SIC Maui's newest all-water board, the RS, stands for rocket ship. We'll go ahead and say up front that it does not disappoint.
The RS feels lively under your feet right away. Rounded rails in the first two-thirds of the board makes it feel initially unstable but after a few moments you realize that the secondary stability is great—thanks to a mostly parallel outline, mildly dugout deck and a generously wide tail—and you can save yourself from most falls. In fact, this aspect of the RS turned out to be a major advantage: the board felt ultra-responsive in the surf and in downwind conditions, allowing for quick changes in direction, mild adjustments in lines and quick acceleration.
The RS is extremely fast off the line thanks to a bulbous, displacement nose that quickly turns into a planing hull. In flat water, it rode high on the water and thanks to its wide tail and channelized bottom, didn't bounce as much as many other race shapes. In rough water, the voluminous nose pierced through upwind chop no problem (although it sometimes slowed forward motion while pushing through bigger waves) and emerged quickly when we buried it in a bump when running downwind.
The scuppers that drain the dugout are unfortunately placed as we found our feet on them almost all the time since they're placed right at the center point of the board. That's a minor inconvenience, though, considering the board's advantages.
The extras of the RS are top notch. We loved the neoprene-clad lifeguard handles at the front of the cockpit that make the board easy to handle on race lines or in windy conditions. There's also a bungee cord storage zone in between those handles for a water bottle, flip-flops or a small drybag. SIC Maui also continues to use their EZ Grab for the main board handle, which is one of our all-time favorites.
The board is made with SIC Maui's SCC+ tech, which has extra Innegra along the rails meaning this board will last longer than your average production board. The RS is offered in both 12'6" and 14' and seven different widths ranging from 23-28 inches, so you could get a narrow one for racing or wider one for touring.
The RS is a well-built, all-water slayer that will go fast in whatever conditions you like to paddle in. What's not to like about that?
More gear reviews.
Northern California’s big-wave staple, Mavericks, is without a doubt one of the most intimidating waves in the world. Cold water and awesome Pacific power combine to create fearsome waves that can top out at 50-foot faces. The wave is heavy and scary enough that even Kai Lenny dubbed them, “Black Walls of Doom.” Of course, successfully riding one of these beasts is one of surfing’s greatest thrill.
In this short clip, we get to watch a standup paddler do just that. While the spot can get much heavier, this paddler strokes into a beautiful wave at sunset and gets a heart-pumping 30-second ride.
How Jaws is changing big-wave SUP surfing.
Big-wave Mavericks surfer crosses the Atlantic Ocean on a SUP.
Words by Rebecca Parsons
Cold weather doesn't mean less time on the water; it just means more layers and thicker neoprene. If you aren't lucky enough to live in a tropical region, you'll want to be particular when selecting your clothing for a wintertime paddle. Cold temperatures can pose a serious threat should you fall in, so it's important to be prepared and always dress for immersion. To help keep you warm, we put together this list of the key pieces of gear you’ll need for a cold weather paddle.
As always, you should wear a leash, PFD and paddle with a buddy for maximum safety. Be smart, check the conditions and don't push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
If you paddle in an exceptionally cold region or want to run some frigid whitewater rapids, a dry suit is your best bet. As the name suggests, dry suits keep you dry. They are made from nylon with a waterproof polyurethane coating or Gore-Tex laminate with latex gaskets at the wrists, ankles, and neck to ensure no water finds its way in. But while dry suits keep you from getting wet, they don’t necessarily keep you warm.
Dry suits provide little to no insulation, so you'll want to wear long underwear or some form of a base layer underneath to ensure you stay warm for the duration of your paddle. There are a number of solid dry suits on the market and while the price may be steep, it’s a small price to pay once you fall into freezing water.
Unless you reside in the tropics, you probably have a wetsuit of some kind in your arsenal. Contrary to dry suits, wetsuits trap a thin layer of water against the skin, which is then warmed by the body. Wetsuits come in variety of different styles and thicknesses, so use your best discretion or check in with your local surf shop to decide how much neoprene is best suited for your region.
Of course, wetsuits are not the most breathable apparel, so they are typically best suited for paddling when immersion is expected. The "Farmer John" is a popular paddling suit because it provides insulation but the lack of sleeves allow for maximum mobility. Most wetsuits don't come cheap, so it's important to be diligent about rinsing your suit with fresh water after each paddle and to store your suit out of direct sunlight.
Related: Five Tips for Proper Wetsuit Care.
When paddling in warm weather you probably don't give much thought to your feet, but as soon as temperatures drop, it's one of the first things you'll notice. If your feet go numb from the cold, it’s obviously going to be tougher to balance on your SUP and your performance will suffer. That’s why it's important to make sure you're wearing appropriate footwear.
Your best bet is a pair of neoprene booties, which will keep your feet warmer in the same way a wetsuit heats your body. There are a number of different styles and ankle types but generally speaking, the taller styles will be more effective in keeping cold water out. Similar to wetsuits, booties should be rinsed with fresh water after each use and stored in a cool, dry place.
Trust us, nothing is worse than trying to grip a cold paddle when you can’t feel your hands. That’s why keeping your hands and fingers warm while on the water is crucial to a fun and safe paddle.
When selecting a pair of gloves, you'll want a pair that provide a layer of protection against the cold water and air but doesn’t impair your ability to grip the paddle. The best best is a pair of thinner wetsuit gloves – probably no thicker than three millimeters. You can find gloves from most major wetsuit manufacturers and they’ll generally run you 40 to 50 dollars.
The majority of body heat escapes through the head, so it's essential to wear a hat or hoodie when paddling in cold weather. While you can purchase neoprene hoodies on their own, if you’re paddling in cold areas, you should consider purchasing a wetsuit that comes with a hood. There are countless options for you to choose from as nearly all wetsuit manufacturers produce a hooded suit.
Another thing to consider is that if you're doing a whitewater run or another SUP discipline that requires a helmet, you'll want a thick cap that will fit beneath your helmet. However, if you're out for a calm, flat-water paddle, an insulated fleece or wool hat should keep you toasty.
If you frequent somewhere that experiences mild winter temperatures, simply wearing leggings/pants, long sleeves and a water-resistant jacket on top should be enough to keep you warm. Whatever you choose to wear, just be sure it will be warm enough to handle a few moments in the water and always wear a leash and PFD.
Five Tips for Proper Wetsuit Care
Watch: Standup paddling in -13 degrees.
When it comes to dogs and SUP surfing, some canines just seem to pick it up quicker than others. Of course, a dog’s ability to learn depends on several factors including training, breed-type, age, and comfort level with water. While labs are notorious for being water-lovers, they aren’t the only breed that’ll be glad to share some waves with you. Check out this recent video in which a woman and her border collie ride wave after wave on their SUP and make it look easy.
Want to learn about open-water paddling from two of the top instructors in the Pacific Northwest? Karl Kruger, the first person to finish the 766-mile Race to Alaska on a SUP and Rob Casey, owner of PNW mainstay Salmon Bay Paddle, are teaching two sessions of open water distance and expedition paddling this spring for those paddlers wanting to expand their boundaries. Dates are February 1-3 and April 26-28.
If you’re thinking about doing Seventy48 this year, this is the course for you!
SAN CLEMENTE, California – The 2018 Supconnect Brand of the Year, SIC Maui, has announced its team of world-class athletes and ambassadors representing the brand in 2019. Among the Global Athletes, SIC proudly welcomes new Brazilian team riders Guilherme Dos Reis and David Leão, two unknowns who made their way to the 2018 Pacific Paddle Games against amazing odds, and landed on the elite podium. With these two new impressive racers, SIC continues to grow its diverse global presence with athletes representing the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, France, Tahiti, Brazil, and Japan.
