SUP ATX is a company that specializes in manufacturing standup paddleboards for ocean, lake, and river usage. This truly unique and cool company is located in the city of Austin, which is the state capitol of Texas, and was started in 2008. Even though Stand Up Paddle Surfing got its true start in the surf Mecca’s of Hawaii and Malibu SUP ATX is credited with introducing Stand Up Paddle Surfing both in the United States and abroad and making this unique activity extremely popular amongst outdoor sports enthusiast as well.
SUP ATX founder Nick Matzorkis started the company to develop, design, and manufacture their stand up paddle boards and he chose Austin Texas for a reason too. Nick Matzorkis was convinced that there was great interest in stand up paddle boarding both on the ocean and even more so inland on freshwater lakes and rivers. The latter reason is why he chose a landlocked location for SUP ATX. Stand up paddle boarding is so popular in Austin Texas that on any given morning you can see paddle boarders on Lady Bird Lake, which is located downtown in Austin Texas.
Originally, SUP ATX started out by taking different board shapes and makes and testing them off of Malibu, CA in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. What they were looking for were the designs that would work best in coastal waters as well as on inland waters both at home and internationally as well. Once SUP ATX had completed this initial phase of testing they began to ship the various boards that they thought would make the cut to both business associates and to friends so that they in turn could further test those board designs and forward critical and helpful information back to SUP ATX.
The success of SUP ATX is because they do not suffer from a shortage of talent and experience. Both Mike Bill (SUP ATX President) and Steve Mellem (SUP ATX General Manager) both enjoy the benefits of a combined 50 years of experience within the surfing industry. They have both been involved in virtually all aspects of the surfing industry too from surf board sales and managing a retail surf chain of stores, to surf board manufacturing, distribution, and shipping of surfing accessories and surfboards as well. This experience is part of what makes SUP TAX the success that it is today.
Actually, the whole SUP ATX Stand Up Paddle Team is made up of successful, talented, and experienced individuals. In addition to Nick Matzorkis, Mike Bill, and Steve Mellem on the team there is also co-founder Michael Burniston, Mitch Taylor, Paul Constantineau, and Mark Stanton on the team as well. All of these people bring something to the table with their experience and together their drive and inspiration to be on the cutting edge of the Stand Up Paddleboarding world by both improving board design and creating interest in the activity keeps the company moving inexorably forward.
Just like regular good old-fashioned surfing, paddle surfing has its fair share of tricks that you can learn to do as well. Of course, there are tricks for those who paddle surf in the ocean and those who paddle board in freshwater, although the tricks for freshwater are not for showing off, but for navigating lakes and rivers. The tricks we are going to take a look at are those tricks that paddle surfers show off in coastline surf. However, just like any other sport or activity, that utilizes tricks or stunts you need to remember that performing these moves can be potentially dangerous to both you and others around you.
The first trick we are going to talk about is called the 360. Surfers have performed this trick for years and they seem to have it pretty well figured out and even perfected. However, the technique of doing a 360 is different for a paddle surfer than for a crawler or regular surfer. Regular surfers accomplish the 360 with balance and foot placement at the top of a wave. Paddle surfers on the other hand accomplish their version of the 360 by paddle stroking away from the board with their paddle or by shifting their feet from a forward dominant position to the rear of the board while using the paddle to pivot.
The Tail Slide is also another surfing trick that surfers have been pulling for quite a long time. If you pull off the trick right, it looks very radical and cool too. The "Tail Slide" is also just plain fun to do as well, and many surfers will often do more than one "Tail Slide; on a wave. Performing the Tail Slide takes extreme balance and coordination for the trick to be successful. A surfer performs the "Tail Slide by gaining speed on the face of the wave and then goes to the top of the wave, presses down and the back of the board and pivots hard in the opposite direction, and a SUP rider also uses the paddle for balance too.
