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SurfingSports Standup Paddle Surf & Standup Paddling BLOG

The latest BUZZ in new standup paddle surfing sports gear.

We showcase the best standup paddle boards, standup paddles, standup paddle accessories with news and views.

StandUp Paddle Sports has the largest, and best, selection of SUP's in the UNIVERSE at our store in Santa Barbara, CA.

Over 150 standup paddle boards currently in stock. New SUP's arriving monthly.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

 

Starboard at Surf Expo in Florida

Congrats to Team Starboard's EJ, Brandi Baksic, & Nikki Gregg for all finishing in the money (real green backs) at the Cold Stroke Classic in North Carolina on Saturday...

Men's Elite Division:

1) Byron Kurt

2) EJ Johnson

3) Colin McPhilips

Woman's Elite Division:

1) Brandi Baksic

2) Helga Goebel

3) Nikki Gregg




Photo Credit: Staff Photo Matt Born/Wilmington Star-News

Holy shmoly that looks C O L D!!!
Meanwhile, we were basking in warm sun and double overhead set waves...;-)

Look at that big ol' SUPsports.com sticker, EJ...dang dawg...a twofer...NICE!!!

EJ is on his way to Western Australia...ahhh...the life of a PRO standup paddle racer...;-)
He won't have to bring so many clothes...it's Summer down under...

The Starboard crew fired off a couple of low rez cell phone piccies from the Surf Expo on the East Coast...this is the new brushed carbon Surf Race SUP paddle racing board designed by Brian Symanski...

This puppy is weighing in at ~ 20lbs!!!

Rumor has it that Starboard has a new board construction technology that is getting their wave riding boards down under 10 lbs...;-)

Check out the posters of our main man, EJ, in the booth...too kewl...;-)


Scott and Margareta hamming it up...




The Cali SUP racing crew represented nicely...

Team Hobie's Byron Kurt, and Colin McPhilips (3X world longboard champion), finished 1st and 3rd in elite men's stock 12'6"...picking up some nice cashola...and, Tommy Lloy from Hobie won the men's recreational division...and, a SUP...

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

 

Puerto Rico SUP Run - 11/15/2009 By EJ Johnson

EJ was kind enough to send us this great account of his recent visit to Puerto Rico (with wifey Andie) to compete in Puerto Rico's 1st Pro SUP event (7.5 mile San Juan SUP Run)...

Images courtesy of EJ...





The San Juan, PR SUP Run - 11/15/2009 By EJ Johnson


I am so stoked to have been able to participate in the First Annual Velauno- Pro SUP Run in the beautiful and exotic Puerto Rico , from the flat protected waters of Condado Lagoon to the challenging Atlantic.

31 Elite paddlers from the Virgin Islands, Florida, California, and Puerto Rico, were put to the test during this 7.5 mi. part lagoon and part open ocean challenge.
The start was 9:30 am sharp, and for once the start was clean, because the racers were warned if you jump the line you will be penalized 5 minutes.



We headed east for 100 meters and made a 90 degree right turn under the low highway bridge, and were greeted by some solid overhead surf.



I made it through no problem, but you had to be very careful not to cut inside of the reefs.
I was lucky to have had a great start with Puerto Rico's premier waterman Adrian Garcia.

I let Adrian get in front of me a bit, so I could use his local knowledge to keep the right line.



It was so beautiful, seeing old historical sites and reefs, that are so alive and clean, it was tough to concentrate on paddling hard.



I was going good for about 2.5 mi., when the heat (90 F.) along with high humidity set in.

My lungs felt like I was inhaling concrete , it was so hard to get air. I am very lucky to have the best sunscreen known to mankind!
( Watermans Applied Science) Thanks Pete and Macon for the P.R hats, everybody was stoked on those.

I started to get a little dizzy and vertigo'd out, so I had to bring down the pace to 60% (around 40 strokes per minute)

One big mistake I made, was no hydration, typically I don't use any for races under 10mi. Although this race should have been he exception given the temp.

The Island was blocking the South wind ,which is normally out of the East and would have made for the ideal downwind condition that my (New) Starboard 23.5 just kicks into overdrive, reaching up into the 8.5 mph range.

I finally reached the San Juan bay entrance, and was greeted by calmer waters and a cooling south wind.



At this point Adrian is about 75 meters ahead of me, and to his advantage on his Bark 14' in the flat harbor water.

I was able to kick up my pace, but in a paddle board race, there is no such thing as "I'll catch um later"

Once you let your competition get ahead of you, it's almost impossible to catch them, unless they fall, or hit the wall.

We now were passing the docked cruise ships and million dollar private sport fishing boats.

I was still feeling the heat, so I quickly downed my last Hammer gel/with caffeine, and grinded out the last 3 miles.
It was definitely a long 7.5 mi. for me. I could see and hear Adrian hit the beach for the short spectator run, he was greeted with much Aloha and support from friends and family.

When I came in, I was Stoked that people I didn't even know, were cheering me on, and telling me to run faster(which I couldn't, but I played it off).
I high-fived everybody, and headed straight for the turquoise water to lower my body temp.

I downed three waters and relaxed into a state of total chill.
I cheered on all the other guys and gals, while talking and letting folks try my board out.

All in all , I had a great race , winning the 12' 6" class , and 2nd overall in the Elite division.

