Blue Planet News

Connor Baxter on paddle length and SUP stroke technique video

I recently had the chance to sit down and interview Connor Baxter at the 2017 Starboard distributor meeting on Maui. I can't post the video on his updated version of the Bolt paddle yet though I can say it felt great.  This video features Connor talking about the length of his paddles for SUP racing and Stand Up Surfing (his paddles are dramatically shorter than they used to be) and has some great stroke technique tips.

Connor explains how he uses his legs and core muscles more and keeping his upper body relaxed.  He also talks about his choke down stroke, "porpoising" his board when sprinting and some other great insights.  You can't argue with his results, please give the thumbs up on youtube if you enjoy this video and subscribe to the blueplanetsurf youtube channel!

 

 

Connor Baxter demonstrates his stroke technique in this video and talks about how it changes over the years, including a dramatically shorter paddle length, and how he watches and tries to mimic the strokes of other top paddlers like Danny Ching and Travis Grant at races.   He uses the analogy of pulling and propelling yourself past a fixed steel pole on a skateboard by pulling the hips back and then throwing them forward, a good analogy. 

This is a link to a facebook video of Georges Cornsteadt that shows him using the forward thrust coming from the hips in a paddling drill:

https://www.facebook.com/robertogymtahiti/videos/473010436211879/

 

Evan Leong and I discuss stroke technique and this video in this episode of Board Meeting:

 

Connor Baxter stroke technique

Blue Planet Surf 2016 Product Catalog

Preview the 2016 Blue Planet Product range, including our Stand Up Paddle boards, surf boards, paddles, accessories, team riders, distributor listing, shop information, construction options, and more in our new 78 page catalog, click on the arrow to browse through the pages, click on the bottom right corner to view it full screen:

For now we only have this catalog available online.  We do have some print versions on order but due to the high cost of printing this catalog we are unfortunately not able to send it out for free.

Photo credits: Terry Reis Surf Shooter Hawaii, Ryan T Foley, Miho Tanaka, and Blue Planet Staff

Please also watch this video featuring the 2016 Blue Planet SUP board lineup:

 

The Blue Planet Story:

At Blue Planet we are serious, competitive and passionate about watersports and running a customer driven business. We work hard and play hard. We aim to be the market leader in stand up paddling and surfing and strive to be the best business in the marketplace. Many things have to come together to make this happen, but in the end everything is based on one goal:

We want to help you have more fun on the water! 

Our mission is to share the stoke and help as many people as possible to enjoy the water. We make user-friendly equipment that is fun to use for beginners and high performance gear for those that are ready to take it to the next level. From weekend warriors to high performance pro level riders, we have the right board for you. We aim to make the best gear and offer the most compelling value combining leading edge design, quality and features at a great price.

When I started the business as a business college student in 1993, the goal was to build a business for surfers, by surfers that would allow us to enjoy our favorite watersports when conditions are good. I often have to remind myself of this when work and other obligations take over. The ocean is our playground and we need to remember to enjoy it and make time to play and have fun. We also need to protect it. We do our best to use environmentally responsible materials, conserve energy, re-use, recycle, reduce waste and try to minimize our impact on the environment and the oceans. We encourage our customers to do the same. So what are you waiting for, get outside and have some fun!

 

See you on the water,

Aloha, Robert Stehlik

& the Blue Planet crew

 Blue Planet 2016 SUP catalog front cover

Blue Planet Catalog back cover collage

SUP Tips: Catching Waves and Bumps- Flatwater drills to help you get ready for open ocean stand up paddle boarding

If you are new to downwind stand up paddle boarding, and want to get ready to do some open ocean downwinders, these are some tips and drills you can practice in flat water to help you get ready for riding bumps on a SUP.   Check the bottom of this page for information on coached downwinders. 

This post is focused on downwinders and catching/ gliding on bumps, but this drill is also helpful for catching breaking waves if you want to learn to stand up paddle surf.

In this first video I'm showing how to take a few quick accelerating strokes and then pause, glide and skim/ brace the paddle to keep you stable and balanced while gliding.  If you are doing a downwinder in light winds, this is what you will end up doing:  a few quick accelerating strokes, then pause and glide while you are getting pulled along by the bump in front of you.  In light wind you usually won't have to move the feet back, you can keep the parallel stance close to the center of the board.  It's good to practice this drill in flat water to break the habit of paddling with long, powerful strokes at a steady pace.  Downwinders are about quick sprints and glides, so you have to learn to break up your pace.   The first step is to practice taking 3,4, or 5 quick strokes and then let the board glide for about the same amount of time, so you are only paddling for about half the time.  Don't worry about moving your feet at first and just get into a good rhythm of accelerating and then gliding and skimming your paddle for balance.  Try to skim it as far out to the side as possible with the paddle at a low angle to the water for side to side stability and behind you for front to back stability.  Just skim the paddle lightly over the surface, you don't want to break, just keep the paddle very close to the water or skim very lightly over the surface.  While skimming the paddle acts as a third leg which will give you more control and will allow you to feel more comfortable in rougher conditions.  If you do loose your balance you can lean on the paddle and push your center of gravity back over the center of the board.