The Helicopter trick is uniquely suited to a Stand Up Paddle Surfer and is a very cool trick to add to your repertoire. The "Helicopter" is also a trick that very few surfers can do successfully, although it can be done on a regular surfboard. For the Paddle Surfer, the trick is easier to do in part to their use of a paddle. To perform The Helicopter" you must first turn the paddleboard backwards on the wave. Once you get the rear of the paddle board facing the shore, you then gain speed and use a combination of paddle strokes and board walking to get the paddle board turn back 180 degrees.
The "Duck Dive is not necessarily a trick that is used by a paddle surfer for performing, although it does look good when it is done right. The "Duck Dive" or to be exact "The Stand Up Paddle Duck Dive is not performed in the traditional manner that surfers use to accomplish the maneuver. A surfer does a successful Duck Diveuot; by pushing the surfboards nose under the water in order to get through the wave and out to the lineup. A paddle surfer performs their version of the maneuver by being on their knees, quick hard strokes, and leaning forward arms out front and the paddle facing the nose of the board.
Sup Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Paddle Surfing as it is known beachside originally has a proud Polynesian heritage. This ancient surfing art has its origins and beginnings in Hawaii, and was called Hoe he’e nalu by the native islanders. In fact, the sport of Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Paddle Surfing is actually an ancient form of surfing that the indigenous peoples used to travel from island to island as well as for competition between competitors and other ohana’s. The art of Hoe he’e nalu was taught to all of the people in a given ohana and usually at an early age too.
In the early 1960′s Stand Up Paddle boarding saw a re-emergence in the Hawaiian islands by surf instructors who used the ability to stand up in order to have a better view of their students and of the waters as well. Being able to see all of their students as well as conditions on the water like incoming swells allowed the surf instructors to respond to any given situation both earlier and quicker than they would otherwise be able to while straddling a standard surfboard. However, when the surf instructors first started using this method they did so standing atop a normal length board and used a one blade paddle.
Also in the 1960′s the Waikiki Beach Boys started to use the paddle surfing technique on their long boards as well. They would paddle out with outrigger paddles so that they could get photographs of the tourists who were newbies learning to surf in the local waters. If you have ever heard the term "Beach Boy Surfing", well now you know where the term originated right there on Waikiki Beach thanks to the "Beach Boys", and "Beach Boy Surfing" is yet another way of saying Stand Up Paddle Surfing. Eventually the art of Stand Up Paddle Boarding saw it’s popularity soar.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding was finally re-introduced to the world of water sports by none other than legendary surfers Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama. However, the Vietnam Veteran Rick Thomas was the first of the modern surfers that brought the sport of Stand Up Paddle surfing out of the Hawaiian islands and onto the waters of mainland USA. In 2000 California was introduced to the sport of Stand Up Paddle Surfing by Rick Thomas who used a Munoz board and a Leleo Kinimaka paddle and once the locals got a surfs eye view of this new way to ride a board they took the bait hook, line, and sinker.
Today there are several manufacturers who produce high quality Stand Up Paddle Boards. Some of these companies are Becker and King, Jerry Lopez, SUP ATX, and Ron Hall. Stand Up Paddle Board prices tend to range between $600.00 and $1500.00 dollars depending on the manufacturer and quality of the board. Stand Up Paddle Board sizes average from 9 feet up to 12 feet and sometimes even longer. Features such as concave hulls, padded decks, and surfboard type fins in either a 1-fin or a 3-fin configuration are standard on SUP’s. In 2008, the US Coast guard designated SUP’s as vessels.
There are some helpful common sense tips that people who are interested in learning Stand Up Paddle Boarding and even experienced stand Up Paddle Boarders should have learned these valuable tips as well. Of course, with newbies, you should always make sure that they have learned and listened to someone who actually knows what they are talking about, and that they understand what they are have learned and heard too. Let us look at the four most important tips that you should learn and understand as a newbie to the awesome sport of stand Up Paddle Surfing.
The first thing that any beginner surfer or paddle boarder should learn is surf etiquette, which is basically the rules by which all of us survive in the lineup. Of course, these rules really only apply to those who choose to paddle board in the ocean. Some things to learn regarding surf etiquette for example is "Do Not Drop In". This means do not cut in front of someone who started on the wave before you and is coming towards you. Doing this can get you hurt and the other guy too. Another one is Do Not Cut In Front of Another Rider. Taking cuts will make others in the lineup very mad at you.