My wife Andie, also enjoyed in a 1st place win herself, in the Weekend Warrior division on a borrowed board, but she remembered to bring her favorite Starboard carbon Wave model paddle.





The kids race was full of smiling faces, and also of young warrior game face.

We were settled in watching the kids go at it, when a giant wall of blackness envoloped the whole Island.

First, there was light rain, then heavy, now a full on tropical down pour with thunder and lightning.

In California, this would have immediately canceled the whole event, but Puerto Rican people just kept with the flow, hoping that it would subside.

Mother Nature had her own idea, and that was to keep raining.
The race director and Velauno shop owner Jaime Torres, told me by the time they finally packed up, there was two feet of water surrounding the tents.



It rained the rest of the day and all of the next day too, but I guess that is why P.R is so green and lush.



We had an awesome time there, and were shown much Aloha, by the locals, and especially Jaime Torres and the Velauno staff.

Definitely put this event on your calendar for next year It will be Bigger and Better.

Many Thanks to Svein, Margareta and the entire Starboard family.

Thanks to my other sponsors :QuickBladePaddles/KreedEyeWear/Honolua/WatermansAppliedScience/OnItPro/Trunq/CurtisFins/ Wardog and Deb
at SUPSports. And of coarse Brian Szymanski of North County Paddleboards for the fastest boards on the planet!

Respectfully

EJ Johnson.




Vaya con Dios...





Bien hecho EJ & Andie!!!

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Monday, October 05, 2009

 

More 2nd Annual Battle of the Paddle Pics

The youth brigade was in full force...

Here's 10 year old Riggs Napoleon fully soul surfing...I saw guys who were supposed to be "surfers"...5 times older than this kid, running from waves like this...;-)



Slater Trout...what a kewl kid...
I paddlesurfed with him and his dad on Maui 3 years ago...he was still sponsored by our friend, and world class shaper, Bill Foote...I gave him a coiled leash because his was getting in the way of his cross-stepping...and he still remembered it...this 14 year old has really stepped it up...finishing 2nd overall in the Elite race after waterman extraordinaire, Jamie Mitchell...coincidentally, the kid has a business card with his title as "Waterman"...this is actually very doable as a 14 year old on Maui...



Thomas Gallagher cleared by flight control...



Rob Rojas...super nice guy...humble...hard working Fish & Game warden...makes time to train every morning at the crack of dawn...here he is finishing 2nd in the distance race...



Danny Ching...SUP distance Men's winner...cross-stepping back...his board was oscillating something fierce...





The wahines catching up with the men at the southern buoy turn...



SUPsports team rider, Rich Schroeder (54), trying to thread the needle...one of the only guys in this group to execute a proper kick turn...a move that Rich has worked on the last couple of months...



MY WAVE!!! I GOT IT!!! COMING DOWN!!!
What a cluster f*ck...just as Sparky planned...;-)








Aloha surf riding seven decades ago...wave etiquette is wave etiquette...some wave riders get it...others do not...



These guys totally get the "aloha" thang...the song remains the same...



One of the sweetest buoy turns of the contest...a SUP wave contest surfed on race boards...;-)

We saw lots of guys make this turn on their knees...some took as many as 15 strokes on their knees...so much for the "5 stroke rule"...;-)



Obligatory group shot...



to be continued...

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2nd Annual Battle of the Paddle

After initially being called a fad (like rollerblading...etc) the sport of standup paddling, and paddle surfing, is now undeniably chiseled into legitimacy...

It will take several days to go through all the images we have...so until we get the galleries up, I'll start by putting up a few that capture interesting moments for us...

Beach scene at the start of the open race on Saturday...around 300 people finished...



Brian Syzmanski...he has really stepped up the R&D on his unique L@@King SUP race hulls...he has produced over a dozen new racing hulls for Starboard and their new SUP racing team...



I think the results that Brian achieved throughout this 2 day event has definitely elevated his profile...

14 year old Zane Shweitzer wins the stock division with Brian right on his tail for 2nd...Brian's partner, Matt Friedman, finishes 3rd overall stock...that's a sweep...also, Nikki Gregg wins the women's division on a Starboard/NCP prototype...







Matt Friedman...



Nikki Gregg with Nui...1st place Women's Open stock class...



Nikki's SO...Dan Gavere...snags a nice wave on a Starboard/NCP proto...



New Starboard team rider, Brandi Baksic, firmly established herself as one of the top elite women standup paddlers in the world by taking 3rd in the Elite race in the waves...and, 1st in the distance race...she only has a few months of SUP under her belt, yet she smoked (and humbled) many so-called "top notch" racer dudes...quite amazing...even more amazing, is the fact that she beat 2nd place finisher, Candice Appleby, who was riding an unlimited SUP with rudder, in the distance race on the stock Starboard/NCP...





Ernie (EJ) Johnson guts out a win in the distance race stock division despite a shoulder injury...that nice new contract with Starboard will buy him a few beers to ease the pain...;-)





The start of the men's elite race...



The inside buoy turn log jam...



Typical carnage at the inside turn...bowling pins...the sickening crunch of carbon...kaching...kaching...;-)







Impressive wins by the Aussies...Jamie Mitchell 1st place Men's Elite...



Shakira Westdorp 1st place Women's Elite...



A shout out to one of our great SUPsports staff, Adam Kirkcaldie, for winning his age group in the open race...(Open Age Group Race - STK M30-39)...

There were 35 contestants in his grouping...



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