Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Learn how to SUP with Verena Mei and Blue Planet Surf.  
Verena is a professional race car driver. She grew up in Hawaii and recently moved back to Oahu.  She got into Stand Up Paddleboarding and has been a great customer and supporter of Blue Planet Surf Shop. In this series she is getting tips on safety, technique, board handling and more from Blue Planet Surf founder Robert Stehlik.  We will post regularly new videos on our blueplanetsurf youtube channel and plan to release the parts of this series in the Spring of 2016. For new videos please check back here and subscribe to our youtube channel.  
Watch the first video in the series:
How to Stand Up Paddle Board with Verena Mei, Part 1: Safety

SUP is a great, fun, health and safe sport if practiced with some common sense.
Basic points covered in this video are:
1) Be aware of conditions.  When you are starting out, light wind and protected water are the best conditions for learning quickly.  Light winds are fine but the chop created by the wind will make balancing more difficult and you should always make sure to paddle into the wind first to make sure you can get back to where you started.  Don't go out if the wind is strong, offshore winds (blowing you away from the shore) can be very dangerous as they can carry you out to sea and usually get stronger the farther out you get.
2) Always wear a leash.  In Hawaii we are not required to wear a personal floatation device when Stand Up Paddle boarding but you should always wear a good leash and make sure it is attached securely, that way your boards is always attached to you and acts as your floatation device.
3) Know how to swim.  This should be self explanatory, but before you learn how to SUP, you should learn how to swim first.  The rule of thumb is: don't go out further from shore than you could swim back on your own power.
This is the second video in this series: board handling and gear
In this video you will learn how to protect your board from heat and fin damage, how to safely lift up and carry your board and some things to consider when choosing your first board.  At Blue Planet we always recommend trying several SUP's before choosing one as nothing beats trying a board to get an idea of whether it will work for you or not.  Balancing should be challenging at first, as your balance quickly improves.  We often talk to customers that bought their first board without trying it first and then finding out that it is just not a good board for their needs.  Let's face it, it does not matter how cheap a board is or how great the deal seems to be, if you don't enjoy using the board and it sits around collecting dust, it's a waste of money.  We want you to get out on the water and enjoy your board, so we want to make sure you get one that is right for you.  

Friday, February 05, 2016

Looking for the BEST Stand Up Paddleboard? Try before you buy!

Re-posted from:

The only way you will really know if a board is going to work well for you is by trying it.  At Blue Planet it is our goal to help you have more fun on the water and we hate to see customers that wasted their hard earned money by buying a board that is just not right for them.  Buyers often spend a lot of time researching and reading about different models and looking for the "best deal" and think they found the perfect boards for their needs.  Everyone is different, and after spending big bucks to buy a board, they often find out that the board they thought would be the perfect fit is not really right for them.  No matter how cheap the price is or what a great deal you got, it's only a good value if it works well for you and helps you have more fun on the water, right?
Our shop manager, Kevin Fung, made this great video and guide with pointers and tips that can help you choose the right board, but remember that no matter how much research you do, until you try a few boards, it will be hard for us to recommend the perfect board for you.

Tip: Try before you buy!
1) Rent boards:
At the Blue Planet flagship store at 540 Ward Ave. in Honolulu, we have a great rental program with over 50 rental/ demo boards available for rent, with everything from high performance surfing models, to all-round beginner boards, to high performance racing boards and everything in between from many of the top brands in the market.  For our most current list of rental boards (with prices- all our demo boards are available for sale) please check out our: Rental SUP spreadsheet
We always encourage people that are new to the sport to rent a few boards and try them before making a buying decision.  We offer a full credit of rental fees up to $250 towards a new SUP purchase, so this is a great investment and could keep you from making an expensive mistake.  If you are visiting Oahu we have great deals on longer term rentals and offer delivery and pickup service on Oahu.  If your hotel does not have SUP storage available, we partner with Nalu Storage in Waikiki, where you can rent a storage rack by the beach for your stay. For more information on our rental program and to reserve a rental board, please visit:
2) Demo boards at our SUP Clinics:
At Blue Planet we also regularly put on SUP demos/ clinics for our customers so they can try as many boards as possible before making a buying decision.  We currently hold these clinics every 6 weeks or so.  Required to participate:  A SUP Clinic pass (pick up at our shop, no purchase necessary), A valid ID, you must also be on time to attend the safety brief, we close the sign up afterwards.
 For dates of upcoming clinics and detailed information, please visit:
Below is a video form our most recent clinic at Ala Moana beach on January 17th, 2016.  