Brazilian athletes Guilherme Dos Reis (20) and David Leão (18), known as the 'Brothers of Paddle,' are both from humble beginnings and rose to notoriety after extraordinary performances at the 2018 PPG. Born and raised in different parts of Brazil, the duo first met earlier in 2018 in Spain for the EuroTour. Both having traveled there after weeks of saving up enough money, they immediately bonded after learning about their shared roots and similar situation. However with very little money in their pockets, sponsorship deals falling apart last minute, and no place to stay, they struggled to make things work on the tour.
Photo courtesy of SIC
They returned to Brazil feeling a bit defeated, but the hardships they faced in Europe only made their new friendship even stronger. Fast forward to the 2018 Pacific Paddle Games – they were ready to give international racing another go. With just enough money to pay for plane tickets and big dreams of racing on a global stage, the two traveled to Southern California with little (to no) money and nowhere to stay. They soon met Mike Eisert from the Paddle Academy, who took them under his wing, as well as the SIC Team who welcomed them with open arms and provided them with boards. And when it came time to race, they proved their potential to the world; competing against the best stand up paddlers in the world, Dos Reis earned 2nd in the Elite Overall and Leão earned 3rd in the Junior Pro Overall.
Completely unknown to most of the competitive SUP world, the 'Brothers of Paddle' put themselves on the map with their top finishes at PPG 2018. SIC is thrilled to have these two talented and deserving athletes on the 2019 roster and is excited to see all that they will conquer this year. Leão and Dos Reis will be heading to North Carolina in March 2019 for Carolina Cup, ready to officially represent SIC for the first time at one of the most competitive elite races in the world.
Returning to SIC's powerhouse Global Team alongside Dos Reis and Leão are elite racers Seychelle (USA), Jade Howson (USA), Kody Kerbox (USA), Martin Vitry (FRA), and Niuhiti Buillard (TAH). With several impressive finishes from the SIC Global Athletes in 2018, SIC finished the 2018 race year in 3rd place out of a total of 29 brands on SUP Racer's 'Battle of the Brands.' Now with Leão and Dos Reis on board, SIC will be looking to move even higher on the podium this year.
About SIC Maui
SIC is the stand up paddling industry's premiere manufacturer of high quality, race proven stand up paddleboards and accessories. Founded on the island of Maui and cultivated on a legacy of world class open ocean racing, SIC is an authentic stand up paddleboard maker proud to lay claim to a heritage of designing the most winning board. Share together with our team of elite athletes, brand ambassadors and customers around the globe. Five Star Performance is our motto and we wear it with pride each day through our commitment to extending the SIC experience on and off the water to our growing family. SIC is committed to delivering the very best paddling can offer; for any condition, discipline or ability level. For more information please visit www.sicmaui.com
Kelly Starrett's new book Waterman 2.0 makes a decisive argument: We must take action.
That is, we must stop treating paddlesports so passively. Just because an activity takes place on water does not mean that it equates to low impacts and soft landings, especially when combined with repetition fueled by passion or competition.
That type of front-seat thinking is a big act of counter-programming. Starrett uses nearly 400 pages to lay out his case, working with Phil White to create a lively self-help reference guide for serious water-oriented athletes that is not as heavy a tome as the (large hardback) book appears (and feels).
Rather, Starrett, a Bay Area physical therapist with serious multi-paddlesport chops, and co-author White (a frequent SUP contributor) created a lively and readable guide. It's one that mixes anecdotes from Starett's own competitive journey through injury to the search for "full positional capacity," followed by chapters packed with value-rich tips, briefings and progressions (with helpful illustrations to go with them). The back third of the book provides a colorful application and added context to the book's info-rich meat and potatoes midsection, with nearly 150 pages of athlete profiles sharing their wisdom, from Kai to Kalama and Shane Perrin to Lina Augustis, mixing in OC, surfski, and freestyle kayak legends alike. This profile section bookends a clear place-setting introduction from Laird Himself, sharing some sound waterman wisdom on the long-game priority of staying durable.
Dave Kalama shares his tips in the book. Photo courtesy of Waterman 2.0
And the place that SUP currently fits, as Starrett points out, is a bit like the Wild West. The paddling discipline is still new enough that sport science and anatomical best practices are still catching up, creating a paddler predicament he compares to one of gladiators thrown to the lions of injury. With new generations picking up what Starrett calls "the fullest expression of a lifestyle sport — something you can do with your family at any age," Waterman 2.0 makes an inspiring call that standup paddlers owe it to our future selves to start now to fix soft tissue restrictions and to develop strength, conditioning, movement and mobility the right way.
For Starrett, that call-to-action starts with core guiding principles and then – where the bulk of the book's applicable info lies – in a series of 13 standards. Each ‘standard’ is a benchmark of what normal movements should look like, followed by progressions with the steps clearly spelled out (and photographed) to move through them, or level up. Then the chapters are structured with those standards applied through: spine and hips; shoulders; feet and ankles; hands, wrists, elbows, and arms; and finally, preparation and recovery notes. With a huge appendix of movement and mobility examples, any level of paddler — and even the most casual of reader — stands to gain a tip, tidbit, warm-up, or recovery nugget to allow him or her to heal, correct, adapt, or perform just a bit better.
The book is comprehensive in that way and indeed thick. Maybe a bit too thick with full-page photos that often stretches the material. The Mobility 101 section also gets a little deep into theory, jumping around a bit on anatomy-kinesiology lecture points that may fatigue the more practical in the audience.
The sum of all the points however has a cumulative effect the same way that paddle strokes add up over miles, for better or worse, depending on how you apply them. By the finish line, Waterman 2.0 is an investment in longevity. The idea here is a simple, and noble one: To move better, so you can move more, and move longer, and ultimately, so you can live better.
As Starrett says, "the journey to sustainable excellence never ends."
MORE INFO – BUY NOW
An excerpt from “The Pacific Alone” – A deeper look a kayaking’s boldest voyage.
Unless you’re new to the standup paddling scene, you’ve probably heard about Nicole Pacelli. The Brazilian paddler has spent years chasing huge swells around the globe and has also won her share of SUP contests, including the inaugural Standup World Tour (now the APP World Tour). Last year featured more of the same for Pacelli, who found barrels in Mexico, New York, and of course, her home country of Brazil. Check out the action in her latest SUP surfing edit.
Pacelli rips in Indonesia.
Pacelli’s massive Jaws tow-in.
Standup paddling is an effective strengthening and cardio workout known for its low impact on joints and use of the gamut of muscle groups. Many people look to SUP as a means for serious fitness without risking the injuries posed by running, surfing or weight lifting. But if you're not careful to stretch thoroughly before your workouts, SUP can still do plenty of damage to your body. Here are five stretches you can do from the beach specifically to enhance your SUP muscles and protect problematic areas for paddlers.
Target area: Upper and lateral back muscles (latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior)
Best for: Relieving soreness or tenseness in mid- to upper-back and lateral areas created by the power phase of SUP stroke (pulling body to planted paddle shaft).
How: Stand up tall with your back straight and feet side-by-side. Place hands on paddle shaft with thumbs pointed inward six to eight inches beyond shoulder width on either side. Raise your paddle above your head with your arms fully extended.
Hinging at the waist and careful not to bend at the lower back, lean your shoulders to the left side with your left hand pulling the shaft toward the sand and your right shoulder climbing toward the sky. You should feel a deep stretch in your right side and mid- to upper-back area. Sink into it for 10 to 30 seconds and breathe deeply. Repeat on other side.
Target area: Chest and upper biceps (pectoralis major, biceps brachii)
Best for: Loosening chest and biceps caused by over-exertion and improper stroke technique.
How: Stand up tall with your back straight and feet side-by-side. With your palms rotated forward and thumbs pointed away from your body, grip your paddle in your right hand at eight to 10 inches up from the blade. Rotate your paddle behind you so the long end of the shaft stretches horizontally across your rear and grip the shaft on the opposite side of your body with your palm forward and thumb pointing away from your body.
