Page 1

a lesson at the dk sup school and a week’s accommodation in fiji!

issue 1

Olympics 2012 Meet the NZ team members who paddleboard

Winter Warmers We test winter gear

Paddleboard Fishing Safety and set up

Winter Sun

Meet the Legend

PFDs for Paddleboarding

Paddleboard Destinations

Daniel Kereopa

We test some top options

issue 2

free throughout NZ

Stand-up paddleboard & Outrigger Specialists

Sales I Repairs I Hire I Lessons I Tours 37 Totara Street Mount Maunganui 3116 Tauranga New Zealand +64 7 575 3493 +64 21 023 00746 Find us on Facebook!

contents 06 Short Strokes 07  SRONZ Paddleboard Donation Fund 2012 08  Winter Sun Paddleboard Destinations 12 Paddleboard at Safari Lodge – Fiji 14 Island Times 16 Meet the Legend - Daniel Kereopa 26 Kiwi Olympic Paddleboarders 32 Travel to Paddle 36 Winter Warmers 39 Your First Purchases 40 Expand Your World 42 Stand-Up Paddleboard Fishing 46 SUPer Clinic 48 PFDs for Paddleboarding 59 Bend it like Bruce 61 National Scene - Events and Races 64 DVD Review



Contributing Photographers

Emma Comrie-Thomson Phillip Russell

Shamus, Bill Dawes, Mark Jackson, Bruce Nicholson, Josh Dixon, Seaton Rolleston, Pete Head, Jase Johns, Warren Francis, Chester Burt, Jeremy Collis and MERC.

Jaxon Paraki Webber, NZ SHRED, Walk on Water NZ, East Coast Paddlers, Bill Dawes, Groundswell Sports, Delphine Ducaruge, Riley Cooney, Sarah Lee, John Milek, Cory Scott, Jo Aleh, J P Tobin, Sara Winther, Team Polly, Sharlene Winiata,Troy Houston, Turanga Kereopa, Duncan Lockhart, Jeremy Collis, Christchurch Paddleboarders, Allan Taylor, Anna Comrie-Thomson, Bruce Nicholson, Josh Dixon, Island Holidays, Fiji Safari Lodge and SRONZ.


SRONZ is printed by

Sub Editor

Paul Comrie-Thomson Contributors

Graham O’Neill Design Solutions Ltd Enquiries

For advertising and editorial enquires:

And is printed on FSC paper stock.

Front cover: Mike Cann riding a Luke Short LSD 8’8” Shorty in Custom Fibre Flex. Photographer Riley Cooney


EDITORIAL Those of us that enjoy the change of seasons look forward to those blue skies; crisp, clear winter days; and the temporary, but hugely dramatic changes it brings to our beautiful country on both land and water.

Rakino Island

Paddleboarding throughout the year in NZ really does give us a unique and immediate opportunity to engage with the outdoors. The only requirement, of course, is that we dress accordingly – a minor concession, in our opinion. On the flip side, for others the coming of winter is a signal that it’s time to migrate to warmer climes in chase of the endless summer. We are delighted to bring you the second issue of SRONZ, which offers something for everyone: those staying at home; those heading offshore; and even those undecided on what to do. Not only is the magazine now avaliable online but the SRONZ website has had a makeover and there is a range of cool t-shirts in the store. We’re also proud to launch the SRONZ Paddleboard Donation Fund, which will see at Conditions of entry to SRONZ competitions: Prizes cannot be redeemed for cash, exchanged or transferred. Employees of SRONZ, associated

least one board given to the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education Resource Centre (MERC) in Long Bay, Auckland (see page 7). We are truly grateful to everyone who’s forwarded us feedback on Issue One. We’re delighted to bring you news of what’s happening in more areas of the country and to be achieving the magazine’s aims of promoting NZ paddleboarding locations and connecting the paddleboarding community. We look forward to your continued support and to hearing from you.

SRONZ Editorial Team sponsors and their immediate families and agencies are not permitted to enter. The decision of the SRONZ Editors is final.

Standing Room Only NZ (SRONZ) is an independent magazine committed to promoting and celebrating stand-up paddling in New Zealand. We aim to inform and connect New Zealand’s stand-up paddling community and assist in the growth and popularity of the sport by encouraging safe and responsible participation. page 5

short strokes

Annabel Anderson on top of the World Starboard’s Annabel Anderson is once again putting herself and NZ on the International stand-up map. Anderson continued the dominance she showed at the end of the NZ season to not only win the women’s division but also take line honors ahead of all the guys at the World Series event in France the Oléron Stand-up Paddle Challenge. This achievement received great interest here at home with Anderson being interviewed on Radio Sport. As we closed for press Anderson finished 8th overall in the Distance race at the Chicago round of the World Series, winning the women’s title in both the sprint and

Annabel Anderson distance races once again. To follow the series, which finishes with the finals in Oahu, Hawaii over the weekend of 12th - 14th October visit: Anderson will be joined by fellow Starboard racer Jeremy Stephenson when they aim to back up their impressive results in last year’s Molakai2Oahu race with another crack at the 32-mile classic on 29th July. Follow their progress on

Specialists in stand-up paddleboard rental, instruction and downwind tours. Based at Raymond Street Reserve in Point Chevalier, Auckland - bookings can be made at


sronz paddleboard donation fund 2012 SRONZ has established a fund to provide paddleboards to those who may not otherwise get the chance to experience the sport.

MERC - Long Bay In conjunction with our premier partner Sanderson (, SRONZ has chosen the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education Recreation Centre (MERC) based at Long Bay, Auckland to receive at least one paddleboard, which will be presented before the summer 2012 / 2013 season.

we have yet to be in a position to offer. To be able to offer stand-up paddling would be an absolute bonus’.

MERC is a formally registered charitable trust and is the country’s leading provider of marine education, recreation and conservation programs for children.

Please contact us on: to get involved.

The centre’s primary aim is to introduce marine-based education programs for primary and intermediate school age children, many of whom have little or no experience of beach, sea and marine environments. A particular focus is placed on lower decile schools, special needs, and youth at risk or other community groups that would otherwise be unable to experience environmental and marine education. In some of these groups, over half of the children have never been to the beach or the sea before coming to MERC.

SRONZ would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in contributing to the fund in anyway. We hope to roll this initiative out annually across the country.

For more information on the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education Recreation Centre visit:

With over 14,000 (mostly pre-teen age) students attending the centre each year our donation commitment has been warmly welcomed by MERC General Manager Paul Grace who said, ‘Stand-up paddling is becoming one of the requested activities that page 7

winter sun

Paddleboard Destinations A winter escape for a week or two to warmer places can do wonders for the soul, give you a chance to improve the skills that you began to master at the end of our summer and perhaps even renew your enthusiasm for getting on the water. Most winter sun destinations will allow you to explore or push the limits in good conditions for days on end and, as we know, paddleboarding gives you a unique way to get the feel for a place from a stunning perspective. Pete Head from Island Holidays shares his knowledge and suggests some destination options. We’re fortunate to have the South Pacific Islands relatively close in terms of travel time. These islands offer a great variety of good value destination options whatever your adventure budget may be. You can hire gear or take your own. The number of resorts on these islands mean they they make the perfect choice if the family or partner isn’t as keen as you are to enjoy endless hours on the water. From NZ, the most popular destinations are Fiji, New Caledonia, Rarotonga and Hawaii. However, there are other less frequented destinations popping up for paddleboarders, such as flat-water and surfing in the Maldives, Indonesia and Tahiti. Common questions

The most common questions we get at Island Holidays are: What are the board restrictions on flights? And, does the destination have paddleboards for hire? There are four main airlines that fly to the majority of the South Pacific Islands - Air New Zealand, Virgin Airlines, Air Pacific and Air Tahiti Nui have board length restrictions and policies on length of oversized items like paddleboards which govern what they’ll accept on a flight. These generally range from 200cm to 250cm (2m – 2.5m). Clearly this is an issue for some paddleboards with an average length of around 366cm (3.6m). For an airline to accept and carry oversized items it also depends on what type / size of aircraft they have on a particular route obviously the larger the aircraft, the larger the cargo hold. So if the route you’re flying is 8

scheduled for a Boeing 777 or 747 compared to a 737, you’ve got a higher chance of an oversized item being accepted. As oversize items are the last to be accepted onboard, it may also depend on whether the cargo hold of the aircraft is full. The other significant factor at play is something you may be able to influence – the person at the check-in counter. So flirting, greasing, being nice, polite, courteous and maybe even undoing the top button may help. Failing good fortune you can always book your board as freight but expect costs to start from around $420. Through excellent relationships with the airlines, Island Holidays can increase your chances of getting your boards on an aircraft but as with the airlines themselves we can never guarantee this unless freight fees have been paid. Be aware that some airlines also charge a sporting baggage fee which may apply to boards. This fee is usually around $35 each way. For further afield destinations such as Indonesia and the Maldives, Malaysian airlines have proved a good option with generous baggage limits. Destination Options Fiji

There are some gorgeous offshore islands north and west of Nadi in the Yasawa and Mamanuca Island chains. The Safari Lodge on Nananu-i-Ra Island (see page 12) has realised the popularity of paddleboarding and like the Tavarua and Namotu Island resorts have added boards and paddling trips to their

watersports activity options. At these locations boards are included free in your package. New Caledonia

With one of the largest lagoons in the world and some fantastic outer islands like the Isle of Pines, New Caledonia has some outstanding places to explore. There are a number of great accommodation options right on the beach at Anse Vata Bay (a stone’s throw from the lagoon), with many places hiring paddleboards.

Island Holidays

Tahiti / Bora Bora / Raiatea

Some of the most picturesque tropical landscapes and marine environments can be found in French Polynesia. The outer islands have great watersports centres and a lot of the main resorts include boards with your packages or have them for rental. Vanuatu

Vanuatu is renowned for its sea-life and outstanding dive locations. Aside from the sea and a few surf breaks there are some fabulous estuary, river and lagoon paddling options. A few places in Port Vila are known to rent paddleboards.

Maldives - Troy Huston


A destination becoming more and more popular given the abundance of stand-up paddle friendly surf breaks. Rental boards can be found in a number of places in the Kuta, Legian and Sanur beach areas. Maldives

The marine life around this Indian Ocean destination is world renowned with manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins and turtles frequently visible. Numerous atolls provide simply incredible sights and great paddling locations. Resorts in the Malé Atolls rent boards or you can take your own and head out on a central or outer atolls charter boat. There’s a maximum 8’6” limit on inter-atoll flights so a short board can be a great option

Samoa - Troy Huston page 9

winter sun continued here for inside the lagoon or outside on the surf breaks. Hawaii

Accommodation on the North Shore is largely restricted to the Turtle Bay Resort - which has a fantastic watersports centre - and a backpackers hostel in Waimea. Rental cars are a good idea as you’ll then be able to paddle in a number of locations around the coastline. Winter is a great time to visit for those seeking more friendly surf experience on shoulder high swells. Packages can include stopovers in Honolulu, Maui, Oahu or other islands.

Want to go somewhere? Island Holidays can get you there! Contact Pete Head Tel: 0800 33660 Email:

Rarotonga and Aitutaki

Rarotonga offers some great paddling around the Motu’s in Muri Lagoon. Muri Beach has a range of accommodation options with easy lagoon access. Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruises have just invested in some Naish 14’ Glides.

