Feb 22, 2012

SUP fun in the last month!

Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi 32km crossing, Thailand February 3rd, 2012

Ko Lanta to Phi Phi SUP crossing from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.

  In Pattaya, Thailand we helped Starboard Distributor and shop owners Craig and Amara from Amara Watersports put on a  team relay SUP race for the competitors of a windsurf competition that had just completed on Jomtien Beach. It was a great local event to get people familiar and excited about SUP. I was glad to be a part of this wonderful community event.

  A big thank you to Trident Sports for hooking us up with Amara Watersports and Craig in Pattaya so we could get a hold of inflatable starboard SUPs for adventures throughout Asia. While we were in Pattaya helping Craig and picking up two inflatable Starboard SUPs;  Craig got us in touch with Pete. Pete Compere, owner of Lanta Paddle Sports was preparing to be the first to paddle from Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi, a 32km crossing in the southern Thai islands. As Andrew and I didn't have much planned we couldn't say no to the opportunity in joining Pete on this awesome adventure. Within a couple of days we bought some plane tickets, stored our inflatables and most of our luggage in Bangkok and found ourselves at the Noble House Resort paddling with new friends at Lanta Paddle Sports.

We (Pete, Richard, Stefan, myself and Andrew) met at the Noble House Resort on  Klong Dao Beach. We enjoyed a buffet breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, fruit, yogurt and coffee! After breakfast we loaded the Longtail boat that would follow us throughout the crossing with two boatmen and Andrew on board. We left the beach on Koh Lanta at 7:45am. We were all paddling on a Starboard Blend board (11'2" x 30"). These boards are not quick but they are stable and it meant we could all be on the same board for this inaugural event.
 As we left Koh Lanta there was a slight tail wind, the sun was shining and everyone was feeling great. On a clear day you can see Phi Phi island from Klong Dao Beach leaving you with your goal always in sight and on your mind. Leaving the beach you round the corner and follow the coast for a little ways before you have to turn towards the open ocean.
 As we reached the middle of the crossing the waves increased in size but all was still very manageable. Unfortunately, the waves were too many and too short to really get any kind of long downwind ride but some short little rides were plentiful throughout the paddle. As we neared Phi Phi island the increased boat traffic and slight changes in wind patterns due to the islands caused some funky cross waves to occur which caused some problems as people were getting tired and their legs were getting wobbly. Everyone did great and for most it was their longest paddle to date! I was very proud of the team as it is no small feat to paddle 32km in the open ocean! I felt strong and stable on the blend. I am so used to the race board I have been using the last year,  the Starboard New (12'6" x 23.5") that now any wider board feels ultra stable for me!

As we neared Phi Phi Island the shallow reefs and white sandy beaches proved to be a delightful sight and a great way to finish off the crossing! We completed the crossing in 4 hours 32minutes. We enjoyed a swim, a walk along the beach, some celebratory drinks and the 1.5 hour (perfect for a nap and reflection of the accomplishments and the paddle) long tail ride back to Koh Lanta. We received an applause, some medals and an unexpected welcoming party as we beached back on Koh Lanta in front of Lanta Paddle Sports Shop! This will be an exciting and beautiful open ocean race in the future.

Look out for this event in the near future. It promises to have it all! Check out the video below!

Above is a great video compiled by Pete Compere with photo and video credits from various friends and special thanks to Andrew Dye for video and photo during the crossing.

Phuket Gazette News

Koh Lanta (Old town) to Koh Bubu and back February 6, 2012
Lanta Paddle Sports lent us 2 Starboard Blend (11'2 x 30") Boards and their jeep so we could head across the island to Lanta Old Town. We parked the jeep on the pier and headed off to Bubu island at about 11am. After an hour and fifteen minutes of paddling we landed on Bubu Island. Our paddle was flat with no wind. We paddled at a casual touring pace, stopping along the way for some pictures . The paddle from Lanta Old Town to Bubu island is about 6km. You pass by an island about 30 minutes into the paddle and paddle around the north point of this island, once you round the point you have a clear view of Bubu island. If you needed a break this island would be a great spot for a short stop over. It was about 45 minutes from this island to Bubu island.
Bubu island is a small quaint island with a sandy beach, some hammocks, a restaurant and some bungalows. We stopped in and had a great lunch of fried rice and thai curry for a reasonable price. It would totally be worth spending a night on the island as it has a great atmosphere of relaxation and peacefulness. However, we did not have time to spend the night so after some lunch we paddled around the island exploring the rocks, reef and fish below before making our way back to Koh Lanta. On the way home we had a very slight headwind but it did not cause us any delays.

A SUP paddle from Koh Lanta to Bubu island is a great way to spend a day or two in the area!

Li River SUP February 10, 2012

Li River Secret SUP from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.

I really wanted to paddle the Li River on our SUPs. This river is known for the extensive amount of bamboo raft and boat cruise tours. It is famous for the karsts surrounding the river.

To make a longish story short. We got on the Li river at 6:30am February 10th, 2012. We paddled for about an hour and then had to cut our paddle short and got off the river at about 7:30am. Water police, very cold weather, not very much time, and lack of good information were all factors in making this paddle very short without pictures. We have a small amount of video that we will post among other SUP adventures.

We used the Starboard Astro and Astro Whopper inflatable paddleboards. We thought these boards were good for this paddle as we could carry them to the river in the packs, pump them up at the edge and pack everything under the bungees at the front of the board. We brought one pump between the two of us. We used the attachable middle fin wich worked well and helped in mainataining alignment during our strokes. I look forward to paddling other rivers on these boards!

Hong Kong SUP Surf February 16, 2012

A small SUP adventure from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.

We took our Starboard inflatable Astro and Astro Whoppers on the metro, minibus and eventually to Big Wave Bay for a little SUP surfing session on Hong Kong island. The whopper proved to be easier to surf for my novice surfing abilities but the Astro with its longer bottom was much easier to paddle out through the break than the whopper but a little less stable on the waves(for me!). Overall though for portable, inflatable boards they have proved to be fun in the surf! I look forward to many more adventures in/on the waves with our starboard inflatable boards!

About to take the Starboard Inflatables on an adventure

Lanta Paddle Sports
Tridents Sports


Phuket Gazette: Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi SUP Crossing

Famous in Phuket!!! Hardly, but the crossing I was a part of on February 3rd 2012  (thank you to Lanta paddle Sports and owner Pete Compere) got some coverage and notice! Check it out!


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