This Week In Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Featured, Outdoors — July 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm by

By SUP Barton:

Last weekend was the Rehoboth Beach Stand Up Paddle fest.  I was unable to attend last Sunday’s race in Delaware but the SUP Annapolis Race Team was in full force.  Here is the race recap as told by SUP Neil (taken from the SUP Annapolis BlogSpot).  “Race in Dewey beach was hot but fun, light breeze kept us cooled off a little for the four 1 and ¼ mile loops we did off the beach.  Great beach start got me out front.  Ron, Denny, Brian Meyer and Sven from NJ battled it out in the lead pack.  I was right up with them for the first lap, but they gradually pulled away.  For at least the first half Brian was in second right behind Ron (Gossard from Ocean City, Md), I thought he was going to win!   But he later told me Sven and Denny eventually passed him late in the race, and Sven must have passed Denny because he got second behind Ron.  Denny got 3rd, Brian got 4th, I got 5th, and Goose got 6th.  Chris Sperry had to battle it out with some tough 12-6 competition, but he won right at the last turn.  Brian Schmid got 4th.  Food was good, each podium winner got a trophy and some schwag.” by SUP Neil

Meanwhile, my nephew and I were able to head down to Ocean City after reading Reut Down’s Surf Forecast on Saturday morning.  Although the surf report was not as accurate as we anticipated, I was able to catch many waves.  There were consistent knee to waist-high waves with occasional chest high ones as well.  I also had the pleasure of surfing with a couple of good friends.  I have been surfing since I was 17 years old.  In my early twenties, I drifted away from it for a couple of years until a best friend picked me up a surf board and guided me back to surfing.  I am very thankful he did because surfing has always helped me cope with the day-to-day problems in life.  It relaxes my mind and body.  It is something that only a surfer can understand.

When I started Stand Up Paddle (SUP) surfing three years ago, I was expecting to receive some snide comments and dirty looks out in the water.  Mt expectations have been met as this happens almost every time I paddle out to SUP surf.   It happened again last Saturday.   I understand that the lay down surfers may be intimidated by a big SUP and paddle out in the water coming at them, but all of the SUP surfers that I surf with always steer clear of the crowded breaks where the lay down surfers group together.  It does not matter what craft you ride, a person will be disrespectful of your wave if that is in their nature, whether they’re on a short board, long board, SUP or sponge.  I welcomed any surfer in the water when I was  only prone surfing as long as they followed the unwritten surfing guidelines.  I do the same on a SUP.  If I do occasionally SUP surf near the crowded surf spots, I call out the sets coming in because on a SUP we can see the waves way in advance because we are standing up.  I  do not take the first waves of the set and I wait for the last waves so the surfers can have their fun.  If that is not giving respect, I do not know what is.  So the next time you are paddle surfing for a wave and there is a surfer going too, let him have it.  If he/she doesn’t appreciate it, at least you know you did the right thing.   I still ride my long board when the waves are really good, so I could be out there bobbing up and down in the water right next to you on your surfboard watching the stand up paddle surfers catching long rides.  Mahalo!!!

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