New Zealands SUP travel specialists

Fiji / Tonga / Samoa / Indonesia / Maldives / Tahiti / Rarotonga / Hawaii … aNywhere!


There are some amazing golden sand and lava rock coastlines to explore with contrasting landscapes from coral lagoons to mangrove forest along the south-coast. In general the whole island is simply outstanding. The best way to get around is to hire a car and trip along the coast. Base yourself at any one of the resorts like Sinalei Reef Resort or Salani Surf Resort (both have boards for hire) and explore on day trips.


For more info on our packages and more check out

Tel: 0800 336660 Email:

n Paraki Webber

Lake Rotoiti - Jaxo

Lake Whakatipu -

Jase Johns

page 11

paddleboard fiji

Paradise Awaits… Discover paddleboarding paradise at Safari Lodge. This quiet and friendly boutique resort is located on a pristine beach of the remote Nananu-i-Ra Island in the South Pacific Ocean. The tropical waters and coral reefs make it the perfect destination for paddleboarding. The water is crystal clear, illuminating a vivid array of corals and the entire spectrum of underwater terrain. Paddle alongside sharks, turtles, manta rays, purple sea stars and over 1,000 species of fish. We cater for all levels of paddleboarders; from those who may just want to take in the scenery, paddling at a slower, relaxed pace around some of the four nearby islands to those who want to take a more active approach and want to try to beat the record time around the island. When conditions allow, take one of our support boats upwind to ride the swells for 3km, 5km, 8km or 13km downwind back to the lodge. We have a variety of boards at your disposal with specialised private instruction for firsttime paddlers that will prepare you for your very own exploratory adventures, as well as guided trips. Packages and Accommodation Our accommodation options include Beachfront Bures, Ocean View Villas, Private Rooms and bunk-style Dorm Rooms for groups only meters from the beach. We have solar hot water showers, 24hr power and Wi-Fi 3G Internet access available. We can tailor packages to suit your exact requirements and budget. Our Adventure Package will keep you on the water with paddleboarding, waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, fishing etc. 12

How to get to us: Getting to the Lodge is easy. Simply fly into Nadi where you’ll be picked up and driven to the northern point of Viti Levu for the short boat ride to Nananu-I-Ra Island. Come on over…..

Safari Lodge Fiji

One week’s accomodation Saturday to Saturday Including return Airport Transfers to the Safari Lodge Fiji, Accommodation – Beachfront Bure – (Availability pending) and SUP RENTAL for the week!! (Meal plan payable at $65 NZD / day for all meals). To go into the draw visit and search in this issue for the answers to: 1) Name one of the Eco Tours offered by Safari Lodge? 2) What is the maximum number of guests at the resort? 3) On which island is the Safari Lodge located? 4) Which travel company, featured in this issue, can get you to any overseas paddle or surf destination; and 5) From the travel company’s website – For how many years have they been operating? Email the correct answers to Entries close 31st August 2012. Winner will be notified within 3 working days following the draw. The prize can be redeemed until 31st May 2013 dependent on availability. Competition conditions apply. page 13

ISLAND TIMES Ever wondered what it might be like to visit Hawaii for a big paddleboard event? Wonder no longer. Hiria and Seaton from Eastcoast Paddlers explain why it’s a ‘must do’ experience.

Start of the Olukai race The months of April and May in Hawaii are some of the busiest for paddle sports with heaps of epic events happening nearly every weekend across the islands. The Waikiki Paddle Festival, Olukai ho’olaulea, Maui to Oahu, and Maui to Moloka’i all run over this period and include stand-up paddleboarding, OC 1, ski, 6-man and prone disciplines of paddling. When we decided to spend some time out there this year, it seemed only logical to plan a trip around the Waikiki Paddle Festival (formerly Battle of the Paddle) and Olukai weekends on Oahu and Maui, so we could maximise our time on the water, enter some events and share in the local paddling aloha. For any paddling addict who has ever wanted to travel and see what the scene is like in Hawaii, then we definitely recommend this as one of the best times of the year to get up-close and personal with racing, products, people and paddling. 14

The state sport of Hawaii is outrigger canoeing (OC). It has a huge base with its own TV channel which also covers other paddle sports. To really immerse yourself in paddling and do a bit of training while on holiday, head for the closest OC club and see if you can get a seat on a training night in a 6-man. It’s the easiest way to meet the locals and engage in Hawaiian life with people of all ages, shapes, abilities and personalities paddling together. In Waikiki the Anuenue Canoe Club are famous for their aloha, and their coach is one of paddling’s legends – Joseph ‘Nappy’ Napoleon. Simply Google the Napoleon name and you will see why! The weekend of the Paddle Festival is a ‘who’s who’ of the paddling world – prone, SUP, OC and ski paddlers all in one place enjoying the energy of the weekend. One of the first things you notice is how approachable everyone is – sure they’re busy doing interviews, racing,

Gulch to Kanaha Beach Park. Day one is SUP and day two is OC1. Again, the people at this event are what make it memorable, so take the time to enjoy it. The event is a professional set-up and a pleasure to be a part of making the race even better. There are bigger bumps than Hawaii Kai and the nearly 300 stand-up paddlers on the start line make you realise how big it is there, and indicates great things for growth in NZ. You won’t stop grinning across the whole 8 miles! Rolleston family with Archie Kalepa networking etc, but pick the right moment and they will all have some time to say hi, and share some anecdotes. Familiar faces include Gerry Lopez, Uncle Nappy, Robbie Naish, Jaime Mitchell, Travis Grant, Todd Bradley, Mel Pu’u, Brian Keaulana, Raimana and many more. The memories of the people you meet will be some of the best of your time away.

This time of year is definitely worth the trip and going with a group of friends and family will keep the costs down and make for a fun experience. Take or make the opportunity to go and paddle and don’t limit yourself to just one style. You will come back home inspired to improve and give back just as those you meet there give their time and aloha to you. Mahalo!

The racing is amazing whether you enter or just watch. The best men and women in all disciplines are true elite athletes pushing hard for the win and the prize money. Whether you prefer downwind, beach racing, multi discipline, or relay, there is something for everyone. The highlight is the Hawaii Kai downwind paddle in 30-plus knot trade-winds back to Waikiki – 10 miles of bumps and wind with a hundred other paddlers! Whereas the Waikiki Paddle Festival is stacked with products, people and a full on busy weekend, the following weekend on Maui is a huge contrast. The Olukai Hoolauleaa (celebration) offers days of pure downwind racing on the most famous stretch of paddling water in the world – Maliko

Olukai race sprint finish page 15

MEET THE LEGEND - DANIEL KEREOPA The subject of this issue’s personality profile is unquestionably one of the legends of the NZ surfing scene and has forcibly stamped his authority on stand-up paddling too. Bill Dawes talks to…Daniel Kereopa. The word ‘legend’ is heavily over-used these days, but there is no doubt that it applies to DK (as he is universally known) even though he’s still only in his early thirties and has a whole lot more to contribute. His name is on pretty much every NZ surfing trophy; junior, open and senior short board titles; long board nationals; and tour; and now the stand-up wave nationals and tour as well. Internationally, he has spent four years on the World Qualifying Series (WQS) pro-surfing tour, from which the elite handful of surfers that do the ASP World Tour events are selected. And considering the minuscule size of his budget, he performed impressively there too, making the semi-finals and turning heads. As well as those formative years on the competition circuit, his late-teens also saw him mastering the art of big-wave surfing in Hawaii, taking on Sunset and Pipeline alongside Maz Quinn, Chris Malone and the other young Kiwi luminaries doing the tour. Heady stuff, but his roots and his NZ life were always calling him home. DK’s Maori heritage is massively important to him. He is first and foremost a Kiwi surfer.

“I love home too much. I got homesick a lot!” Now, at the age of 33, he’s reached that point where most top watersports athletes start to look for a more regular and reliable pay-check. Some get into coaching, others move into design or marketing for their sponsors, and a few go the whole way and start their own brand. DK’s doing all three – and fortunately for us, he’s doing it with stand-up paddling. 16

“My goal over the next couple of years is building the DK brand here in NZ, and seeing where it leads me. Boards, paddles, lessons, paddle-surf coaching – particularly the surf coaching. I’ve got 30 years of surfing inside my brain and I can’t hold on to it any more! It’s time to share it and give it back to everybody else. I think my name is strong enough in NZ now that I can create something that will be good for my family, my kids, and my community in Raglan – which has helped me out lots over the last 20 years – keeping me down to earth, making sure I don’t get too out of hand. It’s time for me to give back.” Born in Huntly in 1978 and raised in Raglan, his home community is a huge part of his life and his upbringing has defined his path in many ways. Growing up in relative poverty was a defining force. Being the fourth of six kids means you have to push hard to get what you want. “My motivation to succeed was coming from a family that couldn’t afford things that other kids could get. We were a big family and it was very hard for my parents to cater for all of our needs, so some of us missed out. I’d see my friends getting new boards, and I’d still be riding that old $20 board. I surfed for four winters in an old spring suit, because it was the only wetsuit I had! So that’s where my drive came from, simply wanting the things that other people had.” “Winning allowed me to surf. It wasn’t at all about money; it was just about getting what I needed to go surfing. I loved it so much. But from that I learned that if you really want something and work hard for it,

“Winning allowed me to surf. It wasn’t at all about money; it was just about getting what I needed to go surfing.” Sarah Lee page 17


Cory Scott you can get results.” So how and when did stand-up paddling first come into his life? “I first saw paddleboarding when I started travelling to Hawaii and Dave Kalama and Laird were doing it. It was funny. I was like – Wow, these guys are doing tow-in surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, such exotic stuff! I had no idea that both would one day become a big part of my life too.” “As it developed further I started thinking I’d like to do it here in NZ, so my brother and I and a few friends made our own paddles and started stand-up paddling on old windsurfers around Manu Bay, inside the [Raglan] harbour. And that’s how it was for a long time. It was just a bit of a pastime, something we’d do now and then, but nothing serious. For competition we’d paddle the outriggers.” 18

“As the sport developed we knew we needed to go to the next level, but proper manufactured gear just wasn’t available in NZ yet. We didn’t have the money to buy a brand new one from the States, so we just carried on with our canoes and our surfing, and kind of forgot about it.” “But then eventually a few boards started appearing in NZ, and my interest got reawakened. Time to get back into this again! So about five years ago I got my hands on a few proper paddleboards, and then aligned myself with Naish, who have been great for my career in stand-up paddlesurfing. They opened my eyes to different equipment and more possibilities for having fun in the surf.” So how did that go down with his hardcore surfing buddies? “A lot of my hardcore surf friends still give me shit about it even now. They blame me for

John Milek

getting paddleboarding into Raglan! Like, if I hadn’t taken it up, nobody else would ever have thought of paddleboarding here?” “And now I’ve got into kiting… That’s an absolute sin in Raglan. Surfers don’t get into kiting, you know! But I went to the kiting beach and asked if I could have a go. And now it’s taking my surfing to an absolute other level. Kitesurfing and surfing – unbelievable. You can ride waves for longer, you can get bigger airs, bigger turns, and any day that it’s a good kiting day… it’s a bad surfing day anyway!” Did he feel something similar – the potential to hit new levels – when he first took a paddleboard into the waves? “Um… Being Polynesian, you’re kind of born with a paddle in your hand anyway. It’s an essential cornerstone of our whole culture, and I have huge respect for it. But it’s not ever something that’s new. It’s always been there. It’s

just a piece of the puzzle for us. So when people started stand-up paddleboarding it actually just seemed like a totally natural logical thing for us, like yeah, sweet, let’s do it. It was never, wow, that’s such a break-through. It’s a natural extension of what we do as people.” This cultural connection is undoubtedly another important factor in understanding DK’s success. While he is often perceived as extremely serious and focused on winning, his drive is just as much about this deep underlying joy and cultural affinity with what he’s doing. It seems natural. It seems right. So, there was a huge degree of motivation to make it to the top. However, champions also generally have a very highly developed competitive instinct. DK unquestionably has it, but was it always there, or did he learn it en route? “I’ve got through mainly just by instinct and page 19

MEET THE LEGEND - DANIEL KEREOPA gut feeling, which I trust and it hasn’t let me down too often. But now, having such a lot of competition experience, I’ve learned to be analytical too – through years and years of doing it – and I will plan my tactics and attack in advance if it’s an important heat.”

become a better competitor, and they’ll start putting the pressure on me, which helps me become a better competitor. Because that’s all I want to do, just keep growing it, maybe one day get one of us on the world tour, start representing NZ out there.”

