When Karl von Drais invented the bicycle, I doubt he could have ever imagined the ways in which it would be used. It is a vehicle, and its use has evolved. Now let’s compare that to SUP surfing’s place in the surfing community at large. Right now, as you’re reading this, you probably have a vision in of some guy snaking waves who can’t even really surf, or your neighbor trying to relate you as a surfer because he takes his 10ft board to a lake once a year.
We’re about to shatter that vision. The applications of SUP boards are evolving at incredible speeds. There’s racing, down winding, fishing, recreational paddling, SUP surfing and Paddle Enhanced Surfing. The latter is the one I love above all the rest.
If you haven’t pictured SUPs outside of that vision of the guy snaking everything out the back, these surfers represent SUP in its best form. The boards these surfers are using don’t float them, they have to paddle just to say on top of the water. They’re generally about 7’4” long and 24″ inches wide. The volume is way less than the longboard you have in your garage and they’re standing on them. You go fast and turn hard while drawing stylish lines like a longboard. It’s not for everyone and it takes the better part of a year to learn to paddle a board that small.
So why invest the time? The five pros below know it makes them a better, more well-rounded surfer.
Mo is a North Shore local who surfs Pipeline on his standup. The legendary Pat Rawson shapes his boards and on a recent podcast compared Mo, now 19 years old, to icons like Curren and Carroll. And if anyone can make that comparison it would be Pat Rawson.
Justin is an Australian waterman who trains at the Hurley High Performance Center with Bede, Mick, Parko and the lot. He’s been the pound-for-pound strongest guy in that gym. Justin recently shattered his femur towing in at Cow Bombie with Jamie Mitchell on what some are calling the biggest wave ridden in Australia.
Fisher is just a surfer before anything else. At this year’s Surfing America’s Championship in California, pretty much the highest level amateur event in the US, Fisher took 1st in SUP surfing, 2nd in Longboard and 5th in Shortboard.
Noa is a North Shore waterman who just became the first lifestyle athlete in the SUP world. He’s backed by Hurley and Naish and after his part in the SUP Movie and some other videos, his sponsors gave him the green light to travel the world, surf and film instead of going the contest route. You should see this guy surf an alaia.
Kieran came up through the shortboarding ranks on the East Coast and has a powerful, fluid style. He is currently ranked 1st in the WPA SUP racing series Nationally and has won the last 3 races in FL/GA.