Art by Aaron McKinney
Art by Aaron McKinney

Colorful Characters of SUP

We all know them. They manifest themselves in countless ways across our otherwise happy little world: those folks that take themselves, our sport and their place in it a wee bit too seriously. We illustrated them here so you can know what to watch for and how to deal with them in the wild.

The Wave Hog

Characteristics: Owns every wave, no matter how crowded the lineup, no matter how well everyone was getting along before. Paddles straight out past the pack, takes off on the first choice set wave and barrels through the joint like they own the place. Repeats.

Course of action: Paddle to another peak. There's no talking to this person.

The Intense Racer

Characteristics: Loves the draft train and repeatedly bumping the back of your board. Takes the inside line at buoys, no matter how chaotic. Subscribes to the motto, "There are no friends on the race course."

Course of action: Get out of the way or beat them.

The Not-Quite Pro

Characteristics: Sponsored, or makes a very convincing case that they probably, maybe are. Unusually good at selfies, self-promotion and social media in general. Their feeds make life look like a tan, six-packed, tropical paradise.

Course of action: Smile and throw a double-shaka; they're taking a picture.

The Yoga Fanatic

Characteristics: Fit as a fiddle. Has "yoga" in their Instagram handle. Likely does other forms of SUP but it's hard to tell. Doesn't appear to be able to speak about anything but SUP yoga. Has at least one yoga-related tattoo.

Course of action: Avoid looking directly into their eyes or risk being pulled into their world forever.

Related

A guide to SUP surfing etiquette.

Why a bigger smile means better style.