The fastest Race SUP?- Displacement vs. Planing Hulls & board weights

Five years ago Jeff Chang and I wrote a report on the Zen Waterman blog on some of the fastest unlimited race SUP's at the time and discussed the differences between displacement hulls and planing hulls and which worked best for which conditions.  While it is relatively easy to test the speed of a board in flat water, testing in open ocean and downwind conditions is much more difficult due to the many variables that can't be controlled.  I made a video discussing two 14' boards:  The 14'x 26" Blue Planet Dark Horse model which is a displacement board designed to excel in calm water and the 14' x 28" Blue Planet Bump Rider model, a planing hull designed to be an excellent downwind/ open ocean board.  For more in depth reading on this topic, please click the link to the Zen Waterman blog post above.  


In the video below, I discuss my opinion on race board weights and the compromise of performance/ weight/ durability/ price that you will face when shopping for race boards.



Robert Stehlik

August 18, 2015


SUP Downwinder Tips: The most common first timer mistakes

At Blue Planet we offer downwind coaching to those wanting to get into this exciting sport.  After doing many coached downwind runs I have noticed that most beginners make the same common mistakes when first trying to catch bumps.  For those coming from a flatwater background, where a strong, steady, powerful, longer, slower stroke works best, making the adjustment to the quick, short accelerating strokes needed to catch bumps and then stopping and resting while gliding is challenging to say the least.  I'm hoping that sharing these tips will help more paddlers get into this super fun aspect of Stand Up Paddling.

These are the five most common mistakes I see when I coach paddlers on their first downwinder:

1) Paddling too much at a steady pace

2) Not paddling at the right time

3) Not using the paddle to brace

4) Not using the right board

5) Not standing in the right place  


I made two videos (using the GoPro4 Session camera) where I talk in more depth about these mistakes and how to fix them while I'm doing a downwinder and demonstrating how I like do it.   There is no right or wrong way to do it and there are differences in equipment and technique but I have learned a few things from doing hundreds of downwinders and from observing and talking to the fastest in the sport, so I am sharing what works for me.  I hope you enjoy these two videos, the first one is the short version, the second is the extended version.  Some of the best things about downwinders (as compared to SUP surfing) is that you are always moving with non stop action, catching tons of bumps along the way and getting a great workout.  Also, we have the whole wide ocean to catch bumps so it never gets crowded and we always welcome newcomers to our weekly training group.

For more tips from other paddlers on this topic, also check out this thread on






See you on the water!

Aloha, Robert Stehlik


August 15, 2015


Tips and pointers on how to choose your first SUP

If you're interested in getting into the great sport of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and have done a little research to help you with your decision process, you know how challenging it is to narrow your focus to the right board for you. With board lengths ranging from less than 7 feet to over 17 feet, board widths ranging from 25 inches to 40 inches, and the need to consider other variables like thickness, volume, shape, environmental conditions, fin setup, and so on, choosing the right SUP can be a daunting task.

The Blue Planet Surf team has put together a great playlist of videos to help those knowledge-hungry individuals make the right decision when choosing their first SUP. Please check out any of the following links to provide useful insight on taking that first step:


Short Version:

Extended Version:

     Extended Version Part 1 - The Basics:


     Extended Version Part 2 - The Dimensions:


     Extended Version Part 3 - The Shape:


How to choose your first demo/rental SUP:


So many boards to choose from...


Application Tips for installing Rail Saver Pro Clear rail tape for SUP board rails

Our shop manager Kevin Fung demonstrates how to professionally apply Rail Saver Pro clear protective rail tape.  It's tricky to do this without trapping bubbles, we recommend watching this video before attempting your first installation:

Follow this link to find Railsaver Pro on our website:


Kevin shows how to find the widest point of the rail.  Center the rail tape on the widest point, this is where it is the most likely to get damaged.

Strapping and locking boards to your car using Kanu Locking straps

We recently made two videos that show our preferred methods for securing boards to your car easily using locking straps, the first one using two straps, the second one using one long strap:



Click this link to see the Kanu Lock straps we offer at Blue Planet Surf:


Blue Planet SUP Clinic dates for the fall- mark your calendar!

These are the dates of our upcoming free SUP Clinics held for Blue Planet customers at Ala Moana Beach park:





Note:  Sign up closes at 8:15 am, please be on time or miss it.

For details, please go to this page:


Loading up the cars and trailer with over 40 demo boards:

Getting everything set up:

Let us do all the work, you can just show up and have fun- try as many boards as possible!

See you at the next SUP Clinic, please come by the shop to get a free Clinic Pass from our staff, no purchase necessary.


Using Go Pro cameras for Stand Up Paddling: mounting options, settings, battery life etc.

This video shows the features of the new GoPro4 session camera and some simple mounting options for Stand Up Paddling:



The next two videos show the features and recommended setting for SUP for the GoPro4 Silver camera:




Sample photos:

Using the paddle mount:

Using the headmount:

Using the nose mounted fcs plug mount:

 Important: When you use your gopro in the water, make sure your camera is secured properly and use a floatie so your camera can't sink:

and use a tether to secure the camera to your board, paddle or body:


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