So, on your quest to find the best Stand Up Paddleboard, don't just choose on price or what you think you need without trying it first, or at least try a board that is similar to the board you intend to buy in terms of length, width, shape and volume.
For some pointers on what volume you need for your weight, height, ability, and intended use, please also watch this video: 

Blue Planet SUP Clinic/ Stand Up Paddleboard demo
Blue Planet staff at SUP demo- try before you buy
Ala Moana Beach Blue Planet SUP Clinic January 2016
We sincerely hope you are successful in finding the perfect board (and paddle!) for your needs and hope to see you at our shop soon!
Robert Stehlik

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

SUP Surf and Downwind Tips: drills for catching bumps and waves

Re-posted from:

If you are new to downwind stand up paddle boarding, and want to get ready to do some open ocean downwinders, these are some tips and drills you can practice in flat water to help you get ready for riding bumps on a SUP.   Check the bottom of this page for information on coached downwinders. 
This post is focused on downwinders and catching/ gliding on bumps, but this drill is also helpful for catching breaking waves if you want to learn to stand up paddle surf.
In this first video I'm showing how to take a few quick accelerating strokes and then pause, glide and skim/ brace the paddle to keep you stable and balanced while gliding.  If you are doing a downwinder in light winds, this is what you will end up doing:  a few quick accelerating strokes, then pause and glide while you are getting pulled along by the bump in front of you.  In light wind you usually won't have to move the feet back, you can keep the parallel stance close to the center of the board.  It's good to practice this drill in flat water to break the habit of paddling with long, powerful strokes at a steady pace.  Downwinders are about quick sprints and glides, so you have to learn to break up your pace.   The first step is to practice taking 3,4, or 5 quick strokes and then let the board glide for about the same amount of time, so you are only paddling for about half the time.  Don't worry about moving your feet at first and just get into a good rhythm of accelerating and then gliding and skimming your paddle for balance.  Try to skim it as far out to the side as possible with the paddle at a low angle to the water for side to side stability and behind you for front to back stability.  Just skim the paddle lightly over the surface, you don't want to break, just keep the paddle very close to the water or skim very lightly over the surface.  While skimming the paddle acts as a third leg which will give you more control and will allow you to feel more comfortable in rougher conditions.  If you do loose your balance you can lean on the paddle and push your center of gravity back over the center of the board.

This next video shows how to start in "first gear" by taking quick, short strokes for powerful acceleration.  You want to focus on keeping your stroke in front of your feet and using quick bursts of power to accelerate.  Practice this in flat water as well as you will not have time to focus on this when conditions get rough. 
When the wind is stronger and the bumps get steeper, you will also have to move your weight back on the board to keep the nose from piercing and to allow your board to release and accelerate by planing on top of the water surface and to reduce the amount of wetted surface.  So, once you are good at stroking quickly to accelerate and then gliding while skimming the paddle, the next step is to also practice moving your feet back as you stop paddling and glide.  As the board slows down and the tail starts to sink, you then have to move your weight back forward close to center quickly and take some more quick acceleration strokes.  The video below has some helpful tips for moving your feet around on the board without rocking the board and loosing your balance:
 If you do this for a while, you will notice that these quick sprints followed by pauses of gliding will actually be very hard work and your heart rate will go up to a higher rate than when paddling at a steady pace.  I find that my heart rate goes up significantly higher in downwinders than when flatwater paddling which is why it is so important to relax and rest while you get a free ride when gliding on and connecting bumps.  If you don't rest it is hard to catch the next bump.  There is a misconception that when the wind blows hard you hardly have to paddle anymore.  The reality is that you have to accelerate more quickly and paddle even harder to catch the faster moving bumps on the really windy days if you want to keep up with the really fast guys.  The goal is to move as close to the speed of the bumps as possible and the stronger the wind is and the longer the fetch (the distance the wind has to create bumps), the faster you have to move to catch them.
The next video covers the five most common mistakes made by first timers on downwind runs and will be helpful to watch as well if you want to improve your downwind stand up paddle technique.
Thank you for watching!
Robert Stehlik
Copyright Blue Planet Surf 2016,  you are welcome to re-post or share this content but please credit Blue Planet Surf and put a link to
Resources mentioned in the videos:
For more information on our weekly SUP training group, please visit:
For information on SUP lessons and downwind coaching by Robert Stehlik, please visit:
For information on downwind coaching with Jeff Chang/ Wet Feet, please visit:
For information on coached downwinders with Jeremy Riggs on Maui:
Safety first:  Downwinders can be dangerous.  Always go with a partner or group and if you are going for the first time, go with an experienced paddler or coach.  Have a plan and set up meeting places if you loose sight of each other, with can happen quickly in open ocean conditions.  Take a cellphone in a waterproof case and/ or a EPIRB.  Always wear a leash and make sure all your equipment is in good condition.
Equipment used in the videos:
Rasta downwind board: 14' x 28" 2016 Bump Rider:

Monday, February 01, 2016

Epoxy Surf Presents the new 2016 Blue Planet SUP board lineup

It's been a while since I posted here, time for an update.
Blue Planet has been active in designing and building some of the best Stand Up Paddleboards on the market today form high performance SUP surf boards to the fastest SUP race boards from beginner to expert level Stand Up Paddleboarder, we got you covered!

