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  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

-Why bent-shaft stand up paddles?
-What muscles does beachboy paddling work?
-How do I get started paddling for the first time?
-What is the proper stroke to use?
-How do I turn the board before a wave comes?
-What do I need to do in terms of paddle care?
-How do I deal with crowds?
-When I wipe out or a large wave breaks in front of me, what should I do with the paddle?
-What about XXL big wipe out tactics?
-Are there different types of standup beachboy paddling?
-Are there different standup paddle designs?
-What length paddle do I need?
-What about board designs?
-What about beachboy surfing etiquette?
-What's with the tape on all the paddles in the pictures?
-Are there any companies/products you would recommend to protect the blade (like some sort of padded "glove" for the blade) when it is being stored?
-What do I do if water gets in the shaft?
-Where do I get one of those cool traction pads I see on the boards in the photos?
-What are people using for the padded "hand grips" I see on the shaft of the paddles?

Why bent-shaft stand up paddles?
If you haven't used an elbowed standup paddle, I urge you to try one. Most people prefer it. The blade is angled forward from the shaft so the more-effective front part of the stroke lasts longer. It also prevents lifting water at stroke's end. Elbow paddles deliver more of your effort to the water. You'll go farther, faster, and with less effort. A straight-shaft paddle wastes effort lifting water at the end of the stroke; an elbowed paddle doesn't.

What muscles does beachboy paddling work?
This sport is a unique and intense "core" workout. Your core strength is proven to be the most important area to condition and is the key to all sports. BBP also is very effective for strengthening your quads, calf, hamstrings, ankles, and knees as the balancing effort works the small muscles in knees and ankles.

How do I get started paddling for the first time?
It is important to stand with parallel stance just forward of center, with chin up looking at the horizon. Paddle with short strokes and keep your back and shoulders straight. Do not over-power it, the stroke releases at the feet. As you get better you can add power and stroke length.

What is the proper stroke to use?
Probably the most common technique problem is a "big and long" stroke. Keep your body tall and square-- the best stroke is "quick and short, and up-front", starting the stroke shallow and building into your paddle depth. Use your top hand "set to push". Do not drive the paddle with your shoulders and waist; this not only causes the board to be more unstable, but will also cause the board to compress into the water, thus making the board drag and have more resistance to planing on the surface. People think they want to dig deep, powering with waist and shoulders to catch a wave, but the compression will be counter-productive from what you are trying to do, which is plane and catch the wave. Also, This is how paddles are unnecessarily stressed and can break . This is especially true for the big guys. Change sides as necessary to control direction, but at the same time try to keep your body quiet in order to maintain balance. Try it and remember, "don't rip at it, finesse it!"

How do I turn the board before a wave comes?
(see TIPS page for more including a video)
1st way: (Quickest way) Step back on tail of board and kick up the nose with your preferred stance paddle on one side with sweeping stroke.
2nd way: keep parallel stance and back paddle.
3rd way: Paddle with sweeping strokes on one side.

What do I need to do in terms of paddle care?
1. Keep paddles out of direct sunlight and heat, this will weaken the integrity of the paddle.
2. Fix all chips with 5 min epoxy.
3. NEVER lay your body on paddle when surfing, if necessary to prone-paddle through surf, place the paddle "Logo Up" with handle extending up and forward. Failure to do so will weaken the integrity of the paddle.

How do I deal with crowds?
In crowded surf spots do your fellow surfers a favor and wear a leash. This will help keep your big board safe for all. Mahalo!

When I wipe out or a large wave breaks in front of me, what should I do with the paddle?
I find it is best to dive into the wave holding the very top of the paddle in one hand, as to let the blade end "weather-vane" behind you. Also, you can let it go, it floats. However, it may come back to hit you or others if you're caught in the white water.

What about XXL big wipe out tactics?
Think of your paddle as a tool, not an inconvenience during a big wipe out. If you venture into big surf and are wearing a leash, you can get dragged and held under by your large board, but a great way to minimize that is to straighten out your body with your paddle and blade facing back while being pulled feet first. Hold the paddle in two hands with the blade behind you and put downward pressure on the paddle blade, while being pulled along. This will help the blade act like the tail on a plane and force you to the surface. With a little practice it happens easily and this will help you to the surface and save your leash from turning into a piece of Linguini. Good luck.

Are there different types of standup beachboy paddling?
There are 2 styles of beachboy paddling-- surfing and ocean cruising. Surfing utilizes boards that are oversized long boards 10-12 feet long. Ocean cruising utilizes oversized paddle board style boards 13-16 feet long. See the Photos page for pictures.

Are there different standup paddle designs?
There are a few different paddles on the market today made from wood, aluminum, and carbon. All have different blade shapes and styles. For the recreational paddler you are fine with aluminum and wood, however they can be too stiff and heavy, with t-top grips and round shafts. Also, some of the paddles have blades with scoops that do not release cleanly and can catch in the waves. Pohaku Beachboy Paddles are designed by the new pioneers of beachboy paddling and offer a carbon tapered flex, oval grip shafts, ergonomic top grips and a blade that is powerful, effective, and releases well. These paddles are for use in all ocean and wave conditions; they are 100% carbon, lightweight, and strong.

What length paddle do I need?
Paddle length is important for technique, posture, and efficiency. If too long or short, it could cause joint and back injuries, and also not be efficient over long periods. The rule of thumb is to have a paddle "one shaka"(6-8 inches) over your height. Longer is not better and could even cause shoulder joint injury.

What about board designs?
Many shapers are designing boards for all conditions and since this sport is so new it is changing all the time. See the Boards page for some pictures and I will be adding a forum for boards, shapers and availability page soon , stand by.

What about beachboy surfing etiquette?
When beachboy surfing please use good etiquette as you are using a large heavy board and have the ability to get more waves with your speed and flotation, please don't be a "wave hog". Also, if your ability is not perfected for the conditions presented, stay out of a crowded line up. Practice elsewhere where it is uncrowded. Also, with your standing height you can offer support to the surfers in the line up by calling out the sets when they come.

What's with the tape on all the paddles in the pictures?
Colored electrical tape is used on the shaft to help spot paddles if floating in the whitewater. Also, some people have tape around the edges of the blade to protect the blade from chips. Some people are real rail bangers so they put that heavy rubber plumbers tape (you can get it at Home Depot), or even kevlar. Also different tape is used to identify the paddles by their owners.

Are there any companies/products you would recommend to protect the blade (like some sort of padded "glove" for the blade) when it is being stored?
I will be making bags for my new 2-piece paddles, but there are none I know of for the long one. However, Island Paddler (see Links page) has covers for the blade sections only. The most important thing for these paddles is to keep them out of the direct sunlight and heat.

What do I do if water gets in the shaft?
Yes, sometimes this happens usually when paddles come from a hot beach or car and go into the cold water. If there is a pin-hole somewhere the temp change will suck water in . If this happens, drill a small 1/8th hole in the very top of the grip, stand the paddle up and let it drain out. Then mix up a batch of epoxy putty and plug the hole and sand it smooth...a pretty easy and common thing.

Where do I get one of those cool traction pads I see on the boards in the photos?
I have XXL custom die-cut logo pads like you see on our boards in the photos. See the Paddles page for more details?

What are people using for the padded "hand grips" I see on the shaft of the paddles?
This is a soft 1/16th thin, craft foam from a craft store and then it is put on with contact cement. It is comfy on the hands for long paddles and works way better than wax.

ALOHA HISTORY PADDLES BOARDS TIPS FAQ PHOTOS PRESS LINKS
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