Saturday, August 8, 2009

The JWall Report: SUP-ROW!

Editors Note: I'm picking up contributors to the blog. This set of photos is the first in a series of now-and-then-posts from Jeff Wallis, we're calling it The JWall Report. If you're not familiar with JWall, he's the photog. who's been responsible for all the surf shots on BeachSURF (if you haven't clicked over, you should, lots of good stuff- some paddle surfing shots, some surfing lots of beach life mania). JWall's earned the right to be a contributor- here's his first post:

Ok this thread is titled SUP-ROW, Stand Up Paddler-Right Of Way! It seems that the stand up guys catch a bunch of flack on occassion for hogging waves and what not. So in their defense this 4 shot sequence (CLEARLY) shows that the SUP guy is already in the wave and surfing, while the Longboarder is trying to get into the wave and as a result causes the ENDO! I rest my case cuz the pics tell the entire story!


oarfg said...

The sup er was outside and inside. Why doesn't that surprise me. Looks like the surfer was tired of this. I sup as much or more than anyone and am feeling less welcome every session. I wonder why?

John Ashley said...

"I sup as much or more than anyone". No you don't. The tag you post under testifies to that lie- you hate stand up. Yet, you spend your time reading a stand up paddle blog- strange behavior. And if you've surfed here you'd know that wave is a left, not a right.

What's my opinion? I probably would've given that guy the wave- paddling is much more difficult than "oaring" in and the repercussions of this kind of thing affect all stand up paddlers.

If we're going to be around for much longer we'd all better start being very aware of our public relations- even if we are, technically, in the right.

Mandango said...

It looks just like the Professor's photos showing Lance Burkart pulling Rick Kane's leash in the finals of the Pipeline classic.

John Ashley said...

Just another example of life imitating art... Rick should've never entered that contest.

Unknown said...

We should not run over people even when we have the right of way. I catch so many waves so easily, I make a habit of giving up more waves than I ride. If some one snakes me repeatedly I might shout at them but I never crash into or run anyone over. Get a clue. The only way we will not be hated by other surfers is to kill them with kindness.

Capt Ron said...

Same thing here... Get snaked alot but we have a cituation here where in our inlet will have waves much larger than anywhere else and most of the time it is the only ridable spot for a hundred miles each direction. So it gets crowded worse than Malibu and with guys who love to start fights over 2ft surf. Unreal! Is it worth fighting over? NO! But being a local here for 40 years and back in my grom days there was respect if anyone acted up like the guys do now they were sent home. But those days are long gone there is no more respect. I see the legend guys here who had the first surf related businesses, pro surfers, shapers ect. here getting snaked and told to take their old azz down the beach. What do you do? I admit I can be a D HEAD when people are leaning on me out there but I feel as if I paid my dues years ago and my scares and surfing and reputation should be enough to atleast secure me 4 or 5 good waves on the main peak then I move on, ride the bigger board in the tiny mush down the beach. I always let tons of waves go by, spot waves out to the guys around me, but as I said no respect anymore or curtiousy the more curtious you are the more they take advantage. It sucks! But one day in the future I will be snug on my own point break in centro america.
I wish good waves to everyone. Why does it bug me to get snaked?
I do not know but I hate it.
Is it worth getting into a fight for or hurting your self or someone else by running them over. Hell NO!
Just wish respect and curtiousy would make a big come back.

John Ashley said...

Capt. Ron is right on the money- the whole respect thing is mostly dead. Same situation here and it doesn't matter what you're riding.

Two weeks ago there was a kid out on a longboard at the main peak just snagging everything he could- then paddling right back up past everybody and doing it again. One of the real locals (I'm a transplant even though I've been here for fifteen years) called the kid out after the kid paddled for a wave that one of the "legend-status" guys was going for.

Local (calmy, quietly), "Do you know who that is?"

Kid (who we've never seen down here before), "Uh no"

Local (now very loud and in his face), "That's The Goose, he's been surfing here for forty years- when he paddles for a wave- YOU STOP- he gets whatever he wants!"

Kid paddles off with his tail between his legs and with something new to think about in his head.

I DO think guys like you deserve waves at a spot like that- and I think you've got the right attitude about it- take a few, move on.

We all need to be aware of our impact on a spot- give to get... and on stand up, give a bunch.

By the way- hey Capt. send me an email at I'd like to run something by you.

And I'm going to need an invite to that point... all hush/hush of course!

John Ashley said...


Right on- you've got it. Don't even put yourself in a questionable situation- paddle down the beach and surf 'em by yourself.

oarfg said...

Yeah I do. I used to surf that much until physical problems relegated me to suping. The tag is just a humerous response to people's attitudes towards me when I'm out. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I don't surf there but my comment is obviously referring to the wave being a left. Maybe we can sup together at some break someday. Actually, when I see you coming I am already paddling off to the next peak or in. Later JA

Junkyard Jenkin said...

