Urban adventures await. Photo: Ryan Salm
Welcome to the 2015 Urban Paddle Guide presented by SUP ATX! Our mission is simple: build the best online resource for padding in towns and cities across the United States. Every urban area has unique places to paddle. And lets face it, most of us live in urban areas. By adding to our online manuals (including our Glide Guide), we want to provide paddling help anywhere you go in the country, including where to eat, shop and put your board in the water.
But of course there’s a hitch. We need your help. And we’re prepared to reward you mightily. Enter your town in the Urban Paddle Guide now by simply sending us a picture(s), a brief description (no more than 350 words), then telling us about shops, restaurants and other resources as part of the entry form (below).
Your completed entry will then be added to our online archive. And in September, we’ll pick the best write-up—that means the most complete, the most helpful and the one we have to edit the least—and the winner gets a free trip to Southern California for the 2015 SUP Awards and the Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle, October 7-11 that includes flight and lodging. Plus you’ll get geared out with a brand new Lahui Kai board and paddle from SUP ATX. Remember, the better the photos and write-up, the better your chance of getting wined and dined at the two biggest paddling events in the sport.
Also, look for special giveaways over the next six months on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts as we build the Urban Paddle Guide with you.
Tell us what it’s like to paddle in your city now!
Official rules here.
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Welcome back to The Weekly Insta, SUP’s collection of the best Instagram photos from the standup world Friday through Thursday. There’s a story in every nook of social media, and none tell it better than Instagram as athletes, coaches, events and shops use it to contribute their proverbial thousand-words. So here, we curate the best of the best so you don’t have to.
Hashtag #theweeklyinsta with your latest and greatest posts to be considered for next week’s feed.
Check out past weeks’ Weekly Instas here.
We’re pretty excited for Can I Surf That?. First, it’s a SUP film and in this early age of progressive standup, quality SUP footage is relatively tough to come by. So, we’re pretty stoked just to see some well documented SUP surfing. Moreover, Can I Surf That? features a favorite breed of paddler, women, ripping on a favorite breed of whitewater, rivers. Both those factors are fairly new in SUP cinema, and both are inherently aesthetically pleasing. So there’s also that. After two years in the works, the film about four ladies in search of the perfect river wave is finally complete and scheduled to premiere at the CKS Paddle Festival on May 22. Save the date and stay tuned to SUPthemag.com for an exclusive Q and A preview with the cast.
Thirteen-year-old professional whitewater standup paddler, McQuade Andrade.
By Paul Clark
“Back in the day,” his great grandfather surfed North Shore and was buddies with Duke Kahanamoku. Now, McQuade Andrade takes his heritage to the river. Born in Hawaii, thirteen-year-old McQuade now lives in Ogden, Utah, and continues his family’s surfing tradition hundreds of miles from the ocean.
By outward appearances, McQuade is the epitome of an island child. He eats Hawaiian food. He wears handcrafted tribal hooks and rocks his hair in long, sun-washed dreads. Nothing about McQuade is common for Utah, especially the way he rides his SUP on local rivers. Despite being removed from the roots of his identity, McQuade is able to get his fix anywhere with moving water and a paddleboard. “I feel like myself when I paddle,” he says, “No matter where I am, I love the rush of surfing waves and running rapids.”
Less about his appearance and more about his talent, McQuade is getting noticed on the river. He’s sponsored by Glide SUP and rubs rails with some of the best in the business. He’s paddled with Dan Gavere and Mike Tavaras and competed against them at the Payette River Games. He gets gear and paddling advice from Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela, who encourage him to be himself; to do the best he can. McQuade puts this advice to practice both on water and on football fields where he leads tournament teams and receives MVP accolades. He says, “My goals are to make my role models my rivals in competition. I want to push limits and progress this sport.”
For all the attention McQuade gets, he remains a humble kid. He talks more about the sport than himself. His words stem from the joy of riding rather than his ego. Rather than relishing in the attention he gets on the river, McQuade and his dad bring extra boards so the many onlookers can give it a try themselves. He’s even aspiring to start a paddling program with the Boys and Girls Club to “get my generation out on the water to experience the outdoors.”
“I want to travel,” he says. “I want to run every river and surf every standing wave. But more than anything I want to give back and get as many people on paddleboards as I can.”
River SUP is to McQuade what North Shore surfing was to his great grandfather and The Duke. New. Novel. He’s at the forefront of SUP’s progression, which is just begging to be explored. McQuade is an ambassador of the first generation to grow up with the option of pursuing performance SUP as a hobby, a lifestyle, even a career. Where his elders were converters, McQuade is a native. And while he may not surf the ocean as much as he’d like, he’s still spreading the “Aloha,” on the rivers of Utah as much as anywhere.
For more from SUP Paul, click here.
Follow @mcquadeandrade on Instagram
For more on River SUP from SUP the mag, click here.
This summer Lina Augaitis will be racing at Lost Mills under the new Euro Tour. Photo: Philipp Schachten, Manufactur.info
It’s all there—top-tier talent, an international SUP scene, world-class events, and now, a unified tour. Europe has long been a mecca for competitive SUP racing, with summer months hosting an amalgam of some of the world’s most prestigious events. Traditionally, Europe’s top competitions stood alone, unaffiliated and individualized with no interconnectivity, overarching rulebook or ranking system. The new Euro Tour is fixing to change that. Here’s what you need to know.
The Euro Tour kicks off in 2015 as the first-ever unified European race series. It will host eight races across Europe that take place throughout six consecutive weekends beginning May 23 and ending June 28. The Tour is managed by a nonprofit collective comprised of some of the sport’s leading personalities and paddlers, rendering the quality experience of the tour a top priority safeguarded from the influence of personal financial gain. The Tour spans six different countries, Spain being the only country to host multiple Tour events under the same flag (Thanks, Spain).
-A standardized, unified SUP race series featuring Europe’s largest and best-attended competitions.
-A standardized rulebook that applies to all races in the series.
-The first-ever comprehensive rankings leaderboard for the European race scene.
-All events sanctioned by Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association (SUPAA), a governing body that establishes standards for SUP racing.
