PleaseNoPosers - Your comment has been mentioned to me by several people. As the writer of this story, it's important to note that my initial piece read
"It's almost too easy. No wonder that some surfers express disdain for their new neighbors on the water. Heck, you could teach a monkey to do this."
I don't think it's a wonder that surfers show disdain for paddleboarders. In fact, I think it's 'no wonder.'
Because of novices like me out there, able to ride waves we weren't able to ride before.
Other points duly noted.
"It was almost too easy. In fact, it's a wonder that some surfers express disdain for their new neighbors. Heck, you could teach a monkey to do this."
Thanks for bringing attention to the "Sport of Kings". While portions of your article are correct (easier to pick up speed and scout waves) fundamental aspects grossly underplay the learning curve for most people (even talented, athletic, lifelong surfers) to truly learn how to surf "real" waves on a SUP. I am not talking about "catching" knee high ankle biters on a glassy day or paddling ponds and tidal creeks. I am pointing to truly surfing (surfer & equipment under control, able to turn, slow down, accelerate) on actual waves (waist high plus) let alone safely paddle out while standing head on to incoming chest high+ sets without board and surfer becoming lethal projectiles to others in the water (these would be the surfers w/disdain you refer to). The truth is to attain a "safe" level of mastery requires exceptional athleticism and a rigid commitment to be in the water for hours every week - for months. I helped pioneer the sport here in Charleston over five years ago - convincing many of the local shops to start carrying SUP's so I could maintain overall surf fitness the way my friends in Hawaii and California have been doing for the last decade. Over those five plus years I have introduced many of my prone surfing brethren to SUP (these are guys who surf super challenging waves in Hawaii, Costa Rica, etc...). Their learning curve - to truly master surfing an SUP was equal parts steep and comical. They, like me, eventually got it - after dedicating countless hours and months of trial and error. The world's best surfers like Laird Hamilton, Brian Keaulana, Gerry Lopez, Kai Lenny have taken to SUP - in many cases now favoring SUP exclusively over prone surfing b/c the challenge and fitness benefits are far greater than what prone surfing offers.
I am grateful that your article will quite likely help many of my surf shop owner friends sell more equipment and clothing but am concerned it will put more than a few people in harms way. If by chance you are still wondering why some surfers express disdain for their new neighbors? Look no further than your article. Please, study your subject a bit more carefully before you go to press. Also - throw a few more basic safety tips out there... take a couple lessons with a seasoned instructor, always wear a leash, stay clear (50 yards is a good start) from swimmers & other surfers, stay out of the "lineup".
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