When winter hits, it’s often the time for better surf. But for many surf locations around the world conditions last winter 17/18 weren’t as consistent as usual. But it’s good to see Jess Leedy making the most of the waves in Southern California when they did arrive… go hard or go home!
The basic principle of how waves are formed is the same. However different wave shapes are formed by differences in the sea bed. Reuben goes over 6 of the most common wave shapes/types, explaining who they are best suited for and riding what kit.
The 6 main breaks
Wave type : A good speed wave with an average steepness
Best for : All abilities
Best boards : All boards
Bottom surface : Mainly sand but can break over rock too
Dangers : Generally safe due to breaking in a good depth of water
Fast barrel / Reef break
Wave type : A fast wave with a steeper barreling face
Best for : Good intermediate or advanced riders
Best boards : More performance boards
Bottom surface : Mainly rock/reef but can break over sand too
Dangers : Great chance of hitting the bottom because of it being shallower
Slow shallow gradient
Wave type : A slow speed wave that is easy to ride
Best for : All abilities, but great for beginners
Best boards : Better with longer, bigger boards
Bottom surface : Mainly sand but can break over rock too
Dangers : Generally safe due to breaking slowly in an average depth of water
Wave type : Fast and big barrels that close out quickly
Best for : Advanced riders only (if desperate!)
Best boards : Smaller boards
Bottom surface : Mainly sand but can break over rock too
Dangers : Unsafe due to it breaking very close to shore in a shallow depth of water
Rocky slab break
Wave type : A big fast barrel that is not for the faint hearted!
Best for : Advanced riders only
Best boards : Performance boards with good rocker lines (often custom)
Bottom surface : Rock
Dangers : Very dangerous due to shallow depth of water
By understanding how different waves break, and what rider ability and kit is best suited for them, you will hopefully be able to make better wave choices and enjoy better sessions on the water.
With brands from all over the world testing and launching videos of their new SUP ranges for 2018 it looks like Loco SUP had a good test trip with their team in Fuerteventura. Great waves were there to greet Ollie Laddiman, Simon Dunton and Joe Thwaites.
Riding big boards in less than average conditions is great for your general SUP surf skills and can be a lot of fun too. Board 360º, fin first take offs and head stands all promote great board skill, balance and control. Starboard waterman Zane Schweitzer is a master at having fun on the water.
If you haven’t tried any of these moves yet, fin first take offs like Zane’s at 0:47sec is a great manoeuvre to start with, and looks pretty cool too!
Tips for the fin first take off;
Paddle onto the wave standing up towards the nose of the board, so the back of the board and fins are out of the water out the front (otherwise the fins will catch).
Use small and less powerful strokes, because the board will want to turn if you put too much power in.
Let the wave pick you up (maybe catch it later than normal).
When on the wave lean back and keep the tail/fins up, trimming the board with your body weight and feet.
To turn the board back around, lean forward, let the fins engage in the water and get ready for the board to spin back to its normal direction.
When learning a bigger board will make it easier.
Give it a go next time and remember to mix it up, anything goes on a big board in small surf… but we will leave the paddling out backflips to Zane!
There are some amazing female SUP athletes competing at the worlds highest SUP level. But there aren’t that many that can compete at the top level in both surf and race disciplines. Fiona Wylde is one of the most all rounded female waterwomen in the world, and she isn’t just a pretty face. Fiona can take on some of the biggest waves and the fastest paddlers in the world. And we do like a girl who knows her gear! Fiona gives us a run through of the kit she has been using in 2017…
Photo : Matty Schweitzer
Name: Fiona Wylde Age: 20 Weight: 125lbs Height: 5’3″ Home Country: USA Main SUP Discipline: SUP Race and Surf No. of Boards in Quiver: 14 boards between SUP race, SUP surf, shortboard, longboard, windsurf, and inflatables.
Board name and when used: I’ve had the pleasure of riding and working with Starboard for the last three years and the thing that I am most excited about is the variety in their board line. I have quite a few boards spread between all the disciplines that I compete in and those I partake in just for fun! But yes, the weather conditions greatly effect what board I use.
When it comes to racing, the first decision is weather to paddle a 12’6″ or 14′. Typically the race decides that question for you, but for training or just going for a paddle, sometimes it is nice to mix things up and paddle different boards. If I am going for a long distance paddle, 10 miles or more, it is pretty common of me to paddle with a 14′ just to get the sensation of a longer board. However I very much prefer paddling a 12’6″. I am not a very big person, so its easier for me to turn, surf and simply maneuver a 12’6″. I absolutely LOVE the Starboard Allstar! This is the all-around board that you can use for flat water, for surfing, or downwinding, and it is my favorite! If conditions are absolutely perfect and glassy, then perhaps I will use the Starboard Sprint, but you can pretty much bet to find me on the Allstar. It makes traveling easy having one go-to board, and I am confident that whatever water conditions occur on race day, I will have a board that can handle it. I ride the All-star that is 23.5″ wide, but its important to get a board that is the right size for your body size and your ability level.
