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girls SUP surf

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In this video top Australian SUP surfer Kaylan Dahl heads to a secret spot for some great fun sized waves. With waves like this we can see why they want to keep it a secret! But one thing is for sure… it’s not Australia!

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Heading to a sunny surf location can be a great way to break up the long winter weather. In November Delphine Macaire headed off on a trip to Sri Lanka for some sun and surf. The sun might not have shined every day but the waves look great.

We asked Delphine about her super small board; “My board is a 7’1, 62 litres, Lokahi Custom Pro. This board is made for “lighter” Lokahi riders, and I think there are only 4 of us using this size. I really love this board. It is fast but also quite difficult on my legs when it’s choppy!”

“Midigama is a nice place to stay and to relax. The people are really friendly and the food is very tasty, yummmm!’ Words : Delphine

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As the weather turns colder and the evenings get darker, it makes you remember those good summer SUP sessions. Looks like French SUP surfer Delphine Macaire had a good season with some perfect waves in France.

But remember… for us in the northern hemisphere it may be getting colder but winter is the time when you can be rewarded with those perfect paddling conditions. Enjoy!

It’s so good to see more girls getting into SUP, and there are some really talented female SUP surfers out there from all over the world. Their styles and board choices may all be different, but they all have the same two things mastered (something that not all male SUP surfers have!)… technique and timing!  Yes, many guys have great technique and timing too, but you’ll see some using a bit of brute force to make up for a loss of technique & miss timing.
Girls are generally smaller and less strong than guys. So when you watch some of the best girls in the world throw their surf SUPs into tight turns and off sections of breaking waves, making it look effortless, it’s all about having their two Ts spot on.

Techinque
Using the board and paddle to their full potential, with correct foot placement and body weight transfer to move the board in different ways.

Timing 
Understanding how to read the wave i.e what it’s going to do, and understanding how long it will take you to move across the wave so you can carry out certain manoeuvres at the most appropriate time and place on the wave.

Just check out some of the best in the world… Shakira Westdorp, Iballa Moreno and Nicole Baronat in the above video. And Kaylan Dahl looking smooth below. 

Whoever you are and whatever you ride, remember it’s not always about being big and powerful. It’s your technique and timing that really matters. So next time you go surfing remember the 2 Ts!

Feature image : Iballa Moreno by Stu Johnson

Learning to SUP surf and mastering manoeuvres takes time on the water. The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is definitely true! But you can also learn a lot from watching others.  Sometimes it’s just having the right person or ability of paddler to demonstrate a technique and to give you afew key tips that can make all the difference.

This recent video released from Dan O’ Sullivan (SUP surfing sessions) shows talented rider Kayla Dahl catching some great rides. With her calm smooth riding style her surfing looks so effortless. And there is one key thing Kayla is really good at demonstrating… the importance of getting low. This is so important if you want to take your surfing to the next level.

Getting low

Kayla is very good at getting low after her cut backs or top turns. Watch how after she completes almost every turn she bends her knees and gets low at the very end of the manoeuvre. Doing this lowers her centre of gravity and keeps her body weight over the board. This means she is less likely to be forced off the board at the end of the move and it is easy for her to complete the turn and go back down the wave.

This is something that all the best surfers in the world do but sometimes it’s harder to see because they may do it in one fluid movement. You can clearly see Kayla crouching at the end of the turn, which is very effective.

We have covered this manoeuvre and movement in our SUPboarder How to Video / Top Turn video which you may find useful too for more tips.

Great riding Kayla, smooth and effortless, put together with a great tune! It’s videos like these that make us just want to grab our boards and find some waves. 

Izzi Gomez SUP surfing
Photo by : Sean Evans

Fluid, fun, powerful and passionate are just afew words to describe the girl at the top of the SUP surfing world right now…  Izzi Gomez. At just 17 years old SUP surfing World Champion Izzi has certainly made her mark, and taken women’s SUP surfing to a whole new level. She has had a huge influence on women all around the world after taking her first World Title at just 14 years old (the youngest event champ ever!) and then raising the bar year after year.