“But actually, I find my knowledge is more about knowing what will happen anyway. I’ll often sit down with my partner Renee before a stand-up paddle heat, and I’ll tell her how it’s going to play out. That guy will do this, this guy will do that, I’ll be here, then here… And she’ll sit there and watch, and it’ll go pretty much like I said it would, and I’ll come back in, and she’ll say, ‘How did you know?’ And it’s simply through so many years of competing, knowing what it’s like to be a beginner competitor, what instincts they will follow, then the same for the intermediate guy.

Who do you rate? Is there anybody where if you see their name in your heat you think, ‘Oh, shit’?

People always react the same way in what they do. I’ve seen it happen so many times. And it’s really fun watching it play out like you know it will – especially when I can share it with my partner like that!” So are there any fundamental differences between a paddleboarding heat and a surfing heat? “Not really, no. Competing is all the same. In stand-up paddleboarding – because the level isn’t really high yet – I don’t take it too seriously in the first rounds, because I respect the people who are giving it a shot, who are new to it. I know how they’re feeling. I want to encourage them; I want to encourage more people to get into it! So in the first couple of heats I won’t put any pressure on the other guys.” “But when it comes to the semi-finals and finals, yes, I’ll put a bit of pressure on, especially with certain guys. But that’s also about respect. They’ve reached that level so they’ve got to learn to handle the pressure, and it’ll help them 20

“Not really, no…” And there is no arrogance implied in DK’s reply. He has spent the last 15 years of his life competing against the rest of the best, in every category. That’s a lot of good surfers. And during that time he has had plenty of great duels. He and Maz Quinn in the short board division; Lynden Kennings or Michael Fitzharris on the long boards etc. And rivalries? Been there, done that. DK has learned through experience that focusing all of your energy and drive on simply delivering your best performance is the key to winning. He clearly respects and relishes the drive and energy of those who are trying to unseat him from his perch, but rather than being phased by it, he feeds off that energy himself. It pushes him higher. If he hasn’t got people trying to beat him, he won’t improve. From the top of the ladder, you’re looking down at the whole world coming up to challenge you, so it doesn’t really matter who it is on an individual level. “There’s lots of potential out there. There always is. But the best hasn’t come out of me yet, so as those people start getting better, I’ll be getting better too. I really just love being the person that other people have their sights on; that they want to beat. It’s a hard position to stay in, but a great one to be in! My partner asks me how I keep up with it, and I say I have no idea… seriously – just that I love it and enjoy it so much.”

John Milek

page 21

MEET THE LEGEND - DANIEL KEREOPA On top of his years of competition experience in the water, DK can also claim to be a graduate from the school of hard knocks, in the most literal sense. He explains:

Sarah Lee

“I’ve been doing martial arts for about 12 years and that’s been a great aspect of my training. Full contact tournament fighting keeps you very sharp, very focused, extreme levels of fitness and flexibility.” And does that give a direct pay-off in the surf? “Yes, absolutely. I find I can spend more time cross training and doing my Kyokushin karate, and I don’t have to go out in the surf. I’ve spent so many years doing that that it’s just ground into me. I don’t need to be out there every day practicing surfing. I can work on other parts of my fitness and preparation – the physical, the spiritual, the mental toughness. Kyokushin karate brings in a lot of mental toughness, breaking through those barriers, push through, push through…” And it’s good for the adrenaline, no doubt? “Oh yes. Because my other love is big-wave surfing. And that’s such a judgement game. Every judgement can have big consequences. You make a mistake; you’re going to get smashed and potentially killed. But big-wave surfing in NZ is a little bit far between meals – you can go three-to-four months without a session. But I can get that same feeling whenever I jump in the ring with someone. The nerves build up, you start sweating, twitching. It’s sheer adrenaline rush. And every mistake you make in the ring, the other guy is going to be on it. I get such a rush out of it. I feel human.” While those big waves may be few and far between, DK has spent much of his time seeking them out, up and down the NZ coastline. “When we first started big-wave surfing here, we thought that the biggest waves in NZ were 22

Renee and DK at Bridal Veil Falls, Raglan

Nia Kereopa, DK and Piripi Kereopa - Turanga Kereopa down at the bottom of the south, and we were spending a lot of time there. But over time we’ve found bigger waves in the Kermadec trench, or right up north past Ninety-Mile Beach. We’ve just built up the picture, from years of studying, listening to stories from fishermen – they know where the big waves are – and we’ve found some serious waves. 40-50 foot faces – big serious waves.” “You know, NZ has got everything you need as a surfer. Everything. You just need enthusiasm and courage to go out and look for it. I’ve had barrels in NZ as good as anything I’ve had in Hawaii or Australia; I’ve had waves as big as anywhere

around the world. We just have to be a little bit harder because the water’s colder.” “And for myself and my friends that do it, I think we are some of the luckiest surfers in the world. We get to experience things that you don’t normally get in surfing – the absolute fear, the incredible highs and thrills of riding something like that. And we get to do it at home! We don’t have to fly anywhere. It’s a way to see NZ, and meet the real NZers. “We’ve become a part of the history of surfing in NZ. And hopefully it’ll get continued by lots more great surfers and paddleboarders following in our footstep.”

To go into the draw to win a lesson with DK email the correct answers to the following questions: 1. Name the martial art that DK credits for his mental toughness?


2. In which iconic surf town is DK based? 3. Where did DK first see stand-up paddling? Send your entry to Entries close 30th October 2012. Winner will be notified within 3 working days following the draw. Competition conditions apply.


1 O E LE N 1 SSO UPS N KIL W I T H S TA DK ND L + L U FRO P PA E A R N M N DDL Zs B E S ING PH T. +64 224 DK (02 SUR 24 F 35 WW









page 23

 DK’s ride of choice for the last few years has been the diminutive Naish Hokua 8’0”, significantly smaller than most other people are riding. So what will his DK brand of boards be like? “I’m wanting to get onto shorter boards still, to the point where I can surf my paddleboard like I can surf my short board. That’s where I want to go with the DK brand, taking them into super high performance. I think that high performance paddleboards for surfing have got a long way to go. But it’s also about getting people to change their thoughts on the type of boards they can ride. I was the same. When I first jumped on the Naish 8’0 I couldn’t even stand on it! But with a bit of time and perseverance I’ve been able to do it, and now...You don’t always need to be on the biggest board!” But sometimes there’s a lot to be said for that bit of extra float. Hasn’t he ever been out there wishing he were on a bigger board? “Oh yeah, heaps of times! The Piha nationals this year – it was big, it was ugly, and really rough. Worst conditions I’ve ever been out in, I reckon, and my board was the worst board to be on. I was struggling! I was about to give up. I kept saying to myself, ‘What are you doing? Go get a bigger board, it’ll make it so much easier.’ But then it was like, ‘No, this is the board I’m going to do it on.” “But I didn’t. Shane [Baxter] won that one. And that really fired a bullet up my arse to start training a bit more. As much as you like to win, losing is productive too. Because it sucks! But I think I’m a good loser because I can turn the whole thing round to my favour, and just train harder.”


So the DK brand is going to be primarily about paddleboarding? “Yes. And teaching skills that I’ve learned from the outrigger community, that paddleboarding has yet to even start appreciating – the respect that you should be giving your paddle and board. You shouldn’t be stabbing your paddle into the sand, throwing it down on the beach, jumping over your board. These are things that I have learned from being a paddler, and sometimes when I go to events and see people throwing their kit around, a part of me gets a little bit irritated that they don’t see it how I see it. I need to teach people that, so the word can spread, and people can start seeing that their equipment is not just a tool, but a part of them, and a part of why they go paddleboarding.” So what will the DK board range be like? “I’m looking around at a whole lot of boards, trying things out, so I can incorporate all the best of everything and create my own designs, starting from the ground up. Right now I’m working on a competition board for me, and then from there, will work on scaling it up for everybody else, so they can ride it too. I want people to believe that they can ride like me and I totally believe that they can. I really think people can ride much smaller boards than they realise, if given the right dimensions and a bit of encouragement!”

Shane, Oscar and Nadia Murrell - Delphine Ducaruge

mate the ulti lip! n-s SUP no

lose t wax &hat ugly grip-tamessy pe! page 25

kiwi olympic paddleboarders The 30th Olympiad in London is here and our 185-strong team will aim to put NZ on the Olympic medal table once again. And while paddleboarding isn’t yet on the official Olympic events list, it is very much on the itinerary for several of the team, either as part of their training program, or an activity to help relieve the pressures of elite competition.

From the left – Sara Winther, Susannah Pyatt, Jo Aleh, J P Tobin and Nathan Handley

Jon Paul Tobin – Windsurfing Men’s RS-X This year, Tobin finally gets his Olympic chance after previously being overlooked or missing selection. Having achieved 3rd place in this year’s RS-X World Championships, Tobin was called into the Olympic team for what will be windsurfing’s final Olympic appearance, unless the petition the windsurfing community have launched is successful. An impressive all-round athlete with age-group wins and top-ten placings in such iconic NZ multisport events as The Nugget and Xterra, Tobin’s competitive skills have also placed him at the fore of the NZ paddleboarding fleet. Since his first race experiences in the 2010 / 11 Beach Series at Takapuna, and despite the pressures of a busy schedule allowing only occasional opportunities to race in the 2011 / 12 series, he has always placed highly. Before heading into his pre-Olympic preparation he won the 2012 Auckland Championships.