Check to make sure your grip is about 10 inches past shoulder width on either side, then slowly lift your paddle behind you creating a backwards V between your extended arms and shoulder blades. You should feel a powerful stretch from the outer edges of your chest through the upper biceps. Breathe deeply in this position for 10 seconds then try raising your paddle shaft higher to intensify the stretch.
Target area: Lower back (latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, obliques)
Best for: Loosening tight or tense lower back muscles created with the hinging motion of intense and repetitive paddling.
How: Lay flat on your back with your chin tucked toward your chest to flatten your spine and press your tailbone into the ground. Place your arms out to either side in a T-position with palms up and shoulder blades pressed into the ground.
Lift the knees so your feet are off the ground and thighs are at a right angle with the flattened core, then drop knees to one side while twisting head to opposite side. You should feel a release of tension in the activated side of your lower back and stretching in the lateral glutes. Rest here and breathe deep for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
Target area: IT bands, lateral core and thigh muscles (external obliques, vastus lateralis)
Best for: Preventing knee injuries by activating and stretching tight IT bands and outer thighs associated with stabilizing on water. Activating and stretching lateral core muscles.
How: Start by standing with your feet side-by-side, your back straight and your chin raised to elongate the spine. Standing on your left foot, lift your right foot and cross it in front of the left to rest on the opposite side, toes forward. Lift and straighten your arms overhead pointing fingers at the sky.
Without leaning forward or backward, lean to the right and arch your left arm over your head to your right, resting your body weight on your left foot. Move slow and gradually to avoid injury. You should feel a deep stretch through the lateral core and in the right side of your left thigh. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat on the right.
Target area: Hamstring and calf muscles (fibularis longus, tibialis posterior)
Best for: Loosening acute muscles surrounding posterior knee joint created by alternating bent knees in proper paddle stroke.
How: Lay flat on your back with your leash in one hand, tucking your chin toward your chest and pushing your tailbone toward the ground to flatten your spine. With both legs extended horizontally beneath you, loop your leash around the ball of your foot on one side and hold it with one hand on either side around knee length up from your foot.
Use your arms to pull the leash and raise your straightened leg off the ground, pointing your toes toward your face and extending your heel away from your body. If necessary, start with a slight bend in the knee and straighten it slowly as you stretch. You should feel an intense stretch in your calf and hamstring. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Five Steps of a Perfect SUP Stroke
Quick Fit: Three Workouts You Need
Fitness: Land Training With Prone Paddle Champion Carter Graves
We are interested in your attitude and approach to paddling safety. Please complete this confidential questionnaire for a chance to win one of three $100 Amazon gift cards (click here for official rules). Only the first five questions are required for sweepstakes entry. Please consider all types of paddling in which you participate.
Tips to standup paddle safely.
Are you thinking about joining Camp Bajan Blue in Barbados March 2-9 for a once-in-a-lifetime paddling experience? If you’re on the fence, we understand that you might have some questions. We asked our two highly experienced instructors, Casi Rynkowski and Anna Levesque, to answer some of the questions we’ve been fielding about the trip. They all lead to the same conclusion: you should definitely join us!
What if I'm not an expert paddler?
Camp Bajan Blue welcomes paddlers of all levels! We’re skilled in creating a supportive and fun environment for newbies to learn and grow, while also providing higher level instruction and guidance for more experienced paddlers. Come as you are and leave with greater confidence and skill!
What type of person comes on this trip?
Women of all ages, traveling solo or with a few friends, who:
a) Are up for adventure, learning, confidence building and fun.
b) Who already have a passion for paddling OR think they have a passion for paddling and want to find out.
c) Are ready to unplug for a week and give themselves a well-deserved active vacation.
What if the weather isn't perfect?
We can’t control the weather BUT March is one of the best months to visit Barbados. Typically the weather is drier and less humid from December through mid-April, and some say that good weather during this time is almost always guaranteed. Still, if we happen to have a rainy day chances are we’ll still be able to go out and paddle flatwater for those interested. Paddling in the rain can be fun and even relaxing if you’re prepared for it. If we must stay indoors (highly unlikely) we offer alternative dry-land classes such as yoga for paddling, fitness for paddling and paddle safety. We can also arrange indoor outings such as shopping.
What's the deal with housing?
We’re so excited about our luxury beach house right on Brighton Beach overlooking that amazing blue water! It’s beautiful, comfortable and perfect for a week of relaxation, paddling and hang out time. Check out the photos!
Will it be relaxing?
Yes! It will be the perfect combination of activity and relaxation. If you’re already a paddler you know how wonderful it feels to relax and unwind after a great outing on the water. If you’re new to paddling you’ll discover that paddling enhances relaxation. Balancing adventure activity with delicious food and an inspiring ocean view sets the body and mind up for living in the present moment and letting everything else go.
What's the deal with food?
Healthy, fresh and deliciously prepared food is part of the experience at Camp Bajan Blue. We’ll have a private chef preparing several of the dinners and lunches. We’ve reserved a few nights for exploring local flavors at our favorite island eateries and one night we’ll be serving dinner with an ocean view on a sunset dinner cruise. We’ll have a spread of healthy breakfast foods to choose from to fuel your morning. We cater to dietary restrictions.
Is there anything else I need to worry about?
The only thing you need to worry about is missing out on the opportunity to learn, paddle, build confidence, relax and make new friends while enjoying the sunshine and blue waters of the Caribbean! Join us!
Book your spot
Five Reasons to Attend the Barbados Dream Retreat
Five Paddling Lessons for the New Year
Photos by Pedro Gomes
Earlier this month, Hawaii's best tube-riding specialists gathered on Oahu's North Shore at the world's most revered wave—Pipeline—for the 2019 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout.
For the fourth year running, the Shootout (historically a traditional surfing event) hosted the Pipeline SUP Invitational. Many of the sport's hardest charging surfers including Mo Frietas, Zane Schweitzer, Bullet Obra, Tehotu Wong, Pomai Hoapili and others went toe-to-toe in what Hawaiian's might deem four- to six-foot Pipeline. Photographer Pedro Gomes was on-hand to capture the action and shared a few of the scenes he captured during the contest.
“As a photographer, Pipeline is still the most beautiful wave in the world,” said Gomes. “It’s so close to the shore, that’s what makes it the best surf show on earth. It's nice of Da Hui to make such a great event including all kind of surfing on the best wave in the world.”
“The surf conditions were perfect, more north swell so it was better for Backdoor.” – Pedro Gomes.
Zane Schweitzer honing his back-side approach on a Backdoor bomb. “The waves were really fun but challenging with the swell direction and size. It was about four- to six-foot Hawaiian and more north than Pipeline likes. This was making for fewer quality waves at Pipeline and more consistent Backdoor rights. It was challenging because it was not holding open perfect, so it really came down to selecting the appropriate wave that would allow for a nice long ride in the barrel while still being able to navigate out of it and not getting the frequent ‘clamp’ of the barrel ending the ride.” – Schweitzer, from a post on the Starboard site.
Going for glory and closeout barrels, at Pipeline. “I can't see a benefit in using a paddle at Pipe, I think it makes things harder. To be able to surf with a standup paddle at Pipe, you need to be really good. It’s definitely not for beginners and all the guys [competing on SUP] are the best of the best.” – Pedro Gomes
Bullet Obra, grabbing rail and depth at Backdoor. “Pipeline/Backdoor is a very fast wave, it's actually a body wave, so if you are there with a SUP you have to have fast moves holding a paddle.” – Pedro Gomes
Mo Freitas, slotted into a perfect Backdoor barrel.
Zane Schweitzer battling in the final heat.
Freitas stalling for barrel time and style.
Mo Freitas would emerge victorious after earning a 9.0 ride. “I was impressed by the performance of Mo Freitas, to me he is the best standup paddle surfer in the world next to Kai Lenny.” – Pedro Gomes
Highlights from last year’s SUP surfing contest at the Backdoor Shootout.
