Must get stand up paddle surf

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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 And my 9′6″ which is about a year old seems extremely outdated.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…..

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4 Responses to “Must get stand up paddle surf”


  1. srfnff 1srfnff

    I’ve only been into SUPing for a month and already it is something of a consuming passion! I completely agree with your idea of the necessity of a quiver. If you want to distance paddle and surf, you need two boards minimum. If you just want to surf wouldn’t it be just like surfing? How many boards is too many boards? This whole thing could quickly get out of hand. How nice.

  2. Evan Leong 2evan

    I was thinking the same thing, especially during my visits with the California shapers Ron House and Steve Boehne. My opinion is that the day of the ‘all around’ stand up paddle board will be numbered as shapers are specializing in specific disciplines. e.g. the F-16 is not meant for everyday surfing. It’s meant for downwind runs and distance. The 9′ Chambers are for ripping up surf and not downwinders.

    I guess the issue is going to be cost. How many people can afford to buy 3 or 4 stand up boards at $1600? What would be cool is a board trade program like they do for luxury cars where the user pays a monthly lease amount and can drive any one car they choose.

  3. Carnet Williams 3carnetw

    Ev,

    I believe the key is that prices of boards are going to have to decrease soon. There will be a break in the dam when the first major SUP brand drops their price down to the $1200 level. We are seeing an unprecedented margin in SUP boards never enjoyed by shapers in the past. I for one do not want to see SUP as an activity be relegated to only the wealthy. I want to see teenage kids out there ripping!

  4. DW 4DW

    We don’t see those $1600 boards making it the east coast. Maybe because Jimmy Lewis is everywhere here at $1299.

    I think all top brand boards should be $1299.

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