J P Tobin J P Tobin

To keep up with Tobin visit: If you want to support the campaign to keep windsurfing an Olympic sport Google: ISAF Keep Windsurfing as an Olympic discipline. Mike Dawson – K-1 Slalom Kayaking After missing out on the Beijing Games (2004), Dawson’s London Olympic place was confirmed following his 16th place finish at the World Championships in Slovenia in 2011. Not only will London be Dawson’s first Games, but he becomes the first Kiwi to represent NZ in the slalom event. NZ SUP Champs

coach, and his mother officiating in London, this hardworking first-time Olympian will be hoping everything falls into place. Enthusiastic about the cross-training potential of paddleboarding for Slalom Kayaking, Dawson took up the sport approximately 18-months ago and most recently competed in the SUP Slalom races at the NZ SUP Championships in Auckland using a Pau Hana board. To keep up with Mike Dawson visit: Jo Alen (helm) – Two-handed Dinghy Women’s 470 Taking Gold at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, England, in early June – an effective Olympic dress rehearsal – has made Aleh and her crew, Olivia (Polly) Powrie, realistic medal contenders in the Women’s 470 class. Team Polly

Jeremy Collis London slalom course

Jeremy Collis With multiple successes on the whitewater extreme racing circuit, and a 3rd win at the recent Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, and a win at the Steep Creek Championship, Dawson will fine tune his slalom skills in pre-games events leading up to London. With his father by his side as his

London will be Aleh’s second Games; she came 7th in Beijing in the Laser Radial Class. Teaming up with Powrie – who was the 2007 420 Class World Champion – to form Team Jolly in 2008 with the specific aim of medaling in London, the team have delivered impressive results in this Olympic year. Although Powrie is yet to give paddleboarding a real go, Aleh was hooked in March 2011.

page 27

kiwi olympic paddleboarders continued Susannah Pyatt

Jo Aleh Since then and whenever her hectic schedule has allowed, she’s raced in the State Beach Series at Takapuna and consistently placed highly in the overall standings. She’s also recently taken up stand-up paddlesurfing. To keep up with Team Jolly visit: Susannah Pyatt (bow) – Women’s Match Racing Elliott 6 Pyatt travels to London with crewmates Stephanie Hazard (helm) and Jenna Hansen (main), to challenge for Women’s Match Racing honours. Following a sluggish start to the pre-Olympic ISAF Sailing World Cup event (Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta), the crew will be buoyed by their strong finish. A fan of paddleboarding, and with a more relaxed focus, dependably accompanied by a big smile, Pyatt has raced at the State Beach Series in Takapuna, Auckland, when her 28

sailing commitments have allowed. Pyatt and the other members of the Olympic team who paddleboard will be encouraging crewmate Hansen to get out on a board more frequently following her brother’s (Marcus) recent 1st place finish at the NZ Nationals. To keep up with the crew visit: Sara Winther

Sara Winther – Single-Handed Dinghy Laser Radial Winther will make her first Olympic appearance in London, where she will be hoping to exceed her current world ranking of 24th and to lift herself from some disappointing World Championship results of late. Paddleboarding is more of a recreation activity for Winther but being around a team that frequently get out on boards between events, she’ll probably find it hard not to get drawn into the competitive side. To keep up with Sara visit: Nathan Handley – Olympic 470 Coach With an impressive competitive sailing history, which includes a top 10 placing at the Sydney Olympics (2000) in the 49er Skiff class and a role as Bowman for Team New Zealand in the 2003 America’s Cup defence, Handley will attend his second Olympics as 470 Coach to Jo Aleh and Olivia (Polly) Powrie. Handley has been paddleboarding for just over a year and is a member of the Takapuna Boating Club. As a coach, Handley spends hours on the water in the coach’s boat in all conditions and gives credit to his paddleboarding for keeping up fitness levels and developing core strength that help him through the sometimes tough coaching sessions. Even though his competitive sailing days are behind him, his water knowledge and appetite for competition is still evident as he’s a regular top 15 finisher in the highly competitive field at the State Beach Series at Takapuna, Auckland. Like many of the other Olympic team, he makes sure his paddleboard always accompanies him while he’s out of the country. To keep up with all members of the sailing team visit:

Perhaps it’s not surprising that many of our water-sporting Olympians have taken to paddleboarding so enthusiastically, many moving rapidly to a level at or beyond more experienced paddleboard racers. They have huge talent in their chosen disciplines; are naturally at home in the water; possess extremely high levels of fitness; and of course, an exceptionally competitive nature! Tobin says that many of the world’s top windsurfers are now focusing on paddleboarding as a positive addition to their training programmes, as there are few other forms of training that can sustain consistently high heart-rate outputs with low impacts on the body. Aleh believes that paddleboarding is great cross training for her and helps to build the upper body and abdominal strength which is needed for sailing. She also says it’s a nice way for her to clear her head and get out on the water for some much needed timeout, after the stresses of an Olympic campaign. Aleh also reckons that it’s not as dangerous as road biking, for example, and unlike running, paddleboarding is low impact. So it ticks all the boxes. Dawson says paddleboarding incorporates stability, power and technique. While he only manages to get out about once a week, he’s found it helps a lot. Mostly, Dawson uses his paddleboard for 40-60 minute low intensity recovery sessions. Slalom kayaking is a power sport and involves a lot of interval training, so it is important to engage in those recovery sessions. Paddleboarding keeps these kinds of training sessions interesting. To follow our Olympic team visit: or SRONZ wishes all our Olympians the very best for London. For those of us not fortunate enough to be in London, one thing’s for sure – there’ll be a few tired days ahead after the early wake-ups, to follow the team on TV.

stand-up at the olympics?

The question on the lips of many a young paddleboarder, is inevitably: Will we see paddleboarding as a sport in its own right at a future Games? NZ’s most high profile and successful paddleboarder, Starboard International rider Annabel Anderson told SRONZ, “Put simply, I don’t think it should be. This is a sport that cannot even decide if it has a governing body yet. Pigeon-holing it as an Olympic sport at this young stage will mean that it is either classed as a rowing / canoe sport or lumped under the International Surfing Association surfing banner. Let the sport grow organically, naturally and don’t try to stifle it with unnecessary politics and administration. It typically takes two to three Olympic cycles


for a new sport to be included on the Games roster and there are always a number of sports competing for inclusion.” Experienced international Olympic water sports commentator Bill Dawes gives his views: “It’s highly likely that stand-up paddleboarding will feature in the Games eventually, but don’t expect it to be any time soon. The sports for the 2016 Games are already pretty much finalised, so it’ll be 2020 at the earliest. And it’s going to take a long process of horse-trading and negotiation, because – while not impossible – it’s incredibly

unlikely that the Olympic organisers will initially create a whole new event category just for stand-up. We’ll almost certainly be shoehorned in alongside an existing category, just as windsurfing had to be classed as a sailing discipline in order to become an Olympic sport. And now kitesurfing is probably going to have to follow the same route.

whereby brands and competitors can develop their own equipment within a defined set of parameters? The one-design option keeps the sport affordable, but can mean (as kept happening with windsurfing) that because it has to be fixed for at least four years, the Olympic class becomes effectively obsolete, as the rest of the sport forges ahead into new directions and designs.

“Let the sport grow organically, naturally and don’t try to stifle it with unnecessary politics and administration.”

So it may well be that the paddleboarding event ends up either fitting in alongside the canoe / kayak racing (which would mean 500m or 1000m courses), or bolted onto the rowing disciplines, using their 2000m course. This will be disappointing news to all the long distance race fans, but realistically, the Olympic organisers simply aren’t going to sanction a whole new venue and all the associated officials, administration and costs etc, just for us to run a nice 10km downwinder!

Next up – what about equipment? Will it be a one-design class, using a specified board and paddle, or will it be a development class,

As Anderson says, there’s a lot of politics to be sorted out too. We have several organisations competing for recognition as the world governing body, and a long way to go in terms of national series’ feeding into recognized international and world championships etcetera, which is the minimum the International Olympic Committee will require. So all in all, there’s a very long, long way to go before we see paddleboarders in our Olympic team, unfortunately. And it’s anybody’s guess what course and equipment they’ll be competing on. So don’t start training just yet.”

WIN a box of Balance Fuel 2Go Bars Email us your name and address to Entries close Tuesday 28th August 2012. Winner will be notified within 3 working days following the draw. Competition conditions apply. page 31

travel to paddle - Rotorua region

Aside from its wondrous geothermal landscape, the 16 lakes of the Rotorua region make it a perfect destination for paddleboarders. We cruised down for a winter paddle on Lake Rotoiti that left us feeling warm on the inside. Lake Rotoiti is the 3rd largest lake in the region at 38.6km2, connected to Lake Rotorua’s northern shore by the Ohau Channel. At 14km in length, this elongated aquatic expanse is surrounded by native bush and offers plenty to explore. Heading out under blue skies, our destination on this beautiful winters day was the Manupirua Hot

okere inlet

Pools on the southern shore, accessible only by watercraft. We chose to start our paddle from the Okawa Bay Reserve, accessed from State Highway 33 at Okawa Bay Road, approximately 15 minutes drive north-east from central Rotorua. There is an amenity block and plenty of parking close to the boat-ramp adjacent to the





2 3 mourea



1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Okawa Bay Hohowai Marae Motutawa Point Tumoana Point Tahunaroa Point Potangotango Point Manupirua Hot Pools


Hohowai Marae grassy reserve, which seems to be a popular place for fowl to foul so watch your step. Heading north from the boat-ramp, the redroofs of the Hohowai Marae on the northern shore provide a useful guide for the impending easterly turn around Motutawa Point. With an eye on our destination and given the calm conditions, we chose to take a direct easterly course across Wairau Bay to Tumoana Point, although there are beautiful places to explore along the bush-clad shoreline that may beckon an unhurried, passive paddle. Jutting out, Tumoana Point cleaves the lake, but you can carry your board a few metres over the shallow water at a crossing approximately 200m south of the point itself. If your timing is right and with weather as heavenly as it was on our trip, the eastern shoreline of Tumoana Point presents the opportunity for an idyllic recess, where you’ll find the native bush alive with the everinquisitive Piwakawaka (Fantail). As you follow the southern shoreline, the paddle takes you past a number of amazing lakeside properties heading across toward Tahunaroa Point. From Tahunaroa Point, you’ll cross Wharetata Bay directly east to Potangotango Point. And then, as you round the point, the jetties of the Manupirua Hot Pools gradually come into view.

Due to the fact that the hot pools are accessible only from the lake, the crowds that populate Rotorua’s myriad of other attractions are, for the most part, satisfyingly absent. Of course, that said, timing is everything. Built in the early 1900s, the Manupirua Hot Pools consist of six different mineral pools ranging in temperature from 30 to 39 degrees, open from 6am to 10pm, each and every day of the year. For this blissful, relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable seclusion there is a charge of $7.50 per adult (12+) and $2.50 per child. But don’t get too relaxed; after all, there remains the return paddle. The facilities include changing rooms and toilets, and

Meeting the locals page 33

travel to paddle continued

“Manupirua Hot Pools consist of six different mineral pools ranging in temperature from 30 to 39 degrees”

Manupirua Hot Pools visitors are welcome to bring a picnic and take advantage of the two barbeques. The Manupirua Hot Pools website also suggests that after a soak, the body can be awakened and the mind and soul revitalized by taking a dip in the plunge pool. And although the waterslide did look like fun, we skipped that option this time around. Once relaxed and warm on the inside, we retraced our strokes back to Okawa Bay using the red-roofed Hohowai Marae as our guide back to Motutawa Point. 34

You could, however, head directly north from the Hot Pools to Te Karaka Bay – approximately 3.5km. It would require some forward planning, but groups could easily organise to have a vehicle dropped off at Te Karaka Bay, before setting off initially. Te Karaka Bay is a popular launch point for trips to the Hot Pools, and is accessible from Otaramarae Road. However in our opinion, this makes for a far less scenic paddle, than the unrivalled Okawa Bay Manupirua Hot Pools excursion.

