Welcome to Blue Planet Surf.
As stand up paddle boarders and surfers, the ocean is our playground and we need to act as its shepherds. We do our best to use environmentally responsible materials, conserve energy, recycle and try to minimize our impact on the environment and the oceans. We encourage our customers to do the same.
We pride ourselves on offering the best SUP boards and accessories for sale and offer great value and expert advice. We want to help you have more fun on the water! Our current product line offers the best Stand Up Paddleboards for beginners all the way to expert level Stand up surfers and racers and everyone in between. We make it easy for you to buy the best SUP, whether stable, fast, cheap, stable, or high performance, we can help! Enjoy browsing our site, and let us know if there's any way we can help you find the perfect SUP gear for you. To see web customer reviews for our products, please click on the blue review tab on the left.
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.
Thank you for watching!
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:
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
Direct link to the Downwind Drill SUP tip video on youtube
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:
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
What is the best fin setup for your Stand Up Paddleboard? Well, there is no short answer, there are many things to consider and we encourage you to experiment with different fin setups and sizes. Many people install the fins on their SUP once and then never touch them again. Those that have tried different setups know that the right fins can make all the difference and can make a board really come alive.
These are some videos that will help you choose the perfect fin setup:
Re-posted from our Zen Waterman blog:
If the fin don't fit:
The US center fin boxes that are installed on most longboards and SUP's are supposed to be a universal fit. In real life, however, there a small variance in the width and depth of different boxes and fin sizes, so sometimes the fin won't go into the box or fit too loose. We are often asked about this and here is what you can do if the fin does not fit well:
If the fin fits too loose, the fix is to use a shim. This is an easy fix. At our shop we use some packing tape and fold it on itself so no sticky tape is exposed. You can adjust the thickness of the shim by using more folds if the fit is very loose or less if you just need a little shimming.
Put the shim under the base of the fin and push it into the finbox as you push down the fin, like in the pictures below, you should have a tight fit with the shim, no wiggling. If you still have some wiggle with the shim, pull it back out and add a couple more folds of tape to the shim, if it's too tight, make a thinner shim with less tape.
If the fin is too tight and won't go into the box, you can carefully sand the sides of the fin base to make it fit, this takes a little bit more time and patience. Carefully check where the fit is tight and slowly sand the area down until it fits tightly. Often it is the bottom of the fin that is hitting the bottom of the box. In that case, you have to sand the bottom of the base to make it fit, not the sides. The other option is to find a fin that fits the box without sanding.
Another tip: You can use the fin key used for the side fins to put the fin plate into the box and to line it up with the screw hole so the screw goes into the plate easily. That's it, enjoy!
This is a playlist, so keep watching for more videos about our Blue Planet products:
Inserting the fin plate into a US center box
If the fin is loose, you can make a shim like this one using packing tape folded in on itself
The only way you will really know if a board is going to work well for you is by trying it. At Blue Planet it is our goal to help you have more fun on the water and we hate to see customers that wasted their hard earned money by buying a board that is just not right for them. Buyers often spend a lot of time researching and reading about different models and looking for the "best deal" and think they found the perfect boards for their needs. Everyone is different, and after spending big bucks to buy a board, they often find out that the board they thought would be the perfect fit is not really right for them. No matter how cheap the price is or what a great deal you got, it's only a good value if it works well for you and helps you have more fun on the water, right?
Our shop manager, Kevin Fung, made this great video and guide with pointers and tips that can help you choose the right board, but remember that no matter how much research you do, until you try a few boards, it will be hard for us to recommend the perfect board for you.
Tip: Try before you buy!
1) Rent boards:
At the Blue Planet flagship store at 540 Ward Ave. in Honolulu, we have a great rental program with over 50 rental/ demo boards available for rent, with everything from high performance surfing models, to all-round beginner boards, to high performance racing boards and everything in between from many of the top brands in the market. For our most current list of rental boards (with prices- all our demo boards are available for sale) please check out our: Rental SUP spreadsheet
We always encourage people that are new to the sport to rent a few boards and try them before making a buying decision. We offer a full credit of rental fees up to $250 towards a new SUP purchase, so this is a great investment and could keep you from making an expensive mistake. If you are visiting Oahu we have great deals on longer term rentals and offer delivery and pickup service on Oahu. If your hotel does not have SUP storage available, we partner with Nalu Storage in Waikiki, where you can rent a storage rack by the beach for your stay. For more information on our rental program and to reserve a rental board, please visit:
2) Demo boards at our SUP Clinics:
At Blue Planet we also regularly put on SUP demos/ clinics for our customers so they can try as many boards as possible before making a buying decision. We currently hold these clinics every 6 weeks or so. Required to participate: A SUP Clinic pass (pick up at our shop, no purchase necessary), A valid ID, you must also be on time to attend the safety brief, we close the sign up afterwards.
For dates of upcoming clinics and detailed information, please visit:
Below is a video form our most recent clinic at Ala Moana beach on January 17th, 2016.
So, on your quest to find the best Stand Up Paddleboard, don't just choose on price or what you think you need without trying it first, or at least try a board that is similar to the board you intend to buy in terms of length, width, shape and volume.
For some pointers on what volume you need for your weight, height, ability, and intended use, please also watch this video:
We sincerely hope you are successful in finding the perfect board (and paddle!) for your needs and hope to see you at our shop soon!
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
We are hosting another SUP Camp on Oahu's beautiful North Shore this spring, please check this link to the camp information and reservation page for details and watch the video playlist for footage from last year's camp:
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