What went down at first-ever SUP contest at Pipeline.
Every year, over 150,000 people flock to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area in Minnesota to enjoy its world-class recreational opportunities including 1200 miles of paddling routes, 237.5 miles of overnight hiking trails, 2000 designated campsites and 1.1 million acres of protected forest.
Unfortunately, trouble could be on the horizon for this pristine paddler’s paradise.
On December 20, the Trump Administration's U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it will renew Chilean mining giant Antofagasta's Twin Metals mining leases for a proposed sulfide-ore copper mine along the South Kawishiwi River and Birch Lake. A 30-day review period ends on Tuesday, January 22. (Comment here).
The proposed mine is located upstream from the Boundary Waters, with the South Kawishiwi River flowing straight into the heart of the BWCA. Because of this close proximity, there is legitimate concern that toxic pollution from sulfide-ore copper mining could drain into and permanently pollute lakes and rivers in the Boundary Waters for hundreds of years, disrupting the surrounding ecosystem.
Photo: Ryan Salm
Subjecting the BWCA’s impeccably clean waterways to possible contamination is a dangerous and perplexing move, especially considering it would be for the benefit of a foreign mining company. And while Twin Metals claims the mines will bring 400 new jobs to the area, more than 5000 people earn their livelihoods from tourism to the Boundary Waters.
Not surprisingly, locals and BWCA advocates are speaking out against the move.
Last month, 40 kids from around the country flew to Washington DC to meet with members of Congress, stakeholders, and policymakers in federal agencies, including Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, to advocate protecting Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness from mining. Then after the Trump Administration announced plans to renew the mining leases, the kids sent Bernhardt a letter expressing their disappointment.
They are not alone.
Last summer, two Minnesota canoe manufacturers joined other BWCA outfitters, organizations and nonprofits to sue the U.S. Department of the Interior. The lawsuit challenged a BLM decision to lease mining rights to Twin Metals in spite of the fact that the U.S. Forest Service Superior rejected the mining proposal in 2016, explaining, “Acid mine drainage is a significant environmental risk at sulfide ore mine sites, and as the Boundary Waters is a water-based ecosystem, contaminated water could have dramatic impacts to aquatic life, sport fisheries, and recreation-based communities.”
Several BWCA advocate groups have also drafted petitions against the latest move including the Outdoor Alliance and Save the Boundary Waters.
With only a few days before the review period closes, time is running out to make your voice heard about this critical issue concerning one of America’s favorite paddling playgrounds.
Submit a comment here.
SUP Expedition in the Boundary Waters – Part 1
SUP Expedition in the Boundary Waters – Part 2
SUP Expedition in the Boundary Waters – Part 3
The Greek island of Santorini – one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea – is a pristine destination for world travelers. The rugged volcanic landscape is contrasted by the classic white buildings of the city. For three days, this seaside Greek town hosts the Aegean Classics – a festival that celebrates the history, culture and customs of the Cyclades. The festival also included a SUP race around the scenic landscape of the island. Check out the highlights in this video!
Epic downwinder near Athens, Greece.
More scenic SUP racing in Greece.
While the ecological impact of standup paddling may be trivial compared to some water activities, there’s no denying our favorite pastime has negative effects on the environment. CO2 emissions produced getting to and from the water and toxic waste from board manufacturing takes a damaging toll on our natural habitats. Fortunately, paddlers are also in a unique position to help relieve some of the issues plaguing our waterways. Here are a few ways to minimize the carbon footprint of your standup paddling and even leave the world better off for it.
Photo: Zach Mahone
Did you know that on average, a gallon of gasoline equates to 8,887 grams of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere? Extrapolating just how much that equates to for an average paddle outing may be difficult, but it’s certainly a lot more than none.
Enter Captain Obvious with some not-so-subtle advice: ride sharing to cut that figure down is probably your easiest, most impactful means of minimizing your carbon footprint when it comes to paddling. Besides, just like getting on the water is more fun with a friend, so is getting on the road.
What’s even better than carpooling when it comes to cutting CO2 emissions? You guessed it, manpower. No gas, no traffic, just a couple of wheels and some good ole fashion brawn. People commonly rule this option out with the assumption that a bulky board and paddling gear are too much to haul via bicycle, but that’s just not the case.
Myriad SUP trailers exist to make towing your SUP a breeze on two wheels. Many trailers offer enough storage to accommodate a multi-day outing, and most are inexpensive enough to quickly pay for themselves in saved gasoline. Besides, it’s always good to warm up before hitting the water.
Photo courtesy of NSP, Facebook.
Paddling is a relatively eco-friendly sport, but the traditional production of paddleboards is anything but environmentally responsible. Polyurethane resin, epoxy, fiberglass and foam…none of these components are easy for the world to digest. Thankfully, a handful of board manufacturers are taking measures to lessen the impact their products have on the environment.
Today, many brands are producing boards with natural or recycled materials, and consumers are finding that sustainable components like bamboo and cork provide equal or better performance than traditional layups. When purchasing your next standup paddleboard, consider ecological impact along with performance and price to make a responsible decision.
These days no matter where you are paddling, odds are you’re going to encounter trash. Between landfills and natural environments, the amount of plastic waste in circulation across the world today is estimated to exceed 6.3 billion metric tons. Since plastic takes a minimum of 400 years to biodegrade, most of that will at some point end up on beaches, freshwater habitats or the ocean—the final sink of the natural world.
While using less plastic is the first step to combating this crisis, picking up trash during your outings is another easy way to help nurture our favorite places. Try using your paddle to scoop up waste debris and put it on the deck of your board during your next cruise, it feels better than watching it drift by.
Plastic Tides collects water samples for research on a mission to ban microbeads. Photo: Plastic Tides
Between entities like Sustainable Surf, Sustainable Coast Hawaii and Plastic Tides, there’s no shortage of programs and organizations in the standup paddling community to tap into. These entities support environmental causes ranging from conducting critical on-water research, to hosting beach cleanups to advocating sustainable legislature, and their impact on conservation is elemental to keeping our waterways clean. If you’re passionate about the environment, inquire about getting involved with the nonprofit of your choice and turn your passion into action.
A First SUP-descent of Africa’s Zambezi River
The Devastating Impact of Plastic On Our Oceans
Paddle Against Plastic: A 1,000-mile SUP Expedition in the UK
SUP surfing has come a long way in a decade. Fueled by a crop of young and talented SUP surfers, the sport has reached new levels of performance. One of those paddlers leading the charge is undoubtedly Keahi de Aboitiz. The Australian charger has long been at the forefront of both SUP surfing and foiling and is showing no signs of letting up.
His latest feat of SUP wizardry took place in Fiji at world-famous Cloudbreak. Keahi pulled deep into the legendary Fijian tubes and somehow managed to get spit out. It’s one of the best SUP barrel riding performances we’ve ever seen and believe you might agree.
Keahi de Aboitiz SUP surfing session from East Australia
Keahi on the North Shore.
Any level of standup paddler will revel at the chance to spend 4 days covering 44 miles of the Green River in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. Beginners will benefit from the gradual, progressive increase in technicality of pool-drop rapids as the guided raft-supported trip moves through stunning alpine, high-desert canyons toward the final day of more continuous Class II-III+ rapids through Split Mountain Gorge.
Standup paddling could be described as many things. Our sport is humbling and rewarding, inspiring and thrilling, challenging and relaxing. But for all the things that our sport is, the one thing it’s not is cheap. Top equipment can set paddlers back several thousand dollars and once you add on travel and race costs, the sport can be tough on the wallet. However, there are plenty of different ways to save money and still be able to enjoy this incredible sport.
While it may be tempting to ask Google to find the cheapest standup paddleboard on the market, we wouldn’t advise it. Not because Google won’t be able to find boards well under a thousands dollars – there’s no shortage of “bargain boards” out there – but because of the old adage: you get what you pay for.
