Short, Long, or SUP, what's the difference and why does it matter?
I've been coming to swellinfo for years to check the surf reports and have been reading posts on here for quite some time, only recently did I choose to register and chime in. After years of surfing and being around all types of people I've noticed a common theme amongst the majority. What i've noticed is most people stick with one type of board and believe that they are somehow superior to those who choose to surf something else other than what they believe is "acceptable" in THEIR eyes. Short boarders stick to short boards, Loggers stick with their Log, etc.
I'm going to be turning 31 this month and have been surfing for a little more than half my life. I 1st started surfing a 6ft 4" shorty in my teens and that's the only board I had up until my mid 20's when i got got a bit lazy and put on weight (too much beer drinking and chasing women), around that time I realized my board had seen better days and it was probably not the right board for me anymore, so I stepped up to a 6ft 10" WRV Fish to add a little more foam although I was a bit skeptical before buying it because I didn't want to get a board "too big" (that's how I thought too) and be looked down upon. That was when i actually gave a s**** what others thought, but with age you tend to not care as much. So after having my ups and downs with the Fish, mostly due to my shoulder issues and fitness level at the time, I decided to start looking at long boards but I didn't want anything "too big" (once again) but I was convinced by more than a few people that if I have shoulder problems and need to catch waves, then my best bet was to go with a LB, so for my 29th B Day i was given a 8ft 1" HP LB which really got me back into the swing of things and I was able to revive my stoke and as a result have been more dedicated to the sport than I ever was before.
Being in Florida (which i love) I have seen my fair share of flat spells, although we have solid surf here there are those summer spells that really suck and can keep one from paddling out for days / weeks. Although I had always been more interested in the smaller boards I found I was missing out on lots of days due to not having the right equipment for the conditions. My old way of thinking was to just suck it up and wait for the next swell or cry and complain that it's not big enough for my board, but as we get older and we change so does our thinking, and I found myself looking at SUP's as a way to bridge the gap during the down times.
So last April (my B day) I was lucky enough that my fiance got me a new SUP to make it through those flat spells and smaller days which is exactly what I needed. Now I am on the water year round, flat or going off, doesn't matter, there is a board in my home I can grab on any day for any condition, but at the end of the day, i'm on the water, which is where I am happiest, and I find that i'm just as happy on my SUP as I am on my Fish or HP LB. The best part is i'm getting in even better shape than i've ever been in because i'm always in the water, and my skills are returning (i had lost a step... or two) and i'm now progressing at a higher rate than I ever did with one board.
Having said all that, what is the difference? Who really cares what board you have? Am I any different of a surfer because I have more than one option for equipment? Should I consider myself something other than a surfer when I'm on my SUP? I'm a short boarder at heart, and still paddle out on my FISH, but when the conditions allow for it, I also SUP.