Letter to the Editor: I read the article that Gabe Capodanno sent in and felt like I was reading my own bio. I live in Arlington, Va. but have a beach place in Ocean City, Md and EVERYTHING he wrote about is exactly what I have experienced..down to the wife that never goes with me to watch and take any pics!!
My first "sighting" of a stand up paddler was in Hawaii on vacation and I was interested to try it. I'm an ultra-runner and often get burnt out from doing so much running and thought it would be a great form of exercise when the ocean was flat. So I got my 1st board from K-Coast Surf Shop in Ocean City on Memorial Day weekend last summer and immediately hopped on it. It was a flat day and paddled for a couple of miles that very first day.
I had no intention of actually surfing on it since I also have a 6'10 Thruster and a 9'2 longboard, but the next day when there were some small waves, I paddled in and couldn't believe how easy and fun it was to catch them. I was immediately hooked and started going out every day that we were in town and then started to really hit the bigger storm swells and had a blast.
My board was a 12' model and wasn't the best to surf with, but I did great on it and just like Gabe, got caught inside and didn't bail out in time and ripped my fin and fin box pretty good. I had it repaired and was a bit more careful for the rest of the summer...but spent many flat days paddling for miles, and surfed just about every chance I had, when there were waves to be had.
I just couldn't believe how fun it was to be able to spot the sets coming in from my new vantage point, how early I could get in on them, and how easy and fun it was to surf on it.
Then at the end of the summer, on some post storm swell, I did the same thing again, by getting caught riding a wave all the way inside and ripped off my fin again....but well worth it. Since then I had been doing some on-line research about finding a SUP that was better suited to surfing and once again, just like Gabe, decided upon a Paddle Surf Hawaii 10'3 All-Arounder and just got it last week...and YES, amazing as it sounds...I got it from Terry at Island Surf and Sail. He also hooked me up with all the winter get-up and I just got back today from Ocean City trying it out in the cold water....AWESOME!!!
So hopefully both Gabe and I can convince our wives to come and photo some of the action when it warms up!!!
Not sure if you have Gabe's email address but would like to contact him. Or feel free to pass this to him if you have his and let him know he can email me..thanks
Frank FumichExpress Catering, Inc.President