Scoring a paddleboard for under a $1000 may seem like a steal, but you may come to regret this decision as soon as you try to pick the thing up. Budget boards are usually mass produced and don’t offer much in the performance department – heavy and slow rather than light and nimble. Likewise, cheap inflatables may do the trick for your first few sessions but the low-cost materials aren’t built to last for the long run. Plus, if the board fails or doesn’t provide you with the paddling experience you hoped for, all that money will be down the drain with nothing to show for it.
Alright, so you’re not going buy a pop-out board and instead want to opt for a “lightly-used” performance board. This route also features a few dangerous pitfalls, but can save you hundreds of dollars if done carefully. The used board market is a mixed bag of everything from waterlogged pieces of junk to top-of-the-line boards going for way less than retail. The trick is to snatch up one from that latter category or not get stuck with a lemon.
Craigslist may be filled with schemers, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of honest folks either. The best way to sift through this online free-for-all is to be skeptical of the deals you find, ask questions and use common sense. Look out for waterlogged boards with sloppy repair jobs and over-priced “performance boards” from knock-off brands. Another point worth noting, good deals go quick on Craigslist. Just be patient and check regularly so when an actual deal pops up, you won’t miss it.
Allow us to clue you into the easiest way for paddlers to save money: shop during the right time of the year. No, that doesn’t mean you should stroll into your local SUP shop at the beginning of the season in early spring, but rather, check out what deals they have cooking during the off-season (November through February).
It’s during this time of year that brands are trying to dump their previous year’s models and we’re willing to bet you’ll find a screamin’ deal on a top-notch board. Don’t believe us, just check out this deal going on right now from Infinity.
Before you sink a couple grand into your first board, you should first figure out what you want to get out of your SUP experience. Some paddlers only want to SUP surf, others would rather do flatwater SUP racing, and some just want to cruise in a harbor or lake. Of course, it takes more than one session to figure out where you’ll land on this spectrum. Instead of purchasing the first board you come across, we suggest getting a feel for different types of boards.
The demo zone at the Pacific Paddle Games. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
Renting boards is a great way to get a feel for being on the water, though often these tend to be old beater boards that are heavy and lack the speed and performance of most newer boards. Another option would be to demo boards from a local SUP shop or race that offers a free demo zone. This will give you a chance to get on the water with a high-quality board and feel what a difference good equipment makes.
The best option of all would be to find a local paddling group and let them know you are interested in paddling. The SUP community is incredibly welcoming and most likely would be happy to let you borrow an extra board for your first couple times. Not only that, but veteran paddlers can guide you towards purchasing the right board for you, or even better yet, may sell you one of their old boards for a great price.
For paddlers who already own a SUP, saving money is as easy as learning to repair, rather than replace. If your board gets a ding, there are plenty of tutorials and tips online about how to pull off a successful repair job. But even if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you should be able to find a local shop that can do a professional repair job for $50 to $100, depending on the severity of the wound.
Photo courtesy of Infinity SUP
Obviously, this strategy will save you lots of money in the long run so that when you are ready to splurge on a new board, you can get the one you really want (preferably when those off-season sales begin).
How to repair a SUP board ding at home.
SUP travel on a budget.
Whether it’s SUP surfing or SUP racing, competitive standup paddleboarding can be one of the most rewarding forms of paddling. It can also be one of the toughest to break into. Popular competitions like the APP World Tour and Pacific Paddle Games look intimidating to the entry-level competitor, but there are plenty of ways to gradually approach competitive SUP before moving up to the big leagues. With a little advice, taking on your first SUP competition can be much easier than it seems. Here are some tips from champion standup paddler Fiona Wylde to help you get off the start line.
Some people aren't super comfortable on the water at first, and that's OK. It takes a couple steps to get there. Wearing a life vest rather than just a PFD belt can help calm the nerves. And of course, always wear a leash. These two things are so important to staying safe and can make you more confident in the race, which always helps. Note: Many races make PFDs mandatory, so make sure you are prepared.
Photo: Steve Adams
I encourage new SUP competitors to start in their age group rather than other divisions. Competing with other athletes your age allows you to be around other people of a similar ability. Maybe somebody's going to blow you out of the water, maybe you're going to be the one who's way out in front. Either way, you don't bite off more than you can chew.
High-profile events with advanced competitors are tough to break into. Starting in your age group at a local race is a great way to build confidence, plus it's only up from there. Starting out in smaller local events is a great way to meet other paddlers and become part of the community. The community is constantly growing and having friends to compete against is awesome motivation.
Buying new equipment for your first race is not a bad idea, but it's important to remember not to go too narrow with your race board. If it's your first race, you want something wider and more stable so you don't have to worry about falling in and you can just focus on paddling. But you don't necessarily need to buy a new board for your first race. If you have something that you're comfortable with, try racing that first to get used to the process.
Regardless of what level of competition you're trying to get to, SUP races typically take place in gorgeous places. Make sure you take time to look around and enjoy your surroundings because that's part of what makes it fun. SUP racing can take you to some pretty unique places and it helps to appreciate it, even when you're grinding! It’s also a good idea to check the map and be sure to memorize the course you are paddling, even the top racers get it wrong sometimes.
Don't eat anything more than you would normally on race day, but a healthy breakfast that leaves you feeling good will help keep your energy up. Make sure you have enough carbs and protein. If the race isn't until later in the day, make sure you have a snack beforehand so you stay fueled and don't end up skipping a meal.
Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
It's a good idea to bring water along for the race, even if it's a short race. Conditions can change and sometimes you end up on the course for longer than expected. Having water never hurts; just throw on a hydration pack and throw an energy bar in there. You may not need it but it's always good to be prepared.
Bonus Tip: Remember to have fun! That's why we are out here, so let's enjoy it!
Five Paddling Lessons for the New Year
How Groms Find Balance Between School and SUP
Five Tips for Kids Learning to SUP
LYONS, COLO. – Colorado rafters, kayakers and standup paddleboarders will have a great new playpark to surf this spring when the new Eagle River Park opens in the town of Eagle. S2O Design, the world's premier river engineering and whitewater design company, announced today that they are finalizing construction on the in-stream features that will provide an exciting and safe experience for river enthusiasts of all levels.
"We are excited to deliver a great whitewater park for the town of Eagle," says Scott Shipley, founder and president of S2O Design, which oversaw the project's design, planning, permitting, and construction. "This setting matches the river's natural morphology and utilizes the existing river channel really well. It will surely be a new focal point for the town." Shipley is also a three-time Olympian and five-time World Cup slalom kayak champion.
The two-year revitalization project involved an in-depth feasibility study, comprehensive public input process, and a progressive design approach that included detailed hydraulic modeling. The project's first phase, including the initial study and building two downstream features, was completed last spring. S2O Design has now completed the second phase of the project, including two more advanced upstream features as well as extensive bankside improvements. Additional features include gathering areas, pathway, and public park.
S2O's design focused on creating a world-class whitewater venue for recreation, competitions and festivals while providing long-term riparian and habitat improvements. The whitewater park features waves, eddies, chutes, and drops that will be fun to tube and float during low flows, and large waves perfect for surfing, standup-up paddling and kayaking as flows increase.
Marking the first time ever for an in-stream project, S2O incorporated its patented, adjustable RapidBlocs™ technology into the project, which allows the features to be fine-tuned for different conditions. "We'll be able to tweak them however we need to," says Shipley. The design also includes a bypass channel around the two upper features serving as a recreational safe route and a fish migration pathway, and mid-stream fish channels in the lower section for upstream migration.
The Eagle River Park was funded by the Town of Eagle (in 2016 voters approved a 0.5% sales tax to fund park and trail improvements), various matching grants, and donors like local business Bonfire Brewing. Vetted through an extensive public process, and a cooperative effort with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, it is a central part of the Eagle River Corridor Plan established in 2015. The park is also easily visible from I-70, which will pull passersby into the community.
