Meet John Hibbard, Starboard’s Team Rider from UK



If I had a £, $ or € for the predictable look of surprise on peoples faces when I tell them we actually get surf in the UK I’d have a nice sports car sitting outside my house right now! For some reason it doesn’t occur to a lot of people that we might get surf. We live on an island after all! Obviously there are great distances around our coasts that don’t get even a ripple, but then there are some amazing breaks. The water is not as cold as some think and it doesn’t always rain! Although try telling that to Ekolu Kalama who spent 7 very wet days cruising the South Coast with me back in the summer! Like every surf nation busy line ups are a fact of life. The main peak at my local beach (1 minutes drive down the hill) gets so busy. Just 10 meters down the beach from the main pack is a nice left that peels into a river mouth – At mid tide the take off is too slow for normal surfers and the inside section too full of currents for surfers to be able to stay in position, so it’s an ideal SUP wave – long and uncrowded. Once on the wave the ride is great and the added leverage of the paddle turns this relatively slow wave into a 100 meter joyride.

john-hibbard-1.jpg Starboard adventure

john-hibbard-2.jpg Small wave fun

It’s all been said before, SUP brings new and different waves into play. It’s the same the world over – I guess I’m just the proof from the UK! The fact that I can also paddle up the river or along the coast on a flat day has opened up a new world for me. I hope to bring you some more stories from my SUP world over the coming months. Some I hope you will identify with, some might even inspire – this new track of adventure I’m on should at least bring you some entertainment! I’ve got a fun year ahead and if all boxes get ticked on my latest plan my next update should be full of anticipation for 2009…

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