Blue Planet News

An unsolicited review of our "try before you buy" program

This is a unsolicited review of our shop written by a great customer, Ronnie Simpson:

About a year ago, I acquired my first standup paddle board in trade for a small egg-shaped surfboard that I rarely rode. The SUP was a 9'8" 7S-brand epoxy board with a big swallow tail, a lot of volume and virtually no rocker. Originally conceived as a way for me to get from my sailboat to shore in San Francisco Bay and for use on small wave days, the board has served me well over the past year and has ignited a passion for SUP'ing that burns greatly. One year later I live in Hawaii, surf that SUP more than all of my other surfboards combined and have even taken to racing downwind SUPs. As the waves got bigger throughout the summer here on the south shore of Oahu and my SUP skills increased however, I found myself wanting to add another surf SUP to the quiver.


During a recent week of swell where I surfed every day, I thought about how my next surf SUP should differ from my current one, and I came to two conclusions; it needed to be about a foot shorter and have more rocker in the nose than my current board. Beyond that, I was open to suggestion. Having purchased three 14' downwind race boards this year from Blue Planet surf shop and generally being a very happy customer, it was a no-brainer for me to head into the shop and see what they could do for me. With boards for days - new, used and consignment - in a range of shapes and sizes, I consulted with their friendly French sales associate Soliman and narrowed my search down to about a half dozen different models, all between 8'0" and 8'10" long.



One of the larger boards that I wanted to demo was already rented out, so I grabbed the most voluminous 8'0" that was on the rack and headed down the street to surf the Marine Land break on a dying swell. At 8'0" x 31 x 3.75 inches, and with 115 Liters of volume, the Taro Chip model impressed me from the get-go. Even in small, gutless surf the Taro Chip was able to accelerate quickly and get into a ton of waves and continue surfing even as the wave mushed out. With a relatively flat rocker profile, full wide nose and squash tail, the Taro Chip proved to be very stable and alleviate my fears of purchasing a board on the shorter end of the size spectrum that I was exploring. After three great sessions over the course of two days, I nearly bought the board outright but figured I owed it to myself to try something else on for size.



 Ronnie on the 8'0 x 31" Taro Chip

As a modest new south swell began to show up during the following week, I walked back into the shop with hopes of renting one of the larger boards that were on my list of boards to try. Once again, the board that I wanted to try was already rented out so I opted to try my hand at the 8'0" Ghetto Blaster model. At 8'0" x 30 x 4 inches, and with 109 Liters of volume, the Ghetto Blaster was the least voluminous model that I was considering purchasing, and so trying it out on a small day offered some merit. With more rocker than the Taro Chip, a pointed nose and a round tail, the Ghetto Blaster was a more traditional 'high-performance' shape than the board that I had just ridden. While the board initially frustrated me with a lack of stability and wave catching ability when compared with the Taro Chip, I was able to catch a few waves during my first session that allowed me to sneak a quick glimpse at the board's high-performance capabilities. With a bit of practice, I found that I could still catch small and mushy waves, yet drop in late and aggressively when necessary; and when the waves got larger, faster and more powerful.



I'm more challenged at this point in time by the Ghetto Blaster than the Taro Chip, but then again, when stepping down 20 inches in board length, that's a big part of the appeal. The Taro Chip on the other hand was easy to ride, a bona fide wave catcher, could support my 170 pounds on the nose if needed and was plenty fast down the line. Neither board had any glaring deficiencies, and either of them would have made me plenty happy. They both also proved to me that I didn't need to go any bigger than 8'0" for my second surf SUP. In the end however, I only had money and space for one of them, and I chose the Ghetto Blaster. As an older model, I could save a few more bucks, it's carbon construction made it a bit lighter for those long walks to the beach, it's blue and brushed carbon paint job looked ultra-sexy, but most of all, it's more high-performance shape has me convinced that i'll be able to ride it on more challenging waves once I step up my game.




As a surfer and a consumer, the most enjoyable and satisfying part of the whole process was being able to try out multiple boards for basically no cost and then purchase exactly what I wanted. Merely paying for two SUP rental fees and then applying those rental fees towards the purchase of a new board, I more than justified what has become my dilemma when purchasing a new SUP: Craigslist or Blue Planet. Being able to walk into the shop and work with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, speak directly to the shop owner and designer of my new board and then actually go try the board out in good waves is absolutely invaluable and a big part of the reason that i'll choose to support a good local shop like Blue Planet every time. Mahalo.