"The Eagle River Park has been on the wishlist of boaters and residents for decades," says town Trustee Matt Solomon. "This amenity will truly connect the soul of the river to the heart of our valley." Adds town of Eagle Marketing Manger Jeremy Gross: "The project has been a successful collaboration between the town, S20, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, our construction team and countless others. The knowledge and experience from all of these groups has made it a smooth project considering the extent of the undertaking."
And no one is more excited about the project's completion than local paddlers. "This park is going to make a huge, positive impact on Eagle as well as all the other nearby river corridor communities," says former pro kayaker and sup paddler Ken Hoeve. "The features are perfect for surfing, standup paddling and kayaking. The park is going to put Eagle on the map as a great paddling destination."
S2O Design is also completing in-channel whitewater parks on the Poudre River in Fort Collins, Colo., on the Arkansas River in Canon City, Colo., and on the Boise River in Boise, Idaho, bringing additional venues for rafting and surfing to the Rocky Mountain region.
About S2O Design
S2O Design is an engineering firm specializing in innovative river engineering, restoration, and community-focused whitewater park design. Our team of expert boater-engineers has planned, conceived, designed, and created some of the best in-stream whitewater parks as well as largest and most dynamic recirculating whitewater parks in the world. S2O Design is led by engineer, Olympian, and three-time World Cup Kayak Champion and Freestyle Kayak Champion Scott Shipley. For more information, visit S2ODesign.com.
When the conditions are right, downwinding on a standup paddleboard is a dream. And while world-class runs like those in Maui and the Columbia River Gorge may get lots of press coverage, epic glides can be found around the globe. For example, just check out this clip of a near-perfect downwind run at a spot called Loutsa, located near Athens, Greece.
More SUP Downwinding Videos
Hollywood, California may be the land of botox and movie stars, but head east about 3000 miles and you’ll find a very different Hollywood. This Florida city is not known for glamorous movie premieres and televised award shows, but instead provides something that paddlers can actually get excited about: calm waters that are teeming with wildlife.
In this video, a local paddler cruises through translucent waters and encounters a wide-range of marine life including manta rays, fish, manatees, dolphins, turtles and more. So while California’s Hollywood may be world-famous, we’d rather spend our time in Hollywood, Florida any day.
Paddling with Whales in New South Wales.
Paddler Sees a Shark in the Shallows.
At SUP Magazine, we sort through lots of different SUP videos to provide our audience with examples of our sport being performed at the highest levels. But the truth of the matter is, SUP isn’t as easy as these edited clips may lead you to believe. Learning how to clear a rapid, make a drop, or win a race takes lots of skill and plenty of trial and error. But it’s that error part of the equation that we want to focus on here.
This video features a paddle surfer who goes out for a session, but doesn’t find a whole lot of success. The subject ends up taking several waves to the head and goes tumbling into the water time after time. Of course, most SUP surfers can relate to a session that we’d much rather forget. Learning to SUP surf takes time, persistence and dedication; but we promise the journey is worth it.
Wipeouts: SUP Surfing Gone Wrong
Watch: SUPsquatch surfing wipeouts.
People vs. Paddleboards: Three Minutes of Misery.
It’s no shock to you, our audience, that Kai Lenny is a big deal. He’s a world-class standup paddler, windsurfer, kitesurfer, surfer, big-wave surfer, foiler and maybe even ping-pong player for all we know.
Turns out that all those ocean skills literally pay off: surf rag Stab Magazine named Lenny as their number 10 wealthiest surfer of 2018 in their yearly “Rich List.”
While Stab doesn’t list where the reported figures come from, they claim that Lenny earned $1,068,000 in 2018, mostly through endorsements from Hurley, Nike, Red Bull, Tag Heuer, GoPro and Vertra. Inclusion on the list puts him up there with the likes of current WSL Champion Gabriel Media, two-time World Champ, John John Florence and seven-time ladies World Champ Stephanie Gilmore.
Does inclusion in this list also make Lenny the world’s wealthiest pro standup paddler? We would guess so. But without Laird’s financial statements, it’s hard to tell.
Don’t stay tuned for more info as this saga unfolds.
Lenny maims Jaws.
Lenny SUP surfing the Surf Ranch.
Lake Tahoe is well-known in the standup paddling community as being one of the most beautiful and tranquil places you can paddle. Of course, most paddlers enjoy its crystal-clear waters during the warm months of summer. But don’t scoff at winter, the cold season gives Lake Tahoe a whole different feel – from the snow-covered mountains in the backdrop to the brisk air. To get a sense of Tahoe in January, check out this gorgeous drone footage.
Summer SUP Days on Lake Tahoe.
Five paddling lessons for the New Year.
Jan. 1, 2019 – Werner and Kialoa are "Together on the Water." After a phone call and subsequent visits this past summer, Meg and Dave Chun, owners of Kialoa, and Bruce Furrer, President of Werner Paddles, agreed that a partnership between Werner and Kialoa would create a strong team to provide even better paddles and services to the Kialoa paddling community. With Werner Paddles leading the manufacturing of Kialoa paddles, Meg and Dave would be freed from production operations to focus 100% of their energies to the paddling community. This led to a deal where Kialoa is now part of the Werner Paddles' Family.
"When we began to consider a manufacturing partner for us to grow Kialoa, Werner Paddles was on the top of our list" stated Dave Chun. "Werner is a family run, Pacific Northwest Company with deep roots in kayak and SUP paddling communities. The blending of the brands is a natural fit."
"We have admired the Kialoa brand for years," says Bruce Furrer. "We are thrilled to be growing our paddle family to include Outrigger and Dragon Boat paddles with the leading brand and leading ambassadors in Meg and Dave."
Kialoa will remain in Bend, Oregon with Meg and Dave leading the Sales and Marketing efforts.
"Together on the Water," represents the community of self-propelled paddlers. With the joining of Kialoa and Werner, the paddling family continues to grow.
Six of the best SUP paddles you can buy.
Want to relive the glory of the 2018 Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life? Us too! Check out all the action on premium TV on CBS Sports Network today (January 7) at 7 pm and tomorrow at 1 am and 11 am EST. Enjoy!
CBS Sports Network Schedule
Full Pacific Paddle Games recap.
More APP World Tour on CBS Sports Network.
Video from the 2018 Pacific Paddle Games.
10’6″ X 32″ X 6″ (300 LITERS)
If experienced standup paddlers had a dollar for every time someone asked them what SUP they should buy to start, they’d be rich. There’s a reason so many new paddlers ask that question: it’s a good one. It’s also tough to answer.
If people are just going to be using the board recreationally, say cruising on lakes with their kids, going for fun paddles with their friends or getting something that anyone can have fun on, we usually point people toward inflatables. The Beast from Aqua Marina is a fantastic entry level SUP for folks on this mellower side of paddling.
The key here is the Beast is inexpensive, and for under $500, you get a three-piece paddle, a backpack to hold the rolled-up board, a fin, a dual-action pump and even a leash. Minus a PFD, it’s everything a new paddler needs to get on the water.
The board’s design is also ideal for learning and/or having fun. It’s a generous 32-inches wide and has a friendly, versatile shape that anyone can paddle. For a 10’6″, the beast is also surprisingly light, coming in at 20.5 pounds all-in. That’s thanks to lightweight drop-stich construction to save weight. The graphics and finish are sharp, with nice features like a front bungy for your water, sandals and water bottle and a differentiated deck pad that lets you know that your feet are on the back portion of the board without looking.
When you’re done paddling, fold the board and wrap it in the unique, lightweight and ingenious folding backpack for easy transportation. It’s easy, just like everything with the Beast. At the price point, you can’t go wrong with this board package. Now there’s no excuse to not get on the water!
Check out the Aqua Marina Beast.