Trip Facts Distance: Approximately 11km return taking the most direct route from Okawa Bay to Manupirua Hot Pools. Duration: 4hrs with 1hr at the hot pools. More Information and Tips • B  e safe and responsible. Mobile phone reception on Lake Rotoiti is patchy to say the least, so tell someone your route and when you expect to return. • C  heck the weather forecast before heading out. Very rough water conditions can be experienced on lakes. • W  ear high visibility clothing, a PFD at best or leash at the very least. • D  idymo (Didymosphenia geminata) the invasive alga hasn’t been found in the North Island, but if it invades these lakes,

the effects will be dramatic. Preventing its spread is very simple by following these steps. Check: Remove all visible bits of debris from clothing and equipment. Leave any debris at the river. Clean: Clean all equipment with a detergent solution. Use one cup of ordinary dishwashing liquid in five litres of water (2 cups to a bucketful). Dunk equipment in the bucket and / or use a small spray bottle to spray solution all over equipment. The equipment may then be rinsed using water that has come from a town water supply. Dry: If cleaning is not practicable, allow to dry completely and then wait another 48 hours before contact with another river / lake. Manupirua Hot Pools




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· Sat 27 Oc





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winter gear review Despite the chill in the air and less than ideal water temperatures, there’s no reason to skip your paddleboarding session. All you need is the right attitude and, of course, the right gear. We look at some winter apparel options for paddleboarders. If all-year-round paddling is on your agenda then you’ll need more insulation than your board-shorts and rashie can provide. There are plenty of excellent insulative waterwear options out there, much of which is suitable for use by paddleboarders, but as our unique requirement for greater upper body freedom is better understood and the sport continues to grow, we are beginning to see stand-up specific gear on the market. Whereas the top surf brands may still be a little tentative in announcing paddleboard gear for fear of antagonising their hardcore traditional surf following, some are introducing it ‘under the radar’ by labelling it ‘mulitisport apparel including SUP’. While the stand-up paddle surfer can more than adequately use a surf designed wetsuit, the touring paddleboarders won’t enjoy the additional upper-body restriction and nonbreathability of a full wetsuit, and will need to look a little wider at the available options. Apparel is very much a personal choice, and winter paddleboarders can often be seen with a mix and match of garments designed for a range of other sporting activities in attempts to keep the chill out. Essentially, if you’re comfortable with what you’re using and it works for you then you don’t need to go looking for specialist gear. However, more technical gear is likely to be designed to be lightweight, breathable, moisture wicking, quick-drying and provide some sun protection too. Remember, if you do take an unexpected dip, especially in cold water temperatures, whatever you wear doesn’t want to be a restriction to you getting back on the board quickly. 36

O’Neill Breeze Breaker Jacket This jacket is part of the O’Neill Multisport range and it combines fantastic performance with style. It’s not often that you can wear gear that’s equally at home on the water as it is off. By this we mean the jacket is really comfortable to paddle in and you won’t feel out of place wearing it in the café after. Our early winter test proved that the jacket provides for excellent upper-body / arm movement through the lightweight breathable sleeves and the 2mm Neoprene front and back panels more than adequately kept the chill out. In fact, upper North Island winters may be a little too mild to appreciate its benefits. However, if you feel the cold we can’t recommend this jacket highly enough. RRP $199

ThermaTech Ultrasport Base Layer These long-sleeve lightweight tops incorporate an array of technically sounding references - try Hollowcore Fibre and SpeedDriTM wicking technology for starters. Essentially, these technologies mean body temperature will be regulated so you’re neither too warm nor too cold, as moisture is expelled. Add odor resistance, flat seams to eliminate abrasion, reflective logos, as well as super-quick drying; and you have yourself a great garment for all-year round. RRP $59.99 Billabong 3mm SG5 Boot Your feet are your direct link to your board, so a bad pair of booties can translate into a general loss of feeling or sensory input. Even outside of winter, booties can help those not fully confident in moving around the board while keeping the blood flowing and feet warm. Of course this is not to say that if you wear booties you should skip practicing moving your feet! At only 3mm, these booties are still thick enough to keep you warm, especially with the ‘Furnace Thermal Lining’ to increase heat retention, but not so thick as to eliminate all sensory input. They’ve been reinforced with rubber in areas susceptible to wear, while the neoprene arch keeps you feeling flexible. The closed splittoe offers the benefit of a normal split-toe bootie, meaning a good range of motion in your foot, while a rubber “bridge” prohibits your leash from getting stuck between your

toes and fouling up your next ride. Also, with glued and taped seams the warm water stays in and the cold water stays out. All told, they’re a very well-built, lightweight and durable piece of equipment. Despite the manufacturer’s blurb stating that these booties were designed with surfing, and only surfing in mind, we reckon it should also read “paddleboarding”. RRP $79.90

Buff Water Gloves This all-purpose watersports glove is designed for a host of uses, including paddleboarding. The lightweight, UV-protective breathable fabric, naturally contours to your hand, and features a wet / dry silicone grip to make for a great all-round glove. They won’t necessarily keep the winter chill off but they may give some relief whilst not compromising the feel of the paddle. Unlike many gloves they are easy to pull on, and the finger-tip pull makes them easy to get off. Just a note on sizing – unless you have paddles for hands then the average male should start by trying small. RRP$59.99 page 37

winter gear continued Sharkskin Rapid Dry Sharkskin market their range of garments as Technical Exposure Protection, so you know what to expect before you put anything on. Once you do put the Rapid Dry top on we don’t think you’ll be disappointed. This water repelling, breathable, rapid-drying and loose fitting top will also provide ultimate sun protection with a 50+ UPF rating. Perhaps the best endorsement of this garment comes from one of our own – Starboard International racer Jeremy Stephenson who says “this is the quickest drying paddle garment imaginable”, “…even in cold southerlies and rain nothing is lighter, warmer or drier”. We recommend checking out the full Sharkskin range. RRP $99.00

SUP STUFF! cool extras & accessories UPF


Surf Sun Hats

awesome safari hats that stay on even in the gnarliest wipe out, & the brim doesn’t flap even in st super strong winds. Perfect for SUP, surfing, kiteboarding, sailing etc

various infant/kids sizes and styles also available


Spray-on Clear Deck Grip Lose those slippery deck areas with one quick spray of MONSTER! No need to hide your cool SUP deck with ugly tape or messy wax

$39.90 Board Locking Cable

The RRP’s stated are those provided by the manufacturers. Shop around for better deals.

Simple but effective board lock cable. Simply pass it through the leash plug and secure with a padlock (not included). 1.5m high tensile steel cable made in New Zealand


plus: leashes, fins, SUP-specific wetsuits, carry straps, racks, DVDs and loads more great SUP stuff at: 38

free postage anywhere in NZ!!

your first purchases Stand-up paddling is a very simple sport, equipment-wise. You need a board, a paddle and if you’re going out in the waves, a leash and some sun protection. If you’re going to hit the water in the winter or spring or planning on surfing, you should invest in some suitable clothing too. And that’s pretty much it! So let’s go shopping... The Board Your best bet is to start with an all-round board, something that cruises comfortably but could be used in small surf too if this is a direction you want to explore. Boards of this type are usually in the 10’ to 12’6” size range. Anything shorter is usually strongly orientated towards surfing, and will thus not be particularly suited to straight-line cruising (longer boards have better ‘glide’), while

anything longer than 12’6” is orientated towards distance and racing, and is likely to be unstable and hard to turn (as well as heavier, more expensive and a hassle for transportation and storage!). The board’s width is the most important indicator of stability. If you’re 70kg or more, then a good rule of thumb is to look for something with at least 30” of width. If you’re 90kg+ then going wider still will definitely make life easier.

Stand Up Takapuna

To go into the draw to win a copy of the DVD ‘The First Glide’, email us and outline your favourite paddleboard trip, which could feature in future Travel to Paddle articles. Send your entry to Entries close 11th October 2012. Winner will be notified within 3 working days following the draw. Competition conditions apply. page 39

gear and expand your gadgets paddleboarding world – So you’ve bought a stand-up paddleboard and are now wondering how to tie it onto your car’s roof-rack? We asked Josh Nixon, a recent convert to paddleboarding and former RS:X windsurfer, who’s been carrying boards on cars for years, to give us a few tips.

Josh Dixon This may sound basic but it’s important to make sure the roof-racks are the correct size and model for your car. I’d recommend that they are professionally fitted but at the very least you secure them as directed by the manufacturer guide. Personally I’d pay a little extra and get aerobars; not only does their shape create the less drag, which means less noise on the move but more importantly you’ll get greater fuel economy. Some of the newer model racks come with rubber anti-slip strips but even if the model you have doesn’t, some kind of padding between your board and the roof-rack will prevent pressure dents or other damage being caused to your board. Do-ityourself padding can be as easy as an old towel or piece of foam. Alternatively check out 40

the custom made padding stocked by your local roof-rack shop. There are a number of ‘soft-racks’ on the market. Whereas these may be satisfactory for smaller SUP surfboards, using them to transport heavier paddleboards is likely to result in unwanted damage to your board and pocket. As a rule of thumb your board(s) should always be positioned on the roof-rack upside down, with the fins at the front - this ensures there is the least possible drag. The board(s) should be centered on the car - not hanging over the front or the back. When carrying more than one board, place them the same way so the curve of the boards match. If you’re carrying multiple boards of the same length be prepared to detach the

roof-rack tips fin(s) of the lower board(s) to ensure they are all centered. Standard straps or tie-downs are around 2m in length but if you’re carrying two or more boards you’ll need straps of between 3.5 – 5m. It’s not necessary to tie each board on separately in a stack, but doing this will help with stability. You can always secure multiple boards with a pair of lockable straps. To prevent the straps from whistling or humming whilst driving, put a few twists in them as you cross them over the board(s). Also, tie off any excess strapping. A couple of things NOT to do: • use straps that stretch; or • o  ver-tighten straps as this could lead to pressure dents. Be particularly careful with delicate carbon or race boards. All in all it’s quite easy to expand your paddleboarding world by putting racks on your car and by properly securing your boards(s) ensure they’ll be there when you

arrive at your destination. But what if you want to leave your paddleboard strapped to your car when you’re not with it? None of us will feel particularly comfortable leaving thousands of dollars worth of board(s) on a car without some security so, check out Kanulock Lockable Tiedowns. These 4m long tie-downs are used in the same way as regular tie-downs, but have the significant addition of being reinforced with two stainless steel cables and have a lockable buckle which is engaged / disengaged with a key. The wide webbed construction of Kanulock Lockable Tiedowns also helps with the spreading of load, limiting the potential of pressure dents that can result from over tightening thinner tie-downs. To purchase a set of Kanulock Tiedowns contact or ph 021 0211 0888.

