After sharing numerous waves with various folk on a variety of crafts this summer it got us thinking. Are SUP party waves acceptable? I dare say the purist prone surfer would start banging on about rights of way, who’s closest to the shoulder or who was up and riding first but does all this actually matter if you’re surfing with mates away from the maddening crowd? Sure there are genuine safety concerns of 8-11′ boards colliding with each other and those riding them but much of this must come down to ability right?
As a windsurfer I’ve often marvelled at Robby Naish and Jason Polokow screaming down the face of Jaws weaving in and out of each others lines with wild abandon but are these sort of moves possible for your average SUP surfer or best left to the Pros? Sure hurtling down a 50-70′ wave is probably beyond most of our wildest dreams but what about a head high peeler? Surely once you’ve got the basic top and bottom turn dialled in and can control your speed on the wave the dodging each other bit should be fairly simple if you’re quick to react and don’t fall off?
Steve, Ollie & Joe all managed to share large, often punishing waves at Embleton the other week just by keeping an eye on each others’ position and making the ‘necessary adjustments’ and being prepared to take one on the head if there was a chance of things getting dangerous. It wouldn’t have mattered if they’d be proning it or windsurfing the same care would have been taken with the same understanding that self-sacrifice (body and/or kit) may have to ensue given the ‘wrong wave’.
Sure if you’re at the stage where you’re still going straight towards the sand looking like you’re doing River Dance as an elected balance regime you’re probably nowhere near ready to share a wave with a flat fish never mind an actual human! If that sounds like you be sure to search our blog for some of our Top 5 Tips articles which will soon have you riding with purpose and style!
So given that you’re not at a busy beach with 50 kids learning to surf in the shallows and you can actually control your board we’re pretty sure that sharing waves with your SUP, surfer and dare we say it ‘goat boater’ mates is perfectly fine just know your limits and be aware of other water users and spot specific risks. It’s certainly fun watching a pal rip and it spurs you on to surf better too! It’s also a great way of getting some excellent close up footage using an action camera if you put it on the handle end of the person racing the line’s paddle or get your surfer mate to hold the camera and point it back at you.
Here’s to some winter swell landing on our shores with less busy waters and more party waves at some secret locations along our beautiful North East coastline. If you’re looking for a weekend of forecast driven SUP surfing and would like to get some pointers from Joe and some of the other Loco riders why not drop us an email regarding our small group progression clinics happening in the UK and in warmer climes over the winter months.
Whatever your level, aspirations or thoughts on SUP Party Waves get out there and have fun in the surf!!