-A level playing field for all paddlers. Locals and pros compete side-by-side.
-Two “split weekends” with race options in two countries, extending opportunity to local paddlers.
-The first-ever European “Grom Race” junior series.
-Standardized board-size requirement. All races on the Euro Tour require 14-foot boards.
-Complimentary board transportation for competitors between all major events.
-On site professional photographers at each event. Media will be packaged and given out free.
“European SUP racing has amazing events with some of the most talented and passionate paddlers in the world. But there hasn’t been much cooperation between the big events. Now, these events will be a part of something greater…The goal is to attract more paddlers through more outside exposure and to help grow the sport.” – Chase Kosterlitz, president of Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association (SUPAA)
“This tour isn’t just about the pros; it’s about the grassroots level of the sport and increasing the reach of the sport…Whether you’re an international star or a hometown hero, pencil in Europe for May and June.” – Chris Parker, SUPracer.com
“The Euro Racing scene is already legit. We have great events, talented riders and young kids that want to race. What this tour can do is bring more visibility to some events, and this is good.” – Eric Terrien, professional SUP racer
WEEK #1: Port Adriano SUP Race
– Mallorca, Spain, May 23 & 24
WEEK #2: The SUP Race Cup
– St. Maxime, France, May 30 & 31
WEEK #2: St’Ives Bay Celtic Cup
– St. Ives, UK, May 30 & 31
WEEK #3: The Lost Mills
– Brombachsee, Bavaria, Germany, June 4-6
WEEK #4: Bilbao World SUP Challenge
– Bilbao, Spain, June 13 & 14
WEEK #5: The Adriatic Crown
– Marotta, Italy, June 20 & 21
WEEK #5: Deep SUP Race
– Noja, Spain, June 20 & 21
WEEK #6: Happy Summer SUP Race
– Namur, Belgium, June 27 & 28
On Valentine’s Day, while you were canoodling and sucking on Sweethearts, Jamie O’Brien (JOB) was paddling into triple-overhead waves at Makaha with six buddies on the same giant inflatable SUP. The ride has since been entered for an XXL Award, and is likely to win in the category of “Craziest S**t One Could Possibly Do On A SUP.” Cogratulations, Jamie.
After a month-long training program at the New Zealand Starboard SUP Academy, Sean Poynter is in the best shape of his life. Photo: Mike Fields
After a month of intensive training and personalized fitness assessment at the New Zealand Starboard SUP Academy in January, World Tour standout Sean Poynter says he’s in the best shape of his life. He left the Academy with a new approach to health beyond just a physical change. Poynter also changed his mental habits, eating habits and lifestyle to reach a balance that optimizes his athletic prowess. Here, he breaks down just what happened to him at the Academy, and how it changed his take on health, fitness and mind control.
SUP: Tell us about your New Zealand training camp.
SP: I was sent to New Zealand with Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer and a handful of other Starboard athletes for this training program, and at first I didn’t know what to expect. It was a school of learning about our bodies and training, testing the different aspects of our outer nervous system to find a balance that works best for each of us individually. We learned a ton about ourselves and our bodies, what makes us tick and how we need to tick. I took so much from it; it completely changed my life.
What new fitness strategies are you implementing as a result of the Academy?
I’m doing a program to extend what I learned there, which is largely composed of different variations of paddling and running. The academy introduced me to a lot of new training elements that I’d never done before, and it taught me that simple exercises are best for what I’m trying to accomplish. It’s a program that I now have to take on through the year so I’ll be training in a way that promotes the best of me. To not overwork or underwork myself.
How are you changing your diet?
The whole idea is simplification. You want to simplify your life as much as you can, and with that comes food. You are what you eat and there’s no need to over complicate what you put in your body. That’s why I’m making the switch to all organic. I’m eating good proteins and good carbs, not manufactured junk. I make sure it’s fresh because that has a big effect on how your system processes food. I’m eating way cleaner, way more simply, and drinking a ton of water. I’ll also be doing a three-month juice cleanse soon.
What other techniques are you implementing into your training?
I’ve been doing Fartlek training, which is basically training tailored to every individual’s level of output. By knowing what my body can put out, I can adjust my workout to train to maintain the desired balance. Along with paddling and running I do a lot of resistance stuff, like dragging a water bottle behind my board to add resistance while I paddle. I do a lot of running in intervals; going different percentages of my capacity. Also running stairs, running hills, fast walking, running in waste deep water, those kinds of things. Again, simple; running shoes and a paddleboard have me feeling stronger than I’ve ever felt.
How do you maintain your mental health, motivation and competitive focus?
Having a goal that I really care about is the number one thing that keeps me focused. For instance, I want to win a world title. I’m motivated and focused on achieving that. Also, I realized that I perform best when I’m in a calm state, so I’m now doing things like meditation, stretching, listening to a certain type of music that calms me. But it all comes back to having that one goal. Set a goal and from there it trickles down.
For more from SUP the mag on Sean Poynter, click here.
To learn more about Fartlek training and the methods employed by the Starboard SUP Academy, click here.
Sophia Bartlow is a girl on fire. She’s ranked fifth on the Standup World Tour, she championed the 2014 US SUP surfing tour and this year, she’s relentlessly determined to win her first world title. But beyond the stats and skills, Bartlow’s competitive drive is buttressed by an uncanny energetic spirit. On land, her aura inspires stoke; she prances around her contests giving hugs and singing praises, encouraging competitors, congratulating groms, all with a smile. In the water, her vibrancy is channeled into fierce competitive prowess.
Bartlow credits her electric nature majorly to her mother, Jericho Poppler, a legendary female surfer nicknamed the “Wave Dancer” after winning the first-ever women’s world title in 1976. SUP sat Bartlow down for some insight about rising under the influence of the original Wave Dancer.
SUP: How did growing up with a legendary mom influence your SUP career?
SB: I honestly didn’t understand that my mom was a legend growing up. But she used to hold a contest every year, “Jericho’s Kids for Clean Waves,” and we were always doing a lot of events. I got to meet all these cool people from SUP and surfing, but I didn’t realize who they were till I got older and gained some perspective. It wasn’t till later on that I realized I’d been brought up by a legend.
