I've transitioned from longboarding to SUP surfing over the last few years. I enjoy it as it allows me to catch more waves and link them up and the perspective you have standing when flat-water paddling. I don't get a hard time from anyone prone at my home break as I know how to handle the board in any kind of surf, call out incoming sets, don't hog the best set waves and in general show respect to everyone out in the lineup. I got into SUP a few years ago as my wife got into it and it allowed me to spend more time with her when the surf was flat. She's now getting into surfing her SUP as well, though I make sure that as she's learning she's nowhere near the lineup and stays out of the way of everyone. I think the problem a lot of people have with SUP is that it makes it a lot easier for the inexperienced to get out on the water and many of them don't know proper surf etiquette and/or simply can't handle the conditions. There are still days where I'll take out my fish or my longboard depending on conditions, but more often than not these days I'll reach for the SUP. Some of the new shorter boards that have come out in the last few years are a lot more maneuverable than the logs seen only a few years back. As a previous poster noted, ride what makes you happy, but have respect for others in the water.
I hate em. They dont belong in the line up with regular surfers as they are a danger. I have seen a guy in PR get his head split wide open by one. My friend moved back here from Hawaii and thats all he talks about. He proceeds to tell me that everyone will be riding one soon and nobody will be surfing anymore HAHAHAAHA. I will be sure and tell Kelly and the whole tour that surfboards are out and SUP's are the shiz. I think the final straw for me was during the craze I see this chick doing that crap on a SKATEBOARD! Pushing her skateboard down the street with a stick looking all agro. Jesus, why don't you just carry around your bike or better yet push your car to work. I'm over it. The only satisfaction for me has been the longboarders complaining that the SUPers are taking all the waves, wow how does that feel?
Ok so i've tried to not respond to this thread for obvious reasons, but after reading some of the responses i think i'll go ahead and weigh in on the subject from a perspective most on here do not have. Being a prone surfer for approx. 17yrs prior to picking up an SUP about a year and half ago has given me the opportunity to experience both sides of this debate and I gotta say I agree with both sides to an extent.
I make sure to stay out of the crowded line ups as much as possible, no matter what equipment I choose to ride that day, simply because there is plenty of beach and peaks where I surf so I don't have to force myself into situations where I may get frustrated, however, some days it's no avoiding it as they seem to follow anybody who's catching a lot of waves, same thing happens when i'm fishing, I catch a fish and next think you know there are 20 people crowding around asking me what i've caught and some go as far as trying to put their line in next to mine (very annoying).
I've been in the water on my prone boards and have had morons on SUP's circling and making it very difficult to get a wave. Solution, I paddle away from them and catch waves a few yards down the beach, if I get followed then I make sure they have just as hard a time as I do, and if they don't get the hint then I speak up and ask for a little room to work, if that doesn't work then that's when things could get ugly, but i've yet to get into it to the point it becomes physical.
On the otherhand, i've been on the SUP, off to the side of the most crowded part of the line up catching waves on a peak all to myself, when a group of prone surfers will either paddle straight out in front of me or right next to me making it difficult again to get a wave. Sometimes guys will block for other guys and just dare you to run them over, others will simply drop in no matter what. I let the small stuff slide, but if it becomes apparent they are out to ruin my session then I have no issues speaking up.
Lastly, and this situation happened just last night, i'm on my LB in a spot all to myself for a good 30-45 minutes and I was catching one right after another when 2 short boarders, 1 long boarder, and 1 SUP guy roll up on me and try to hi-jack the peak. I guess they weren't catching anything 50 yards away, so they figured this guy over here wouldn't mind sharing since he's catching so many. Well, it got a bit retarded after a few minutes of guys going on every wave with no regard for the fact that I was there 1st and was solo for quite some time. Uncrowded beach, lots of peaks, but the one I was on was the one they chose. Well, after about 15 minutes of this crap I decided to start taking the peak back and they shortly paddled away back to the hole they crawled out of.
Moral of the story, it happens to everybody, everywhere, no matter your equipment, there are transgressors from all walks. If you think SUP's are the problem, you're mistaken, it's the person riding it. If you think it's the loggers or the shortboarders that are the problem, guess what, you're wrong, it's the person riding it. You can't generalize based on the dumb asses of the world, because there are many that don't fit the stereotype. I'm 31yrs old, I burn one (or two) daily, I drink beer, I have a foul mouth, I don't wear "trucker hats", I don't drink Joni Juice, and I don't believe that SUP is like "walking" compared to prone surfing as being described as "crawling". They are apples vs. oranges, I love them both, and feel they both have their place in the world.
A lot of the angst over SUPers has to do with the fact that there's a bit of a "craze" or "fad" over it right now. And like most people who jump on every fad wagon that comes along, the vast majority of them try it for a while, then give it up, or move on to the next big thing. As a result, there are a lot of inexperienced, insincere SUPers out there who don't know the unwritten rules and codes of conduct that more serious, experienced wave riders do. And many of those don't even have the wherewithal to even recognize that there ARE such rules and expectations. So when "That Guy" comes paddling up the beach toward the lineup, or carrying his board and paddle to the water's edge, you can't help but feel like: "...great..." Laird does his own thing, and I don't think he cares much about what everybody else in the world thinks. Take me for example... I want to shag his wife. But he doesn't care, because like towing into giant Jaws or doing 360s on a SUP, I'll never do it.
Most pictures are worth 1000 words. This one is worth at least 10k.
You will find this at the Puntas bakery. Worth about 10K too
Manisses: Great post. I usually never read posts that long.
DawnPatrolSUP: You gotta stop fighting this fight so hard... it's never going away. But respect.