a board on the oceanside, caught my first wave and instantly hooked.

10' to 9'2" to 8'6" and wondering how much lower I can go. I already want a 8'-8'2. Can definitely tell the difference in a wave from each board. Less paddle speed going smaller, but a lot more maneuverable ride.

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Re: When did you learn SUP?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 12:55:15 PM »
2011 I rented an 11' Elua Kai when on vacation in Maui. Surfed mostly westside and was absolutely giddy from dawn to dusk with the amount of fun and waves.

I had surfed/boogeyboarded off and on as a kid but it never really took hold. I never had the right surf equipment and wetsuit for around here. Plus my friends weren't into it. Surfed on vacations - longboards and foamies. I was super in to slalom waterskiing as a kid, then wakeboarding. Got into windsurfing after college for a while and then from windsurfing into SUP.

I bought a 9-2 Fanatic All-Wave (from JimK) I believe about 2013 at age 34 - and still ride it quite a bit. Getting back into SUP surfing, re-triggered me back into prone surfing. The SUP changed everything for me, with the 10X wave count I was getting I was learning so much more about how to surf that my prone surfing improved without ever going. Since getting into SUP I have gone through several prone boards (long and funboards) and am about to start the process on my first custom surfboard. What SUP showed me is that our beach break waves here in WA are not great for the long-boards I was riding, but I never got good enough to get a smaller board.

Now I have a 10' single fin that I love but hardly use and a McCoy Nugget that surfs great off the back foot. I am a little too big for it so I need a season starting board - something more buoyant (like Infinity Secret Weapon or a Blair).

Funny thing about SUP is that a lot of people say it got them in better shape. I actually put on about 15# because you can SUP and be fat. I had to stay at about 215# for my last windsurf setup, but the SUP didn't care about the 15#. I had to lose it all again to get back on the prone surfboards though. That requires much better fitness/flexibility (at least for me).

Make paddleboarding great again!


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