Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stand Up Paddle

The Stand Up Paddle

     My name is Yann, i’m the new trainee of the Kanaha Kai wind surf shop.
I’ll post an article every week about the Maui culture for the next two months.

I’ll begin with stand up paddling, which is increasingly popular in the world and specially Hawaii.

     Hawaiian beach boys of Waikiki reintroduced the stand up paddle in the early 1960s. At the beginning, There were stand on their longboard to take pictures of tourists who’s were learning to surf in Hawaii.
In the early 2000s Hawaiian surfers such as Dave Kalama, Brian Keaulana, Rick Thomas, Archie Kalepa and Laird Hamilton started SUP as an alternative way to train while the surf was down
It’s why, nowadays, more and more people do SUP.

Bart de Zwart is part of these people.
I had ask some questions to Bart, to try to understand why people like SUP.

When and why did you start stand up paddling?   

I started paddling in 2007 when I was sailing around the world. I had a lot of water toys on board  but I would choose a stand up paddle board if I could only bring one.

What kind of feeling do you seek in SUP which are different from other water sports?

Freedom to go where ever you want to go in what ever conditions. 
You don’t need perfect waves or wind you can go in any conditions.

You are well known in this sport to have crossed Big Ireland to Kauai,
How did you get such idea?

I wanted to try to beat, sleep navigate on a board for a longer period of time and see how your body reacts to that.  The 300 miles between Big island and Kauai seemed like a good challenge

What are your preparations before such a travel ? (physicals, mental, materials)

Apart from being physically fit you need to be very well prepared with you equipment, safety gear and food. The mental part is something you need to have in you, by being prepared you will be mentally stronger. But the mental part is the hardest part of a crossing like this.

What kind of problem did you encounter ?

Mostly small problems because to are wet the whole time for 5 days and 5 nights. Your body is not made for that so you get rashes and infections after a couple of days. Another thing was the waves during the night which rolled me over for several times the first 2 nights while I was trying to sleep.

For this travel did you hesitate to give up?

No never. If there is the slightest change that you think you have to give up, you shouldn’t go and do a crossing like this. Only life threatening situations would  let me give up.

You spent more than 5 days in the water, where did you sleep ?

I made an inflatable bed with high walls I pumped up every night so I wouldn’t  be getting waves and water over me the whole night. This worked pretty good.

What kind of food did you eat ?

Nuts, dry fruit, endurance racing powders (biking), sport bars and dry freeze meals

You just  crossed the north sea between England and the Netherland,
What’s your next challenge ?

I have a few in ideas but I will keep it a secret. There are so many challenges still in this world.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

THE SUPCUP St. Maxime,France

A great day, getting first in the long distance in France on the Starboard ACE 14'x25"

More than 100 competitors from all over Europe came to compete in St. Maxime SUPCUP 2011
Racing is getting big in Europe and Stand up is starting to explode.

But first things first. After a long 36 Hours flight from Maui, through LA, San Franscico, London, Amsterdam, to Nice. Yannick, the president of the Cigale surfclub and organizer of the SUPCUP 2011 and Nini (his friend) picked me up in Nice and took me to St. Maxime right oposite of St Tropez. They gave me place to stay and showed me the area. Even took me on a Giant Speed boat.

On Friday I met with Team Starboard France. Joining us was Sebastian Catalan ( world record holder Kite speed), Ryan James (No 1 England), the team manager france, Pascal Pouget and the French importer for Starboard Sebastian. We went for a paddle on the cape and had a nice meal in St. Tropez.

The whole Starboard team Sebastian, Sophie,Pascal,BArt, Ryan and Sebastian

Nini and Yannick, Surfclub La Cigale, invited me for a dinner in St. Maxime

My favorite Race board the STARBOARD ACE 14'0" x25"

Ryan James and me after getting 3rd and 1st in the long distance.

Saturday The 12'6 Elite race
I had a difficult start. The counting in French wasn’t very clear and to 5 instead of 3. So after a slow start in 15th place I managed to get to the outside bouy just in 2nd with no#3. 4 and 5 right behind me, I went after Eric Terrien who was in 1st.
After one round (of 4) I was comfortable in 2nd and 30 meters behind Eric. At the second time at the outside bouy I had some strange chop from passing boats while turning around the bouy and I fall in, after that my comfortable 2nd became a 4th place.
I had a NEW 12’6 which worked OK going out with its wide nose it got a lot of resistance against the chop of the light 6 knot head wind, but going in zick zack around the 5 bouys the board worked well. In the 3rd round I waited and checked out my options to get passed them. We stayed close together going out against the wind then going in I could pass #3 with small glides and hard paddling. In the fourth round I did the same stayed right behind #2 until the outside bouy and worked hard going down through the bouys to get 1 or 2 glide. In the end of round 4 I could pass #2 Geatan and finish in 2nd. I was hoping to battle with Eric for 1st but because of my mistake falling in, it became a battle for 2nd.