We have one set of 4m Kanulock Lockable Tiedowns, valued at $139, to give away to one lucky reader. To be in the draw to win simply mention SRONZ in an email to and ‘LIKE’ Epic Innovations on Facebook. Entries close 28th September 2012. Winner will be notified within 3 working days following the draw. Competition conditions apply. page 41

stand-up paddleboard fishing contents Paddleboard fishing expert Shamus offers his expertise on the essential safety and set up issues to consider, especially if you’re planning to hunt bigger fish... Shamus

If the fish takes off and you fall in, the board will take off too – and you won’t catch up. So you need to be attached! SAFETY considerations Let’s start with some paddleboard fishing safety fundamentals. Unless you’re only planning on catching very small fish very close to the shore, and you’re launching – and even more importantly, returning - with absolutely no risk of surf or shorebreak, then everything needs to be attached to the board, and / or stowed. Including you. My rods are leashed to my board, and I’m leashed to my board. This is vital. If the fish takes off and you fall in, the board will take off too – and you won’t catch up. So you need to be attached! (Remember too that rods sink. All too easy to drop one over the side...). The only thing I don’t lash to the board is my gaff. If the board takes off and the gaff is flailing around on a leash behind, it can easily tear a big piece out of you. Better to just put a float on it. 42

Make sure all your gear is stowed before you come back in through the surf, even if it’s the tiniest of shorebreaks. You absolutely don’t want exposed hooks anywhere near you if you get tumbled in the shorebreak. (This is a common injury for kayak fishermen!). Bear in mind that if you’re coming back with 20kg extra weight (of fish), you’re a lot less stable on the board. Be aware of distance! You drift fast, and you can get dragged a LONG way when playing a fish. If you’re already a couple of km offshore, you may not realise how far you’ve been taken if you get into a big fish. Wind, as always when paddleboarding, is the big issue. You’re standing there on your board like a sail. If there’s any wind you can’t hold position, and you can get so absorbed in what

Success! - Shamus

you’re doing that you might miss a change in conditions that could have safety implications. More about this later. Dress warm. You’re going to be out there for hours, hardly moving, exposed to the wet and windchill. If you’re going any distance offshore, you MUST wear a wetsuit. Ideally smoothskin (singlelined neoprene), to minimise wind chill. Wear really good neoprene booties; lots of grip, lots of warmth. Wear a high vis jacket, and a proper kayak-style lifejacket with lots of pockets. (This stuff is all easily sourced from kayak fishing specialist retailers). Safety-wise, I pack the lot - an EPIRB, VHF, first aid kit, mobile phone. I’ll often leash another paddle onto the board, just in case. And don’t forget a good hat, sunblock, water and snacks. Paddleboard Fishing vs Kayak Fishing Now let’s get more into the detail, which I’ll do from the perspective of how the set up differs from kayak fishing as this is a useful way of explaining it. If you’re already into kayak

fishing, don’t assume you can simply take your existing set up onto your paddleboard - the weight distribution is different, the gear is different, the experience is different. But in my view, it’s significantly better, as I’ll be explaining over the next few issues. Let’s start with the only significant negative. You have much less storage and weight carrying ability – most fishing kayaks can carry 200kg+, but you aren’t going to get that on any paddleboard. (Although I’ve come back a few times with my board almost completely underwater!) However, the extra operating space definitely makes up for this. Having so much more deck space on a paddleboard makes it much easier to move around on the board, sort yourself and your kit out, etc. EQUIPMENT People usually use shorter rods on kayaks, but I use a medium to longer rod on a standup board - because I can. You don’t tend page 43

stand-up paddleboard fishing continued to point-load them the same. As for line, don’t assume that because you’re chasing big kingfish you need 80lb nylon, that sort of thing. Because you’re fighting it differently and you’re so much more mobile, you can get right up on to the fish. And if you do hook the bottom, you’re physically not going to be able to break 80lb braid from standing on your paddleboard. So you’ll have to cut a whole lot of line off and leaving it in the water is a big no-no. 15kg line is all you need. (it’ll break down at the knot close to the bottom, so you only lose your hook and weight). You’ll need a drogue (chute) if you have any plans on holding position in anything other than flat calm conditions. Allow about 20% bigger than you’d use on your kayak, because you’ve got that much extra windage. Buy a

good one, with a leading edge stiffener to keep it open, a float, and a running rig on the front of it (so you can collapse it and pull it back in). As mentioned earlier, wind is such a major factor. Bear in mind also that if you go out with kayak fishermen, don’t assume you can stay together. You’ll be operating at very different speeds. So that’s your set up. Next issue we’ll look at techniques for catching and landing bigger fish, and in future articles we’ll cover fly-fishing (salt water and fresh water), spearfishing and night fishing from a paddleboard, kitting your board out with electronic fishing aids, and dealing with sharks. We’d love to hear from you, with your own paddleboard fishing pictures and stories!

Introducing Shamus A big thanks to Shamus for his input on this (and future) columns. Shamus runs specialist kayak / SUP fishing store - Kayak Pro in Whangarei. He’s been kayak fishing for 15 years, winning many titles and prizes along the way, and was an early convert to paddleboard fishing. He won every paddleboard fishing event in the 2011 / 2012 national series. Check out the extensive range of paddleboards / accessories / fishing gear and tours at

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Al Taylor and Christchurch Paddleboarding CUSTOMER: REP ID:


NZ’s favourite son, Dan Carter paddling a Fanatic board supplied by Groundswell.


1/02/2012 11:32:07 a.m. 02/07/12 18X4


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SRONZ SUPer SUPer clinic clinic

Our ‘experts’ cast an eye over your standup paddling related problems and provide free prescriptions...

SUFFER BABY SUFFER I’m looking to buy my first paddleboard for use as part of my fitness training regime, and have been told that I need to get the narrowest board I can, to make it as challenging as possible to maximise the workout. Would you agree with this? Murdoch, by email This seems very misguided advice, especially for a first board purchase. A super-narrow board is entirely inappropriate for learning on, but even assuming you’ve already learned the basics on a more userfriendly board, a super-narrow board is always going to be brutal in anything other than 46

mirror-flat water conditions. In any sort of chop or swell you’re going to be having such a hard time staying on that you’re very likely to develop bad habits in your paddling, and you simply won’t get that great a workout anyway. Plus which, if you’re not enjoying it, you’ll probably end up not using it – and then its workout potential becomes a big fat zero. Get a board that you can use comfortably in the full range of wind / water conditions you intend to paddle in, and then if you want to make the ride more challenging, simply stand with your feet closer together (i.e. closer to the centre line!). You can vary your workout hugely simply by adopting different stances (try a long stagger, both feet close to the centerline, for example). You don’t need a narrow board to make it harder.

FOOT FAULT After about 20 minutes of paddling, my feet start to get sore. It doesn’t happen when I’m surfing, but when I am just cruising, it becomes a real problem. James Winby, by email A question we hear very regularly at the SRONZ SUPer clinic, as paddleboarding is hard on the feet, for sound physiological reasons. Paddleboarding is possibly the only aerobic activity where your calf pumps (the normal circulatory aid to get the blood back up from your feet) aren’t working. So basically, your blood is flowing downhill, thanks to gravity, but not back up again. In addition the feet are working hard, gripping

on as all the power from your paddling goes through them into the board. You don’t have the problem when you’re surfing because your feet are moving. But when you’re cruising, they’re just locked into one position - and they get swollen and uncomfortable. So - first thing to check is, are your booties too tight? If that’s not the problem, then try doing gentle calf raises as you paddle, to get the blood flowing. This simple trick can make all the difference. Try it, and let us know how you get on! Got a paddleboarding problem? Contact the doctor on for your free and friendly, non-binding (and entirely non-confidential!) advice now...

Surfboards & SUPs Made in NZ!! page 47

PFDs FOR PADDLEBOARDING Wearing some form of personal flotation device (PFD) while paddleboarding makes very good sense - as long as it doesn’t restrict your manoeuvrability, weigh you down, or cause chafe or other discomfort. Does such a device exist? And, if so, is it affordable? Our team assembled a range of potential PFD options for paddleboarding, and put them through their paces.

There are two primary reasons for a paddleboarder to wear a buoyancy aid. A weak or non-swimmer will want that safety back-up for any and every time they fall in, which basically requires something with built-in permanent buoyancy. Whereas for the competent swimmer, it’s purely on emergency back-up device. Some hold the attitude that it’s not worth wearing one at all. The argument is that as well as being potentially restrictive, prone to chafing, sweaty, and uncomfortable, the idea goes against the sport’s natural freedom and indeed, its whole philosophy – board, paddle, go! If you’re not going to fall in and you’re leashed to your board, why take a buoyancy aid as well? The reality is that there is a legal requirement 48

to do so (see separate section), thus the ideal solution is something as unobtrusive as possible. Hence the popularity of the beltpack (or bum-bag) style PFD. For our review, we trialled three brands currently purchasable in NZ, and then included a couple of other potential options, namely the inflatable rash vest and a flotation tube. To complete the picture, and cater for that first group identified above, we brought in the lowest-profile regular PFD we could find, and a couple of full-on kayak-style life jackets. To carry out the test, our reviewers took each PFD onto the water to assess its suitability for general use, and then carried out a full inflation test in the water.

BELT-PACK PFDs Advantages: The belt-pack PFDs are neat, portable, and vastly less restrictive than anything worn permanently on the upper torso. They clip on around the waist, and you can rotate it around so as to wear the pack on the hip or behind you. They provide sufficient buoyancy in all the right places, when successfully triggered. Disadvantages: These are utterly useless unless you (or someone else) are functional enough to carry out the manual stages required. There is no easy way of knowing that they are serviceable (see ‘The Down Side’), and they require a new cylinder ($30-$40) and careful repacking after use. In Use: Once triggered, all three models did their job extremely well, floating the user in a face-up position, with huge amounts of support around the head and neck. All three belt-pack PFDs offer 150N of buoyancy when inflated, have an oral inflation valve and a whistle, and reflective tape patches (which are brilliant for picking up any light for a search and rescue at night).

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Activation: These PFDs are user-activated. This is a very important distinction. If you fall into the water unconscious, just wearing a belt-pack PFD will do nothing – you need to perform at least two manual actions to turn the belt-pack into a functioning buoyancy aid: 1. Rotate the belt around so the pouch is frontand-centre on your body, if it isn’t already. 2. P  ull the trigger toggle to puncture the CO2 gas cylinder, which inflates the life jacket (fast – probably only a second or so to full inflation). 3. Put it over your head.

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BELT-PACK PFDs LALIZAS DELTA BELT-PACK PFD Distributor: Absolute Marine RRP: $149.95 A European import, Lalizas’s bright red pouch is the biggest PFD when packed (280x170x60mm) and is a slightly heavier option due to its heavy-duty construction. The pouch is on a thick 5cm webbing belt with a large steel buckle fastening system, and has noticeably the biggest grab-handle for inflation. Unlike the other two, it is made up of two ‘lungs’, each with an adjustable strap down to the belt, allowing you to float with your legsdown if the straps are left long, or horizontally if you pull them right down. This shape and adjustability makes it slightly more comfortable while in the water. The unit has a whistle, oral inflation valve, and is particularly well adorned

with reflective tape. Overall, it’s slightly less compact, but the most heavy-duty and sophisticated of the three.