For surfing my go to board is the 7’2″ Pro Model. This board is perfect for an all around board. It’s stable if the conditions get choppy. It’s quick, so if you’re in point-break-style waves, you can accelerate down the line, and this year the rails are much sharper, so turns are much more precise than in previous models.
When I am monkeying about on a whitewater river I go for the Stream or the X-Stream. All the boards in this line are uber durable, and expected to be smushed up against rocks and take a beating, which is so nice to not have to worry about damaging your board when you are in a whitewater river. Instead you can just focus on staying upright! 🙂 They’re also super stable with quite a bit of nose rocker compared to Starboard’s other inflatables, so i’s easier to get into whitewater paddling and start progressing more quickly.
Like I said before, the coolest part about being on a team like Starboard is the versatility that I am fortunate enough to have with my equipment. I’s a pleasure to be working closely with them to bring you amazing boards and paddles so everyone can have fun on the water.
Paddles: I use the Bolt series for racing and the Enduro series for surfing.
For racing, I use a Medium for short distance sprints. This helps me get as much power out of my stroke initially, transferring directly to speed. However, this can be a bit too much torque for someone my size during a 10+ mile paddle so I prefer to use a Small blade during those longer distance events. This helps keep my shoulders and the rest of my body fresher without taking away any performance.
I only use a small blade on the Enduro when I am surfing. This gives me plenty of power to catch the wave and for me to be able to paddle back out, without having too big of a blade to get in my way when I am surfing.
Favourite Leash: I use the Dakine Kainui Team 7 1/4″ when I am surfing with my 7’1″. If you are using a longer board, or a shorter board, it’s important to get the right size leash for the length of your board, and to make sure it is the right thickness.
Favourite Fins: I am so proud to have signed with Black Project SUP and we have already been working on some pretty incredible fins! My favourite race fin is the Tiger 20, which has been working so well in every condition. I am really impressed with how well this fin crosses over between flat water and downwinders and surfing. It’s easy to control, tracks well, and doesn’t feel like you have any drag. It’s a very smooth fin.
For surfing, I am really enjoying the Bernd Roediger signature model. These fins are built for bigger waves that have more of a wall to drive into, which are my favourite kind of waves. These fins carry a ton of speed and help you get your board on rail to carve through those big turns… which in my opinion, is the best feeling in surfing! 🙂
Iballa Ruano Moreno is a name well known in not only the SUP world but the windsurf world too. Growing up on Pozo in the Canary Islands alongside her equally talented twin sister Daida, the Moreno Twins have been enjoying the sea from a young age. Now a professional SUP surfer and windsurfer, and with an easily recognisable powerful surfing style Iballa is definitely one of those waterwomen that girls (and guys!) aspire to! She has a rack of SUP surfing podium results to her name including this years Spanish and the European SUP surfing champion. And she is also the current windsurf World Champion in waves. Together with her sister Daida they have been World Champions 26 times between 1999-2016! The Moreno Twins have definitely had their fair share of podium finishes!
SUPboarder caught up with Iballa in the next ‘Who’s riding what?’ feature, to talk SUP kit. ..
Photo : Gwen Marche
Photo : Mario Entero
Name: Iballa Ruano Moreno Age: 39 Weight: 61kg Height: 1,73cm Home Country: Spain-Canary Islands. Pozo Izquierdo Main SUP Discipline: SURF No. of Boards in Quiver: 5
7’2 68L Starboard Pro Model: Perfect for small and medium surf. Glassy Conditions. I use this board the most. 7’5 Pro Model: Love this board when its bigger surf over head and a little choppy.
7’7 Pro Model: For bigger surf than over head.
12’6×24 and 14’x23 allstar: For race training when there is no surf. Paddles: 2. I use an Enduro paddle for SUP surfing. And a BOLT 38 for SUP racing as it’s a little more flexible for my weight. Favourite Leash: 7 foot Favourite Fins: Maui Ultra fin set up. New models for SUP. Sponsored by : Starboard, ANFI, Volkswagen and Maui Ultra Fins.
After the video releases over the last few weeks from Benoit Carpentier, it was only a matter of time before we would see travel buddy Kai Bates’s side to their recent trips from around the globe. And just like Benoit’s videos the riding is well worth a watch.
Benoit Carpentier and friend Kai Bates are off again on another adventure. This time it’s Indonesia that will take a thrashing from the boys!
If like us you are starting to get a bit jealous of these boys jet-setting and surfing some of the best waves around the world. It’s good to know they are still flying economy class! They’ve got to have a tough time some where on the trip!
