For many of us there has thankfully been a change in the weather over the weekend… the water’s still cold but at least we’ve had some sunshine and a break from the bitter easterlies. There’s also been a change in the SUP scene across the country. Not all SUP clubs/schools managed to brave the whole winter (well done to all those that did!) But with summer on it’s way (hopefully!) many SUP clubs/schools that were shut over the winter months have now re-opened their doors for the start of the 2013 season. Also many new SUP Clubs have started up around the country. So now’s the time to find out where your nearest SUP club/school is, and get involved. Whether it’s for a beginner lesson, a social paddle, some fun racing or to learn afew new surf moves or paddle techniques, your local SUP club is the place to find out more. So what’s your excuse? Summers on it’s way and it’s the perfect time to get into SUP.
The shapers of the future
Those of you who went to the Hayling Island SUP Challenge last weekend may have seen Charlie Grey on his distinctive custom race board. He definitely stood out from the crowd… being fast and very pink! Charlie has been shaping some great looking boards for himself for a while now. And it looks like they will be available to buy very soon. This is what Charlie had to say about CG boards;
“Since i was born i have been around water sports of some kind or another from water-skiing to sailing but now primarily paddle boarding. I have also spent my whole life creating and building things with my hands from many different materials including wood, metal and composites. The progression to move on to build my own custom paddle bards and surf boards has felt extremely natural. Having the freedom to have the exact board of your choice and one that you can fall in love with is such a huge benefit, it really can totally change the way you spend your time on the water and the way you surf or paddle. I have had some of the best waves of my life on my own boards and you would now struggle to take those boards out of my hands for any amount of money, its like falling in love with surfing all over again! I am working on making some of the custom shapes available very soon. They will be 100% made in the UK and custom ordered and made from the best quality materials.”
To keep up to date or ask any questions, follow and get in contact with Charlie through CG Custom Paddle Boards on Face Book.
The Barker 8’6
Matt Barker-Smith has also recently developed a custom line of stand up paddle boards ‘Barker Paddlesurf’ with legendary shaper Roger Cooper. Matt was recently out in Peru as the Team GB manager, and also runs The SUP Hut in the Gower, Swansea.
Thickness 4′ 5/8″
Matt describes the 8’6 as having “radical performance with speed and comfort. A concave nose scoop lowers the entry rocker making for earlier wave entry and loads of speed and great nose riding. The chined rail gives the benefit of a board that surfs like it’s much narrower setting you up for the fastest ride with tight turns.”
Check out Titou testing the versatile 8’6 Barker SUP on a VERY cold day in South Wales last week.
We are seeing more custom SUP shapes out on the water all the time, and SUPboarder will be keeping you up to date with all the latest UK shapers and shapes on the market.
Ollie Shilston has also been enjoying some great swell down in Cornwall last week. He sent SUPboarder these shots of him in action. Photos taken by Richard at Farscapes photography.
Practice makes perfect
Just when you think you’ve seen every SUP discipline, something new comes about. Check out this cool fishing dude in the Amazon doing some SUP fishing with a difference! No quite sure why it’s more beneficial to paddle using one leg rather than your arms but hey it seems to work! Something to try out on your next session maybe?!
And these guys in Scotland look like they’ve been having fun using some SUPs for their not so serious team building exercises. How many people have you managed to get on your SUP raft?
How many dogs can you get SUP surfing? In this case, not one, but four! The SUPboarder Team thought this was pretty impressive and worth a mention in SUP weekly. If your pet enjoys SUP surfing make sure you get it on photo/video and send it into SUPboarder. Maybe if we get enough entries we could have a pet SUP surfing comp! Just remember that like us humans, not all animals are big fans of the water. So be kind not cruel and make sure they’re up for it first!
And remember, if you’ve signed up for any BOP style SUP races this year make sure you practice your beach start race technique. It could make all the difference about being either on or off the medals podium. And not to mention looking pretty cool when you get it right!
So, all there’s left to say is… the sun is starting to shine, and the weather is starting to warm up, so get out there and get SUPing… practice makes perfect.