Stand Up Paddle Boarding Articles

From the
Water's Edge

How surf works, stand up paddle tips, gear reviews,
and other random things from 25 years on the water.

Drop in.

SUP on Faith, in the Numbers

SUP Surf Check Doheny State Beach, CA w

When the surf is this big, understanding where waves and surf are hitting becomes a bit easier.

So many times I get up, drive down to Doheny for my first glimpse of the waves and it’s flat. I mean not just knee-high smallish, but ankle high. By all definitions “flat”.  Sometimes, I drive to the next spot on faith. Well – “educated faith” maybe. I know about some things SUP surf beginners transitioning from flat water stand up paddle often don’t…

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How I Save Thousands on SUP Travel Costs

Tim Chandler Flying Southwest Airlines to Teach SUP

Tim Chandler, teaching ACA stand up paddle lessons off hours on a business trip to Texas.

I fall into a category of fliers that borders on extreme. Not “shoot-the-canyon wing-suit extreme” – but I’ve traveled for business for over 20 years and I average around 75 round trip flights a year. On many trips, I take a travel SUP for mixing in morning or evening stand up paddle sessions where I can. I’m not bragging, I’m qualifying. What I’m about to tell you about carrying gear on a plane, I say with experience.
 

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JP Australia Wave Slate Session

Woke up to check the surf and was disappointed to see heavy NE winds predicted early – but what do you do when the photographer is on deck? She so rarely offers, I hated to miss the chance for a few good shots. We rolled South to the beach with coffee in hand deciding to make the best of whatever we found. After all, if the wind dies for 30 min you get your wave count in alone… we all know how this works [wink].
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Stand Up Paddle Meet-ups in South Orange County

Stand Up Paddle meet-up groups are awesome for finding like minded people where-ever you go. I enjoy hanging out with other paddlers and leading a few sessions here and there, especially the open ocean distance group in Orange County.

We held a meet-up last year that was like most others – but one of our guests/friends Annie Maize ended up writing about her stand up paddle learning experiences in the Community section of SUP the Mag.

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Guide to Stand Up Paddle Fins: Foils

So let’s continue to Part Two with a definition (part One of this article is here):

A foil is a solid object that has a specific shape designed to produce force when passed through a gas or liquid. For instance, when air or water move past it (or it moves through air or water as in surfing) force is produced as “lift” and “drag” (or thrust).  Ask most people about foils and they will mention an airplane wing and the lift produced by the shape of the wing that allows flight when you thrust the wings through the air with a jet engine. When talking surf fins, the ‘foils’ attached as fins on the bottom of a surfboard are given a specific angle of attack relative to the stringer (center line of the board).

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Guide to Stand Up Paddle Fins: Shapes

Shape is combined with foil and flexibility (materials) to produce the performance characteristics of each fin or fin set.  Shapes vary widely, but the terms below are constant and in general the rules around them hold true to most fins.  Single fins may have the “template” (shown in blue outlines below) severely “cut away” and “raked” to change the performance and ride characteristics of the board.  Quads use combinations of upright and swept sets.  In ALL cases the fins work with the shape/rails of the board to produce the final outcomes/capabilities of the board.

No fins can fix a poorly shaped board, and a great board may suffer from miss-matched fins. Learn the terms so you can dig for information at the shop or with your SUP outfitter, and get the right setup(s) for your goals/conditions on the water.

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Understanding the Mysteries of SUP Volume

You want a performance SUP experience but let’s face it – none of us want to battle a sinking board while paddling out, no matter how great it may surf once it’s finally up to speed and riding.  During a recent conversation with an experienced SUP surfer who’s riding boards in the upper 8 foot to 9 foot range – he confided as we chatted opinions on surf SUPs in ‘volumes’ and shapes that he hasn’t really understood volume well enough to apply it when considering a new board.

For those I work with on the water – here’s my quick take on how to factor volume when considering a surf SUP.
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