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featured race

Naish Maliko 14’x24” Pro Carbon / £2399

In this SUPboarder review we look at the race board Naish have been putting all their work into. The Naish Maliko is available in both 12’6” and 14”and shaped for all water states, from flat water to open seas. The Naish Malkio has a very simple design shape, with no big concaves or V’s like on many other boards. Because of that it might not be the most stable board on the race market BUT it feels effortless to paddle and is amazing at riding even the smallest of bumps &swells.

Board details:
  • Length        14′
  • Width         24″
  • Volume      244l
  • Fin set up  US box and 8.75′ race fin
  • Weight       12.8 kg
  • Rider size   85kg & under

Other sizes in board range;
12’6 x 24”
12’6 x 26”
14′ x 26”
14′ x 28”

Our photo gallery
Read on for brand video, details and website www.naishsurfing.com

Drawing a clear and consistent line to victory at such renowned races as the Maui2Molokai, Molokai2Oahu 2-man Relay, Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge and so many more…this competitive race shape is a clear standout for the high-performance scene. Always evolving to be faster, forgiving and more efficient with each season, the Maliko 14’0” is the result of meticulous engineering and impeccable construction. Its rocker is designed to catch each bump with ease for quicker acceleration and higher top speed. Its rounded nose efficiently and effortlessly assists riders in moving through glides granting you more speed and less fatigue on each run.

“What can I expect from a hard or ‘real’ raceboard?” is a question many paddlers are asking. Maybe you have an iSUP race shape already and are thinking of switching to a hard board. Or maybe you are trying to decide between the two as your first race board.

Both iSUPs and hard composite race boards have their place in the SUP world. (although an iSUP will always win the transport issue!) But understanding the differences between these 2 types of boards and how they both feel and perform on the water is the important bit.  And that’s what we’re going to answer in this video.

Remember guys and girls… if you have any other questions about this subject or other SUP related questions please email us a question to pro@supboardermag.com

Our race doctor Bryce Dyer has an informal chat asking the question which many are asking ”Are narrow race boards nuts?!!” Bryce has been borrowing a 21.5” wide Starboard Sprit race board from top SUP athlete Ryan James to help him answer the question. Race boards have been getting narrower for the past few years as Bryce has told us in his previous videos. But are narrow race boards something for only the high performance racer or are they something that an average racer can and should be looking at too? As a taller paddler at 6’3” and 88kg Bryce is the perfect person to answer this.

Apologies about the wind and background noise. This is a very informal chat with Bryce and as always very interesting stuff.

Feature image Josh Sampiero

Our Race Dr Bryce Dyer is back with some great race observations from the 2018 SUP race season. By observing race and market race trends you can learn lots and adapt for future races, helping to ensure you’re not left at the back of the pack! Whether it’s to do with board and kit choices or the latest techniques, Bryce has some very interesting observations over the last year.

Drafting?? …What do you mean drafting? It’s a question asked by many novice paddlers at race events around the world. Most paddlers think of it as a technical racing term, but it’s not just for racers. Our race doctor Bryce Dyer gets his paddle ducks out to explain how drafting works and how best to use it. From top racers to every day paddlers, everybody can benefit from drafting. Give it a go!

Feature image : Georgia Schofield

The cross bow turn is a simple manoeuvre to do and many paddlers learn to do it in their first SUP session. Turning a big, long race board can be hard work, but if you do the cross bow turn effectively you can turn almost as fast as the more complex step back turn. In this SUPboarder Pro how to video we look at how we can take this simple turning manoeuvre to the next level.

SUP is such a diverse watersport, and that’s why we all love it. For many paddlers the enjoyment comes from cruising along the canal, exploring the coastline with mates or having fun with the family at the beach. But there is a massive competitive side to this widely diverse sport too. The competitive SUP scene is expanding rapidly across the globe and there’s a big insurgence of young competitors challenging for the podiums. SUPboarder looks at how we can support and encourage these young paddlers and how the UK has all the potential to generate the SUP champions of the future, if we do it right…

SUP is a great outdoor activity for kids. It’s not only great fun to do on their own or with mates but it gets them in the fresh air, helps to build their water confidence plus many great healthy benefits by getting kids active. Most youngsters also enjoy a bit of competition too, as it gives them a purpose and a sense of achievement. There are some great competitive pathways developing in SUP in the UK, and you only have to look at the SUPboarder events calendar to see the huge range of events for all ages and abilities being organised around the world. More and more of these events are now including youth classes and so there’s no better time for youngsters to get involved in some fun competition.