Describe how you were raised.
My mom brought me and my siblings up super liberally. She’s more than just a surfer; she’s an environmentalist, a dancer and an artist. She raised us with principles from a lot of different cultures she’d picked up from traveling. I had all these Hawaiian influences; she’s always been so “Aloha.” I think she learned that from her mother, my grandma Bobby, who is known for surfing Makaha back in the day. She’s also known for her cheese bread (laughs).
How did Jericho help shape you as an athlete?
My mom never forced me into SUP surfing, and I think that’s why I love it so much. But she always supported me and my siblings in the water. Having my mom at contests was ridiculous. She’d be louder than the loudspeaker giving us tips. It wasn’t always easy; I had to ban her from coming to some of my contests. Looking back, it was a huge part of my development because she gave me advice that’s stuck with me to this day.
At any point did you feel pressure to perform because of how good your mother was?
Yeah, but the thing is, I know I can do it. I’ve beaten the best, so it makes sense to chase a title. I never wanted to be world champion because my mom was world champion. I’ve wanted to do it because I know that I can. Chasing this title is just another stepping stone in the road, a platform toward the plateau of great things I want to do in the future. I feel really blessed to be who I am and to come from where I do.
Who’s a better surfer, you or your mom?
My mom is definitely better at surfing. She’s so stylish! Even now, at 64 years of age, on a bumpy, windy, closed out day in Huntington, she’ll go off the lip, come down in the backwash with fins out, extra hair flip for style, soul arching like nobody’s business. She’s so graceful when she surfs. That’s why she was the first to get the title “Wave Dancer.”
How does she inspire other female surfers?
Her presence alone is inspiring, in or out of the water. But the fact that she’s still ripping at her age is pretty encouraging. On land, the way she carries herself and the things she says embodies the same things her surfing does—power, grace and flow. She’s the epitome of living art, still surfing all the time. It’s enough to inspire any woman.
More SUP women here.
Go wide , go better . Naish x32 mediterranean sup 2015 from Federico Piccinaglia on Vimeo.
“Hey, wanna go to Italy?”
“Nah, there are no waves there.”
“I beg to differ.”
Here’s your evidence.
There are, in fact, waves in Italy. And judging from this video, they’re good ones too. They may be rare, but they’re there. So go to Italy. See Pompeii. Eat carbonara. Tour the Vatican. And if you’re really lucky, go SUP surf in conditions like this.
More videos here.
We’ve seen just about every mood Sunset Beach has to offer this week at the 2015 Sunset Beach Pro, but unlike last year’s final, conditions for today’s event weren’t ideal. If Day 1 of this year’s Standup World Tour season opener was Sunset’s mad face, today was its, “meh.” Can’t win ‘em all, we suppose, though the Standup World Tour still came out on top today due to the salvation of its world-class athletes. The final day of the Sunset Pro kicked off in knee-high, clean and rippable surf, placing the versatility of SUP on full display as competitors shredded small potatoes with power surfing that made micro rides look impressive.
Parlez vous power surfing?
Round 3 highlights included Poenaiki Raioha comboing the field in heat 4 with a remarkable display of Tahitian rail work. He may not speak English, but he speaks power surfing. Further highlights include Kala Alexander being late to his heat due to a light altercation with police about his chosen parking spot. Silly police, Kala can park wherever he darn well pleases on the North Shore. Kody Kerbox topped his heat with a commanding performance, tallying the highest scoring heat-total of the event with a 18.5.
Zane Schweitzer prevailed against a stacked heat featuring runner up Mo Freitas, Robin Johnson and former world champion, Brazilian Leco Salazar.
Racks on racks on racks
The quarterfinals featured thoroughly stacked heats with the world’s top talent. Opening heats provided no shockers, with Kai Lenny and the Tahitian favorite Poenaiki Raioha winning in anticipated fashion and moving on to the semis along with runners up Justin Holland and Bernd Roediger. Young Hawaiian ripper Kody Kerbox also took his heat, with runner up Caio Vaz beating out the American favorite, Sean Poynter, in the closing seconds. Hawaiia’s Mo Frietas also advanced along with Beau Nixon, putting to rest our predicted shocker claim by ousting Zane Schweitzer.
Conditions improved for the semis as a bump in the swell period brought consistent, shoulder-high waves. The first heat featured Kai Lenny, Justin Holland, Poenaiki Raioha and Bernd Roediger. Those four went to battle in an improved arena of surf with anticipated favorites Kai Lenny and Justin Holland advancing to the finals. And remember that kid who wasn’t supposed to compete on account of his broken pelvis? Mo Freitas? He won his semifinal heat and advanced with runner up Caio Vaz.
Mind over manners
The final opened in the best waves of the day, and Brazilian champion Caio Vaz picked off the first. Kai Lenny—the ruthless contender that he is—employed his mental attack early on, and pushed Caio a little too deep for the wave. Caio missed the sweet spot on one of the best waves of the day, finishing the ride with a gesture to Lenny instead of his signature snap. Lenny gained the upper hand and carried it till the buzzer despite the worthy performances of all the contenders.
Come May, Titus Kodzoman will attempt self-supported solo expedition along the entire Norwegian coast on a 14-foot standup. Photo: SUPNorway.com
“Choose to be defined by how you challenge yourself, not by your ability to defeat others.”
That’s the mantra of Titus Kodzoman, a former Royal Marine turned senior SUP instructor, yacht-master, big-wave charger, kite surfer and freediver now based in Norway. Kodzoman painted his stripes as a survivalist and a waterman with feats like spending three winters in the northern mountains of Norway to learn Arctic survival, surviving an attack by five-meter Great White shark and being the first person to dive in the “Oslo Ice Challenge,” the world’s first-ever international under-ice freediving competition.
In May 2015, Kodzoman will attempt yet another feat to perpetuate his mantra—a 2,500-mile, self-supported solo SUP expedition along the entire mainland coast of Norway.