KRU BELT-PACK PFD Distributor: Safety at Sea – RRP: $169 Made in the UK by Remploy, whose customers include HM Royal Navy, this PFD is a neat, compact (230x150x35mm) model, with a thin 2.5cm belt, using a steel buckle fastening system. The instructions say to open it manually (by pulling the Velcro-attached flaps apart), place it over the head and then pull the toggle. However, we had no problem triggering it from the closed pack; the Velcro flaps burst open perfectly, and the fully inflated lifejacket was then very easy to put over the head. Once inflated, the majority of the buoyancy is located ‘up front’, naturally lifting the hips and torso. The unit has a whistle, oral inflation


valve and a reasonable amount of reflective tape. Overall, it’s a nice compact product.

HUTCHWILCO BELT-PACK PFD Manufacturer: Hutchwilco RRP: $169 An extremely neat, light and compact unit (225x130x50mm) using a plastic cliptogether buckle, rather than the metal clip used on the other two models. To operate the PFD you have to unzip the pouch first, and then put the jacket over your head, before pulling the CO2 trigger. Fiddling with zips would be a problem with cold wet fingers, and zips can jam, but Hutchwilco are aware of the design issue and are looking into a non-zipped model. The pack has an additional zipped front pocket which is great for some cash or sun block. Once on, it’s very comfortable and supportive. Like the KRU model, it’s very much buoyancy ‘up front’, naturally lifting the hips and torso. The unit has a whistle, oral inflation valve and

large amounts of reflective tape. Overall, it’s a very compact unit, but requires an extra stage in operation.

$1,649 - $1,799 Including carbon fibre paddle Great quality and value, complete SUP packages including carbon fibre adjustable paddles, bamboo veneers or airbrushed finishes and a range of sizes from 10’ to 12’6”. Available on TradeMe and from:

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alternative pfds EVIE INFLATABLE RASHIE Manufactured by Evie RRP: $109 The ‘Evie’ (‘Emergency Vest Inflatable Equipment’) is a CO2 cylinder inflated lifejacket built inside a long sleeve rash vest. The vest is not particularly comfortable for energetic paddleboarding. The CO2 cylinder and oral inflation valve sit high on the chest just by the shoulders, and constantly get in the way. It’s also extremely warm to wear, and it’s not a particularly flattering garment either, with a number of lumps and bumps going on under the vest (and it looks pretty hysterical when inflated)! The auto-inflation works flawlessly

though. Overall, it’s a great concept for many watersports, or just general boating use, but is somewhat restrictive for energetic paddleboarding.

SAFA-SWIM Manufactured by Safaswim RRP: $109 This NZ-designed device is a very well thought out variant on the belt-pack PFD theme. It has a low profile – essentially just a slightly oversized belt – and instead of inflating into a full lifejacket when the toggle is pulled, the belt simply inflates into a long tube on two straps. It offers 52

full horseshoe style buoyancy when placed behind your head and two clips are connected, or you can put the tube under your arms, or wave it around to attract attention. Or, you can let someone else hold on to it. This exceptional versatility is what makes it so exciting. Best of all it doesn’t impede you if you do need to swim, unlike any other inflated lifejacket. Check out the videos on their website and on YouTube to see it in action. The tube only offers 80N of buoyancy (half

HORSE-SHOE STYLE PFDS There are a lot of variations on this style available, from a variety of brands and at prices as low as $100. We trialled one from Baltic and one from Hutchwilco. While they appear to be very low profile, the relatively high neck tends to rub slightly on the shoulder and neck if you’re paddling energetically, which isn’t great. However, they’re certainly much less sweaty to wear than a conventional jacket, and they’re that one stage safer than the belt-pack PFDs as all you need to do is pull the toggle, and the job’s

of the normal belt-pack PFD buoyancy); however having the tube around your neck floats you very effectively in a face-up position. Moreover, the 50N tube means a smaller gas canister, reducing bulk, weight and making refills cheaper, and the device comes with a spare canister. Finally, it also has an oral inflation valve. The Safa-Swim has not yet got official accreditation. It requires several stages of operation to make it into a lifejacket,

done. (Indeed, be aware that many of these devices are actually sold with a configuration to inflate automatically when you fall in, which is great for boaties, but not so much for paddleboarders, unless you’re supremely confident!). They’ll grab you tight when you inflate them, enveloping your head from all sides in a complete death grip. The only way we could get them off was to deflate them first! Overall, they’ll certainly do the job if you already own one, but aren’t quite the ideal answer for active paddleboarding.

it doesn’t have the usual PFD extras like whistle, reflective tape etc, and it’s relatively lightweight in materials (to keep the weight and bulk down), so it’ll be interesting to see if the authorities do accept it as a bona fide PFD. Overall it’s a versatile product. It’s so low profile that it’s also ideally suited to swimming, snorkelling, surfing, or body boarding. Ultimately, you could wear this doing pretty much any watersport. page 53

permanent PFDs MTI RIPTIDE Distributor: Southern Approach RRP: $239 If you want to wear permanent buoyancy, then you do have some pretty high-spec options. This excellent kayaking PFD has lots of float, and is cut very low and away from the shoulders to give as much room for manoeuvre as possible. It is also relatively lightweight. Inevitably it gets a bit warm when paddling hard, but the fact that it’s got a built-in 2L Camelbak-style drinking bladder makes up for this. It also has a variety of pockets, key clips and other storage features. Overall, it is perfectly adequate for paddleboarding, with lots of float and lots of features!

BALTIC CANOE BUOYANCY AID Distributor: Safety at Sea RRP: $99 Designed for canoeing and kayaking, this is about as small as permanent buoyancy aids go. It’s certainly very low profile on the body, and the crotch strap ensures it doesn’t float up over the head. However, at just 50N of buoyancy it really offers very little float, particularly for anyone much over 60kg. It’ll keep your head up to an extent, but overall, it’s a bit too low in flotation to be a sensible consideration for paddleboarding.


PFD TEST CONCLUSIONS If you simply want a buoyancy aid that floats you whenever you fall in the water, then you have to accept some sort of tradeoff. Any jacket with permanent buoyancy built in is going to be somewhat bulky and warm to wear, and there’s a strong risk of it chafing, squeaking and just being generally annoying. The kayak style seems about the best option for this type of jacket, but these aren’t cheap. If you want the absolute bare minimum of weight and padding, then the low-profile style of the Baltic jacket is OK … just. It will float you, but at a bare minimum standard (especially if you’re heavy). If you want a buoyancy aid for emergencies only, then there is no doubt that the lowprofile styles of the belt-pack PFDs are extremely well suited to paddleboarding. You barely know you’re wearing them; there’s no chafing, discomfort, or extra weight; and no risk of over-heating. Using this style requires several phases of action from the user however, and you have to put some faith in the product that it will do what is required of it. If you understand their limitations and check them regularly they are a very wise investment. The horseshoe style PFDs (which go up around the neck) are substantially less comfortable. They’re OK if you’ve already got one, but if you’re investing in a PFD specifically for paddleboarding, it would make sense to pay the extra few dollars and get the belt-pack PFD. The Safa-Swim stands out as a very interesting variation on the belt-pack theme. It’s less robust and offers less flotation, but seems to get away with it. Additionally, the lower profile, additional versatility and good price, are all positives. Continued over page... page 55

PFD’s ...PFD TEST CONCLUSIONS continued It would seem a really good option for recreational paddleboarders but bear in mind, it has yet to get official accreditation. Finally, it’s worth just considering the emergency scenario in which you would want to use your PFD. It almost certainly means you’ve become separated from your board, because otherwise you’d be on that with its vastly superior flotation and safety. Remember, never be in the water if you can be out of it – you lose heat about 25 times faster in water. So the chances are, you’re offshore in deep water – literally and metaphorically! This is obviously potentially a very dangerous situation, so you don’t just want something with a bit of float – you want something that floats you well, head up out of the water, even if you lose consciousness. The great thing about the inflatable-style products is that they do this extremely efficiently, thanks to their huge


inflated sections around the neck. These are actually much more effective than the ‘life jacket’ style of product, which has the flotation more around the lower torso. So belt-packs aren’t just about going for the smallest option, they’re still highly effective life-saving devices too. It’s not clear yet how the legislation is going to play out, but if it does remain compulsory for paddleboarders to wear PFDs, then there’s no doubt that we do have some excellent options available. Wearing something around your waist really is no big deal or stress. Don’t begrudge having to spend a few extra dollars to get something that will potentially save your life should something go wrong, because things do go wrong. And if you do get one of these inflatable products, look after it, because one day it may have to look after you.

PFDS THE DOWN SIDE CO2 operated inflatable PFDs are undoubtedly really good if they work. But how do you know if it will? You have this little bag, but no way of knowing what’s in there. This was brought home to us clearly during our test when one of the PFDs failed to inflate. It’s irrelevant which, because it was not the product’s fault; it simply didn’t have a CO2 cylinder attached! The PFDs all have a manual inflate valve so it shouldn’t have been an issue, but by the time the pack had been unpacked and the problem had been identified, the wearer was so incapacitated by the cold (we were doing our best to make this test real – don’t ever say we don’t work hard for you!) that she couldn’t use it. If it had been for real, she would have been in difficulty. Of course, this goes to show that a bad PFD is potentially worse than no PFD, as it can lull you into an utterly false sense of security. Obviously, if it’s your own PFD then you should check it regularly. Make sure that the CO2 cylinder is in place, in one piece, and that the mice haven’t got in and nibbled any holes. If someone lends you an inflatable PFD, or you buy one second hand (or even new, for that matter), check it before trusting your life to it. You need to know exactly what’s inside that little pack!

PFDs, your movement and ability to swim will be restricted. So if your emergency situation is such that a short swim could dramatically increase your chance of survival (i.e. swimming to the upturned boat, or a large piece of flotsam, etc), then the best plan would be to get your PFD ready – correctly positioned, opened up, over the head etc, but to hold off on inflation, thus allowing you to swim. Then, to inflate the jacket all you’ll need to do is pull that cord, which should be possible even with numb fingers.

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And if you do end up in an emergency situation where you might need to use your PFD, do it quickly. Get it sorted while you still can. While hypothermia doesn’t set in for at least 30-minutes, even in freezing conditions, it’s scary how quickly you lose manual dexterity in cold water. Having said that, it’s important to bear one other important point in mind. With the notable exception of the Safa-Swim, do be aware that after you’ve inflated one of these

pfds – the official version New Zealand Maritime Law states that all small craft under 5m in length are obliged to carry buoyancy aids (one for each person).

It’s also daft that it’s technically illegal to paddle out to a surf break without a PFD, but legal while surfing it (because of the surfing exclusion clause), and then illegal again while paddling back.

However, there is an exclusion clause for surfing. Windsurfers and kitesurfers also have a (highly debatable) exemption if they’re wearing a wetsuit, as in theory it provides sufficient flotation. No exclusion clauses have been negotiated for paddleboarding yet, although constructive dialogue with the relevant authorities is very much under way.

Nevertheless, the law is the law. At present it’s all a bit messy, since in some parts of the country it is being enforced to the letter, while in other parts the authorities are taking a more relaxed view, (particularly if paddleboarders are close to the shore and wearing a leash). There’s also significant contention over the definition of appropriate buoyancy. We’ll keep you informed as the situation develops. Chances are that next summer will see a more robust nationwide policy and definitions being adopted one way or the other.