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The junior line-up at the 2014 BSUPA Watergate Bay SUP Surfing Championships.
The state of things today…

Today, especially in the UK, competitive SUP is mostly being carried out by middle aged paddlers (30-50yrs). Is that because many of the people who came into the competitive SUP scene came from another watersport such as windsurfing? Or is it because up until now it hasn’t been so easily accessible for the younger generation? Worldwide we’re starting to see things change, with more and more paddlers getting into the sport from a young age. And as a result we’re starting to see younger SUP talent emerging in the competitive scene. If you look at one race e.g the long distance race at this years ISA Worlds, there were lots of big names there who were expected to set the pace, such as Danny Ching, Connor Baxter and Fernando Stella to name a few. But when the race was on it was the young Mexican paddler Javier Jimenez who was pushing the lead pack. When you see younger paddlers like this challenging the competition scene it makes you wonder what the level of SUP will become when the SUP youths of today start competing.

Footage from Jersey rippers Toby and Sam Axford’s races in Bilbao 2015. First race with Toby (pink board) in 8-10’s race (he is just 8) and Sam in 11-13’s race. Second part is footage from the Adult/under 17’s long distance race on the Sunday. Watch out for the pro’s coming past. Even shouted encouragement from both sides 🙂 Words : Tim Axford

Where are the top athletes from?

The current world title holders in race and surf are Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny, both in their early twenties and from Hawaii. But who will be chasing them for the world titles in the future, and where will they be from? Currently many of the good SUP athletes are coming from countries such as, Australia, France, USA, Hawaii. Why is this? Is it because many of these countries have a strong surfing background and being in the water is almost a way of life from a very young age? Understandably living somewhere warm with consistent surf on your doorstep and where it’s part of growing up, is going to help get you onto the world SUP stage. But SUP isn’t all about waves and a warm climate (although it’s nice!) And just because you don’t have them doesn’t mean you can’t become a good paddler. Making it to the top is also about passion for the sport, opportunities, determination and having the right support .

A little nation with plenty of potential…

Despite being surround by water, having miles of inland waterways and believe it or not some pretty good waves too, the UK is currently not really thought of for it’s watersport activities (but thats not to say we’re not good at them!) Instead it’s more well known for Football, Rugby, Tennis, Cricket, Cycling and Rowing etc.. (which we’re not always good at!)

But with the huge growth seen in SUP in the UK over the recent years, and a number of developments working towards the next generation of SUP competitors in the UK, there’s no reason why the worlds best SUPers can’t come from the UK.

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Junior SUP races like this one in Weymouth at the Naish One Design Nationals are great for giving the kids a feel for racing.

So whats been happening in the UK for SUP?

SUP Clubs – Every year there are more being set up. They’re a great place to learn about SUP, meet other paddlers of a similar age, and have your first try at some informal SUP racing. They are usually very reasonably priced and often even offer free demo days that will give kids a great taster for SUP without a big money outlay. Some schools are even introducing after school SUP clubs making SUP even more accessible to kids.

Events – There are a huge number of events being organised across the country, from family fun days, to big races (Head of the Dart), and to national race series (UK SUP Clubs). But most importantly more and more of these events now have specific youth classes providing the ideal opportunity for kids to easily experience the competitive side to SUP.

Kit – Every year there are more brands, a larger choice of kit, and most importantly more kit designed specifically for kids. There’s even a brand ‘Grom SUP’ designed specifically for kids. So there’s never been an easier time for kids to get into SUP, whether for general lifestyle paddling or the more competitive side to the sport. Also as there is now more SUP kit available on the market there is also a better choice of used kit at reasonable prices.

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The kids line up for a beach start at the UK SUP Club race at Hove Lagoon, using the Red Paddle Co Max Race 10’6” –  the first iSUP kids race board on the market. Photo : Georgia Wharton

Shops – There are many good SUP retailers across the country giving good advice on kit whatever your needs and budget. Many will also allow you to trade in your old kit, which is ideal as kids grow and develop into the sport. Many retailers have a club/school too, providing the full package and the perfect opportunity to try before you buy.

Festivals – Many watersports festivals now include SUP, and the National Watersport Festival now even has a separate junior NWF event with the whole focus being on kids.

All the above structures are helping to not only grow SUP in the UK, but also enable accessible youth participation, so we can allow the best young athletes to have the opportunity to choose SUP as their sport of choice, and help them develop to the worlds best.

What does it take to become a better competitor?

As with all sports it takes time, a bit of natural talent and dedication to master and progress to the top level. Getting lots of water time is probably the most important, and having fun doing it! It’s important to enjoy all aspects of SUP not just the competitive side, as all types of paddling are good training. With the competitive SUP scene developing rapidly there are so many great opportunities to experience this side of the sport. And a bit of fun competition is often what’s needed to push ourselves to the next level and possibly the top! With the right mindset there really is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to develop some of the worlds best paddlers. Being completely surrounded by water, the UK should make the perfect breading ground for a young SUPer!

