I decided to competee at the BSUPA SUP national championships on Saturday which was an amazing experience. 45 keen sup surfers entered to battle it out in amazing glassy watergate 3-5 foot. I really wanted to head down to meet some more sup riders and check out some new boards as the equipment is going through some radical developments at the moment and its interesting to see whats about. SUP surfing is a pretty lonely thing to be doing in cornwall, not many people have embraced it yet, but in countries like France, many many surfers are riding SUP’s now, getting more waves and generally being less miserable getting cold in the line up….I think the same will happen here soon.
The competition went well, I surfed in round one and two, but didn’t progress any further. I learn’t loads about how I need to improve from getting feedback from the judges and watching the other guys styles. After watching round 3, I had to get in for a free surf and probably had one of my best SUP surf sessions in a while, ripping on some great waves just north of the contest area with Reuben Ellis, Marie Buchanan and Lucy Arthur (proving that the 2012 9′ red paddle company INFLATABLE sup can handle some pretty big waves!), check out the action at SUPrental.co.uk…. Reuben and Marie and myself were all riding the same 7’11 so it was cool to push each other to try more more moves in the critical section of the waves. It was amazing to try and use the paddle more effectively after what I had learn t in the competition, really driving the board to get speed and using it on turns. The paddle really opens up a new dimension to surfing!!
SUP surfing is going through a really interesting stage right now, with some interesting concepts developing. Some shapers are going down a traditional route and sticking with sups that will promote long board styles, and some are pushing the shortboard style sups that fit the world tour requirements, however others are really innovating and developing short sups that have minimal inertia so they feel like shortboard surfing. Stand out products at watergate for me, was the Gong ShortSUP 6’6 Fatal. An incredibly well finished board that im now excited to try and have a go on.
Check out the shot of it in action below…courtesy of gongsup.com
Here’s some pictures of the action thanks to Lucy Arthur (was tricky battling with low tide watergate close outs in my first heat…)
Have a look through the GONG sites pictures and video, Patrice (the shaper) seems to be a very innovative guy, this video link really shows this. Imagine what could develop out of this strapped sup surfing – time will tell, but its going to get interesting!!!!