Saturday, November 16, 2013

From SURF to SUP, Oregon Stand Up Paddle Surfing

7 years ago on one my first Maui surf trips I came across a new way to experience the ocean. Guys and gals everywhere standing on their boards. Surfing, touring, and snorkelling from huge longboards!!! This "stand up paddle boarding" was everywhere. It has only grown since!!!

I was on the west side of Maui trying to catch some sets on a an egg. Swell was only a couple feet but large enough where some off the less popular breaks were getting some action. Being from Oregon I am not one to "party wave". I find you catch more waves alone or off to the side than in a large group. And its much more fun. Needless to say I was extremely annoyed, these guys took everything. The SUPers stayed out on the fringe and picked off all the sets. Now....we've all been somewhere (like Santa Cruz) were the crabby 65 year old or bratty girl on a 9'0" steals every set to surf straight. THIS WAS WORSE!!! Here I was in maui and every little reef had a pack of these SUPers taking every 6" bump.....GAH!

I loved watching SUP's geting creamed by the sets and seeing them flail in the impact zone. I said all the same scoffs surfers say....for years.....well and there is some truth to it......

alas......a few years went by and a friend of mine, a long time surfer, bought a Gerry Lopez SUP. Our eyes were opened....

Living and surfing in Oregon I am blessed with smaller crowds, cold water, sharks, and sand bars. While some of those things seem bad, they are what makes this place special. SUP surfing fits right in. With the lack of reef, storms, and strong tides we see much different waves than California or Hawaii. This is where having a SUP becomes priceless. We are closer to storms so our intervals are often shorter.
typical oregon summer day

Mushy days or slightly high/low tides become non issues when on a SUP. Your wave time drastically increases, you see everything much sooner and with the paddle leverage can reach peaks you can never get to on your belly.

Don't get me wrong.....Oregon offers some amazing shortboarding and longboarding sessions in the fall and spring!!! But.... with the major fluctuations in weather and tide there are many times where surfing is less effective.

Not trying to change anyone's mind here.....everyone should do whatever they enjoy and share the ocean respectfully. I have found this SUPing in Oregon to be a freakin' blast.

Here are a couple good places to rent a sup: - Moment Surf Co, Pacific City - Oregon Surf Shop, Lincoln City

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