For the record, I really don't care what or how you surf. Really, I don't. Paddle out on a blow up Barney pool toy and go straight over the falls, doesn't matter to me and it really won't affect my session either. However, I do find it strange that there are those out there who hate stand up paddling but have no problem with something called a "step off".
What? You don't know what a step off is? A step off is a way of putting a surfer on a wave that's too hard to paddle into or shifting so much that it's almost impossible to line up a peak (usually, big, shifty beach breaks are step off territory). If you want to step off you need a ski- one of those big triple person four stroke jobs and you'll need a driver. The driver buzzes around the line up with you sitting behind him on the back of the ski. You've got your arm around your board waiting for the driver to pick a good one for you. Using the power of the ski, the driver will drop into the wave really early (wait, isn't this kind of sounding like stand up paddling... just delete the driver and all the same elements are there, the mobility, the early drop in), setting you up perfectly for the wave. Now all you have to do is jump off the back of the ski, usually bellyflopping onto the board, right into the wave- scramble to your feet and drop in. Voila- the step off!
Step off sessions happen more often than you think. Check out this link. What you see here is a bunch of photos and a couple of video clips of some pro surfers getting ridiculously barreled at what they call an offshore surf spot (umm, good try with that one guys). I will guarantee you that not a single one of those photos or videos featured a wave that any of those guys paddled (crawled) into- they were all step offs.
How do I know? Here's a couple of glaring clues: 1. Watch the video clips. Any time you see a guy go buzzing by on a ski- that's the driver jetting to the inside to pick up the rider for another go at it. Basically, if you see a ski- a step off just went down. 2. Brian Conley. It seems all this guy does is step offs... check out any of his videos (My Eyes Won't Dry series) and you'll see what I mean. And, finally, 3. Check out that surf spot, it's the type of wide open beach break that would be hideously difficult to surf. Basically, if you didn't have the step off advantage you'd end up chasing peaks around all day hoping that you lucked out and were in just the right spot to grab a good one.
Like I said, I don't care how you surf. In fact, step offs look really fun and I'd love to try it myself someday. But that's just me- I'll ride just about anything; boogey board, hand plane, surfboard, stando, kiteboard or wind surfer. Maybe the more you do, the less you care- which might explain the mindset of the anti-stand up coalition.