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Mon, Apr. 10th, 2006, 05:30 pm
Stand-Up Paddle Surfing

 Laird Hamilton and his big honkin' stand up board

Mmm, mmmm. Here he is, embodying everything a girl could dream of. Will my crush on Laird last forever? Yes. Yes, it will indeed.

Considerately remembering my Laird fixation, yesterday my friend Dorian sent me the results of the Catalina Challenge, an annual paddling competition from southern California's Catalina Island (one of the most gorgeous places in the world where no cars are allowed, only golf carts!) to Dana Point. Most competitors paddle in OC-1s or OC-2s and a few in three-man canoes or surfskis. The race's official website says, "There were a few firsts this year. We had entries in two new divisions this year. Surfski and Stand up paddle. But the talk around around Avalon [the town on Catalina] was the Stand up teams. Who would be crazy enough to cross the Catalina Channel on a Stand up Board. Three teams started the race. Most notibly was Laird Hamilton who made the trip Solo in just over seven hours. 39 miles of open ocean from Avalon to Dana point." 

For those who haven't heard of stand-up paddling, it was popular on Oahu way way back but then it went out of fashion. Now it's been resurrected once again on Maui's North Shore, pioneered in 2003 by Laird Hamilton, his tow in partner Dave Kalama, and Paia waterman Loch Eggers. 

You can do it in mushy waves . . .


Or really big surf.


Surfline.com says, "Stand-up paddle surfing seems to be the new rage in Hawaii these days. The surfer can conceivably go an entire session upright, without ever lying or sitting on his board. Laird Hamilton (surprise) was an early practitioner of this intriguing wave riding style, which is distinctly Polynesian in look and feel."

A Santa Cruz paper had an article this past January about stand-up paddling, too. It says, "You use a massive longboard — generally 12 feet long, 30 inches wide and 4-5 inches thick — with a canoe-style paddle that should be about six inches taller than you. You throw the tank in the water, knee- or prone-paddle out past the shorebreak with the paddle tucked under you, then pop to your feet with the paddle in your hand. With your feet parallel, you can then balance on the board and paddle around. Once you get the feel of it, the next goal is to propel yourself into waves."

The trend is catching on so quickly on the mainland that Santa Cruz epoxy surboard manufacturer Surftech plans to introduce a Laird Hamilton stand-up paddle surfboard model this summer, said local pro Robert "Wingnut" Weaver, who does marketing for Surftech and started surfing beach-boy style last summer with Surftech General Manager John Griffith. 

As of last summer, Eggers estimated that about a hundred people on Maui were into stand-up paddle surfing.

Getting into stand-up isn't cheap, though. A board will run you $1,000-$1,500, and a carbon fiber paddle from a maker such as Kialoa Canoe Paddles costs almost $300. Too bad it's so damn pricey. But the price will eventually come down as stand up paddling increases in popularity. Eggers said in a MauiTime cover story about the sport, "“Right now the sport is in a little funk due to the high price for equipment,” he said. “A very small group of us are trying to get the price down. What I would like to see is, that you can get a board and a paddle for $700 like a package deal. Unfortunately it takes more people who do it fork down the big bucks in the beginning, then the big companies will see the popularity and react, they are looking at it already. I thought it’s a novelty but it’s turning into a sport.” 

Tue, Feb. 27th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
tayars: Stand-up Paddle Surfing on the Cheap

I have been surfing since 1962, building boards since 1971, Windsurfing since 1987. The next step Stand-up paddle surfing. If you have searched the web for equipment you know to get into the sport you are going to spend $2000.00. What is you don't even know if you wil like it or do it much.

Buy an old used windsurfing board!!
I have a 1987 Fanatic that is basically the design and size of current Stand-up paddle boards and it cost me $25.00 with 2 fins. The bonus is that it is also a good light wind sailboard that I have been using since 1998. I can do tandam on it, sail it in small waves and light wind, and drop it on the rocks.
These old sailboards are still around because they are virtually indestructable.
Windsurfing swaps will be starting up across the county in March. You may even be able to get equipment for free that has broken mast tracks or centerboard trunks, missing mast feet, etc that render this equipment unuseable as a sailboard.

If you look at early windsurfing equipment the designs were basically upscaled classic long surfboard shapes.

Makes you think!!!!

Tue, Feb. 27th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
memetician: Re: Stand-up Paddle Surfing on the Cheap

Thanks Tom. How did you ever find this ancient blog I wrote ages ago?

Tue, Feb. 27th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
tayars: Re: Stand-up Paddle Surfing on the Cheap

I did a search on stand-up padddle surfing.
Have you been doing stand-up?

Tue, Feb. 27th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
memetician: Re: Stand-up Paddle Surfing on the Cheap

I wish. I just love all things Laird. I used to live on Maui when it was just starting to be seen once in a blue moon. Someday I'd love to try it, because I do surf and also paddle outrigger.

Tue, Aug. 14th, 2007 06:58 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): Re: Stand-up Paddle Surfing Laird

Be sure to check this insane video footage of Laird stand up paddle at Hookipa: http://supsurfmag.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=44

Wed, Aug. 15th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
memetician: Re: Stand-up Paddle Surfing Laird

Thanks, I will definitely check it out.

Tue, Oct. 30th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): Re: Stand-up Paddle Surfing on the Cheap

Read this and took your advice and now i have a SUP set up that i paid less than $200 for. Thanks!

Thu, Apr. 24th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): Re: Stand-up Paddle Surfing on the Cheap

I will shortly have a present for you posted on Ke Nalu (a e-zine on stand up paddle surfing) -- a huge archive of great Laird Hamilton shots doing standup at Jaws and teahapoo. www.kenalu.com ()


Thu, Apr. 24th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC)
memetician: Re: Stand-up Paddle Surfing on the Cheap


Mon, Aug. 11th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)

You have to know film like the back of your hand. That is a skill among others that you have to learn.

Mon, Mar. 17th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): Used Windsurf Board !!!

Thanks for your tip, i started StandUp Paddle about month ago, the equipment is really expensive, so i got a old bic 12 feet long windsurf board and works really well !!!!