 

This next video shows how to start in "first gear" by taking quick, short strokes for powerful acceleration.  You want to focus on keeping your stroke in front of your feet and using quick bursts of power to accelerate.  Practice this in flat water as well as you will not have time to focus on this when conditions get rough. 

When the wind is stronger and the bumps get steeper, you will also have to move your weight back on the board to keep the nose from piercing and to allow your board to release and accelerate by planing on top of the water surface and to reduce the amount of wetted surface.  So, once you are good at stroking quickly to accelerate and then gliding while skimming the paddle, the next step is to also practice moving your feet back as you stop paddling and glide.  As the board slows down and the tail starts to sink, you then have to move your weight back forward close to center quickly and take some more quick acceleration strokes.  The video below has some helpful tips for moving your feet around on the board without rocking the board and loosing your balance:

 If you do this for a while, you will notice that these quick sprints followed by pauses of gliding will actually be very hard work and your heart rate will go up to a higher rate than when paddling at a steady pace.  I find that my heart rate goes up significantly higher in downwinders than when flatwater paddling which is why it is so important to relax and rest while you get a free ride when gliding on and connecting bumps.  If you don't rest it is hard to catch the next bump.  There is a misconception that when the wind blows hard you hardly have to paddle anymore.  The reality is that you have to accelerate more quickly and paddle even harder to catch the faster moving bumps on the really windy days if you want to keep up with the really fast guys.  The goal is to move as close to the speed of the bumps as possible and the stronger the wind is and the longer the fetch (the distance the wind has to create bumps), the faster you have to move to catch them.

The next video covers the five most common mistakes made by first timers on downwind runs and will be helpful to watch as well if you want to improve your downwind stand up paddle technique.

 

 In this Board Meeting Episode #13 Evan and Robert talk in depth about the drills shown in the first video:

Thank you for watching!

Aloha,

Robert Stehlik

Copyright Blue Planet Surf 2016,  you are welcome to re-post or share this content but please credit Blue Planet Surf and put a link to www.blueplanetsurf.com

Resources mentioned in the videos:

For more information on our weekly SUP training group, please visit:
http://zenwaterman.blogspot.com/2012/10/weekly-time-trials-in-hawaii-kai-video.html

For information on SUP lessons and downwind coaching by Robert Stehlik, please visit: http://blueplanetsurf.com/collections/lessons

For information on downwind coaching with Jeff Chang/ Wet Feet, please visit: http://www.wetfeethawaii.com/pages/lessons-tours.html

For information on coached downwinders with Jeremy Riggs on Maui: http://paddlewithriggs.com

Safety first:  Downwinders can be dangerous.  Always go with a partner or group and if you are going for the first time, go with an experienced paddler or coach.  Have a plan and set up meeting places if you loose sight of each other, with can happen quickly in open ocean conditions.  Take a cellphone in a waterproof case and/ or a EPIRB.  Always wear a leash and make sure all your equipment is in good condition.

Equipment used in the videos:

Rasta downwind board: 14' x 28" 2016 Bump Rider: http://blueplanetsurf.com/products/140-x-28-bump-rider-2016

Blue downwind board: 12'6 x 28" 2016 Bump Surfer: http://blueplanetsurf.com/collections/2016-blue-planet-sups-2/products/126-x-28-bump-surfer-2016

Paddle:  Kai Zen with 88 blade: http://blueplanetsurf.com/collections/paddles/products/blue-planet-2016-kai-zen-cf-paddle-early-bird-pre-orders-until-12-31-15

 

SUP Downwind drill Robert Stehlik

 Direct link to the Downwind Drill SUP tip video on youtube

 

Blue Planet SUP models in action: 2016 Blue Planet Stand Up Paddle boards

This first video is a fast paced look at our 2016 Stand Up Paddleboard lineup in action in less than 2 minutes, featuring our team riders Fabrice Beaux and Robert Stehlik in the surf on Oahu's South Shore and Jenn Lee, Jeff Chang, Sam Pa'e, Tyler Jaggers and Jimmy Martindale on the raceboards by Portlock Point.  Also a quick rundown of the 2016 SUP model shapes and colors. 

For more information on the 2016 Blue Planet SUP shapes, please go to:

http://blueplanetsurf.com/collections/2016-blue-planet-sups-2

 

This second video features our lineup of 2016 Race SUP's- the 12'6 and 14' Bump Rider downwind models and the 12'6 and 14' Dark Horse models.