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Young North Devon paddler Ben Pye has already shown passion, natural talent and dedication to the sport he loves.
What can we all do to help youths get into SUP?

Kids will get into all different sports, some competitive and some just for fun.  We just have to make sure that SUP is available to them to have a go and discover it for themselves. By getting out there SUPing and sharing our own stoke for SUP we are introducing it to others. Even the grumpy fisherman who says “you look like you’re standing on my wife’s ironing board” has probably got a grandchild who would love a go on a SUP!

So if you know a youngster that has expressed an interested in the sport then encourage them by giving them a go on yours or take them to your local SUP club/school. But make sure the conditions are right for their first go:

  • Use appropriate kit (the correct length and sized paddle) and dress accordingly (most likely a wetsuit in the UK!)
  • Little or no wind.
  • Nice flat water and a sheltered spot.
  • Avoid the crowds. Some kids don’t mind being watched but some do.
  • Encourage them to try it with a friend. If they have fun they’ll want to do it again.
  • Don’t be pushy. Let them discover SUP at their own pace

For more tips on getting kids into SUP read our feature here.

Over the last year alone the progress made to getting kids on the water and giving competitive SUP a go across the UK has been amazing. We have seen more young talent shine through, in the last year alone. And as long as they all keep having fun and challenging themselves in SUP the sport will grow. 

Its often said that 80% of the jobs that our children will do when they finish school and university don’t even exist yet. In a similar way, the chances are that the best paddlers in the world haven’t even stood on a SUP yet! So next time you hear “can I try Stand Up Paddleboarding?’ Just think you could be helping a future world title holder!

The Blue Chip SUPer Club hosted the 2015 Battle of the Thames last weekend on the River Thames, London. This event was also the 2nd race in the UK SUP series, so points will contribute to the competitors overall score at the end of the year. This was the most well attended event in the UK to date. 162 paddleboarders took part in a range of classes, including 10 mile 14′ mens/ladies, 10 mile 12’6”mens/ladies, 10mile all-round surf shapes, 6 mile Naish One Design (N1SCO) and a 2mile fun race. The weather stayed dry but a strong wind made it tough on the return legs. But this didn’t stop competitors completing the course and crossing the finishing line with big smiles on their faces. 

This is a fantastic event for all racing levels. Great fun and well organised. So if you’re thinking of getting into racing then this could be a good race to get involved in next year. Well done to the Blue Chip crew for organising another cracking event.

To stay up to date with the UK SUP series visit their page on SUPboarder here and their website here.

Cover feature image : Dave White.
Full event photos to follow on SUPboarder soon.
Click results to enlarge below:

 

Hundreds of thousands of people take part in running marathons each year. They know they’re not going to win. They don’t even have any intentions of racing. Just making it to the finishing line is what they aim to do! So why do so many people who aren’t racers sign up for long distance races? Well, there are many reasons. And long distance SUP races (or challenges as they are now often being called) are no different.

A few examples of such big race events being held in the UK this year include the ‘Head of the Dart’ in South Devon, ‘Battle of the Thames’ in London, ‘Suptember’ with Suffolk SUP and ‘Paddle around the Pier’ in Brighton & Hove.

So… if you haven’t yet, here are some reasons why you should take part in a big SUP event this year;

A fun atmosphere. There’s always a great buzz, and a fun vibe at big SUP events.
Be part of something BIG. No one likes to miss out! It’s always an impressive sight seeing 100+ paddle boarders on the water at the same time, not to mention being part of it.
Set yourself a goal and a reason to get fit! There’s nothing like having a deadline to get you motivated!
Challenge yourself. Even if you’re not bothered about racing and beating others, it can often be fun to push yourself and try and beat your previous event time/result.
Have fun with mates. Taking part in a big event with mates or part of a club can be great laugh (and help to cheer you on when you’re starting to fade!)
Make a weekend/mini break out of it. Many events are held in beautiful parts of the country so why not take the family and make a trip out of it. They’re often as much fun for spectators as for competitors.
Paddle somewhere different. It’s a great opportunity to paddle somewhere new and enjoy some stunning surroundings.
Pick up some new paddle tips. Chatting with and watching others is a great way to learn (especially from the back of the fleet!)
More than just a race. Many big events have fun social gatherings afterwards including live music, BBQ’s and a few drinks at the bar! It’s a great way to meet other like minded people from all over the country.
A great opportunity to talk all things SUP and check out the latest kit (to add to your wish list!)
Meet the elite athletes and see how fast they really are!

To be able to say… “I did it!”

Much like running a marathon, at the end you may well say to yourself “never again!” But chances are you’ll be back next year for more!

Dart

So if you haven’t taken part in a SUP event yet because you don’t want to race, then consider the above and think again. Maybe there is a reason to take part in a SUP race after all…

To find out what big SUP events are happening this year check out the SUPboarder events calendar.