The emergence of a New Year always happens more suddenly than I would like. Instead of being stocked up with energy and ready to ride into January with maximum velocity, I’m usually weary from the year prior. But the clock keeps tick-tocking, the magic markers keep marking and finally, the last page of the calendar flips and there is nothing more than a spot on your refrigerator that hasn't seen the light of day since January 1, one year ago. So time flows on, not unlike a river or the comings and goings of the tide.
For some reason, although I am often ill prepared, I find comfort in time's apathy to my human uneasiness. The world will march on without us, no matter how good or bad we feel, the only thing we can choose is how to meet that indifference and what we can learn from it.
So we must wake up each day and pick up our boards, grab our paddles and hit the water, both literally and metaphorically. Here are five lessons that I've learned from paddling that I'll lean on in the New Year.
Enjoy the ride. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
It feels better and is more efficient to keep moving than it does to stall out. While you can't outrun big problems or hurdles, continually moving and working on them is often the best solution. Just keep on paddling, keep working and keep moving forward.
Sometimes you're lucky enough to catch a wave—of inspiration, of luck, of happiness. Relish those moments and milk them for all the aforementioned momentum they're worth. You never know when the next flat spell will be.
This is very easy to say but very hard to do. If I'm out paddle surfing and haven't fallen in yet, I dread it but as soon as I do, I feel better, more relaxed and less tense. Failure often brings similar education: that stumbling is usually not deadly, that we can handle it and that there is something to be learned therein.
Keep it fun. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
I often want to skip ahead and just be good at whatever I'm trying to accomplish, whether I'm training for a race or trying to master a new skill. But I often learn the most during the acquisition of proficiency. Don't wish yourself forward because the same feeling awaits you up there too. There is always something new to learn; you will always be in development. That's a gift from something as complex and challenging as standup paddling.
Circumstances are not always ideal for practicing our chosen discipline. As with wipeouts, though, we often learn the most when we're startled by what we experience on the water. There is much to be learned from how capricious nature is. Paddle out when you normally wouldn't and stay open to the lessons of the water.
As paddlers, we are so lucky to have the gift of a rigorous sport to practice in the wilds of nature. We hope your 2019 is filled with as much time as possible enjoying it. We'll see you out there.
Paddle what you preach.
Your personal frontier.
When it comes to standup paddling, the most important thing to learn is, well, standing up! Of course, not all boards are made the same and some SUPs may be easier to hop up on than others. And while there’s plenty of beginner tips for standing on big ol’ touring boards, you’ll have a tougher time finding hints for popping up on smaller or mid-range SUP surfboards.
Recently, we uncovered this helpful tutorial that seems to fill that void. The folks at Blue Zone SUP meticulously went through the entire process of standing up on a smaller SUP and broke it down frame-by-frame. It’s a perfect tutorial for those looking to drop down in board size or simply brush up on their skills.
Tutorial: How to Turn Your SUP on a Wave
Tutorial: How to Paddle Into Waves.
SUP Surfing 101.
Standup paddling on a flatwater lake is one of our favorite ways to connect with nature. It allows us to escape the hustle and bustle of urban sprawl and enjoy our natural environment in a peaceful, non-invasive manner.
Or so we thought.
According to research from the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach, standup paddling may be more harmful to animals than we originally thought. The study found that SUP can disturb water birds up to 1.5 kilometers away. In fact, researchers claimed that only a motor boat was more disturbing.
The study went on to explain how a single paddler can affect thousands of birds via chain reaction. Once the sensitive bird species get spooked, it can trigger other birds in the area to also flee. Then once the birds have been frightened enough times in a single area, they will avoid the place entirely.
Apparently birds are not fans of standup paddlers. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
Researchers claimed that since occupants are generally seated in boats such as kayaks or canoes, that is less disturbing than those of us who prefer to stand on water.
“The problem is that with the paddle[board], the silhouette of the human being is visible far and wide,” said research spokesman Livio Rey.
So how might this situation be remedied? You’re probably not going to appreciate their suggestion.
The Swiss Ornithological Institute is advocating a SUP ban on sites of importance for water birds, with a buffer zone of more than one kilometer around it. Of course, how those “sites of importance” would be determined is yet to be established.
Our suggestion? Simply respect the environment you are paddling through and don’t harass the wildlife. Yes, a bird may still fly away, a squirrel may scamper up a tree and a fish may dart to the deep. But that’s no different than what happens with hikers, mountain bikers or other outdoor enthusiasts.
But we want to know what you think about this? Sound off in the comments below!
Study: SUP Increases Fitness Levels…Sort Of.
Study: Standup paddling is the fastest-growing sport.
In case you were missing any gifts from your wish list this year, we may have found the culprit. Instead of being hard at work to create every last toy, we caught Santa and his elves goofing off at the big man’s secret hideout in Cold Hawaii, Denmark.
We get the feeling that local resident and international SUP star Casper Steinfath may have had something to do with Santa’s session. But don’t worry, the Christmas spirit never leaves Mr. Claus as he fashioned a paddle out of a giant candy cane. But who are we to judge? We wouldn’t turn down fun little waves either.
SUP Santa spotted paddling in England.
SUP Santas of Social Media
Santa Likes SUP
Words and Photos by Rebecca Parsons
Standup paddling is the perfect workout—it combines balance, strength and endurance into a low-impact and relaxing workout. In addition to cruising your local waterway, try adding core and strength training exercises to your SUP sessions to take your workout to the next level. While the gym or yoga mat are perfectly acceptable places to train, the added challenge of balancing on a paddleboard will enhance your workout. We've put together a step-by-step guide for six exercises that will complete your well-rounded SUP workout.
This exercise works to simultaneously strengthen both your core and back muscles.
This exercise works muscles in your entire body but is particularly useful for toning the glutes, abs, and legs.
This exercise works to strengthen your obliques and entire core.
This traditional Pilates exercise targets the external obliques, abdominals, spinal extensors, and hip flexors.
Similar to a traditional plank, this targets the abs but the added twist makes for a more intensified workout.
This simple exercise works to strengthen your abs and quads while also loosening tight hips and hamstrings.
Five Beginner SUP Yoga Poses
Beginner SUP Tips: Sweep, Cross Bow and Pivot Turns
As we celebrate the beginning of 2019, we wanted to wish all of our readers and fans a very Happy New Year!
With a fresh year in front of us, it’s always a good idea to set goals and dream big. For standup paddling, perhaps that means entering your first race, riding your first waves or even traveling to paddle in far away land.
Of course, smaller goals are important too. You could train to become a better paddler, meet new friends on the water or teach one of your loved ones to paddle.
But no matter what you choose to do in 2019, just remember to appreciate and embrace all the opportunities that standup paddling presents us with. From the tranquility of stroking through a glassy lake, to the thrill of carving a turn on a meaty wave, or the joy of paddling with friends and family.
We’ll see you on the water.
Staying safe while you’re on the water is the name of the game. But things can go wrong and situations can turn dangerous in a moment’s notice. That’s why we always suggest being prepared for the worst case scenario. In this tutorial video from Rob Casey at the Professional Standup Up Paddle Association, we learn six different techniques for rescuing a standup paddler in distress.
Safety Techniques Covered
Flip Rescue – For quickly pulling an injured, cold or fatigued paddler out of the water and onto their or your board.
Two Board Lift-Up – Influenced by a sea kayak rescue, use two boards and paddles to help rescue a paddler out of the water easily. A great alternative if the flip rescue doesn’t work.
Dip Pull Rescue – A great method for helping a paddler onto their own board.
Stirrup – Use a sling to help a fatigued or weaker paddler onto their six-inch inflatable board. Can also be used on your own board.
Push Rescue – Use your board to push another board or kayak to safety. Also works in current.
Towing – Use of tow and throw ropes to effectively attach and tow a fatigued, injured or cold paddler or kayaker to safety.
Check out Casey’s full Standup Paddling 101 Course!
