Winds howling, high tide, not much swell… but I had to get some stand up paddle surf today. I have had nothing else on my mind since meeting up with Blane Chambers this weekend. I was up on the North Shore of Oahu running some errands and was able to drop by Wahiawa on my way back into town. Rachel and I drove to his shop and walked into what could be considered a modern art gallery. Super clean and spacious (for Hawaii standards) with all sorts of boards in the racks. It was easy to see that the shop capacity is much more than what’s on hand today. My gaze began to wander at all the different design concept happening in one place. I’ll save all the discussion points for another blog interview, but I will tell you that in the two hours I spent with Blane, I was taken on a journey through the SUPvolution of what we see in the water today. I definitely feel much more informed on different theories and design elements. And my 9′6″ which is about a year old seems extremely outdated.
Watching the changes in the SUP design over the past two years reminds me of when I started snowboarding. We had wooden boards with bungee cords when we started and over the first decade or so, I witnessed and participated in a radical evolution of board designs as we hacked, chopped, glued, and did whatever we could to try and find that “feel” I imagine there are many shapers and DIY’ers who are like Blane… chopping, slicing, dicing, and mashing to figure out what works.
So much for easing into a new pastime… already on my fourth board (all purchased used and three subsequently sold) I have come to realize that just like surfing, snowboarding and other sports, at a certain level you just need a quiver. There was this 9′6″ pulled in nose, slight swallow tail board at Blane’s shop that seems to keep calling me in my dreams…..