We take a look back to the 2011 Huntington Beach Stand Up World Tour film by HarvestBlue2010. The riders in this video and the gear they were using was very much the start of performance SUP surfing that we see today. Some of the names you may still see in the new APP Tour now. But the boards you definitely wont!
But just because these boards are now old school doesn’t mean they don’t surf well. The riders in this video are absolutely shredding with these bigger boards. Matt Becker, Kai Lenny and Ikaika Kalama are all on pretty big boards compared to todays competition kit. Boards have got smaller, and there has also been a lot of work to outline shapes, rocker lines and rails.
Riding these bigger boards today can still have massive advantages, such as better glide when catching waves, more speed and flow through turns… and obviously they are easier to stand on! But the disadvantage to these longer boards is that they don’t perform as well in the steeper, more critical sections of the waves. And you can see that riders like Kai Lenny have adjusted their style for these bigger boards. The tight turns in critical sections must be forced right off the back of the tail and mostly finished off with a tail slide. This then gives the longer board less chance of nose diving as the board drops down the steeper wave face. A shorter more compact board with more rocker wouldn’t have this problem so you don’t see this style of turn in our competitions so much today. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still look sick! And it’s a style worth remembering if you’re wanting to push any longer board into tighter turns. Kai still makes it look easy!