SUP -- 7/3/09

The latest rage (not me)

Date: July 3, 2009
Time: Morning
Spot(s): Jimmylands
Conditions: gusty
Swell: Leftover ssw
Surf: 2-4' Haw'n

Words: Had a feeling the surf wasn't going to be as big as forecast, so I decided to finally give my new (very used) SUP board a spin. I've been trying to be open-minded about SUP'ing, the new scourge of surfing (supplanting longboards, kayakers and even bodyboards).

Went to a somewhat secluded south shore spot for a pre-dawn launch. There were SUP'ers already in the lineup, 1/2 - 3/4 miles out to sea.

Inside flat water: not too bad. Somewhat wobbly and probably had a stupid posture, but at least I was paddling forward.

Middle convergence area over inside reef: section had a couple of tiny swells converging from different direction, and just could not stay on the board. Ripples were knocking me off. WTF?

Channel paddle: swell got a little bigger and was more exposed by the wind. Frick, this thing is not easy.

Lineup: Waves were mostly head-high, with ideal, rolling waves and long rides. I couldn't turn the board, couldn't stay on the board, couldn't do anything. Felt like I was riding a 13' wooden longboard.

The crowd quickly thickened so I just sat way outside and away, hoping for some peaks that swung wide. Ended up knee-paddling into a few, then standing up before falling as soon as I tried turning my "aircraft carrier" board (11'6", 28", 5").

After over three hours, finally caught one to go straight in. Thought I went pretty far, but with the tradewinds kicking up a bit, I soon realized that SUP'ing can be even more challenging. I felt like a sail, doing a little bit of tacking and going nowhere fast.

Finally made it back to the beach with sore elbows (of all things) and aching lower back.

A definitely humbling experience. Maybe SUP'ing is not for me. Maybe that's a good thing. Haven't converted over to the darkside just yet. In the meantime, I think I'll do some bodyboarding.


Aloha from Paradise,