The journey will launch in Grense Jakobselv, a remote village fringing the Arctic Sea on the Russian/Norwegian border. From there, Kodzoman will paddle northwest under a sleepless sun around Nordkapp, nearing Europe’s most northern region deep in the Arctic Circle. Upon reaching Nordkapp, he’ll round south, paddling the rugged coastline all the way to the Swedish border at a clip of 20- to 30-miles per day. He hopes to complete the entire mission over the course of four months, and he’ll do it all on a 14-foot standup loaded with all the supplies necessary to self-sustain.
Kodzoman’s mission supports a handful of worthy objectives. Beyond the act of completing the expedition, he hopes to publicize his journey in attempt to inspire others to get out on the water and try SUP. He’s also working to draw attention to issues affecting the marine environment, and raising money for JustaDrop.org, an international charity that brings clean water to people in need.
To learn more about Kodzoman, his experience and his expedition, visit supnorway.com. After he sets off on May 1st, you’ll be able to track his progress here.
Check back with SUPthemag.com for more coverage of Titus Kodzoman and his Norwegian adventure.
You should watch The SUP Movie. Look at the cast: Kai Lenny, Noa Ginella, Izzi Gomez, Sean Poynter, Mo Freitas, Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer, Kody Kerbox and more ripping around the world from Maui to Nicaragua to Chile to Fiji. Plus it was made by our pals at Poor Boyz Productions, a high-quality, high-performance action sports media house. And if that isn’t enough to get you get you to click here and purchase it on iTunes, watch the exclusive clip from the movie above. It’s Ginella at his stylish best. Enjoy.
Then you’re going to want to click here to watch the rest.
Photo: Tom Servais
Rob Rojas and his 10-year-old son, Conrad, in the midst of the 24-hour journey. Photo: Riviera Paddlesurf
Rob Rojas recently paddled 24-hours straight in Southern California waters to raise money for the cancer awareness group Ocean of Hope. Rojas, 41, a Fish & Game warden by day, and endurance SUP legend by night (he often trains in the wee hours of the morning before work and took line honors at the 2014 Battle of the Paddle distance race), claims he was in church when he just “had the idea of doing this 24-hour paddle.” His 10-year-old son is obviously cut from the same cloth, joining his dad for the first stretch of the paddle, 23 miles from Newport Harbor to Dana Point Harbor, starting at 7 a.m. during the Hal Rosoff Classic. Once in Dana Point, the elder Rojas did lap after lap—often being joined by paddling supporters, including some cancer survivors and current battlers—until the clock struck seven once again. We caught up with him to get his take on the feat.
How did your son Conrad end up doing the Newport to Dana Point section with you?
He woke up two days prior and said “Dad I want to paddle Newport to Dana with you for cancer.” I didn’t push him and I told him he could stop at any time and Mom could pick him up. He stayed committed and followed through, which is what I am most proud of.
Does he paddle distances like that often?
This is the first time he has gone over 20. He has done several races in the five-to-eight mile range in 2014.
How’d you settle on paddling for cancer awareness?
Cancer affects everybody. It affects heroes and cowards, men and women, adults and babies, cops, firefighters, military personnel. It is indiscriminate and most of all, cancer sucks!
What was the hardest portion of the paddle for you?
Saying goodbye to my son after spending six-to-seven hours paddling the coast with him.
How many people paddled with you over the 24 hours?
Approximately 20 total over the 24-hour period. I was never alone.
We understand you had some paddlers with cancer come paddle with you? Tell us about that.
It was pretty awesome and humbling to me. Here we had two guys, Bill Kindel and Wally Buckingham, both are going through chemo right now and both charged right through it and have winning attitudes. They are beating cancer and kicking its ass. Both guys paddled multiple laps with me and both donated to the cause. In addition, Wally’s twin brother, Wayne Buckingham just beat cancer in October and came down and paddled a bunch of laps as well. I figure odds are I may get cancer someday and if I do, I want to be like Wally, Wayne, and Bill!
How did you eat? Did you just sit on your board?
Naw, I was very spoiled with the good food. When people bring you chicken long rice soup, won ton soup and carne asada tacos, you have to stop and eat!!!
How does your family deal with your training schedule for events like this?
Train? I just got in shape as I went along haha! It’s all in the head and the most important thing you can do for something like this is know you can do it and get your sleep!
What is your training schedule like for something like this?
I trained normally. Hit the gym approximately three days per week, paddled approximately three days per week and surfed when the surf was good!
More Rojas here.
You can’t party any harder on a wave than this. Here, the French masses take on one of their tidal bores on standups, kayaks, surfboards, pretty much anything but baguettes. Before today we didn’t know we had to do this. Yet another item added to the bucket list.
OK, so this video by American Rivers doesn’t feature any standup paddling. Instead, it takes us on a fun romp through some Pacific Northwest rivers with grom Parker Arneson. It highlights 50 things he loves about those rivers, from rough-skinned newts to waterfalls to vistas to skipping stones. For our list, we’d add SUP. They’re all good reasons to protect our rivers, to get on them more and most importantly, to think and act like a kid when the opportunity presents itself. These are our playgrounds.
Learn more about American Rivers.
A month of SUP in Patagonia from Mark Kalch on Vimeo.
Yeah, inflatables and GoPros are still pretty awesome. Especially when you can use one for exploring everything–rivers, lakes, oceans–and the other for capturing it all. ‘Capturing it all’ becomes especially relevant if the groms are along. Here’s how Mark Kalch sees Chile with his brood, a packable board and a small camera.
Sean Poynter, pivoting on a penny and advancing to Round 3 at the Sunset Beach Pro.
Today the Sunset Beach Pro saw the end of Round 1 and the repecharge Round compete in pristine, overhead morning conditions that faded as the SW wind picked up toward mid-afternoon. The top two finishers from the first round automatically advanced to Round 3, while the remaining contenders were relegated to the repo. From there, the first-place finishers and the two highest scoring second-place finishers of the repo advanced to Round 3. For everyone else, it’s tough tomatoes as the first elimination round of the main event ran its course.
