Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beach Boy Ahoy

Beach boy surfing, which is done standing up on a heavy long board with a paddle, has become the hot new thing in wave riding, after taking a 50-year hiatus from the golden years of its inception at Waikiki Beach. Even in flat water, beach-boy style is a full-body workout, as paddlers must use their toes and ankles to grip the board’s rubber matt while stroking the water and maintaining balance. Sideways maneuvers become very difficult on wave crests, and often the surfers are sent flying. Big-wave tow-surfing king Laird Hamilton uses paddle surfing in his workout regime in preparation to surf Hawaii’s epic waves, 50 feet and higher. Many newcomers opt to get beyond the breaking sets and paddle the boards like a stand-up kayak.