Learn to paddle on flatwater before going out into a more active aquatic environment. This is very important regardless of whether or not you interested in learning on the ocean, or river, or lake. Learning to paddle means learn to paddle without a paddle and with a paddle. The reason you learn to paddle with your arms is in case you lose your paddle, or if you are paddling out into surf. Doing this in flat or calm water gives you the ability to learn this skill along with things like turning and stopping in a more safe environment that in an environment such as one that involves a strong current.
Wearing a leash is a good idea especially for a newbie paddle boarder or surfer until they get the hang of the sport and develop good swimming techniques and instinct for their surroundings. However, most experienced surfers and paddle boarders wear a leash anyway just to make sure that their boards do not get away and hurt both themselves and others around them. While being hit by a surfboard can really mess you up SUP boards are bigger, heavier, and more dangerous than a standard surfboard and can do more damage than a regular surfboard too.
This lat tip is just good advice and that advice is to find someone who knows the ropes and have them take you out for your first time. That person can show you how to find your own peak, and teach you how to be prepared for different conditions on the water. However, even this will not stop you from wiping out, because it is not a question of if you wipe out but when you wipe out. You will not be able to avoid the dreaded wipeout forever, because everyone wipes out eventually. If you take this advice then you will have a great time, and if you make a mistake apologize for it and move on.
Knowing how to catch a wave is the what the end result of all of the learning and practice brings you to. The steps that you will take in order to catch a wave are pretty much set in stone and there really is no other way to accomplish the task other than in the order in which every surfer has to follow so that they can get the ride. Of course every experienced surfer already knows how to catch a wave so we are basically going to be addressing the newbies. Before we get started make sure you have a surfboard, and mini-mal surfboards are a good choice for beginners.
Step one for catching a wave is paddling out into the surf. Walk yourselves and your mini-mal surfboards out into the surf until you are deep enough to lay on the board without bottoming out. When paddling out make sure that you paddle to the right side of the surfers and more towards the area where they are not waiting for waves. Paddling into the surf zone and in front of those catching waves is inherently dangerous for you and will be an annoyance to the other surfers. On the way out make sure to duck-dive the waves and make sure that you do not let go of your surfboard because that is dangerous too.
Step two for catching a wave is to get into the lineup with the other surfers for catching a wave. Make sure that you straddle your mini-mal surfboards at or about the middle of the surfboard for maximum balance while waiting for your turn to catch a wave. Here is where what surfer has the right of way comes into play and the rule of thumb is that the surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way or the surfer to your left. The only exception to this rule is if the break is a left hand break, then it is the surfer to your right who has the right of way. Do not drop in on the surfer with the right of way.
Step three for catching a wave is once it is your turn to catch a wave start your move. Make sure to start paddling your mini-mal surfboards a little bit before the wave starts to break over you. Make sure to check to your left and right just to make sure that no one is taking off to your left or attempting to drop in on top of you as you catch the lip of the wave and start your ride. Another good reason for checking to your left and right is so that you can avoid an accident if you see it coming and keep from getting hurt seriously or hurting someone else even the idiot that drops in on you, because fingash and board smash really does hurt.
Step four for catching a wave is to stand up on the board. Once you start moving down the face of the wave on your mini-mal surfboards you have to stand up on the surfboard. In order to stand up on the surfboard you have to pop up and place both feet on the surface of the surfboard at the same time or you will wipe out. Once you are up and standing on your surfboard, you will then ascend into the pit or bottom of the wave and then make your cut to the left or right depending on which way the wave is breaking. At this point you can then do your moves down the face of the wave as you desire and that is how you catch a wave.
Have you ever been to the beach? If so have you ever bodysurfed or boogie boarded? Did you have a lot of fun doing those things? If the answer to any or all of the above is yes, then maybe you should think about learning to surf too. Sure it looks hard and maybe even a little scary too, but it is not impossible to learn and there are surfing schools out there that will teach you how to surf. When you decide you want to learn to surf there is really only one thing you need and that is a surfboard or more to the point a beginner surfboard.