Where's the love? I ride every board I can (except for "esky lids") and I always advocate for sharing a wave, even if I'm in the slot and have priority. Why not call your brother onto the wave with you, even if you don't know him yet and do a figure 8 together? If a legend is in the water (someone older than myself who has earned his place in the lineup) I just give him the wave and hoot as loud as I can...guess what, I get given waves back for that all the time and have the reputation of making the lineup a fun place where we all get along. Whenever you're unsure of what to do, just imagine you're in a foreign country and see how good it feels to give a wave to someone else, it's extraordinary what can happen. Junkyard Jenkin, Byron Bay Australia

Anonymous said...

A couple of observations. First, the right of way does not go to the person who is first to get into the wave. That rule would mean that stand up paddle boarders' always have the right of way.

The long-standing rule is that right of way goes to the person closest to the curl. It's not clear from the picture which direction these guys are each going. It looks like the stand up paddle boarder is going left. The surfer looks like he might be going right. Assuming for arguments sake that both were going right, then the surfer would have the right of way, not the stand up paddle boarder.

Second, more importantly, what appears to be taking place in the photo sequence is the stand up paddle boarder just about running over the surfer. Right of way or not, that's not acceptable.

My take is that the stand up paddle boarder is either being overly aggressive or careless and haphazard. SUPs are imposing craft. If you bear down on someone who is paddling into a wave on a surfboard and come within a hair's breadth of nailing them in the arm with your rail/fin, then you're not going to have many friends out there in the water.

John Ashley said...

Hey Oarfg-

Anytime- if you're in San Diego give me a call- stand up or shortboards, I'm in.

My numbers on the lessons page- I'm always up for a surf, especially if it's down here.

John Ashley said...


Exactly. Spread the love.

Helps if you live in Byron Bay and have unreal, beautiful, phenomenal, Australian surf going off all around you... but then again, if you're stoked, usually it spreads.

Stoked for you old buddy!

John Ashley said...

Hey Anon:

I agree with you completely. And I'd like to emphasize your observation: if you're in first it's not your wave... shortboarders and boogers would get nothing if that were the case.

My thing lately is that if you're ever in a questionable situation with a prone surfer as to who's wave it is, just give it to him/her. Undoubtedly we can get more- and the waves we paddle into should be totally outside the realm of what those guys can catch.

For example, if your on a stand up board waiting for the swing wide, outside bombs that none of the prone guys can be in postion for- go ahead and take them.

If you decide to paddle into the pack you better give away a bunch of questionable waves before you grab one that is obviously "yours".

The goal is to be away from the peak most of the time snagging the ones nobody wants or can catch and then occasionally grabbing an errant set wave.

What really bugs me are guys on stand ups or long boards who catch set wave after set wave and continually paddle past people again and again on their way to the feeding bag.

John Ashley said...

One more thing. I have to say I am guilty, occasionally, of feeding at the trough like a pig.

But lately, as I'm seeing more and more stand ups in the water and since I've been back on a short board prone surfing amongst stand ups I've come to realize our impact on a spot.

I think I've become a little more sensitive to what I do out there when I'm on my 9'4" SUP... I'm no angel but I'm working on it.

k said...

B-4 every hater blogs in, John why not ask the two surfers, whats up, I know both of them. And as you know i know that lefty very will.
From just the pic's the sup might had pulled up or pull a righty out of that wave. but maybe the other surfer was pulling some chit too, we don't know.
See you all in the water I'm the nice guy on the craft anonymous.

Winter coming wee

Anonymous said...

I guess I need to attach a 9.9 horse outboard on my canoe to go surf/compete with you SUP guys.... As outrageous as that sounds that is a similar jump from a short / longboard to a SUP... Well I guess a windsurf board is in between that jump, but Windsurfers are sweet and tend not to get in the way of surfers!

The trouble with the SUP guys is that they move about ten times faster than someone paddling with their hands... This causing problems since they can catch EVERY set wave... which is BS.

Normally after a set wave or a decent wave comes a few people go after it... then you have an opportunity to snag a wave for yourself. With SUPs 2 to 5 guys can dominate a point break and let NO traditional surfers surf. This happens ALOT in NH, MA, areas where SUPs are catching on quickly.

I have no problem with someone that is a strong aggressive paddler that can drop in deeper than I can and get in the right of way position (when everyone is playing on the same level). Its nice to let a beginner hop or a old time veteran hop on a wave even if you could maneuver around them, but I do not feel that is necessary...

As for the SUP guys I've seen some very nasty crashes which have injured traditional surfers bodies and boards. SUP boards are TOO big and heavy to be surfing in many of the congested areas under the control of 95% of the people that ride them. Would you like me going to your local surf spot in my Al boat with an outboard??? Or maybe a sunfish sailboat??? OR a Jet ski? I could argue that I can handle my Al boat with a motor as safely as a shortboarder can handle his surfboard... but we all know that is bs.

Same difference as going to a mountain biking trail on a dirt bike... Its BS.... ruins trails, endangers riders, and isn't the correct area. Mountain bikes have their places, and dirt bikes have other places... usually they do not combine well (I like both sports... just not together!). I believe this is the same situation as SUPs and traditional surfboards. SUPs should be used in very remote, hard to get to breaks... NOT in Non-congested areas.