Highlights in Round One include the highest scoring heat total of the day, an 18.1 from Zane Schweitzer (remember, that’s SUP mag’s predicted shocker…though he’s not really a shocker since everyone knows he rips… but anyway, we so called it). Zane finished his heat with a near perfect wave—a 9.77—sending the rest of his heat’s competitors into combo land.
Further highlights from Round 2 include Mo Freitas competing despite having broken his pelvis only a few weeks back. Man, that kid is tough.
The Brazilians rocked the Round 2 Repo with advances from Kianoa Texeira, Yuri Daberkow, Ian Vaz and Leco Salazar, meanwhile American’s Giorgio Gomez and the legendary Chuck Patterson also advanced alongside Hawaiian phenom, Connor Baxter.
The Round 3 heat draws are stacked with the world’s top SUP surfing contenders. Look forward to fierce competition from here on out and check in with WatermanLeague.com for the morning call tomorrow, as we continue the 6th annual Standup World Tour season opener at the Sunset Beach Pro.
SUP rules Hawaii. Photo: Ryan Foley
Standup paddling is one of the oldest activities on water, and its roots in Hawaiian culture date back as far as the history books will take you. There’s good reason for that.
The standup is the most versatile tool in the waterman’s arsenal, and Hawaii is a waterman’s ultimate arena. It boils down to this: If you were stranded on an island, susceptible to heavy doses of open-ocean wind, swell and flatwater and you could only bring one toy, what toy would you bring?
The locals know the realities of living in the middle of the Pacific well, and for mainlanders who venture across the ocean with visions of perfect waves in pristine conditions, it’s a reality check. Hawaii is not always what photos make it out to be. Sure, it’s home to world-class waves and the seven-mile miracle when conditions are on, but it’s equally home to world-class winds, often onshore and sometimes down days with little swell or wind at all. We’ve been witnessing it all week as we’ve sat tight waiting for the start of the Sunset Beach Pro.
Legendary figures like Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Kainoa McGee and other unsung paddlers have proven time and time again: SUP is as optimal a craft as any to match the massive swells that clobber the Hawaiian shoreline. Some argue it’s the best. But how about when the wind’s coming strong out of the North and the “Seven-Mile Miracle” is blown out from V-land to Haleiwa? Are you going to make the hour-long trek to the east side to check for waves? And what if there aren’t any? Break out the paddle, harness that wind and ride it into the sunset like the dark horse that your sport represents.
In line with downwinding, Hawaii also offers distance paddling between islands, an athletic endeavor most don’t attempt prone, or at all. Maui is a breeding ground for distance racers, from older guys like Jeremy Riggs to young champions like Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny. What better way to earn your waterman stripes than to paddle from Maui to Molokai or Molokai to Oahu?
And then there’s the fishing, the small-wave riding or even just cruising. Whatever ocean condition—and Hawaii has them all—a standup is a great tool for each.
We’re not necessarily “stranded” on an island, but we know which toy we’d choose if we were.
Check back with SUPthemag.com for onsite contest coverage, and stay posted for more insight from the North Shore.
We’ve given you a hearty dose of SUP surfing this week. And we’re giving you more with this Weekly Insta, SUP‘s collection of the best Instagram photos from the standup world every seven days. But what can we say? It’s the opening season for the 6th annual Standup World Tour, and it’s not our fault our lives and our Instagram feeds have been inundated with radical SUP surfing coverage from the North Shore all week. But don’t worry, we know our friends enjoy all aspects of SUP, and that’s why we’ve been sure to pepper in posts from all the waterways that we endeavor. Enjoy!
Hashtag #theweeklyinsta for your photos to be considered for the feed!
Check out past weeks’ The Weekly Insta here.
All photos: Greg Panas
Your favorite meal, only different…
It was at the same iconic break as last year’s Standup World Tour opener at the Sunset Beach Pro, only today, it tasted different. Instead of the well-seasoned, succulent Sunset the ocean served last year, today we had a whole lotta mashed potatoes (and a little side of chicken) in a no pain, no gain proving ground of 8- to 10-foot, beefy Sunset. It made every competitor mind their manners at the table—survival skills, gutsy surfing and a dash of chance, and voila, day one of the 6th annual Standup World Tour is served.
Serve the girls first!
But wait, isn’t this a men’s event? Ya, but the women proved themselves along side the boys today. 15-year-old world champion Izzi Gomez and 17-year-old Fiona Wylde both competed and made heats in today’s trials. Gomez fell in the semis, while Wylde advanced into the first round of the main event which will continue tomorrow if conditions align.
To be fair, wave selection was an absolute lottery for the trial heats. Shifty conditions put plenty for some and zilch for others on today’s morning special. Some worthy contenders (Jacy Shimahara and Alohi Kalalau, to name a couple) were taken out with waveless heats, while others found some gems (Austin Kalama, James Casey and Bernd Roedigger, to name a few more).
Maui’s Kai Lenny wasn’t thrilled after the first heat in today’s main event, when he took second in his heat with the second highest-scoring performance of the day, a 13.66. Aussie Justin Holland beat him with the day’s top score, a 14.17, for the day’s highlighted battle.
Leftovers for breakfast!
We’re likely to see the contest run again tomorrow, which means Round 1 leftovers for breakfast followed by the repechage and possibly a third course with Round 3, if the waves are tasty.
Tune into WatermanLeague.com to catch the live webcast, #standupworldtour with all your photos and keep checking back with SUPthemag.com for onsite event coverage and exclusive interviews!
Shokogi Presents MO FREITAS visit Selina Bocas del toro from Epicmedia on Vimeo.
Mo Freitas was bred on the North Shore of Oahu. What does this mean? He knows how to navigate his SUP in some of the heaviest waves in the world. Those heavy waves include barrels. And that’s just what Freitas found on a recent trip to the Caribbean side of Panama in Bocas del Toro. He makes it look easy. It isn’t. That’s just years of experience.
More Freitas here.
For info on paddling in this region, click here.
Sony Handy Cam SUP Sessions #1 from InfinitySURF on Vimeo.