Thank you Ronnie for the great review of our shop and boards, and for the cool photos, below Ronnie is surfing his Ghetto Blaster model.Ronnie Simpson reviews 8'0 Blue Planet Stand up paddleboardBlue Planet Ghetto Blaster SUP review

Outdoor Retailer Show August 2016- Interesting products videos

Blue Planet had a booth at the Outdoor Retailer show, August 3-6 in Salt Lake City, right after the Molokai to Oahu race.  This was our first time to the show so I have nothing to compare it to but I was impressed by the scale of this outdoor recreation business trade show and by the booths of some of the SUP companies that were at the show. 
We displayed our Blue Planet gear in a small, simple 10x10 booth as part of the Hawaii Pavilion.  We were stoked to be part of this show and we did a lot of networking. It seemed like most of the VIP's in the industry were there and it was worthwhile for us to represent our brand.
I also walked around the show a bit and shot some video interviews of products that caught my eye whenever I had the chance.  Sorry about the poor audio in some of the videos, there was a lot of background noise at the show.  Links to the products in the videos are below.

The first interview is of Oscar Chalumpsky presenting the Motionize paddle logger technology and giving some great tips on how to catch, surf and connect bumps: 

Oscar Chalumpsky the surfski legend from South Africa, has won the Molokai to Oahu World Championship 12 times, the most recent win in 2012 at age 49 against much younger competitors, 29 years after winning it the first time. This is an interview at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City in August 2016, where he represented the innovative new Motionize paddle data logger that seems to be a great training tool, which is currently available for Kayaking and will be available for Stand Up paddle boarding and Outrigger paddlers soon.  For details, visit:

He also shares some tips for downwinders- how to catch, surf, and connect the bumps- learn from the master, thank you for the interview and tips Oscar!


The second interview is with Travis Grant a few days after the Molokai to Oahu Race.  I asked him about the 32 mile Stand Up Paddle race across the Pailolo channel between the islands of Molokai and Oahu where he placed second to Kai Lenny after winning the previous two years, this is his recap of his experience.  Clearly he is a bit disappointed but that takes nothing away from an amazing performance by a great athlete and friend.  To read more about this race, check out

Well done Travis!


The third video is of John Kleckner talking about the Catamaran fishing SUP's made by his company, Live Watersports.  These double hulled Standamarans are surprisingly stable and have good glide and seem to be ideal for fishing and cruising.  They also offer lots of accessories for fishing and touring, making these very versatile all-round Stand Up Paddle cruisers.


In the next video, Jacob Dildine show the 2017 Futures Fins lineup, including SUP race fins and Stand Up Surfing fins at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, August 2016. Some of the SUP models shown include: The Manta, Red Fish, Triangle Cutaway, Hawaii Downwind, California Downwind, Keel, Runner, Trigger, Red Fish, Bark, Gerry Lopez, and more. For more information on Futures SUP Fins, visit:

or check them out at Blue Planet Surf Shop in Honolulu

Next up is Dan Gavere of Starboards is showing off some of the 2017 Stand Up Paddle board models at the Outdoor Retailer show and talks about how Starboards is making their equipment and production process more environmentally friendly. For more information, please visit:
We just got a shipment of the 2017 Starboards at Blue Planet Surf Shop in Honolulu, for more information and videos of these boards, visit:

I got to try the OneWheel at the show and liked it so much I bought one to take home to Hawaii.  These are interviews with founder/ inventor of OneWheel Kyle Doerkson and Jake Mudd at the show and some footage of us using the board in the Blue Planet parking lot.  These things are a lot of fun and a great way to get around but unfortunately it looks like we won't carry them at our shop due to liability/ insurance issues.  So check out 

John Amundson was showing off the line of Amundson Hawaii boards.  He goes over the new features of the 2017 14' TRX Stand Up Raceboard model, which looks really nice.  John has been designing the Amundson line of SUP's for a long time and has recently taken on more responsibilities, good work John!

Sean Sweet of Sweet Waterwear and Kimberly Schamber or SUP Merge collaborate to create Sweet Kiss, a new line of Stand Up Paddle specific clothing. I talked to them at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, August 2016 about their new lineup, which will be in stores soon.

That's it, I hope you enjoyed these videos of things I found interesting at the Outdoor Retailer show.  As always, please give us the thumbs up on youtube if you enjoy our videos and subscribe to our channel and we will keep new videos coming every week.

Aloha, Robert Stehlik

Blue Planet Surf SUP HQ Outdoor Retailer trade show

September 08, 2016


2017 Starboards in stock now!

We just received our shipment of over 50 new 2017 Starboard Stand Up Paddle boards and are one of the first shops in the world to have these latest models available for sale.

