SUP Newbie Weekly: Intro

Kook, Barney, Newbie, all nicknames for un-experienced waterman(or woman) and often shouted from angst locals upon entry of a line-up. Surf culture is inherently engrained with a “pay your dues” mentality and can be intimidating at times, as I found out first hand. Don't let this deter you though, for every bad egg there are plenty of people willing to share their knowledge and insight about the water. I've dealt with what I call the “bro/brah attitude” in the snow culture which leads to the scaring off of new participants. Unfortunate yes, but the main basis of this reaction is fear. The fear of looking/sounding “stupid” in front of seasoned veterans. I know I felt awkward and tried to “play it cool” when I first walked into a local surf shop here on Oahu. Getting over that fear is your first step. I truly believe that when starting out; THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS! And if any SUP sales people make you feel like you just asked one, then I guess they forgot they were “new” once too. Besides, how many people do you know are good at something the first couple of times they try it?

     The reason I am starting this feature on our Blue Planet Surf blog is I to am a kook, barney, newbie. I moved to Oahu in November of 2012 from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Packed away my snowboard gear and eagerly looked forward to spending more time in the water. So how did a land locked snowboarder come to work at Blue Planet Surf selling SUP's you may ask. Well, long story short, I've worked in Action Sports retail for over a decade now, and I've been standing on a board sideways for fifteen years. So I traded in the white snow capped peaks for tan sandy beaches and tasty waves. With that, my goal for this blog series is to drop the iron curtain of surf culture and allow us kooks, barneys and newbies a forum to ask anything without the fear of ridicule, laughter and teasing.

     So a common question we get is “Where do I start?” With the growing popularity of SUP and the hundreds of brands popping up everywhere, you have endless choices. My biggest piece of advice with this is that if possible you should rent or demo first. Every board handles differently, and even boards with similar specs can be worlds apart. Here at Blue Planet Surf we have a rental credit program that allows you to credit up to $250 of your rentals towards the purchase of a new board. And while we're special in the fact we carry our own in-house brand of SUP's, a lot of shops offer rentals and demos. The biggest factor (besides the size of the person) in determining what size SUP you need is your main objective on the water. Are you looking to just cruise around? Yoga? Surf as many waves as possible? Throw some kids on the front and paddle the bay? These decisions will weigh heavily in your SUP choice. Generally, a 10'-12' SUP will work great for flat water recreation and I would stay on the smaller end of the range if you want to possibly surf as well. Again that is a general range that would be narrowed down further depending on your size. We do have several boards that work for both but it's finding the size in that range that works best for your main objective on the water. With that said, I really do recommend you rent or demo something first. Speaking of demos. Our next demo is Sunday May 5th at 8am. And you can go to getupstanduphawaii.com for more details

     Like I said earlier, we want this blog to be a forum as well. Feel free to comment, suggest topics or ask any of those “stupid” questions you weren't able to get answered elsewhere. Hope to see you on the water. Mahalo.


2 Comments

Sidechop
Sidechop

May 05, 2013

Great blog! I’ve been surfing and playing in the ocean for over 30 years, but started at the rip age of 20; first on the eastcoast, the last 27 years in Hawaii. I avoided standup paddling for years until a friend bought an extra board just to get me on a SUP. Been SUPing for three years now. When it comes to surfing and SUP, I consider myself a graduate from the school of hard-knocks. I recommend you try many, many boards. Talk a friend into lending you a 10’6 x 30 (minimum) and spend at least 20 hours on it. Get used to using your paddle as a crutch/cane; that is, use it as a third leg to keep your self upright. When you are ready for waves, stay away from crowded breaks. Go with a couple of friends who know what they are doing and watch, watch, watch. Before you know it, you’ll be surfing with the best of them. I’ve found that unlike surfing, SUPers are a very friendly bunch; most are willing to help and share the aloha.

Fuzzy
Fuzzy

April 07, 2013

This is a great idea and I liked to help out if that’s ok with you since I have been in the ocean all my life and deal with all kinds of situations through out my life. Helping others is great because then everyone can be on the same page when it comes to ocean sports… Aloha

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