Does the size of a SUP make it dangerous to other surfers in the surf?

jbay's picture
jbay started the topic in Tuesday, 19 Oct 2010 at 11:13am

Hey guys,
Many better surfers than I are convinced it's the size/danger, the ease of use and an unfair advantage that give other surfers the shits. Mmmm, I reserve my judgement on some of those comments.
Just thought I'd add my two cents worth by saying that SUP's are evolving faster than you expect. It's not uncommon now to see blokes out on thruster type boards between 7,6 and 8,5ft. These boards are only 27inches wide and some have a volume of 100l. Many longboards are bigger and heavier than these boards. The skill involved in surfing these craft is exceptionally difficult, they are slower and demand extreme levels of fitness. Without exception these boards are designed to surf.
My point is this... the size thing seems to be going the way of the Tassie Devil (bless it's poor little heart). I myself don't care what anyone rides, it could be a barn door for all I care but if it's a safety issue related to size then lets welcome the smaller boards and say good luck to them for trying to master the almost impossible.
Just like it's humans that kill and not fire-arms lets aim to educate the surfer not eradicate the craft/SUP.
Oh, I am a converted shortboarder and now SUP'r and I'm here to stay. If I don't show you respect, cut you off, hogg the line-up or surf unsafely....have a go at me because I respect my fellow surfers and value there safety. If I see a SUP'r out there doing something disrespectful... I'll speak up.
Peace on the waves.

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Tuesday, 19 Oct 2010 at 8:45pm

It is the skill level of a lot of the SUPers that is the scary issue.

jaffa1949's picture
jaffa1949's picture
jaffa1949 Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010 at 12:18am

It never was about the surf craft,covering from boogie boards up to SUPs but the belief of entitlement and riding any craft where the skills and particularly etiquette of the rider is sorely lacking.
Do you use your craft to get more waves than anyone else

Simple; know your ability, know the capabilities and limitations of what you are riding, observe the crowd, does your craft fit the general crowd. ie if it's a kids learning spot do you take out your SUP. and grab as many waves as you can.
It's about awareness, if you have been surfing for a while you shouldn't need to be told any of the items you mention in your last paragraph, unfortunately people lump like vessel with like vessel and tie the behaviours to all of that group especially when you turn up at a new break.
Now the pertinent question.
Why did you convert from a short board?
Perhaps so you can catch more waves.

jbay's picture
jbay's picture
jbay Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010 at 9:58am

Thanks for the reply Jaffa. Many good points made. As to the question about changing to a SUP for more waves, hell I couldn't care about the wave count. In fact it's much harder to join a line-up on a SUP in my neck of the woods of Lennox Hds. So I most prob settle for less waves of lower quality on the SUP. I still can't explain why I've taken to the SUP, my friends think I'm nuts. Especially my best mate who knows I used to belittle the SUP riders and treated my 6'4ft S-Core Dahlberg like she was my wife. Now she's retired. I look at her hidden in a corner and feel pangs of guilt. Although I'm a pretty average surfer and no hot-shot I almost drowned with her in 2009 in Bali when the Swell hit 17ft, so we go a looong way back together her and I.
Peace on the waves.

seethesea's picture
seethesea's picture
seethesea Friday, 22 Oct 2010 at 11:56pm

In my experience people that can actually surf well have no real problems with SUP riders anymore. Perhaps I should qualify that a little.

Most (or many) good surfers here now spend or have spent some time on a SUP also. 2 or 3 years ago sure there was ridicule, most people have now tried it and realize that to actually ride one with any level of performance is actually exceptionally difficult. It is not quite the easy option unless you are a gumby on a 12' Queen Mary. There are of course kooks on them but to me it seems that people are starting to differentiate just as people do with kooks on Mals, Funboards and Shortboards. I have had many people paddle up to me in the water and say 'when you paddled out I was worried but I am surprised how little you were even in the same spot as me, '. If I was on my shorty I would have been competing on the peak for the same waves. People are noticing this broad scale more and more.

I ride shortboards mainly and SUP when it's crap and would otherwise not bother surfing. I get to spend every day on the water in some way and when waves come I am now the guy paddling past you full steam back out to the top of the point on my 6'2 as you struggle in the sweep huffing and puffing. I also paddle a prone paddleboard, 1 and 6 man outrigger canoes and a 17' Ruddered Ocean SUP regularly and I have been led to these things from opening my eyes a little from only riding shortboards 4 or 5 years ago.

The ocean is a big place and once you look beyond the line up and out into the deep a little there are a million ways to enjoy it. I honestly feel sorry for people that are stuck exclusively in the shortboard box in the same way I used to be. If it's not good, grab anything you can find, get out there and have fun. You'll be surfing better when you get back on your shorty.

Rant over!