Hawaii has been an experience which still, several months past my visit, has not fully washed over me. The people, waves, land and soul are like no other. Respect is received through humbling yourself and therefore allowing a self reflection creating a profound bond with everything the magical fleet of islands has to offer. The waves which smack the Hawaiian islands with such ferocity cause a need for specialized equipment. The designs Terry Chung is shaping in the islands shows his understanding of his environment and surroundings. His stand up boards are made to handle big waves with confidence. Like a Brewer gun, which you can put your trust into when it matters, Terry's boards reflect a master shaper applying his art to the fresh stoke of stand up paddle.
Terry spoke of how stand up brought back the feeling he had when first getting to his feet as a kid. The newness of it all is what ignites his creativity which will no doubt yield unimaginable results within stand up paddle as well as the surfing world.
One of the most well recognized names in surfing, Al Merrick, draws an instant mental image of cutting edge surfboard design. Al's designs, as we all know, are ridden by the best. Recently Al like Terry has found a fresh stoke through stand up paddle. He's already developed several different shapes for his SUPs and tests them regularly. As Terry is a master of his craft in the islands experimenting and refining in big surf, Al works with classic California perfection. Al will be sharing his stoke of stand up paddle in the film through his opinions, knowledge, insight and action. I'll be traveling to California at the end of February 2008 to promote my latest film and spend time talking and filming with Al about SUP.
I too have now experienced a bit more with SUP. I had an opportunity to ride an 11'6" C4 Waterman and compare it to the other boards mentioned in my earlier entries. The board worked great, maneuvered well, had good stability and turned without much effort. I did find the fin a bit large and the old turn and burn didn't quite happen. Although at the end of the session I had it down enough to get my waves and conclude a smaller center fin would've worked better or maybe even a shorter center with side bites. SUP is changing rapidly. Boards which came out several months ago costing an arm, leg and then some are now competing with boards of similar dimensions and quality at less than half the cost.
Check back for "SUP: The Next Step" production updates and as news happens.