1St Eric Terrien (Nidecker) Spain
2nd Bart de Zwart (Starboard) Hawaii/ Holland
3rd Geatan Sene ( Mistral) France
4th Dulou Ludovic ( F-one) France


Sunday The LONG distance 15KM

There I knew who to watch for and listened carefully to the French count down. A good start with Eric Terrien, me and Ryan James in first, 2nd and 3rd.
The wind was 5-15 knots against us most of the way along the coast until the halfway turnaround buoy. So hard work but my kind of conditions. I passed Eric and got a few meters on him, Ryan also passed Eric. After Eric shot back on a tiny downwind part and Ryan fell in. During this downwind part I felt I was strong and knew I had to gain the most on the long stretch back downwind. Eric stayed right next to me all the way to the halfway buoy, testing every so often my strength and paddling hard for a minute. But every time he back off again when I showed I could stay on the same pace. Eric wanted to take off right away at the downwind home stretch and got a good glide and passed me. I took my time and made some space so I could look for my glides without Eric directly next to me. This worked out great I passed him, and worked hard to get the most out of the small glides. I gained more and more distance on Eric and paddled hard to the finish line with a minute on Eric. Ryan James paddled really hard too, making a 3rd place and making up for a few mistakes the day before.

1St Bart de Zwart (Starboard) Hawaii/Holland
2nd Eric Terrien ( Nidecker) Spain
3rd Ryan James (Starboard) England
4th Nika Leonard (Naish) Italy

Ryan and me talking strategies. Ya right!



Monday, May 23, 2011

Battle of the Paddle may 2011

A great race, at a great venue: Waikiki, Honolulu.At the starting line only the world best.
The first day we had the Elite race, a 12'6 Stock class race with a zig zag course through the waves.
We had 4 rounds with each round a run through the chicane.
The start line was very crowded with a 150 on the start line a little mistake can put you right in the middle
My Start wasn't very good. So I was in 40th place right away. battling with the crowd. i never found my rhythm in this race. Every time I came to the outside I had a hard time finding a nice big wave to get back in. Finally the last round I felt strong and started passing people found a good set rode it in all the way and ended being in 20th place not a result I was hoping for. In the mean time Connor my training aprtner did good business. He had a great start and worked hard to get to the front. Danny Ching and Traves battled for 1st pace and Connor and Slater battled for 3rd. In the end Connor just worked harder and got his 3rd place.

The long distance. By now I was all fired up, ready to do better. The wind was light and it was going to be a beautiful light wind down winder, just what I liked.
Connor and I had both a good start in the big field of about a 150 competitors.
Outside we got a little wind and some small bumps. if you worked hard you were able to get some glides. Slowly I worked my way up from 10th to 7 place. Then it was time to start working hard. i took a little more outside route with less risk of getting pounded by the swell which worked out for me. Right behind me some one broke his board. In the bay of Waikiki , in the flats, i just grinded until I got close to the shore and made sure didn't make any mistakes, passing 2 more and getting in 4th place. The last couple of 100 yards i paddled my brains out and came in 4th. Super stoked Connor got in right in front of me in 3rd. So a good day for the team.

The the relay. This time we had it figured out. Zane was the starter. He had great starts and get up on the board super fast. Then me, Gillian our girl and finishing was Connor. 2*4 laps.
we had a good start getting in 5th place, at my turn we got to 2nd, Gillian held our position and Connor started working toward the 1st place. After 7 rounds we were close but it came all down to the last 50 yard when Connor past the 1st place girl to get our team 1st place over the finish line.

So a nice weekend of paddling.
Thanks to STARBOARD, DAKINE, Black Project fins and Contour HD for support.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

TEAM STARBOARD in the Catalina Challenge & Starboard Pro SUP line

First, here is a nice video Scott made when I was visiting him down under. It shows what the Pro Stand up line is all about.

I use the 8'5 Pro and the 10'3 Gun mostly

The 8'5 is a fun small aggressive and fast board. The 9'1 and 9'8 have a little more glide and are easier to get on the wave but still have fast aggressive scoop rocker line.