The new Starlite construction looks great with carbon/innegra parabolic rails, Bio Resin and many high tech construction features at a great price point

We have some great deals on the new 2017 models and even better deals on remaining 2016 and 2015 models, which we marked down significantly, in fact our prices are too low to advertise, so please come to our shop or call for details: 808 596 7755

We did not get the 2017 Starboard SUP Catalog in print version yet, so for now you can download the Starboard SUP product guide showing all the new models here:

Our staff put together some videos of the different Starboard construction options available for the 2017 models, these are the different construction options:



Aloha, see you at Blue Planet Surf, Hawaii's SUP HQ

2017 starboard stand up paddle boardsStarlite construction Starboard 2017

Wet Feet/ Blue Planet WPA race recap by Noah Garfield, first over the line

First I would like to say mahalo to Robert and Jeff for organizing this event. I look forward to this race every year since it takes place on my side of the island. The Sunset2Haleiwa course has been my main training route this year in preparation for M2O. I have paddled it in probably every condition and have a good feel for the water on this side. I guess you could say a little home court advantage played a role in helping me to win 😉.

Most days on north shore the typical ENE trades will be blocked by the mountains and it can be a flat water grind. Race day provided a little more North in the wind and it was blowing nicely at our backs the entire run. A lot of people question inside line or outside? I chose an outside line knowing the wind had a little more strength and consistency on the outside. I've found that certain areas on an inside route can get sluggish, especially passing Waimea bay. This proved to be true when I started to pull away from Hobie Hammah Keoni - who was on an inside line - right around Ke Iki point. Around that same spot Roberto showed up on his unlimited a little further outside of me - he looked effortless and was just gliding along. I had to start working harder and focus on finding the bumps to keep up on my 14' board. Roberto and I went back and forth with the lead for next three miles till he started to make his move in to Puena point. Still about a mile away from the point I still held an outside line knowing that as you near Puena, the swell and wind kinda wraps from the outside right into the point. Working hard for the win, I eventually passed Roberto, hugged close to puena point and then stroked it home to the finish line. I was stoked to win, the Conditions were great, bumps the whole way, but most importantly another fun event with a great group of paddlers. Thanks Blue Planet / Wet Feet for making it happen!

Aloha, Noah Garfield

Noah Garfield, first place WPA race

We had a great turnout of over 60 prone and stand up paddlers and conditions were beautiful, thank you everyone for showing up!

Congrats to prone stock winners Kai Hall and Leane Darling, prone unlimited winner Anders Jonsson, stock SUP winners Noah Ho'omaikelani Garfieldand Jenn J Lee, and SUP unlimited winner Roberto Lopes. The series winners who won the cash were prone stock men 1) Pat Wong, 2) Johan Loo and 3) Mike Abbott and women 1) Colleen Tessler. For stock SUP Men it was 1) Kione Dahlin, 2) Tyler Jaggers and 3) Scott Ito and women 1) Jenn J Lee.

Complete results on Paddleguru:

Here is a video of the race on August 13, 2016:

WPA race Wet Feet Blue planet start Sunset Beach

Board Auction at this Sunday at Blue Planet (and SUP Clinic/ demo)

For those living on Oahu, this is a great opportunity to get a great deal on a FAST board:

Board Auction! Join the Blue Planet team for our free SUP Clinic at Ala Mona Beach park from 8-10 am (Clinic pass invitation required- please pick up at shop, click link for details) and try our fleet of 40+ demo boards. Then come to our board auction hosted by auctioneer Joe Teipel from 4-6 pm in the store parking lot for a chance to get incedible deals on boards made by Starboards, Blue Planet, SIC, Ohana and more.  We need to make room at our shop for new inventory and have too many 12'6 and 14' touring, cruising, and race boards that we will sell to the highest bidder- both new and used- so this is a great opportunity to pick up a board at a low price. In addition, we are also selling some surf and inflatable demo boards as well as shortboards and vintage surfboards at the auction. A protion of the proceeds will benefit AccesSurf. We have a complete list of auction boards available as well as a video showing the boards, see below. Aloha!

The video shows the boards offered in the auction, this is the link to the spreadsheet of boards:

For more information on the auction and SUP Clinic, please visit:


Board demo and auction

August 07, 2016


Molokai to Oahu Race Report 2016- Interviews

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Molokai 2 Oahu race.  Kai Lenny, the fastest solo paddler, set a new SUP solo record, finishing in 4:07.  

Travis Grant came in second with a time 4:10, after winning the race the last two years and also on a OC-1.  I caught up with Travis a couple of days days after the race and did this interview:


The evening before the race I saw Marcus Tandrew making adjustments to the Deep Oceanboards dug out unlimited board he designed for James Casey.   I talked to them about the design and the results speak for themselves, the three riders using Marcus's boards finished 4th (James Casey), 5th (Toby Cracknell) and 7th (Matt Nottage) overall in the Men's Unlimited solo division.


