About Stand Up Paddle Surfing
Stand Up Paddle Surfing is an ancient form of surfing. It can be traced back to the very early days of polyenisia. It's most recent history dates back to the 1950/60's when the beachboys (surf instructors) on waikki beach used to stand up and paddle out to the break using a one bladed paddle. The reasons for this are 2 fold. First it allowed them to have a better visibility over their group of surfing instructors and allowed them to call the sets easier as their upright position meant that they could see the swell long before the prone surfers. Secondly it allowed them to keep their wealthy customers camera dry and allow them to take pictures of them surfing. As time moved on board designs and fashions changed, the paddle was all but lost in the history of surfing. A few surfers in Waikki continued to use a paddle but they were very much in the minority.
Fast forward to the first part of this century and the paddle made a return to surfing in the hands of some of the worldâ€™s most famous watermen. They were re discovering stand up paddle surfing to allow them to keep in shape for the bigger days of tow surfing as well as adding a new dimension to their skills. Standing up and paddling out through the waves is a totally new experience, most of us are more used to lying down and ducking under the waves.
Modern technologies have allowed the boards to come down a lot in weight and modern understanding of board design has allowed the large boards to be manouvered easily on the waves. Carbon paddles cut weight and increase board speed and suddenly Stand Up Paddle Surfing has been reborn. It isnâ€™t going to revoluntionise or take over the world, but it does add another angle to surf riding and will mean that your time on the water can be greatly increased.
About this website.
This website was set up in June 2007 mainly because there was no useful infomation on the internet about Stand Up Paddle Surfing and especially non related to the UK.
The Site was the brainchild of John Hibbard. John was one of the first Stand Up Paddlers in the UK. At the time he was a full time Professional Windsurfer competing on the PWA World Tour (John has held the UK Wavesailing title as well as holding top 20 rankings in the world). SUP started off as something he was doing in the non windy periods of his life and added a great training tool to John's schedule. Over time Stand Up Paddle Surfing has come to be as important as windsurfing in John's life, both on a professional and personal level.
John was the first UK paddler to take on the infamous waves at Teahupoo in Tahiti as well as enter and complete the 125 Devizes to Westminster Paddle Race. 2008 saw John win the inaugural UK SUP Distance title and place 2nd overall in surf (1 point behind friend and rival Neil Gent). John is one of the most widely travelled SUP surfer in the UK having paddled and ridden waves in Thailand, Maldives, Australia, Tahiti, Hawaii, Spain, Ireland, Egypt and Peru. The list gets longer every couple of months.
The site has now become one of the busiest SUP sites on the internet and is the number one UK online community for SUP.
Helping John with the site have been a group of very helpful people. Without the following people the site would not have got off the ground in the first place or developed in to what you see today. Thanks to:
James Cox, Steve PP, Paul Richardson, Vivid Fish, Gill Reading, Bill Dawes, Tez, Kev and plenty of other people who have helped along the way.
Now a days there is a small army who have involvement with the site on a day to day basis, from deleting Spam on our popular forums, signing up new members, replying to emails, adding content and taking pictures. The community aspects of the site now also allow all members to post news on the home page and to really get involved with the site.
The modern Stand Up Paddle boards allow you to catch waves a lot earlier than even the longboarders. This is great but can lead to congestion problems on the water at crowded breaks. Here at Stand Up Paddle Surf UK we would like to encourage a culture of respect and sharing. Donâ€™t steal all the waves. Ride a few, then let a few pass under your board. Use your elevated position to call the sets for the other surfers. Use your paddle to head off to other peaks on the beach, which maybe you havenâ€™t ridden before. In Hawaii they call it â€œSurfing with Aloha.â€ It isnâ€™t difficult to do, but it will mean that the sport grows and is respected by other water users.
If you are taking part in Stand Up Paddle surfing at the moment or are thinking about taking it up then you can see yourself as a pioneer of the sport in the UK. Don't be greedy out there and give respect to gain respect.