Please check out our shop on Ward Avenue for a consultation.  We want to help you find the best Stand Up Paddleboard for your needs and always encourage you to try a few boards from our demo fleet before making a buying decision.  Besides the Blue Planet models, we also carry Stand Up boards from Starboards, SIC Maui, Kazuma Maui, Riviera, and several other brands.  We have the biggest selection of both new and demo boards in the Islands and offer great deals.  We are offering great specials and are currently having a closeout sale on 2015 models while supplies last:  Get a $100 Gift card or store credit with and 2015 model SUP purchase.   Find out why our customers voted us as Hawaii's Best SUP Shop in the Honolulu Star Advertiser reader poll awards.

Available now at:

Blue Planet Surf Shop

Hawaii's SUP HQ

540 Ward Ave.

Tel 808 596 7755

We are open daily from 10 am to 6 pm and now have plenty of free parking in the new lot behind our shop.  

Aloha, Robert Stehlik

2016 Blue Planet SUP models with Dolph Lundgren

SUP Tips: Quick Acceleration Strokes- Starting in First Gear

When I first started Stand Up Paddling, I was struggling to catch waves.  I was pulling on the paddle as hard as I could and figured the harder I pulled on the paddle and the more the shaft was bending, the more power I was applying and the faster the board would go.  Despite pulling as hard as I could I was missing a lot of waves, I also kept breaking paddles.  

A big breakthrough for me came when Brian Keaulana gave me this tip after watching me try to catch a wave:  "You are starting in third gear!"  He explained that first gear is short, quick strokes, way up in front, just tapping the water, not long, hard pulls.  That was a turning point for me, I learned how to use these quick accelerating strokes and it worked like a charm.  Not only was I no longer breaking paddles but my board would accelerate with just a few quick strokes and I started catching more waves.  This technique also works well in downwinders, whenever you need to accelerate to catch a bump.  Even in flatwater races you can use them at the start, after turns, or to catch up to a draft.  So I encourage you to watch the video, try this first gear acceleration stroke, and you will be a more well rounded paddler.  Not all strokes are the same, learn to use different gears when paddling and switch them up as needed.  

Continue watching after the video ends to see more SUP Tip videos in the playlist.

This video demonstrates how to accelerate quickly on a Stand Up Paddleboard by "starting in first gear". Quick, short, strokes create lift and smooth acceleration that will help you get the board on a plane to surf a wave or catch a bump in downwinders. 

We hope you enjoy our videos, please give us a thumbs up, check out the other SUP tip videos on our channel and subscribe for our latest videos posted weekly. For more information on our weekly training group mentioned in the video, please click on this link: http://zenwaterman.blogspot.com/…/weekly-time-trials-in-haw…

Also check out our private coaching offerings here: http://blueplanetsurf.com/pages/lessons

Thank you for watching,

Aloha, Robert Stehlik

Quick, short bursts of power will help you get up to speed to catch a wave or bump

On downwinders the goal is to get the board to plane over the surface of the water and surf the open ocean wind swells.  

 

Gear used in this video: Kai Zen paddle with 88 blade, the blue board is the 2016 12'6 x 28 Blue Planet Bump Surfer, the rasta board is the 14' x 28" Bump Rider.  Drone video shot with the Hexo+ drone, land video by Evan Leong of standuppaddlesurf.net

Nothing but Glides- downwind video without a single paddle stroke

What's the best part about downwinders?  The glides!

So I made this video without a single paddle stroke, just bump riding and gliding. A fun evening Hawaii Kai to Waikiki downwinder with my buddy Peter Shepherd from Sydney.  Peter is on a 17' SIC Bullet V3 and I'm on the 14' x 28" Bump Rider.  It's great to be able to get off work a bit early to do a downwinder during the busy holiday season.

Happy Holidays everyone!

If you enjoy this video, please give it the thumbs up and subscribe to our youtube channel for new videos about Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) and more posted weekly. 

Aloha, Robert Stehlik

 

 

New Starboards have arrived!

 New shipment of Starboard SUP's has arrived at Blue Planet, aka Hawaii's SUP HQ, we have a great selection of new and demo Starboard Stand Up Paddleboards in stock and are the biggest Starboards dealer on Oahu.

We have sale pricing on all models, great deals on older models, some are up to $200 less than the new models.

For a current list of all the models please check our stock spreadsheet and click on the Starboards tab at the bottom.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16mKsrbMifP3X4mIcInd4LK0knjG5QsS4IWbPZlnD2uU/edit#gid=0

For more information on Starboards models, please visit:
http://www.star-board-sup.com

or:
http://store.tridentsports.com/us/pc/Starboard-SUP-c2.htm

Check 'em out at Blue Planet now.
We have demo stand up paddle boards available and will credit rental fees up to $250 towards the purchase of any new board in the shop, plus we have a special "try before you buy" offer: we will turn any new board into a demo for a $75 premium (only due if you decide not to purchase it).

Aloha!

Oahu's biggest Starboard dealer

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