Sayulita SUP

The second annual Punta Sayulita Longboard and Stand Up Paddle Classic contest was held at Sayulita over the weekend of 12 & 13th March 2011.

Adam Finer and Pacific Paddle Surf being major proponents and promotersof the SUP craze, got me access to a boat to get some shots of the event from the water.

There were some famous competitors from the world of SUP, incl. Gerry Lopez, Mr Pipeline himself.

A few personal observations:   Any board being ridden on a wave displays qualities of grace, even guts and grace in varying degrees, depending on the surfer’s style and abilities.  But racing SUPs around a course on flat water just looks awkward. In fact it looks about as natural and as comfortable as camel racing.  Bad posture, always struggling to maintain balance on something that doesn’t want to be stood on, little chance to establish a sense of rhythm; it’s everything that skiing, skating, surfing and snowboarding isn’t.

Racing these big boards seems more like a test of endurance, nothing else. Like carrying a backpack full of rocks on a steep, muddy trail. Even champions of the sport rarely look at ease when racing.  The high centre of gravity makes it a constant battle to control the board and rarely does it seem so comfortable that the board became a natural extension of the body;  akin to riding a horse that doesn’t want to be ridden.  I got a lot more fotos of awkward stances than I did of the few good’uns  published herein.

That was my challenge: to take fotos that didn’t make the paddlers look like they were about to do themselves a back injury!

Of all the people out on the water that day, the one definitely having the most fun was the dude in the outrigger canoe! Sit Down Paddle looks way cooler!