Check out the new line of 2016 Blue Planet Stand Up boards, re-posted from the Blue Planet blog:

This first video is a fast paced look at our 2016 Stand Up Paddleboard lineup in action in less than 2 minutes, featuring our team riders Fabrice Beaux and Robert Stehlik in the surf on Oahu's South Shore and Jenn Lee, Jeff Chang, Sam Pa'e, Tyler Jaggers and Jimmy Martindale on the raceboards by Portlock Point.  Also a quick rundown of the 2016 SUP model shapes and colors. 
For more information on the 2016 Blue Planet SUP shapes, please go to:

This second video features our lineup of 2016 Race SUP's- the 12'6 and 14' Bump Rider downwind models and the 12'6 and 14' Dark Horse models.
Please check out our shop on Ward Avenue for a consultation.  We want to help you find the best Stand Up Paddleboard for your needs and always encourage you to try a few boards from our demo fleet before making a buying decision.  Besides the Blue Planet models, we also carry Stand Up boards from Starboards, SIC Maui, Kazuma Maui, Riviera, and several other brands.  We have the biggest selection of both new and demo boards in the Islands and offer great deals.  We are offering great specials and are currently having a closeout sale on 2015 models while supplies last:  Get a $100 Gift card or store credit with and 2015 model SUP purchase.   Find out why our customers voted us as Hawaii's Best SUP Shop in the Honolulu Star Advertiser reader poll awards.
Available now at:
Blue Planet Surf Shop
Hawaii's SUP HQ
540 Ward Ave.
Tel 808 596 7755
We are open daily from 10 am to 6 pm and now have plenty of free parking in the new lot behind our shop.  
Aloha, Robert Stehlik

2016 Blue Planet SUP models with Dolph Lundgren

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Comparing Boardworks TEC and Surftech Tufflite construction methods.

Sandwich construction:
In my experience, the PVC sandwich construction method has the best strength to weight ratio and longevity.  The outer shell with the high density foam sandwich is significantly stronger and less likely to leak that other construction methods using a regular glass/ epoxy layup on EPS foam.  You can visit these pages to compare the construction process:

Surftech Tufflite:

Boardworks TEC:

For a good rundown of different construction methods written by the Board Lady, visit:

Robert Stehlik

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Thanks for visiting the epoxy surf blog. Two days ago Clark Foam closed it's factory and the surfboards industry is in turmoil. I created this blog as a discussion forum for new options, including the use of new core materials and epoxy resin. I have been using epoxy sandwich windsurf boards since the mid 80's and epoxy surfboards since they were first introduced and became convinced that epoxy is not only stronger and more durable but also has superior performance to conventional poyester surfboards. The biggest downside of production boards is that they cannot be customized. The surfer/ shapers are crucial to the development of new designs, developing and incrementally improving shapes. I am very concerned that with a blank shortage this process will slow down and many shapers will suffer.

A couple of years ago I talked to a glasser that was glassing a board without a respirator in the middle of a crowded ASR show. He was using epoxy resin with very little volatile compounds, which was just one of the many advantages. It seemed to me like this was the future of custom board production but it still has not taken hold. I guess shapers and glassers were comfortable with the traditional clark foam/ poly resin construction process and saw no reason to change. Now it's a matter of survival to take a more serious look at alternative materials. Does anyone have more information of this production process?

I have been involved in introducing production epoxy surfboards to the Hawaii surf market through Blue Planet Surf Shop in Honolulu and as the Boardworks distributor for Hawaii and more recently introducing Rock Solid Surfboards shaped by Chuck Andrus and manufactured in Brazil. I'm hoping this blog will become a forum for information on new production techniques that will help keep the surfboard industry progessinve and creative. If you have any questions or information on surfboard manufacturing or ideas, tips, etc, please post it here!

Epoxy Surf: Blue Planet Team at the 2015 M2O race with Carbon/ Epoxy SUP race boards preparing to cross the 32 mile Molokai to Oahu channel.