As part of the series ‘The most influential people in SUP’ SUPboarder catches up with Izzi to talk about her SUP kit, what it takes to stay at the top and more… 

Izzi Gomez SUP surfing
Photo by :Brian Bielmann
PROFILE

Name : Izzi Gomez
DOB : 12/09/1999
Home Town : Anna Maria Island, Florida
SUP Discipline : SUP Surf
Current sponsors : Starboard, Red Bull, Go Pro, Foundation Fitness, West Coast Surf Shop.
Influence in SUP :  The girl who took womens SUP surfing to a whole new level…

SB/ Where’s your favourite SUP surf spot?
Cloudbreak, Fiji.

SB/ What is your most memorable SUP moment to date?
I have so many, but being able to compete at Cloudbreak was the best!

SB/ What equipment do you have in your SUP quiver at the moment?
I ride the 7’ 4’’ and 7’ 5’’ Starboard Pro Performance Brushed Carbons for surfing and I always have a 12’ 6’’ Allstar on hand for racing. I also love my 9’ 6’’ inflatable Stream for the river and for just cruising around.

SB/ What is your first board choice for most conditions?
My 7’ 5’’ is my go to.

SB/ What is your paddle height in relation to your head height?
My paddle measures to the middle of my forehead.

SB/ Are you working on any particular manoeuvres right now?
I’m not really working on a specific maneuver right now. I am just trying to better my surfing all around.

SB/ What are your goals for the year ahead?
My goals are to…

“just work hard and have fun, and the rest will come.”

SB/ Tell us the pros and cons of having a SUP surfing brother?!!
It’s good to have a SUP surfing brother because he is always pushing me to surf better, though he does drop in on me a lot! Hahaha!

SB/ Do you eat anything special before and during a contest to keep you going? And what would your first food choice be after an event!?
I don’t really eat anything specific. I usually eat light, so that I am more agile. After…I would like to eat pizza!

SB/ Do you have a SUP idol? If so who?
I don’t have a SUP idol per se, though…

“I am always striving to be the person that I would want to look up to.”

SB/ Already being a world champion there must be a lot of pressure on you to stay at the top. How do you cope with that pressure going into every competition?
I’ve learned to turn the pressure into passion and just have fun with it.

SB/ How much time do you spend in the water on average per week?
I spend anywhere from 5 to 25 hours a week in the water depending on the waves.

SB/ What do you like doing when you’re not in the water? 
I like to play music and sing and hang out with my friends 🙂

SB/ What would you say to girls that want to progress their SUP surfing but are finding it hard to find the confidence to get out in and hit the bigger stuff?

I would just say it’s best to know your limitations and you will know when you are comfortable to take it to the next level. It also helps to surf with people better than you. Just keep pushing!

SB/ As girls, it’s not always easy finding a bikini that stays on in the surf! Do you have any good recommendations when it comes to bikini choice?
I am always testing out new bikinis. It’s hard to say because everyone has different body types. The Rip Curl Mirage suit is a basic athletic style suit that I have found to be very functional. I like to wear Pualani, a boutique brand out of Hawaii. The suits are cute, functional, and they have so many styles to pick from. They stay on too! 🙂

SB/ Any words of wisdom from Izzi Gomez?!
Please remember your SUP Surf etiquette in the water.
Be respectful!
Don’t be a wave hog!
Have FUN!

Izzi Gomez is certainly a girl who likes to have fun. And it’s definitely that fun which has got her to where she is in the SUP surfing world today. Izzi demonstrates how enjoying what you do is just as important as being good at what you do. OK, it obviously helps if you’ve got talent, live near the beach and are from a surfing family! But Izzi shows how passion and having plenty of fun can the key to success in SUP. SUPboarder wishes Izzi all the best for 2017 and plenty of fun on and off the water. 

