21/12/2007 | by Mark Patterson
The swells in the Islands have been raging. Water rescues, near drownings and broken bones were aplenty. The other day it was to big too surf with only a handful of spots still available for those with local knowledge how to ride the secluded draining reef slabs. If the oversized surf wasn’t enough the winds and rains battered the fleet of islands relentlessly. Today the sun is left unmolested in the sky with a strong southwest wind continuing with it’s attack providing a crisp look of the tropical surroundings.
Before the weather got to nuts I had a chance to ride an SOS 12 footer SUP, affectionately known as “Big Red”. The board provides good stability and catches waves with ease. Control of the board once in the act of sliding down the line is excellent and instills confidence with every move. I don’t see myself taking an SUP board out into macking surf but the people who do approach it with style. There were several people out going stand up on the bigger waves. Their boards again varied in size and shape chosen by the available tools or knowledge derived from experienced shapers and/or riders. As I meet with the individuals who’ll be featured in the film their opinions will be provided to allow for cross referencing facts to help make your mind up if you should go to this next step.
The question of etiquette is strong when going SUP. To wave hog or not to wave hog. The people surfing already who have the tendency to be wave hogs they’ll more than likely do the same on SUP. A recent story I heard was of Big Wave Surfer and SUP proponent, Dave Kalama, who surfs his home breaks with not only style but most importantly,class when going stand up. After every ride he’ll paddle back out and let enough waves go by to make sure all of the other surfers get their share before he goes again. This makes total sense and ensures a positive vibe out in the water. Sure the SUP boards have the ability to catch every wave but it doesn’t mean it should be done. Stop and think then do the right thing. Not only will it help the vibe in the water but will get more people out there on SUPs helping our tribe evolve.
Stay tuned for the next installment as the project goes with the flow.