Author Topic: Various ways to surf with others etc...  (Read 5196 times)

Blane Chambers

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Various ways to surf with others etc...
« on: August 04, 2007, 10:30:19 AM »
After reading and commenting in that other thread about sharing etc I thought I'd write this as a perspective on ways to SUP surf  in a community of surfers.   This is only one persons perspective and not the right or wrong way but it has worked nicely for a couple winters on the busiest stretch of coast with the most aggressive surfers in the World.   

First off, when I arrive at the beach and its crowded I'm not even thinking about being in that lineup.      If I wasn't already out by the time people arrive I'm going somewhere else...  This is how I've been surfing for the last 30 years so nothing new here.   Just not into crowds.

My daily surf usually goes like this....

Dawn patrol and I try to be the first one out.    Hustle and catch every perfect set wave till someone else comes out.       If no one comes out for 20 minutes, you will of gotten plenty by then...  As people come out  I'm toning it down and moving over to the inside or to another peak.    Still getting plenty waves but not the ones people want.     I let the crowd push me out .     Crowd fills in more and I'm outta there to the next empty spot or by then I may already be done.

During winter I have my home break and what I found with the SUP board is I can go ultra deep into the pit and catch all the waves no one else will wait for.    When the bigger set waves come I have to let them go because I'm too deep but the slightly smaller ones run just as nice.      Every once in awhile the bigger sets will swing deeper than the crew can't catch but  right to me.      Best part is, deep is where they pitch out farther.    For years we been watching that section spit at us but only now its worth doing because the SUP board and the farther range of sight allows you to escape getting drilled by the sets.       When the bigger main sets are done simply move back into the pit and pick off the medium sized runners.    The cool part is you can get as many as you want and bum out no one...

Other cool sessions will involve long paddles into no mans land type areas where we score crazy good waves.    Waaay better than people even know about but only worth going on a ski or with a SUP board.      Sometimes when the waves are solid and there are consequences the crowds are not even a factor especially at remote spots.   Pick and choose different places to adventure off the beaten track.   

Some cool comments I got over the winter were at of all places crowded Chun's Reef.    I grew up surfing there when I was a kid but hardly ever go there anymore.    One time on a typical west swell morning one of the forever regulars says, "Man, you could get any wave you want but you always go for the junk ones.   You always let us have the good ones!"       Little does he know I was out early and already got a  bunch of set waves....       

The best comment I ever got  was on a day there and must of been 60+ people but no one was sitting way way deep.     I was almost taking off at Piddley's.    Definetly the longest waves I ever got there and I must of caught over 30 waves and kept coming back through the regular Chun's lineup on the way back out...    On one of the passes another long time regular says, "Everytime I turn around you're paddling back out.    Where are you coming from?     Its like you're invisible!"   Ahhh yes!   Always nice to seem invisible!

Another thing that works nice is when you sit down between waves.   Its a natural feeling when someone stands over you to feel threatened.    By towering over people it sends out a negative message like you are trying to be superior or you are perched and ready to get everything in sight.   By sitting you are sending off the message that you are relaxing and in no hurry to get every wave.     When around others forget the macho hype about standing the whole time you're out.   

Here's another thing I noticed...   By surfing shorter boards we are surfing from the inside out instead of the outside in.    Here's an example...   If you're on a big board you are forced to stay on the outside because turning around takes awhile and getting in early is the only way to take off safely.     On a big board you are forcing yourself to only get set waves right thru the pack.    On shorter SUP boards you can stand inside and spin around right as the wave is in front of you.     You can still get in super early but now you have another option of hanging inside.     Because the board is shorter you can take off when its steep and late.   This opens up way more waves to you.    A lot of times I stand inside regular surfers and watch what they don't go for.   All the ones they don't want I go after.    Because they're facing out to sea, most times they don't even know you're there.     On the way back out if no one is around you can spin on a dime and go...   Some sessions I'll only surf inside of everyone.   Its like being out alone.

