We can all agree that surfing makes you much cooler and better than everyone else. But while all varieties of wave riders, from body surfers to boogie boarders, are superior to non-surfing humans, it’s the stand up paddlers who are at the top of the food chain.
You’re likely saying to me in your head as you read this, “Yeah, no shit dick head, you captain-obvious-son-of-a-bitch, I love paddle boarders! They are truly just such a pleasure to surf with. They’re like angels come down from heaven to show us the way!” Well, then relax. You can stop reading. We’re on the same team. This is for those few who still don’t recognize SUP surfers as God’s gift to all the surf spots of the world.
What is it that makes them so wonderful? So pleasant? So inspiring? Why does my stoke turn up to an eleven every time I see a pod of five SUPers approaching? Well, here are six reasons why I love them so much. Share yours below!
1. They are rich. A paddle board costs at least twice as much as a real surfboard. What this does is makes those who captain them at least twice as important as all the impoverished people paddling prone. The more you pay, the more you play. It’s simple.
2. They are complete bad asses who give zero fucks. SUPers charge. Especially here in LA, at least. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a SUPer just point that nose into shore, take off on a sick straight hander close out, and demolish a group of real surfers like a boss. Like they don’t even care about a damn thing. Today I watched a SUPer on the biggest, widest yacht of a board I’ve ever seen, slot himself right in the middle of the pack, take out two careless minimum wage making bastards as he turned around for his sixth wave in a row, and then, because he was so fatigued from catching so many waves, gracefully somersaulted head-over-nose down the face of the wave, sending his dinghy and oar directly into some reckless kids on the inside. He taught them, and all of us, a valuable lesson about what happens when you bring knives to a gun fight.
3. They are utterly selfless. I’ve never once witnessed, or even heard of a stand up paddler doing anything selfish. They are the true soul surfers, paddling with nothing but reverence and consideration in their hearts for all the penniless paupers who splash around in the squalor beneath them. Sharing is caring seems to be their mantra. Maybe it’s that higher perspective, or maybe it’s just the type of person that SUPs in the first place, but SUPers are the special ones who know that true happiness only comes when they put others first. Too many times to count I’ve seen SUPers “jump on a grenade”, and make sure no one else can catch the biggest, best, set wave of the day by wiping out and totally blowing it for everyone. While this behavior could be perceived as selfish, it is quite the opposite. SUPers are just recognizing the potential danger a larger wave boasts and are protecting the destitute from hurting themselves. “They probably don’t even have health insurance,” the SUPers are altruistically thinking.
4. They are the ultimate watermen. SUP surfers prove themselves time and time again to be impressively aware, uber-conscious watermen. Especially the ones who have only learned to surf on a stand up paddle board. They really do a bang up job of educating themselves on the basic principles and accepted etiquette of surfing, and they are super conscientious about following it. It’s just incredibly considerate.
5. They dress cooler. I particularly love the booties/shorts combination. Being out of the water, up on the deck of their vessel, SUPers have more of an opportunity to utilize head wear and accessories. Pieces of flare, if you will–and I trust that you will, because you seem pretty cool. I saw a SUPer at one of my favorite points the other day who was wearing a sick flap hat, surf shades, a beaver tail top buckled over the front butt of some seriously rad fucking board shorts and vibram toe shoes to top it off. It rendered me, in a mere wetsuit, a peanut butter and jealous sandwich.
6. They’ve got serious steeze. Watching a SUPer in a cool outfit soul arch straight into shore as they plow over poor people is the embodiment of grace under pressure. SUP surfers are instinctual super athletes and watching them ups everyone else’s surf game.
Note: It’s very fun, sometimes even essential, to have a sense of humor. Read more things I love here.