The 10'3 GUN is a big wave stand up board. This board handles a lot of speed. I just used this board the last 2 times I was in Jaws. But it is definitely not only for Jaws, this winter I had a lot of good days at the outer reefs here. At some point the smaller boards have their limits when the waves get bigger. With a board like this with a narrower outline you generate more speed with more control and because of the narrow tail you can maintain that control in the turns. On big waves you need the length to get on the wave. Bigger waves have more speed so it is harder to get on them. With a board like this you can get up to speed to get on them.

2 Weeks ago I raced a team race with Ernest Johnson (EJ) in California, TEAM STARBOARD. A 40 mile race between Catalina Island and Dana Point. We raced on the ACE 14' and switched every 30 minutes. Because of the headwind we encountered it took us 7 and a half hours to complete the race. We came in 2nd place in the 14 foot class just a minute behind team quickblade.
Here is a little video I made of the race.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Here is a small impression of a Hawaiian Winter. A few weeks without any blog post. But here is a movie I just made

Waves, Stand Up, Whales, Tropical Green, and lot's of Aloha

MAUI WINTER from Bart de Zwart on Vimeo.

Finally we have strong trades back. Lot's of windsurfing and downwinders in the next days ahead.

SUP Training season starts again. I have been training all winter but in a lighter modus. In 3 weeks we have the first race and from then on the summer through until october.

First race will be the Catalina RACE. A 40 mile 2 man team race from Catalina Island to Dana point. I join EJ in Dana Point for this race. TEAM STARBOARD. Whiiiha

We will make sure we have some footage to show after the race.



Monday, January 24, 2011


The DOCTOR SUP Race in Australia

Since a couple of days I am here in Western Australia for THE DOCTOR , Australia's premier SUP race. I met with Scott Mc Kercher, STARBOARD's main board designer and tester, who showed me around in Perth and Rottnest Island.
On the 22nd we left in the morning for Rottnest Island 15 km from the coast. At 1:00 pm
The race started for the Stand Up Boards. First a sprint to the first buoy then 11km slightly from the side and then the remaining 18 km straight form the back. The finish was in Sorrento.
Until last minute I was trying to decide between the ACE 12'6*25 or the RACE 12'6 *29. I decided for the RACE because it just catches a waves easier. The ACE is better in flat water.

Probably the RACE 12'6* 27 would have been my first choice but I would have been impossible to bring that board from Maui with the flight connections I had. But even the slightly wider one I was using is still very very fast.
The wind was a lot lighter then for casted. Everybody started off fast, to win the bonus $500 1-km sprint. Paul Jackson and I were the only ones who could catch on with the two 17 footers in front of us. But still just to fast for us to get to that first mark in 1st. When we got further out we started working the bumps and getting glides. Because of the light winds it was super hard to get a glide but your efforts were double rewarded when you did. After the 1/3 mark I caught up with Courtney on his 17 footer. So I kept working to stay close to Paul Jackson who was just ahead of me.
After 2hrs and 53 minutes I got to the finish in 2nd place with Paul still just 2 minutes ahead of me. It was a hard race and I gave everything.

Thanks to STARBOARD for their SUPER fast boards, Black Project fins, DAKINE and Kanaha Kai Maui.

Top 3, left to Right, Bart 2nd, Andy 3rd and Paul 1st
The water tasted so nice after the race

Jacco ( Paul) and me talking story after the race.
Next race in Margret River on Wednesday. In the mean time Scotty and I will be testing next years boards.

Aloha from Down Under

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kona days and more SUP

After some Kona winds. It is light again. Still plenty of swells.
So lots of Stand Up in the outer reefs.
I am getting to know the new STARBOARD boards.

The Starboard 8'5"* 28.5 PRO is a fun little board for smaller waves. The board turns so fast, you can surf it and work it as a surfboard.

The Gun 10'3 x28.5 is made for the bigger days. Nice thin rails and lots of rocker. It is easier getting on the bigger waves because of it's length and it handles the speed because it is narrow and has the thin rails. If you want it to turn you step back and it makes nice, hard, controlled turns.

The Starboards are already light but the brushed carbon boards are super light. Not only nice to carry and to accelerate to get on the wave but specially with the top turns you feel a big difference.
I am really stoked.
Here is a little video of the last 3 sessions on the outer reefs, Tavares, Kuau and Outer sprecks.
Sometimes with Connor but mostly just by myself.