My good friend, training partner and coach Jeff Chang did the race solo on a prone board this year.  Jeff is an amazing waterman and great person all-round.  He designed and built the board he used in the race and only finished it a few days before the race.  He finished the race in 6:42, and came in 3rd place in the "50 to dead" division, a great result for his first time on a prone board!



I did the race solo on in the 14' SUP stock division and was a bit disappointed with by performance.  I showed up at the start a bit jet lagged and with a stuffy nose after getting back from a family trip two days before the race.  I forgot to put the batteries in the GPS way pointer I had mounted to my board and went too far north when Oahu disappeared in the clouds.  Then I got stuck in sticky waters outside of Makapuu and started running out of steam, I really slowed down.  Sill, I finished the race in 6:15 and it felt great to complete another solo crossing. 

This is my course from my GPS:

Robert Stehlik 2016 M2O race gps track


Finally getting close to the finish at Portlock PointMolokai channel race portlock


I'm Done!

m2o race finish 2016 stock Bump Rider

At the finish with Jeff Chang, Mike Abbot photos

molokai race finish Jeff Chang, Robert Stehlik

Once again, the 14' Bump Rider proved itself as a great channel board, with great finishes by many paddlers, I'm stoked to have so many great paddlers using this model.

Glad to be done with m2o

Glad to be done with another solo crossing.

Aloha, Robert Stehlik












August 03, 2016


M2O report by Jennifer Lee

Aloha everyone, 
Molokai 2 Oahu World Championships have come and gone.  This year I went as a mixed team with Tyler Jaggers.  
Long story short, with a couple of last minute entries we had a world class race on our hands and I wanted our team to rise to the challenge.  With the last minute entry which included Armie Armstrong of New Zeland who can cross the channel by himself in under 5 hours, and his wife and relay partner having made very fast crossings (top 3) in the past, I knew we had a major task on our hands. 
Also in true Morgan fashion, Morgan Hoesterey entered very under the radar at the last minute with Will Taylor.  Knowing Morgan and the way she entered she expected to win; she is a channel veteran and expert in Hawaiian waters and surely was in top form coming from a huge adventure race in Tahiti.    There were also a couple of dark horse teams with sponsored athletes that certainly had the potential to mount a challenge.  Tyler and I went as hard and as smart as we possibly could and when all was said and done we crossed the line at 5 hours and 25 minutes.  This put us at 2nd overall for the mixed gender team division.  We also came in 8th overall out of 27, 2 person teams in general, ahead of some 2 man teams with big names which was unexpected and exciting! 
We had a fantastic time out there, it was incredibly intense the entire way since there were quite varied conditions and we did not know where are competition was.  I also knew that Armie and Penelope aren’t likely to make mistakes out there so that really kept us on our toes.  Tyler and I have been training together and he has improved in speed as have I.  He is an amazing up and coming elite and I have been beyond happy to have him as a training/relay partner.  This is his first bonafide elite level result and one of the best results I have had in years.  Needless to say we are quite stoked with both our finish time and our placing!  First would have been better but in a way having come that close to Armie and Penelope actually lends credibility to our result and forced us to push harder than we ever thought we could so in that sense I am very grateful.  
Molokai 2 Oahu World Paddleboard Championships 5 hours 25 minutes
2nd Place Mixed Gender SUP Teams with fellow Blue Planet Athlete, Tyler Jaggers (all 2 man teams are on 14’ Stock rudderless SUP Boards)
32 miles from Kaluakoi, Molokai to Portlock, Oahu
Athletes take turns paddling at varied intervals generally between 15 and 40 minutes 
Equipment: Blue Planet Bump Rider, Kialoa Double Bend Hulu Narrow, Vitamin A Swim Inca Print Cozumel High Neck and Cozumel Brazilian Bottom + mandatory race jersey, H2O Audio Interval, Kialoa Trucker Hat, On It Pro Xtreme Cream (Board Coat), and On It SUP Deck and Paddle Wax, Planet Sun Hawaii Formulation 2 Sunscreen and Planet Sun Hawaii Vanilla Ray SPF 30 Lip Balm, Infinit Nutrition MUDD, Infinit Jet Fuel, and Infinit Custom Interval 1 Mix.  
Up next is Na Pali Paddleboard Race which is a fun race I added since I have been wanting to see the NaPali coast from the water since I was a young teen.  Psyched to get to do it this year!  
Thank you all so much for your support and much aloha, 
Jennifer Lee
Jenn J Lee and Tyler Jaggers team Molokai race
Jenn Lee M2O race 2016
Jenn Lee and Tyler Jaggers M2O 2016
Molokai to Oahu race 2016 mixed team results
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