The Essentials of SUP Safety
Brush Up On The Basics of SUP Safety
There’s no two ways about it, being a beginner is tough. But remember, everyone had to start somewhere and you're bound to make mistakes when picking up a paddle for the first time. Luckily, some mishaps can be easily avoided. We've rounded up five of the most common beginner mistakes and how to spare yourself from making them.
Most beginners are guilty of holding their paddle backwards at least once. You haven't truly been initiated into the sport until an experienced paddler politely informs you about this folly. It's tempting to hold the paddle so that the angle of the blade is facing towards you. But contrary to your intuition, you'll want to hold the paddle with the blade facing away from you—this will allow you to create lift and move efficiently through the water.
It's also important to note that you should hold the paddle with one hand on the shaft and the other on top of the handle, switching positions as you switch sides. Many beginners are tempted to hold the paddle with both hands on the shaft, but you'll get the most efficient paddle stroke by holding the paddle correctly.
This may seem like a no-brainer but having the proper equipment can make or break your initial paddling experience. Trying to learn on a board that is too small or too narrow will make it challenging to balance. Instead of getting frustrated, opt for a wider board with plenty of volume when starting out. Good beginner boards include inflatables, foam boards, or sturdy all-around touring boards.
In addition to having a board that matches your skill set, you'll also want a paddle that's the appropriate length for you. Place your paddle in the sand and extend your arm above you—the handle should rest at the bend of your wrist. Most importantly, make sure you have the proper safety equipment before heading out. Wear a leash, carry a PFD and paddle with a buddy to ensure you stay safe on the water.
Unless you want to be featured on @kook_of_the_day’s Instagram feed, then you’ll want to avoid this mishap. If you fail to properly secure the board to your car, it not only has the potential to destroy your board should it come loose, but it is extremely dangerous for the cars around you.
Before heading down to the beach or lake, be sure you have sufficient straps or racks to secure your board. A couple tried and true rack systems are Lockrack Roof Racks and Thule SUP Taxi Carrier. There are a number of other great racks on the market; be sure and do your research to find the best setup for your board/car.
While paddling in a bay on a windless day may be no problem for most, taking strokes through rough chop on the open ocean is entirely different matter. When learning a new sport, it's easy to get frustrated—you don't want poor conditions to be the cause of a negative experience. Before heading out, be sure and check the conditions. If heavy winds are in the forecast, you may want to save your paddle for another day. Once you become more comfortable and confident on the board, you'll be able to better gauge what conditions you're capable of handling.
For one reason or another, beginner paddlers tend to firmly fix their gaze on their feet. But where you look is where you go, so staring at your feet might just cause you to take a tumble into the drink. Instead, stand confidently and focus on the water in front of you. In doing so, you'll likely find it's easier to balance and that your board will draw a straighter line.
We'd love to hear about your beginner mistakes/advice. Feel free to drop a line in the comments below!
How to Pick the Perfect SUP Paddle
"Waterproof" is a loose term in outdoor product marketing. All too often equipment that touts this label proves to be "water resistant" at best in the field. For a rugged, built-to-last piece of equipment that truly live up to the waterproof claim, we've found no better option than the Taku Waterproof Jacket by Mustang Survival.
The Taku's hard-working design stems from Mustang Survival's long heritage as a military outfitter of drysuits and PFDs. The British Columbia-based company has been building drysuits, apparel and PFDs for more than a half-century, contracted by Navy Seals, the US Coast Guard, SWAT teams and civilian outdoorsmen and women alike to develop gear that lives up to its namesake.
Putting on the Taku, Mustang Survival's military roots clear. The bulk of the shell is comprised of a three-layer, marine-specific breathable fabric that is equally lightweight, durable and waterproof. Its form-fitting hood is designed to maneuver with your head, providing ample peripheral vision at any angle beneath a broad brim that does well to keep water far from your face. Beneath the hood the Taku offers an internal collar that zips up to the chin to protect against wind and warm the body when the hood is not in use.
Moving down the frame, the Taku's shoulder pocket, outer hand pockets, inner chest pocket and deep inner storage pockets boast no shortage of hauling capacity. Their sturdy zippers are engineered to be snag-free and water resistant, creating a sleek exterior that slips through brush without a snare or tear. We found the inner storage pockets especially useful for tucking away neoprene gloves, headlamps and other small essentials that we like to stow and access on the go.
The seriousness of the Taku's design is most obvious with the adjustable neoprene inner wrist gaskets, which we found effective against seepage even when the sleeves were fully submerged. The sleeve linings tighten with a thick Velcro strap and synch to a bare wrist for seamless protection against the elements and remained comfortable for our tester, even after hours of dipping into the drink while fishing. Being made of neoprene means they won't last forever, but the Taku is designed with a rapid repair solution so the gaskets can be replaced quickly by consumers with relative ease.
Available in three color options, the Taku is as conspicuous or stealth as you want it to be. We liked the Mahi Yellow for visibility in harsh conditions, but if your aim is to be less obvious the Admiral Gray and Green Moss options are stylish alternatives that blend in well among the elements. The one downside to the Taku is the price point—at $375, it's hardly comparable to a poncho. But if your needs involve surviving and staying dry in the harshest elements the world has to offer, it's a small price to pay for a piece of gear that's bound to last.
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Here at SUP Magazine, we’ve seen plenty of footage suggesting Santa has been paddling hard to train up for the big day. But with Christmas day now officially upon us, it begs the all-important question: Did SUP Santa make it down your chimney?
Hopefully the big guy was able to cross off that wish list item we know you really wanted – whether it be a brand new board, paddle or accessories. Of course, the holidays aren’t just about getting gifts but rather spending quality time with family and friends. So from our SUP family to yours, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
SUP Santas take to the water in England.
11 reasons we SUP.
12’6″ and 14″ available in a variety of widths
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The Whiplash is Infinity’s flatwater speedster, designed to go as fast as possible in calm conditions. It’s a wild, functional shape that pushes the boundaries of velocity.
The base of the board, like it’s cousin the Blackfish, has a generally parallel outline and features an inverse V, which funnels water down the middle of the board, while the speed-edge rails (based on surfboard design) shed water off their high points. The nose is a pretty classic displacement design that transitions almost immediately to a flat bottom for so it can handle things when the going gets a little rough. The tail is where things get really crazy: a hard-edged step pintail is embedded in a wider square tail. If that sounds like rocket science, it kind of is but it’s super practical. It “tricks” the board into thinking it has a very narrow tail, thus increasing glide and speed while keeping the stability of a board with a wider tail block.
The deck has a deep cockpit, something that Infinity did in many of their early race boards, that’s deepest where you stand and thickest in the tail, for stability in buoy turns or riding bumps.
As with their other boards, there are multiple options for lifeguard handle placement as well as a GPS/GoPro mount at the front of the board.
As Boehne says, the Whiplash, “feels super greasy.” Grease is what you want for flying in flatwater.
Save $400 off an Infinity Wide Aquatic Surf Air!
Want a board for rougher water? Check out the Blackfish.
Photos by Aaron Black-Schmidt
The Galapagos Dream Retreat is officially in the books and what a trip it was. SUP Magazine teamed up with world-class outfitter Southern Explorations to take eight guests on a nine-day, three-island dream trip to explore one of the most unique and beautiful places on Earth – the Galapagos islands.
Led by our guide from Southern Explorations, Felipe, we paddled through stunning islets, snorkeled with sea lions, hiked to volcanos, rode mountain bikes past giant tortoises and ate delicious local fare. We also saw countless species of unique wildlife – many of which are found nowhere else in the world – and learned about the fascinating history of these incredible islands.
Of course, words just don’t do the place justice. To truly get a sense of what our Galapagos Dream Retreat was all about, check out these 20 stunning photos from the trip. We’re willing to bet they’ll convince you to add the Galapagos to your bucket list.
What it was like to be on the Galapagos Dream Retreat
Five reasons to attend the Barbados Dream Retreat.