Keep an eye out for the next ‘Most influential people of SUP’ SUPboarder interview coming soon. 

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You either have it or you don’t. And one new SUP grom on the scene that most definitely has it is Stella Smith from the wave rich east coast of New Zealand.  This 14 year old super SUP grom from Gisborne has got a great fluid style and very much reminds us of a young Izzi Gomez.

Whether it’s competition surfing or just free surfing we looking forward to watching you shred in the future Stella.

Come on girls - give SUP surfing a try this year

Passionate SUP surfer and SUPboarder editor Lucy Ellis tells her SUP surfing journey and explains why every girl should give SUP surfing a try, even if they’ve had little success with surfing in the past…

Many girls catch the SUP bug because it’s simple, sociable and the perfect sunny day activity to do whilst catching up with mates or to help burn a few extra calories. Or in my case it provided the perfect activity when there was no wind or waves for wave sailing (windsurfing). I loved the fact a SUP still allowed me to get my water fix and make the most of the outdoors whatever the conditions. It was another great toy to have in the van and it could take me anywhere there was water. Like many girls I’m sure, in my head I always presumed I’d just SUP on the flat, because a) I could do it and b) I’d tried standing up on a surf board countless times before but with little success, only ever getting as far as my knees followed by a big splash! But I was wrong! After discovering SUP it didn’t take me long to discover waves on a SUP… and I’ve never looked back. Infact now I search for the wavy stuff more than the flat stuff. And have even stopped looking for the windy, wavy stuff! I guess I’m lucky to have a husband with the same passion to enjoy it with too (when he’s not running around after our toddler on the beach!) But to be honest, I love it that much I’d still go on my own, when it’s raining, when it’s cold and even when I should really be somewhere else!

So I guess what I’m trying to say is… if you’ve already discovered SUP and love it, then that’s great… but don’t stop there! SUP surfing is a whole new bag of fun and I can guarantee will take you and your SUP places you never imagined. Whatever you may think, SUP surfing is not for the hardcore surfer, it doesn’t have to require expensive specialist kit and it’s not scary! You just need to try it. But if like I was, you’re still unsure as to why you really should leave the comfort of the flat stuff and give SUP surfing a try, then read on and I’ll try my best to explain…

It’s easier than ‘traditional’ surfing

I don’t know why but many girls (me included) just never get the hang of surfing on a surfboard. They either never make it to their feet or never progress further than catching the white foam into the beach. Walking back up the beach feeling disheartened and with arms like jelly after an unsuccessful surf attempt is unfortunately a common sight, and for many girls is what puts them off venturing into the surf with a board ever again. Well unless they give SUP surfing a go that is! SUP surfing really is the perfect way to experience riding your first waves. Obviously it’s important to learn the SUP basics on the flat first but even with only a little bit of paddling experience most people soon find themselves riding a wave in towards the beach standing up. Something that may well have taken them years (if ever!) on a surfboard. So once you’ve mastered basic flat water paddling there really is nothing stopping you heading into the surf.

You won’t be cold!

Being continuously on the move, and on rather than in the water the majority of the time will definitely help you to stay warm. So if you’re one of those girls who feels cold in a 5.3mm wetsuit in mid summer, or when just looking at the sea, SUP might just be the answer to tempt you into the surf again.

Come on girls - give SUP surfing a try this year

 

No need for new kit

The great thing about a SUP is that you can use one board for everything, so it doesn’t have to be expensive getting into the surf. You don’t necessarily need to have a garage full of different boards (but I can guarantee that once you catch the SUP surfing bug you’ll soon be adding a shorter surf SUP to your collection!) So whatever board you’ve got, just make sure you’ve got the appropriate length and type of leash (approx the length of your board and straight not coiled) and give it a go. You can always add your ideal surfing SUP to your wish list at a later date!

It doesn’t have to be BIG!

