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Can we all get along?

March 11 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim


My friend Graeme Thickins popped me this photo earlier today and I noticed that I had a reaction to the photo.

First off I was equally impressed and confused that someone was trying a floater on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Impressed because the board is... large, this isn't easy to pull off. Confused because I tend to think that if you really want to do a floater than... ride a board that is optimal for that kind of manuever.

Secondly I noticed I had a visceral reaction to the photo... probably tied to how people are responding to growth of SUP.

A few years back I surfed Pipes (Cardiff) almost every morning. Ken is a local there, a solid surfer and the first guy I saw on the mainland that surfed a SUP every chance he got. It was cool to surf with him and, unless you were on a potato chip board on the inside, the waves were shared all around.

Fast forward to today and, perhaps for the first time ever, longboarders are not happy. They aren't happy because SUP'ers are getting into waves VERY early and cherry picking pretty much any wave they want. This puts longboarders at a disadvantage as they are in second place for potentially the first time in many of thier surfing careers. And this then puts everyone else in an even lower spot in the pecking order.

Surfrider doesn't tend to get involved in crowd-related issues and we've made this choice for good reason. Yet I do see this trend slightly overlapping with our mission... the enjoyment of waves is in question here as more new craft enter the lineup. We need to understand that we're all there to tap some stoke.

So, I have a straightforward request to the newly minted SUP'ers.

Share. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

We CAN all get along.

Photo: Graeme Thickins

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