There are a few types of surfboards that will make a great beginner surfboard, but the one that is perhaps best for the job is the soft surfboard. There are many pros to using a soft surfboard or foamie for learning to surf. First off they are made of foam and that is good because they are very light and buoyant. Secondly, since they are made of foam your physical injuries can be minimized even if it does not minimize the injuries to your pride, which is guaranteed until you get better at surfing. One more good thing about a foamie is that newbie’s can catch waves a lot easier and learn to stand a lot quicker too.
Another good beginner surfboard type is the pop-out. The pop-out surfboard is an entirely different stick from a soft surfboard by the way that it is made. While a soft surfboard is made of foam a pop-out surfboard is foam covered over with a thick fiberglass coat. This kind of board is loads heavier and virtually indestructible, which is a good thing for a beginner. The reasons that a beginner might want to learn on a pop-out is that it is a lot more steady in the water than a foamie and another reason is minimal board performance. The real downside to pop-out is of course its weight and that what it hits it will hurt.
Some custom surfboards are okay to use as a beginner surfboard, but the board you choose is very important. For starters stay away from thrusters or short boards because there is nothing about the design that will do a newbie any good. If you want to learn on a custom or glassed surfboard then steer more towards a mini-mal because they are longer, wider, and thicker. Another good thing about a mini-mal is that it will have excellent buoyancy, which will help the beginner surfer to catch waves much easier. The real downside to buying a mini-mal is the price because they can cost big time.
Another good custom for a beginner surfboard is the venerable longboard or Malibu as it is also called can benefit a beginner who is learning to surf. The longboard has all of the same attributes as a mini-mal and is even longer too. It is not that easy to turn a longboard because of its length, and another downside is that since they do not maneuver so easy it makes stepping down to a mini-mal difficult and even more so to a shortboard. However, they do provide a stable platform and catching a wave on a longboard is easier to do as a beginner than say on a thruster.
If you’ve entered the world of surfing then you’ve probably gone shopping for a surfboard. Stores that cater to surf and skate participants mainly carry name brand stuff and since a name can mean everything you might be discouraged about buying your first surf equipment because of the price. Remember this, the pros don’t pay for their gear, they are paid to advertise it.
When learning how to surf you should know that the best equipment won’t make you a better surfer. Your driver’s education car wasn’t a Porsche right? You should start with some second hand equipment. A used surfboard that is still in good condition is the catalyst that you need to determine how far you actually want to go in the sport. If you take lessons your instructor won’t recommend buying a new board to start out with anyway.
Buying a used or second hand board gives you the freedom to immerse yourself in the sport without breaking the bank to do so. You can buy used equipment all the way down the line if you want. Wetsuits, leg ropes and various equipment can be purchased used because many surf shops won’t carry it unless it’s still in good condition. They are the authority on what is still useable so use their knowledge to help you get started and save some money.
When choosing a second hand surfboard you should find one that fits your style. The designs on the board aren’t nearly as important as how well the board compliments your height. You should look for one that has an extra 15 inches of length above your height when standing next to it upright. This gives you better balance because you’ll need to find your center of gravity in order to ride the wave. Boogie boards are shorter because they don’t utilize the wave, only the push of the force. A surfboard rides on the wave and allows you create a balance within the pipeline.
Since used surfboards are less expensive you can probably afford to take lessons if you don’t already have an understanding of surfing. You should also buy a wetsuit that gives you comfort when you surf. There are a few different styles depending on when you surf via summer or fall. The thickness of your surfboard is important too, choose one with at least two inches, you’ll be paddling out to meet the waves and having a good thick board will help you get there faster.
After you’ve purchased your board you should take care of it. Don’t leave it out in the sun and know that normal wear and tear from the ocean is a calculated cost. You should also buy some surfboard wax to stop you from slipping off you board when surfing. Make sure to keep the sand and dirt off your board when it’s not in use. Eventually you will want to sell it back to the surf shop so take care of it and pass it on to another up and coming surfer.