This is very important; as it is not a simple case of saying that paddleboarders should all wear a buoyancy aid, end of story. The simple truth is that wearing an inappropriate (i.e. bulky and restrictive) buoyancy aid but no leash would in 99% of situations be more dangerous than wearing a leash but no buoyancy aid. The obvious example is where you fall off your board and simply can’t swim fast enough to catch up with it, due to the restrictive nature of the buoyancy aid.

Source: East Coast Paddlers. Surfing atbelt-pack Mt Mauganui. Responsible paddlers wearing PFDs


Ultimately, the general consensus amongst most members of the paddleboarding community is that wearing a buoyancy aid if paddling more than a short distance offshore makes perfectly good sense, particularly if a solution can be found that is low profile, non-restrictive and affordable.

bend it like bruce

Mark Jackson of Stand Up Takapuna explains how Bruce Nicholson has made him into a bender. Bruce Nicholson is not your average Joe Blow. In the ‘profession’ box on his passport, for example, it simply reads: “maker of things”. A man who looks like a cross between Rasputin and Dumbledore, Nicholson is a ‘never go straight … go forward’ kinda guy, who thinks outside the box. And when it comes to designing paddles, a technicianmeets-magician skill is clearly evident. Nicholson walked into my stand-up store one day, wearing a kilt he’d designed and sewn himself, cherry-red Doc Marten boots, a tartan shirt and a hair style best described as a maxiafro on steroids. On the roof of his customised green van was a green Lomocean Designed timber stand-up race board, complete with a beautiful veneer job on the deck. However, the truly stand out item in his entourage of aquatic oddities was his bright green – and very bendy – paddle. We began then, to discuss the technicalities of fins, rails and paddles, and months later we are still gum flapping … although now the talk is exclusively about paddles, because Mr Bruce ‘maker of things’ Nicholson has hand built the best stand-up race paddle I have ever dipped into the briny. A few other brands have been experimenting with bent paddle shafts, but Nicholson has

Bruce Nicholson

emphatically out-thought them all with his own model, aptly named the ‘Z Paddle’. Bruce has developed a jig which enables him to custom build a ‘Z Paddle’ exactly to any rider’s specs. He has custom built two for me, the second of which is a veritable magic wand. He even incorporated, at my request; the ‘spade-blade’ end that I have always felt was the Holy Grail for blade design, and made it his benchmark. Furthermore, his good friend Craig Loomes of LOMOcean Design shares Nicholson’s passion for bent blades and has joined our motley crew of benders, along with Kevin Trotter of Styrotech and several other local luminaries. Here’s a description of the ‘magic wand’ built by Nicholson: “My Z ‘Spade-Blade’ Paddle has an overall height of 204cm. From the handle to the blade everything is different. Everything is better. page 59

bend it like bruce continued The bend starts at 55cm from the handle and runs at an angle of about 30 degrees for about 30 cm. The shaft is both tapered and oval, the angle of the blade from the shaft is changing with every prototype, presently at zero and the tips of the spade blade have built in flex to “spill” unneeded load”.

performance and feel of the paddle.

The ‘Z Paddle’ has two key advantages. The first is that the angle of your wrist is less extreme than on a straight-shaft paddle. This prevents fatigue while simultaneously creating a far more controlled and powerful stroke. The second advantage is the amount of reach you have going forward and into the water. In effect, you are pulling a longer stroke from the entry to the exit. The light foam core of the ‘Z Paddle’ blade, combined with its remarkable light weight stiff shaft and ergonomically shaped palm grip handle, provide all the other elements that allow it to have a smooth clean entry, a high cadence, high efficiency stroke rate, and an extremely light ‘corky’ snappy exit. This outstanding balance is like a natural extension of the arm. Whilst all aspects of the paddle deserve 10 out of 10, the ‘release’ is what I find contributes the most to the

To order your own ‘Z Paddle’ please email Bruce at or get measured up in person by Bruce at our store: Stand Up Takapuna, 53 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna.

Nicholson is now working on minor adjustments to my ‘Z Paddle’ – we are experimenting with some minor alterations to the bend positioning. However, the simple truth is that it’s so good we are reluctant to make any significant changes!

Don’t worry, we feed him well – he won’t bite! He may however bend your mind, twist your thoughts and encourage you over to the dark side, where bent is definitely better.

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central otago Winter Festival 2012 - NZSHRED

Jase John from NZSHRED brings us up to speed with what’s happening around the Southern Lakes and lower South Island, aside from the snow. Leading into June, there was a distinct change in the air… Winter 2012 was upon us. For most people, it means misty breath at night and the smell of home fires, billowing out with their daily chant of interior warmth and cosiness. For Southern Lakes paddleboarders, the pre-winter change definitely brought colder air, but also significantly calmer lakes. With a little attention to one’s gear – the keen paddleboarder can keep enjoying the water at this serene time of year. Winter Paddleboarding Great paddling was enjoyed by many both on the Lakes and around the coastal fringes of the southern South Island. Nicko from Catlins Surf School ( at Curio Bay reported regular rolling swells and plenty of wildlife, in the form of the peaceable and playful Hectors dolphins, as well as my own personal nemesis, Sammy the Sea Lion – who seems to have a thing for me. I’m sure Nick is totally encouraging this attention, pre-visits! Local crew have also been getting nice sessions around Colac Bay, while Monkey Island has been giving the entry-level paddleboarders a gentler introduction to ocean paddling. Some crew even managed to chase more meaty swells, synonymous with

the rugged and unforgiving Fiordland coastline – not, however, for the inexperienced. Winter Festival Stand-up Race An NZSHRED team was entered in the Quicksilver stand-up race; one of the events in the Queenstown Winter Festival’s frigid ‘Day on the Bay’ activities. The race this year saw both men’s and women’s three-member teams, racing in a relay format, with prizes and prestige for placements. After a short run down the main Queenstown Bay beach and three legs out around two buoys and back to the start, Mikey Stewart’s Team Starboard crossed the line 1st, closely followed by Team Naish, comprised of Tall Paul and Scottie Reid. Although details are sketchy, it is thought Team NZSHRED leapt back onto the icy shores in 4th place. With between 12 and 14 teams entering, the event is growing every year. So, there’s no need to be afraid of winter. Get yourself some good gear and come and enjoy the cool crispness of this time of year, and experience the Southern Lakes from the water and not just the slopes. Check out our new online store at and broaden your standup paddling destinctions. page 61

events and races

Expand a Sign 3D Rotorua Australasian Multisport Festival SRONZ’s competition winner Russell Benshaw on a 14’ Bark led a competitive field from start to finish to win the Festivals 8km Stand-up Paddle race around beautiful Lake Okereka on Sunday 3rd June. Paul Davis, also on a 14’ Bark was 2nd and Simon Osner, on a 14’ Starboard, 3rd. Hiria Rolleston of East Coast Paddlers won the women’s race ahead of Michelle Head in 2nd and Darlene Rowland in 3rd. The excellently organised Festival built on the success of the 2011 event and through the support of Liquid Stixx and SRONZ helped raise the profile of paddleboarding amongst spectators and the 1000+ entrants. Kotahi ki te hoe Race One

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events and races Welly Paddlers

Other regional winter series and community paddle group contacts:

A number of groups have organised paddle events in Wellington over the years but the power of local groups, retailers and event organisers joining forces has proved successful in increasing participation.

Auckland The Pita Pit Surf Ski and SUP Winter Race Series - Facebook: The Paddling Project

This winter, Welly Paddlers linked up with the Porirua Canoe Kayak Club and Mana Pasifika Outrigger Canoe Club in a move that has doubled the numbers attending events. The 2012 winter series has support from Fergs Kayaks Wellington and includes options for waka ama, canoes / kayaks, surf skis and paddleboards. For more information on the series check out and

w e l l i n g t o n Motorway Race 2012 - Sharlene Winiata

Christchurch Facebook: Groundswell Wind Addicts Dunedin Watercooled Sport and R&R Sports. Winter Kayak and Winter Paddleboard Series 2012. Facebook: Watercooled Sports Ltd or tauranga Tauranga Moana Harbour and Ocean Series. Facebook: Kotahi ki te hoe

c h r i s t c h u r c h Racing Pegasus Lake - Groundswell and Christchurch Paddleboarding

d u n e d i n

Otago Race - Duncan Lockhart page 63

dvd review The Ultimate Guide to Stand-up Paddling This is the full “how-to” DVD, produced by technique supremo Dan Gavere in the USA. Dan’s good, he knows the sport extremely well and it makes a refreshing change not to have all the footage shot in impossibly lush Hawaiian surroundings. This DVD covers all the bases; stroke technique, bracing, feathering, surfing, racing, white water work (which is a really interesting aspect of the sport only just starting to get established in NZ), fitness and much more. It’s not a DVD you’ll watch from end to end, and having such a wide scope, it’s often not quite as in depth as it could be, tending to leave you wishing for just a bit more on that specific topic that you’re trying to master. But as a general reference source it’s the best one we’ve seen yet, by a long way. In summary: Excellent reference DVD covering all aspects of the sport.

In our next issue... All our regular features plus: • River Riding • Q&A with NZ Starboard International rider Annabel Anderson • Loui and Oscar test dog PFDs • Build up to Summer • Stand-up Yoga

ebber r - Jaxon Paraki W

Tarawera Rive

• Tech Tips: Fins

Loui the dogpaddler! - NZSHRED

Competitions – Don’t miss the opportunity to win with SRONZ 64

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So many inflatable paddle boards on the market now! right? r, a il im s y t t e r p ll a But they’re


OK, so how do you choose...? It’s simple. The higher the internal pressure, the better they perform. Most inflatable boards pump up to about 10PSI... Some say they can go to 14-16PSI...


40 PSI

You don’t need to - 20-25psi feels like rock. But - you can... The unique & highly sophisticated multi-layered skin construction is more than up to the task. Drive your car over it. Leave it out to cook in the sun all year round. You won’t hurt it. That’s the difference. The numbers don’t lie. Twice the pressure: twice the performance. 66

the world’s favourite inflatable paddleboards

10’8 x 36”


Red Air only make inflatable paddleboards & are obsessed with getting them right. 5 years focussing on construction, quality and attention to detail with the only factory in the world that specialises The Mega is the most stable & purely in inflatable paddleboard manufacturing easy-to-use inflatable in the world has taken them into a different league to the rest of the competition. Which is why they’re now the x 32” $1399

World’s best selling inflatable paddleboards. And much of the development and design is done right here in New Zealand! Something to be proud of.


The world’s best selling inflatable! Fabulous all-round performance.


x 32”


The 2012 range has lifted the standard yet again. The Allwater is 100% versatility Fabulous shapes, designed to be as user-friendly the ultimate all-terrain board!! and versatile as possible, with the highest quality fittings & the very toughest construction.


x 30”


Surf it, kitesurf it, skurf it, rip on it. Ideal all-rounder for kids, too.

No gimmicks, just quality - and very affordable prices. Check them out at your local retailer now - - 027 777 1035 page 67

You must have a lifejacket while stand up paddle boarding.

It’s the law.

Freephone 0800 800 401

Standing Room Only NZ Issue Two  
Standing Room Only NZ Issue Two  

Standing Room Only NZ is primarily focused on: · Providing consumer information - highlighting companies involved with the sport in New Zeal...