Dave Boehne, Anthony Vela, Michael Jackson, some ’90s-quality home video footage and a chunky winter swell in Southern California. It’s a recipe for a fun little video.
More videos here.
Kody Kerbox – Locked ‘n’ Loaded from Andrew Welker Photo on Vimeo.
Kody Kerbox has been working hard in the off-season from the Standup World Tour. And by working, we mean surfing.
Kerbox ended the 2014 season ranked 10th on the SUWT. If this edit of him free surfing on Maui during January is any indication, he could easily make the top five. Keep an eye on him as the season progresses.
More Kerbox here.
Zane Schweitzer, SUP mag’s predicted shocker for the 2015 Sunset Beach Pro, bottom turning on a bomb at last year’s Sunset Beach Pro. Photo: Standup World Tour/watermanleague.com
The waiting period is open for the 2015 Sunset Beach Pro — the first and most prestigious event of the men’s Standup World Tour — with giant swell forecasted to deliver yet another epic start to the World Tour season on Oahu’s North Shore. Sunset is a massive arena among Oahu’s most famous proving grounds, making the opening event-title of the world tour the most coveted win of the season. As the tour rounds into its 6th year of competition, the international lineup of competitors is an all-star cast of world-class athletes, all hungry to start the season strong. Here are SUP magazine’s top picks for the 2015 Sunset Beach Pro.
Photo: Standup World Tour/watermanleague.com
1. Kai Lenny
It’s no secret that current world champion, Maui’s Kai Lenny, is far and beyond the most well-rounded waterman on the Standup World Tour. At only 22 years old, Kai’s track record speaks for itself — four out of five SUP surfing world titles, three years in a row finishing top-2 in the Standup World Series race league, a win at this year’s first-ever Standup competition at Pipeline, star of the recently released film, The SUP Movie, and a reputation for SUP surfing 30-foot + Jaws. After finishing second last year at the Sunset Pro, first in 2013 and second in 2012, Kai is the undoubtable favorite going into the sixth season tour-opener.
2. Sean Poynter
California’s Sean Poynter — third-place overall finisher of the 2014 Standup World Tour season — spent all of January in New Zealand for an intense training program before coming to Hawaii to prepare for the Sunset Pro. Upon returning home from New Zealand, and then to Hawaii to train for the contest, Poynter told SUP, “I’ve been a sponsored competitor since the seventh grade, and I feel like I really just started my career as a professional athlete. I am in the best shape of my life.” Poynter was a man on a mission in the 2014 season, championing the men’s most recent competition, Location X Morocco, with multiple excellent scores ahead of friend and Starboard teammate Zane Schweitzer in the final. While a title at Sunset has historically eluded Starboard’s top surf competitor, look out for a breakthrough performance in this week’s competition.
3. Caio Vaz
The Brazilian contingent is alive and thriving on this year’s Standup World Tour, with no more an exemplary competitor than last year’s Sunset Beach Pro winner, Caio Vaz. Vaz came in second on last year’s world tour—and the year before that—nipping at the heal’s of Kai Lenny with winning performances on the tour’s first two stops, Hawaii and Brazil. Along with brother Ian Vaz, who took 9th on last year’s tour, look out for the Art in Surf athlete to rally hard to win a second SUP world title for Brazil in 2015, beginning with a top rank at Sunset.
4. Leco Salazar
Leco Salazar had a comparatively tough season in 2014, finishing 8th overall after losing a neck-and-neck final against Kai Lenny at the tour’s final stop in France. But don’t let last year’s stats fool you — Leco is the only competitor whose name isn’t “Kai Lenny” to hold a world title, which the Brazilian took in 2012 with a narrow but defining lead on runner-up Sean Poynter. Vengeance is as motivating a factor as any, and after last year, expect Salazar to seek redemption with a no-holds-barred approach at the 2015 Sunset Beach Pro.
SUP’s predicted shocker: Zane Schweitzer
That game-changing, month-long training program Sean Poynter attended in New Zealand? Yeah, Zane Schweitzer was there as well. Schweitzer, a long-time world tour SUP and surf competitor who’s traditionally made his mark at the head of the race pack, is also in the best shape of his life coming into the 2015 surf season, and he’s no slouch when it comes to powerful waves like Sunset, even on his backhand. It won’t be a shocker if Schweitzer takes the crown, since he’s a proven contender coming from a clan of standout SUP athletes, but it’ll definitely be an upset for which we’ll take pride in claiming foresight.
SUP’s thoughts go out to: Mo Freitas
North Shore’s own Mo Freitas suffered a broken pelvis in the weeks leading up to the Sunset Beach Pro during a surf session at Haleiwa Beach. As of now, he’s steadily recovering but not able to compete in this year’s season opener. Look out for last year’s 6th-ranked overall world tour competitor to come back strong for Brazil in April. Get well soon, Mo!
Stay tuned to watermanleague.com for updates on the competition, which coordinators expect will kick off tomorrow. Tune in there for the live webcast.
Check back with SUPthemag.com for exclusive event coverage, athlete interviews and photos from the 2015 Sunset Beach Pro.
Santa Catalina Island, a mere 22 miles of ocean from the crawling sprawl of the City of Angels, has long been a sanctuary for those people looks to escape the frenetic pace of Southern California living. Bison roam the hills (left after being brought over for a movie in the ’20s), chaparral covers 90 percent of the land and fish are plentiful in the clear, unpolluted water.
Over half a million people visit the chunk of rock each year to scuba dive, kayak, dock their sailboats, get off their cruise ship, run a marathon or just party in Avalon, the only incorporated town on the island.
My girlfriend, Thea, and I wanted to do it a little differently. We loaded up our overnight camping gear in drybags, rolled up two inflatables, grabbed our paddles and hopped on the Saturday morning ferry from Newport Harbor, a short drive from our home in Dana Point.
It was a partially cloudy November day with only a light breeze and temperatures in the high 60s when we stepped off the ferry to Avalon. We spread our gear out on the boardwalk in town and started organizing our gear. A bearded, obese guy in basketball shorts serenaded us as I pumped up the boards as Thea filled our water bladders. After fielding questions from five different groups of people about what we were doing, we pushed off into the calm water.