The key is to have an awareness of your individual impact on the situation your in.   Have basic common sense.     Be honest with yourself...  What are your true abilities?   Is this your local spot where you are more accepted?    Do you know the area well?  What are your options?   When caught inside what are you going to do?   Where is your escape route?   Are there other SUP surfers that aren't aware?   Talk to them.    Let them know if they are being dangerous or stupid.    Send them to this site to read things that could help them.    I hope this can help and shed some light on what will always be a touchy subject.   


Aloha,
Blane



www.paddlesurfhawaii.com




« Last Edit: August 04, 2007, 10:47:23 AM by Blane Chambers »

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 10:51:43 AM »
A valuable conclusion to a heartfelt discussion (on all sides).

I will add this as the first article on our static articles page.

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RUSS-D

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 11:52:44 AM »
Now if every SUPer out there could adopt this behviour, the Sport would not be so frowned on by Surfers. I know yeserday when I went out, I was right next to the "pack" , but far enough away not to pose a threat to any of them. I know most of the locals, as I am one at the spot I was at, and they all have a good vibe about SUP'n. But on Monday there was a SUP'r running right through the line-up I guess. I was told by a few People that this guy had no respect at all, and could barely ride it. The Owner of the Surf Shop I Surf for said his youbgest kid almost got run over. I realy don't get this because it is a Beach Break, and it breaks the same up and down the Beach for about a Mile. I like the sit down once in a while idea. Would definatley calm an agressive crowd, at least a little.

Nate Burgoyne

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2007, 12:19:26 PM »
I'm with you 100% Blane! Paddle Surf Hawaii has always been a huge promoter of "surfing with Aloha." Thanks to your efforts and example, stand up paddle surfing has made a respected first impression at our local breaks. Even us guys who know the rules truly appreciate the constant reminders.

I have also found that offering my board and paddle to other surfers in the water not only helps everyone relax but makes friends. Be genuine and sincere about your offer to swap boards for a few waves and they'll be stoked to give it a try. We all remember the first guy that let us try their SUP board. They're heroes to us. When the others see you trading boards, catchings a some waves on a traditional surfboard, smiling, and still having fun, they'll realize that you're just out to have a good time and ride a few waves just like everyone else. A board swap and a smile can sure go a long way!
Founder/Editor: Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine
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surfpainter

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2007, 10:55:22 AM »
Blane hit it exactly right, If you are going to stand-up with the local pack, it is very wise to sit down if you engage in ( between sets ) conversation. I've noticed that many surfers in the water,want to ask questions about stand-up but remain quiet for whatever reason. But wait....I thought it was a good gesture to let this guy, in the line up, try my new board, which he did. He right off wanted to catch a wave and he did , on his knees with my paddle, skipping and slicing into my new board. He rode the wave right into the pack of inside surfers and bailed when he figured out he didn't know how to stop the board (and this guy was a surf instructor ). That won't happen again as I now feel anyone who stands on a board for the first time should get to know the basics of paddling and control on flat water.

ebby13

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2007, 01:14:04 PM »
Can I not be intelligent here, not be emotional, not be technical and just simply say, you're cool ,blane?
thanks for the aloha spread...

Nate Burgoyne

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2007, 08:17:45 AM »
Offering to share you board with others definitely calms tension and introduces others the sport....but use wisdom when doing so. Surfpainter has made an excellent point. Use commons sense in lending your board out to others. If it's crowded, it's probably not such a good idea to go passing the board around. But if you do, take them over where the water's calm or off to the side on the "junk" waves where nobody else is surfing. It's your responsibility to brief them on safety and teach the the rules before they jump on your board. If you can tell they're going to do something dangerous, take the initiative to trade back.

