I got into this SUP stand up paddle craze through Jeff Chang who owns Offdalip.com and is a principal in Wet Feet Hawaii www.WetFeetHawaii.com. I started kiteboarding in 2004 and bought all my gear from Jeff. When there’s no wind, there’s no kiting so Jeff suggested I try stand up paddle surfing.
At first I thought stand up paddle surfing was stupid. I went to Wet Feet and looked at the early boards in February of 2007 and they only had a few in stock. In fact, inventory was nowhere to be found at the time. On top of that, I needed $2K for a complete package with paddle so I decided it was not for me.
Then a month or two later I saw some people doing stand up paddling and changed my attitude. It looked cool, fun and I gave in. I bought a C4 Waterman pohaku paddle from Wet Feet and rented a 12′ x 26.5″ Surftech Munoz in Waikiki, Hawaii.
I could not stand for more than 2 seconds when I started but I spent $350 on a paddle and I told myself I would give it at least 20 hours on the water to try. A Waikiki beachboy named Philip told me, “Eh brah, even monkeys fall out of trees…you just get back up and keep on trying.” That’s exactly what I did.
The Waikiki Beach Boy crew, John and even Tony Moniz really helped me out. John put the front of the rental board I was riding on his board so I could balance and gave me some pointers. Even though I was a total kook, everyone was pretty supportive…at least between the laughing.
When I finally got on a ‘real’ stand up paddle board things really started to click. I tried the SOS Big Red, then the Surftech Laird, then Jimmy Lewis 11′, C4 10′6″ and C4 10′. What a difference a board change can make. I got addicted. Since then I’ve tried dozens of different boards and now I’m really into downwind runs.
I started spending hours online every day to see what was new in stand up paddling. I got tired of that and had my web team build StandUpPaddleSurf.net for me, so I could come to one place to get all the new info on stand up paddle surfing. The site kept growing and it’s been a lot of fun meeting all the cool people that SUP.
So please enjoy yourself and remember, “Even monkeys fall out of trees.”