With thousands of surf and paddle spots being enjoyed all around the world, it’s sometimes hard to find waves away from other paddlers. But if you really search you will find, just like Oxbow ambassador and waterman Ludovic Dulou did when he headed to West Africa. With its warm winter climate and empty peaks it looks like he found a dream destination off the beaten track.
If you haven’t come across SUP surfer Roger Saunders aka… Dogman surfing, then this will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect… smooth lines and flowing turns on normal sized boards. No super small matchstick boards for Dogman. He’s always worth a watch and when he teams up with film maker Dan O’Sullivan from SUP Surf Sessions you can guarantee there’s always going to be a funny side to the video!
”You gotta love a fine autumn morning. The light, crisp, chill of the offshore air on your skin. The sun peering over the horizon, dazzling your eyes with a promise of the warmth to come, your ears filled with the distinctive sounds of Sparrow farts bouncing off the hills. Ah… the serenity!” Dan O’Sullivan SUP Surf Sessions
Waterman Bernd Roediger has always had a thing for kit, whether it be windsurf, surf or SUP. Back in the early days (like when he was fifteen!) there were always photos of him riding boards of all different shapes and sizes. Keen to ride new and exciting kit, Bernd found his path linking with Naish and from then on he has increased his yellow quiver to an impressive size! Bernd’s love for using all types of kit, old and new, reminds us to try everything we can get our hands on, learn from it and have fun on the way! So let’s catch up with Bernd Roediger in the fourth ‘Who’s riding what?’ SUPboarder feature, to talk SUP kit …
Photo : Brian Bielmann
Photo: Fish Bowl Diaries
Name: Bernd Roediger
Home Country: U.S.A.
Main SUP Discipline: Surfing!
Number of boards in quiver: Good golly how much time do you have? Haha! Since joining Naish, a year ago, I’ve been… accumulating boards! Of course I use a lot of equipment just to compete on the APP World Tour, considering the range of conditions this year!
You’ve got your average conditions, the beach breaks that require a 7’0” x 23”, a 7’3”x 22 3/4” for more hollow surf. Then if the conditions get big, I have a 7’8”x22 3/4 (deep breath). However, as soon as you add Sunset Beach into the tour, then your quiver blows up. Suddenly you have an 8’4”, 8’10”, and 9’4” gun quiver for the massive slopes, add on a Peahi Gun, 10’4”. Of course Naish doesn’t stop there! They’ve got a 6’8” Raptor that rides like a dream in small surf, especially finless! We make a great nose riding longboard in the 10’0″ Nalu, and the 9’0” Inflatable Mana is perfect for inland waterway adventures! Finally, Foiling is taking off, so I’ve got my 6’8″ SUP foilboard on hand! Pheeew, man when you list it all off, it sounds kinda crazy, I guess really I’m just grateful to Naish for giving me the opportunity to ride so many different boards. To come to know the different faces of surfing.
“If I could give any kind of board advice, it would be to try everything and anything you can. There is no such thing as a bad board, each and every piece of foam out there is a beautiful poem written by someone passionate enough to see it through till the end. No matter what it feels like as a whole, there’s probably a verse in there that will resonate with you. That will guide you to the next board and help you build an idea of what you like and don’t like. Because surfing is a totally subjective sport, and you can’t succeed by following others, that spirit is championed by free-thinking paddlers. So consider your equipment to be a personal adventure, that hopefully never ends as you continue to learn and feel.”
Photo : Amorphia Photography
Photo : Fish Bowl Diaries
Well for surfing I use an adjustable paddle! With all the boards that I use, I need to adapt to different buoyancies, which change the amount of space between the surface of the water and your body. Likewise, different board lengths can also alter your stoke. Not to mention the simple fact that each board requires a unique style of riding, you may need approach a turn in a way that requires a shorter or longer paddle. For example, riding my Raptor, finless, means staying really low and relying on the rail for grip, so my paddle has to be short, like up to my chin. If I’m riding my 8’10” gun in larger surf, the object of the game is to get into the wave, to have almost a race-paddle stroke! My paddle can go up to six inches above my head as I progress through bigger and bigger waves. Ultimately, paddle height is totally up to personal preference, and those preferences might change as you progress, or pursue a certain style of riding.
“I definitely recommend my Naish Kevlar Vario, its just our normal wave paddle with a vario-top that doesn’t fill with water or twist around, thanks to the channels laid into the shaft. I was, admittedly, a skeptic of the adjustable paddle. But as the paddles have gotten better, and my applications for different heights have grown more eccentric and wider in range, I’ve come to love them!”
Favourite Leash: 7’0”x1/4” Kainui Team Leash from Dakine
Favourite Fins: My signature set from Black Project Fins works pretty good, although I like pretty much everything!
Sponsored by: Naish, Dakine, Quiksilver, Black Project Fins.
To follow Bernd and find out more about his kit check out his Facebook and Instagram (bernd_roediger)