We took our time paddling up the coast, stopping to talk and gaze at the hills and speculate as to the lives of the people that own multi-million-dollar yachts. Garibaldi dotted the rock reef below us in orange flashes.
Goat Harbor, our chosen camp spot, was empty. There are three primitive campsites there and none of them were filled. The hills behind camp were steep and covered in oak trees, leading to the beach covered in round, grape-sized rock that crunched pleasingly under foot while we set up camp. As the sun set, we realized that we were in view of millions of people with Venice Beach, Malibu and Long Beach just across the channel from us. Yet we were alone.
Or we thought we were. As we stirred hot water into our freeze-dried dinners, we heard rock crumbling down a cliff south of camp. Our headlamps illuminated two reflective eyes that were quickly approaching. An Island Fox, native to the Channel Islands and small, grey and auburn, emerged from the darkness and walked within 10 feet of us. He looked at us, took a couple sniffs, then turned his bushy tail and scurried off over the boulders on the shore. It must have found a meal from campers there before.
After our evening excitement, we fell asleep to the sound of stones churning across each other in the shore pound.
Before I even unzipped the tent in the morning, I knew we were in trouble. A gusty 15-knot wind buffeted the nylon walls and bent the poles inward. When I looked, shoulder-high whitecaps were coming in the very direction that we had to paddle to get back to Avalon. Breakfast was a quick affair and we stuffed our gear quickly into our drybags and shoved off.
It took us two hours to paddle less than two miles. Thea paddled on her knees. I stood occasionally, if only to give my knees a break. Then, right as we came around Long Point, the wind died. We had two hours to make the afternoon ferry and had to paddle twice as fast for the next two hours to make it. We started cranking.
We made it with ten minutes to spare and shuffled onto the ferry with Mexican families, European tourists, drunk Orange County bros and snuggling couples. The sun set over the island as we pulled out of the harbor. Thea and I raised expensive, pre-mixed margaritas to our weekend adventure across the channel.
Do It Yourself
How To Get There: We took off from Newport on the Catalina Flyer (we got a great deal on Groupon). There are also ferries from Dana Point, Long Beach and San Pedro.
What You Need: Inflatable boards (they don’t allow hard boards on the ferry; we used ULI Boards; rental info here), paddles (including a three-piece backup), pump, drybags, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, camp stove, freeze dried meals, warm clothes, paddling clothes, snorkel gear, first-aid kit, headlamp, water (we used MSR Dromedary bags), CamelBak, hat, sunglasses.
Where To Stay: We reserved our campsite at Goat Harbor, which is a 6.25-mile paddle from Avalon. Check out Visitcatalinaisland.com for more info.
Backwaters is a series by SUP magazine that highlights less-known and less-populated paddling destinations.
More Backwaters here.
11’2” X 30” X 4.25”
SHAPER DAVE MEYLER: The BOGA Classic has earned its name as the favorite shape of many paddlers. In today’s age where most all-around boards are shaped like super tankers, the classic takes its design cues from more of a surfing long board profile, making it one of the best gliding shapes we offer whether on flat water lakes or small waves. With the combination of good volume distribution for great stability and lightweight construction for ease of carrying and performance, the Classic remains BOGA’s top-selling all-around shape. New for 2014 is a cleverly designed six-point tie-down system on the deck for storage.
OUR TAKE: The Classic is Boga’s take on a one-board quiver. With a healthy 11’2” length and 30” width it’s a versatile board that’s just as comfortable skimming across a glassy lake as taking on the summer surf. The aggressive nose, thin rails and pulled-in squash tail allow the Classic to surf a variety of waves from small ankle-slappers to overhead and down-the-line, although the rail-to-rail performance felt a little sluggish at times, as any board of this size would. The deck pad was divided in quarters with wide gaps in between that are slippery but also let you know where you are on the board. The board tracks well in the flats and is stable when things get rough. The bamboo veneer with nice teal pin lines makes for a dang good-looking board that will hold up to the abuse of inland or ocean paddling. A fine choice for a wide variety of paddlers.—WT
This gear review originally ran in our Summer 2014 issue.
For more information, visit: BOGABOARDS.com
Downwinding under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo: Joe Budd
Sam George knows paddling. That knowledge was procured the old fashioned way. By doing it: From grinding away at surf contests to utilizing kayaking to find remote surf breaks to becoming one of the early practitioners of standup. And now the former SURFER magazine editor and senior editor at SUP magazine is bringing that experience to you.
So if you’re out there longing for paddling advice, just Ask Sam. Anything. He’ll put his seasoning as a paddler to work for you. Ask in the comments or send emails to email@example.com.
Q: I just started doing downwind paddles here in the SF Bay Area (inspired by Will Taylor’s article in SUP) and while I’ve experienced the advantage of paddling with the wind at your back I have yet to actually surf any windswells. The videos make it look so simple, but it’s obviously not because every time I see a swell and paddle for it it’s always too late. What’s the trick? —Andy Miller
A: There’s no trick involved, Andy, but simply a change of perspective. And this I learned while down-winding with the great Dave Kalama. In conventional surfing, he explained, it’s all about what’s going on behind you. But when down-winding, it’s all about what’s going on in front of you. Keep you eyes forward, watching the swells that have already passed under your board. When a passing swell is steep enough to create a visible trough—or steep enough to actually cap over and break—stick the nose of your board down into that trough and paddle like hell. After a while you’ll start to feel the good ones coming. No looking back, just ride and repeat, all the way to Alcratraz.
Q: What’s the best wetsuit design for SUPing? I paddle year-round in central Florida but sometimes winter and spring mornings can get chilly. —Martha Mullins
A: Here’s the thing about wetsuits—they’re designed to keep you warm in the water. But once past the beginner stage stand-up paddlers don’t spend much time in the water. So are you talking about chilly water or chilly air temps? If the water’s dipping below your comfort level I’d suggest a long-john type wetsuit, insulating your lower body and torso but leaving your shoulders bare for ease of paddling. If the air is chilling your stoke I’d go for a 2mm short-leg spring suit—you lose a lot of heat through bare shoulders. If you get too warm you can always cool off in the water.
