Today marks two weeks on the road.  And while we’ve spent a good amount of time on the water, mostly fishing, surf time has been a total of 90 minutes.  We caught some fun Jacksonville Beach lines yesterday.  Ideal for the monsters.  I got to try an 8.2 Stu Sharpe.  It was a bit wide, 32, but after a bit I got the hang of turning her.  Worked well for a board that big if you got all your weight back and really used the tail rocker.  Just felt good to get in the water!

I hit the surf expo on Friday.  Some observations –

In the whole show I really only saw two performance paddle surf boards.  The Focus Mo Model is insane!  I spent the majority of my time at expo chatting with Pat Rawson.  I think we’ll be doing a board series together, like that with Kirk.  Pat is a good dude, was great to get to hang with him.  I was stoked that he enjoyed doing the podcast and said he got some orders off of it.  Good to know that guests value the experience.

Also saw the new Starboard 7.4, the 2017 Sean Poynter model.  I think it will surf much like the 2016.  Tail looked a bit wider than the 2016, but rails were thinner, which might help my biggest complaint about the 2016 – rail turns.  They did something strange with it, and that’s the ability to change from a squash tail to a pin tail.  Might help in bigger surf.  It doesn’t look like it would add any volume.

Met Gerry Lopez!  That was pretty cool, and he said he’d do the show.  I know he’s busy, but it we could line that up I’d be stoked, and I think you all would too.  What do you want me to ask Gerry?

Been showing the Progression Project film.  Incredibly stoked on the reaction to the film and the comments about the podcast and focus on the sport.  I live on a dirt road in the middle of the rain forest.  So I don’t get much in the way of feedback on what I’m doing.  Also, the audience for the show tends not to be much for facebook commenting, which I get, I’m not either.  I see how many folks listen and know how long folks spend reading the journal, so I know you guys enjoy it.  But it’s cool to hear it, and to hear that something I’ve done has inspired someone.  Lots of folks this week have told me that the podcast and journal has pushed them to drop liters and try new techniques.  All that will make the sport better and that’s the goal, so I’m beyond stoked it’s working.

Incredible to see the passion.  We’re a small group.  But the fire burns bright.  Guys like Mike McGann, Mike Grant, Tony Lippi, Matt Hite, Fuller Callaway, Morgan Hurley.  Guys that love the sport enough to go out of their way to host the showings.  So cool to get to meet you all and you’re local tribes!  I can only be optimistic about the future when I see and hear folks amping!

That passion isnt’ shared by the industry from what I saw at expo.  The industry of SUP isn’t my sport.  At least when you walk around the surf vendors or wake board vendors you get the impression that the companies understand what’s happening at the pinnacle of their sport.  I didn’t get that feeling from the SUP area.  A yogi, or fisherman would feel just as at home as a true paddle surfer.  The smallest board that most vendors, companies that pride themselves as surf focused, and have top athletes, had on display was about 8ft and super wide.  Only Focus was showing videos of performance surfing.  A Mo reel on loop.

Tonight is the St. Augustine show.  Tomorrow we’re in Jax.  Hope to meet some of you folks!  E

 

Published by Erik Antonson

Erik is the founder and host of the PaddleWoo podcast, 2X Costa Rica National SUP Surf Champion and owner of Blue Zone SUP Camps.

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4 Comments

  1. Nice to here your thoughts on whats at shows etc . Can you post pictures of that Mo board. Keep it coming bro , its one of the days highlights when that email comes through. More pictures would be good. Some of us not so good at reading but pictures are worth a 100 words so they say. Warming up here and that race board will be replaced by something much shorter soon :).. Anyway back to the WSL , my fantasy team have had a terrible event so far .. go Kelly
    Oh stoked to here Gerry is coming on the show .. what a legend .. cant wait

  2. I meet and talked with Pat Rawson on the Outter Banks some years ago. I own two surf boards that he shaped and would love to try one of his SUP’s.
    That’s pretty disappointing about the lack of surf stoke at the expo but I guess the company’s have to cater to the masses.
    Ian looking forward to seeing your new movie.
    Keep up the good work really enjoy what you are doing. I have been turning a lot of people on to your site.

    1. Don’t get me wrong about the expo. There were some beautiful boards, but it’s obvious that the industry isn’t supporting, or helping grow the high performance end.

      Thanks for the support and sharing the love!

  3. Could it be that on the high-performance end, people will go custom, so the production companies don’t cater there? it is tough to stomach a Naish, Starboard, Focus, etc., at the $2,000 plus price point, when you can get a L41, as an example, custom built for you for well under that price. And, you’re supporting a local business vs. a company outsourcing their board production to China, etc.

    Just a thought.

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