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SUP surf

The young Finn Spencer is not new to the world in the sense of an up and coming young waterman. At the age of 17 he’s really growing his board skills in most surf disciplines. And it’s going to be interesting watching guys like Finn take the newer SUP disciplines such as foiling into the future and to the next level. He reminds us of another young grom that 10 years ago was doing the same… Kai Lenny have you heard of him?!

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The Vaz Brothers crew are made up of a solid group of surfers and SUPers. Ian Vaz, Caio Vaz and Felippe Gaspar are usually found riding both SUP and surfboards, but Lucas Medeiros we usually see riding a SUP, in his quest for riding the deepest barrels!
This footage from their recent trip has both surf and SUP action. The barrels section in the first clip of the video is pretty nice, but wave of the video has to go to Lucas for making a dirty barrel (at 3:52 in the video). Not sure everybody could use a selfy stick as well as a paddle in a barrel like that… twice!

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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

Beach break

  • 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

Shore break

  • 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.  

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!

Feature image : Georgia Schofield

Fiona Wylde - SUP

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…

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.

Fiona Wylde - SUP

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! 🙂

Sponsored by: Starboard SUP, Black Project SUP, O’Neill, Dakine, Olukai, Garmin

To find out more about Fiona Wylde check out her website and Facebook page.

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. ..

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

Photo : Alfredo Vera

Boards:
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.

To find out more about Iballa check out her website and Facebook page.

So come on girls… if Iballa can do it, you can too!

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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!