The great thing about SUPs is that they really can catch any sized waves. Infact the smaller the better when learning. So don’t let your boyfriend put you off surfing for life by persuading you to go out in the chunky stuff when the surfs going off! Find a fun sized wave at the beach, or river mouth and experience that glide yourself. You’ll be amazed what you can catch and it doesn’t have to be big and scary!

Lots more SUP fun

Adding SUP surfing to your SUPing activities gives you another way to enjoy your SUP. So on those days when the tides wrong for an estuary paddle, it’s a bit grey and dull for a social SUP or you just fancy a bit of an adrenaline rush then SUP surfing ticks all the boxes.

Help build your confidence in the surf

For me, being hit on the head by a big hard board a few too many times was almost enough to put me off surfing for life. But then I took an inflatable SUP out into the surf and it became fun rather than fear! When waves are involved it’s inevitable that there will be some collisions, so iSUPs are perfect for helping you gain that confidence in the surf in those early days.

“I will always have a soft spot for iSUPs because if it wasn’t for them I know I wouldn’t be enjoying surf the way I do today.”

Lots to learn

Learning to SUP attracts many of us because it’s simple and easy to learn. But once you’ve learnt the basics (of anything in life!) it’s only natural for most of us to want to push ourselves and our skills that little bit further. Learning to SUP surf is an ideal way to not only stay having fun but also to keep learning. And if you keep your goals small e.g learning to do a tighter bottom turn or make spray on your top turn! then they are easily achievable so you won’t be left feeling disheartened. Take it from me, there’s always something you can learn whilst out there catching waves and having fun! But thats why I love it!

Escape the crowds

Another thing that put me off surfing was other surfers! I found it hard enough catching waves and getting my board to go in the direction I wanted it to go, let alone having to dodge other surfers in the water too. But having a SUP allowed me to paddle off down the coast and find my own waves, so I only had me to worry about. No stress, just me and my SUP.

Catch lots of waves

Being on a SUP in the surf definitely has its advantages. Standing up allows you to easily see the waves approaching far out back leaving you plenty of time to get in the perfect position to catch lots of waves. And also as I still do sometimes… escape the monster waves approaching by paddling further out!

Below is my progression of surf SUPs to hopefully give you an idea where to start…

Inflatable Red 9’6 – The board which helped to gain my confidence in the surf and first allowed me to travel and experience surfing around the world.
Starboard 8’5×30” Pocket Rocket – The board which allowed me to catch everything and anything (much to my husbands annoyance!) but gave me my first experience of real turns!
Custom 8’x29” – My first smaller board which allowed me to learn proper bottom turns and get more from each wave with cutbacks etc…
Custom 7’11”x28” –  Fun! Now I know why people ride smaller boards in the surf!
Next Board? – No idea but know it will be even more fun!

I hope you found this article useful and it gives you the little nudge you need to dip your toe in the surf with your SUP this year. I guarantee once you give it a try you’ll be hooked and never look back.

Happy surfing Lucy.

If you have any questions ask away and I’ll do my best to help. 

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Just because you’re one of the worlds top SUP racers, doesn’t mean you can’t be any good at surfing too! Fiona Wylde is a great example of that. Don’t let this smiley, polite young lady fool you… put her on a wave and she’s a killer! And she also has one of the coolest wetsuits ever!

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You may not have heard of the name Anine Reickert until now, but after watching this you definitely won’t forget her! Being raised on Maui she has all things watersports in her blood. She is a SUP racer as well as a solid SUP surfer, as you can see in her latest trip to Nicaragua to catch some great waves.

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Shakira Westdorp is one talented SUP surfer. Frontside or backside she can rip up any wave face infront of her. Whether it’s riding her Starboard Pro model or the Hyper Nut she’s got a fantastic riding style that will be an inspiration to all. Action videos of Shakira (or Shak as she is known) are hard to come by, but after watching this one by ‘SUP surf sessions’ we are thirsty for more Shak action…