Thursday, September 11, 2014
A Short Note on the Recent SUP Surfing Controversy
Everyone both stand up surfer and surfers on longboards and shortboards have been up in arms over the recent proposal to ban stand up surfing in traditional surfing areas. Here are a few things we should take into account. In a quick note, I do not SUP surf yet I believe SUP surfers can go where-ever they want (within reason). Why?
1) The surfing areas are regarded by law as a public commons. Thus technically all citizens have access to these public commons no matter what surf craft they ride.
2) Surfers already have and informal code on how to deal with stand up surfers who take too many waves.
3) Certain breaks allow SUP surfers culturally, and some breaks are hyper specific in relationship to who can surf SUP boards. NOTE! I don't make the rules, nor am I am saying if they are right or wrong.
Example: Tommy Chun Ming Is a Sup surfer at Kewalo that everyone loves.
A Note to Newcomers on SUPS
1) Before going out find an old time SUP surfer and ask them the specific cultural code in regards to etiquette on an SUP in relation to the specific surfing break.
2) Share the waves.
3) Wait in line for waves (refer to Social Surf Intelligence 2 in this blog)
4) Know your limits. If it's Hawaiian 6 feet and you don't know if you can handle, DONT GO OUT. I was run over by a QUAD SUP on a large day. It hurt. 4x the pain. The guy was a novice and should not have been out on a large day.
In the end we all have rights to the waves. Let us all pay attention in a Zen manner.