Really, like Blane said, if there is a feeling of tension in the air, it's probably best to just call it a day for surfing and go for a paddle...or go catch waves elsewhere. Aloha.
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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2007, 09:36:14 AM »
Good point,
This is a common mistake, and one which may easily be avoided.  I have learned that when loaning out my board (particularly to skilled, experienced surfers) I need to consider that as a fledgling Stand UP, even the best surfer may represent a hazard.  In the future, I will tell others that I will be glad to led them give it a go,  but only at a reasonable distance from the lineup, and in small waves.
Aloha,
Chan
« Last Edit: August 06, 2007, 10:03:31 AM by CHAN »

cammar

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2007, 02:41:57 PM »
Good post, Blane.

Similar situations happen in many spots in Maui.
I've been SUP surfing the deepest peaks in Lanes, Kuau, Noriega or upper Kanaha outer reef completely alone...
Still, on the main peaks plenty SUPers right in the middle of the pack...

MichaelF

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2007, 11:44:58 AM »
Thanks Blane, really impressed - I hope that you continue with your postings. I love the section about sitting down and engaging the line up as one of them.  This is a life skill that i hope we all keep forever on the water or off.

Staying right in the lineup is certainly not my place and I am not comfortable with it.  The only surfing dues that I have paid that last eight years is sitting on my ass in front of three monitors.  My skill set is not high enough to risk others and safety of others is my top priority.

I was at Joe Ropers (surfboard repair) in San Diego yesterday and speaking with the team in the shop about SUP.  IT was like dump of fustrations on me about some of the problems they have been having at PB point.  I have not surfed PB point in over 10 years but I know the take off zone is packed together.  They were going on about how the frictions are growing... they went off on a few things but it came down to two things:
1) Skill sets of Supers needs to be higher to surf PB point
2) There is no engagement between the Supers and the lineup

Track back to Blane's comment
 "Its a natural feeling when someone stands over you to feel threatened.    By towering over people it sends out a negative message like you are trying to be superior or you are perched and ready to get everything in sight.   By sitting you are sending off the message that you are relaxing and in no hurry to get every wave.     When around others forget the macho hype about standing the whole time you're out. "

« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 11:55:58 AM by MichaelF »

Blane Chambers

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2007, 10:11:23 PM »
Thanks for the kind words from all....    I think we are all going to be helping to grow this thing in the right direction.     Gonna be a fun ride!
Aloha,
Blane


www.paddlesurfhawaii.com

Big Island Mike

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2007, 02:13:29 AM »
Blaine,    Great job and insight.  I like your point about sitting inside.   When you can paddle up the face and 180 back down, drop in a little late, this shows some skill and is much easier to appreciate for the watching prone surfers, rather than the guy who sits way outside, with his nose aimed to shore and trying to catch a wave before it becomes a wave. There is no skill in that...   AND the guy on a 12' who just goes straight and does not surf the wave but just rides the board.  PS.  I still have that 9'6 TB model, box is cracked so it has been in dry dock for a while. PPS.  I met you with Terrance B. at your home a few months ago.  Going to PU a 9'2 from Laleo over here soon, I have been spending a LOT of $$ on these boards, but I HAVE to try one of those...    Aloha

Big Island Mike

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2007, 01:21:27 AM »
Had a surf a few days ago in Kona where I was determined to ride my short board, a 6'6" Firewire I have had out less than 10x.

It totally sucked being at the other end of the food chain, not getting any waves, and (believe it or not) there were not ANY of those mean and greedy longboarders giving me waves because of my paddling handicap. Hmmm.

Seems to be "first in" priority rules for a lot of people out there.

Does this door swing both ways?

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Re: Various ways to surf with others etc...
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2007, 06:16:02 PM »
In a way, you're saying that I should skip singles bars and clubs where I would have been the most handsomest and sexiest guy there? (so I wouldn't skewer some other lesser handsome or sexy dude's chances of scoring).

Once I went SUP, and there was this prone surfer following me around, trying to challenge me and throw me off my high horse. I just smirked and kept going, didnt know what to do with the guy. I DID my best to find a quiet spot but no, this guy wanted to be alpha dog and send me a message.