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Monday, January 27, 2014

Paddle Boarders vs. Surfers | Can they Coexist?

     Surfing and feuding go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Well before the surfer, SUPer feud, there was the shortboard, longboard rukus of the 70’s and 80’s. So, what is behind this most recent skirmish?  

The No SUP sign at Matanza, FL

Surfers say:

  • SUPers don’t share the waves
  • SUPers are taking over our surf spots
  • SUPing doesn’t take as much skill
  • The boards are too big to maneuver quickly  
  • SUPers tend to not wear leashes so, the danger of getting hit or injured by a SUP board is real

Sup Silhouette

SUPers say:

  • SUPing is difficult to learn
  • SUPing is a new sport and therefore cooler
  • SUPing is a better workout than surfing
  • SUPing allows for more surfing days because they can catch smaller waves
  • SUPing allows older surfers to carry-on as they age

I am a surfer and SUPer.  Consequently, I get to enjoy the benefits of both sports, however, I can also see the pros and cons for each side.  So, what do we do about this little conundrum?

The Duke: Surf or SUP?

Here is some advice to follow before you pull your board off your surf rack

  • SUPers, need to learn the lineup etiquette
  • SUPers, you can catch more waves, so give some away
  • SUPers, each spot has it own unique break and culture; learn it
  • Surfers, be patient, a lot of SUPers have never surfed before and don’t know or understand the rules
  • Surfers and SUPers, try to avoid crowds by taking road trips to explore new places

Surfers and SUPers should try and be like the father of modern surfing and ambassador of aloha, Duke Kahanamoku, and spread a little aloha.  After all, SUPers and surfers are just after the same thing; the stoke of the ocean-human connection.  

Tell me, what are your tips for surfers and SUPers?