Like seeing a two headed dog ollieing a skate board or accidently smoking DMT in a traffic jam, stand up paipo surfing is a strange and wonderful thing.
About the least you can have under your feet while still being able to slide across wave faces without being a carpenter from Gallilee, paipo’s take the wave sliding middle man and put him on a vegan raw food diet until he can pigdog the eye of a needle. They’re magic carpets for people who would prefer a magic tea towel. I first fell in love with the idea of riding paipos standing up when I saw the footage of Valentine Chang surfing off the wall on Oahu’s south side on his little red plywood single fin. The surfing is like summer distilled in a moonshiners copper kettle, the board, that little red piece of driftwood from the fountain of youth is pure do it yourself punk. Not long after seeing that I stayed up all night in a blur of Jazz and sawdust and seisemelia smoke and gave birth to the board I named Dr. Strangelove. A 3’ something solid wood planning hull, a blend of Greenoughs Velo, the mini Simms and Valentines paipos, a dual keel finned piece of my soul to slide on.
Sufing rocky points on the good doctor, mostly without a leash to amp up the adrenaline (without consequences where’s the thrill?), opened up new worlds, good waves felt like magic tricks. The board was so fast and so small that you had to virtually bodysurf onto the wave but once you got to your feet and set trim it was like you had hitched a ride on a bullet.
Last Sunday I was surfing a beautifully formed and apparently rare sandbar up the coast. The waves were small but clean and perfect, like little Kirra bar snacks. I was riding a 3’7” agave and foam composite board, a sort of mini, mini Simmons when one of the local groms asked if him and his mate could have a go. The first grom didn’t do too well, on his 2nd wave the lip went sall Old Testament on him and he came up holding his head and crying. Grom no. 2 though had already learnt the fine art of riding alaias and within a couple goes was looking like a young Derek Hynd, taking off late, keeping low and centred and just flying. I don’t know who was more stoked, me or him.