Q: One of the things that attracted me to the sport of SUP was how simple it is. Simple, that is, until you turn the board over and see all those fin boxes and attachments. One, three, four, some even have five fin attachments. So many choices, so little information. What’s the difference, if there actually is any. —S. Forester
A: Yeah, those fin boxes are the only complicated thing about a stand-up paddleboard. And without going into too much arcane detail here’s a fin set-up primer. A single fin provides speed and directional stability, which is why all race and touring boards feature one box. A tri-fin setup increases maneuverability—pressure against the outside fins being maintained throughout turns, allowing more acute directional changes. Four fins give you that same maneuverability but without the anchoring effect of the middle fin, making for a fast, loose ride. And five boxes provide the option of riding either way. Simple, huh? My advice: if you’ve got the boxes try every configuration and work out one which suits your style best.
More “Ask Sam” here.
Ask in the comments or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The morning call for the 2015 Standup World Tour season opener didn’t come easy for yesterday’s event, the Turtle Bay Pro on Oahu’s fabled North Shore.
At 8:00 a.m., the women’s contest was officially on. By the time the first heat hit the water at 8:15, it was officially on standby. The Pacific was playing tricks with a mirage of shifty peaks and wonky, double-overhead sets wreaking havoc on the event schedule, but after a little confusion and a lot of debate, competition finally kicked off around 10:00 a.m. with the juniors event — the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge. After all, who better than the fearless and frothing groms to test the waters?
Fortunately, conditions improved drastically as the day progressed, and following the Na Kama Kai Challenge, which was championed with an outstanding performance by Oahu’s own Keola Auwae, the ladies took to the lineup for a full day of action-packed competition. After last year’s Turtle Bay Pro champion, Nicole Pacelli, finished fourth in an upsetting semifinal heat and fell from the competition, the final was left to current world champ, Izzi Gomez, long-time frontrunner Candice Appleby, former 6th-ranked SUWT competitor Caroline Angibaud and emerging dark horse, Australia’s Shakira Westdorp.
The final began with Gomez and Appleby trading waves and jockeying for first position, while Westdorp and Angibaud struggled to find their rhythm early on. Then, after finishing strong on a few long set waves, Westdorp took the lead and held it for the majority of the heat. Meanwhile, Angibaud suffered what contest announcers called prematurely dubbed “somewhat of a shocker,” failing to catch a single wave in the first 20 minutes of the 25-minute heat. But then, the tables turned. In the last five minutes of the final, needing an 8.1 heat total to take the event, Angibaud swung late for an overhead set wave and edged into a steep drop, following it up with a series of hearty turns and a layback snap to finish the wave with a 6.77 — the highest scoring wave of the heat. She caught one more wave in the closing seconds of the final, scoring a 3.93, for a combined 10.77 heat total that earned her the title as the 2015 Turtle Bay Pro Champion.
With an early season upset placing two of the less likely contenders at the forefront of the 2015 title race, expect to see all contenders in top-form and highly motivated for their next contest, the Brazil Pro Grand Slam in April.
First-call for the Men’s season opener, the Sunset Beach Pro, will takes place tomorrow morning with a possible start at 8:00 a.m. HST.
Tune in to the Waterman League website to watch the LIVE webcast, and keep tabs on the action with the SUWT’s live blog. Also, visit the SUWT Facebook page and follow them on Instagram @standupworldtour.
And, keep updated with daily recaps, behind-the-scenes event coverage and athlete interviews at SUPthemag.com.
1. Caroline Angibaud – FRA
2. Shakira Westdorp (Starboard) – AUS
3. Izzi Gomez (Starboard) – USA
4. Candice Appleby – USA
5. Lara Claydon (Starboard) – USA
5. Sophia Tiaré Bartlow – USA
7. Fiona Wylde (Starboard) – USA
7. Nicole Pacelli – BRA
9. Annie Reickert – HAW
9. Sarah Hauser – FRA
9. morenotwins (Iballa Moreno) (Starboard) – SPN
9. Skylar Lickle – HAW
13. Aline Adisaka – (New Advance Surfboards/ 27N – BRA
13. Heather Wilcox – 27N – USA
13. Dominique Miller – HAW
13. Natalia Smith – HAW
17. Karen Jacobson (Rogue SUP) – BRA
17. Lori Park – USA
17. Shelby Schweitzer (Starboard) – HAW
17. Kanani Yockman (Rogue SUP) – HAW
21. Roxy Davis (Starboard) – RSA
21. Mason Schremmer (IOPS) – HAW
21. Maili Tahar (Starboard) – FRA
21. Jodi Kealoha – HAW
Competitors, kids, families and fans are all gathered here at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s fabled North Shore this morning, with competition officially commencing for the opening events of the 2015 Standup World Tour. While contest coordinators wait for conditions to improve to begin the Turtle Bay Women’s Pro — the opening event of the women’s 2015 SUWT season — conditions on the inside section at Turtle Bay West have cleaned up enough to kick off the full day of action with the Turtle Bay Pro Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge, the season’s premier youth event showcasing the next generation of the world’s top SUP surfers.
The official call for the Turtle Bay Women’s Pro will be made following the Na Kama Kai competition, followed by the Patron’s Team Shootout — a new contest that involves teams competing head-to-head on giant inflatable SUPs.
Conditions are currently tricky with shifty overhead peaks and a fading mid-period WNW swell, rendering ability to assess the ocean and strategically read waves a critical component of the competition.
First-call for the Men’s event, the Sunset Beach Pro, will take place tomorrow morning with a possible start at 8:00 a.m.
Another week, another Weekly Insta — SUP‘s collection of the best Instagram photos from the standup world, Monday to Sunday. There’s a story shared in every nook of social media, and nowhere is it more candidly in view than Instagram as athletes, coaches, events and shops use it to contribute their proverbial thousand-words. Here, we curate the best of the best so you don’t have to.
Check out past weeks’ The Weekly Insta here.
Collected by Mike Misselwitz (@mrmizzel)
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