My First SUP

The Exocet Commando was ahead of it’s time…this is the copy I wrote for it when we got them in 2003…9’10” x 36″…it had a fin in the back and middle of the board, that you could put in or pull out from the deck of the board…

“An extraordinary design concept that Exocet has busted out is the Commando. This unique watercraft is not only a two-person kayak, but also an all-around cruising style windsurfer. The built-in integrated wheel makes this a totally user-friendly, “must-have” essential addition to your quiver of watertoys. The whole family can use this multipurpose craft…you can teach on it, explore and tour, access remote areas and hard to get to windlines…fishing…standup photo platform…lash a sailrig and/or surfboard to the nose and paddle into some remote areas…surf and/or fish, then sail home…what are you going to do with it?”(MSRP $699 USD)

I used it with a converted kayak paddle to take pictures of windsurfing on the water, standing up…and, for standup fishing…

Zoom ahead to 2005 and Exocet launched the Kona line of longboard windsurfers…
At 11’6″ x 27″, the Kona also did double duty for numbers of people as their first SUP…

Our VP, Deb, blazing across Lake Lopez with a sail attached to her first SUP…another first for our company…producing the world’s first production epoxy SUP’s with mast foot attachments…

Here is a guy (Gustav) that we sent a paddle to on the West coast of Sweden for his Kona…he became the first standup paddle surfer in Sweden…



we also shipped the first SUP paddles to Germany, Austria, Norway, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, and Australia…etc…in the early days…

In 2005/2006 the custom SUP market started to develop as those shapers with skill sets that could deal with shaping/glassing large tandem Clark blanks, or hot wiring a SUP blank from a billet of EPS foam got production rolling…

We could only get around 27″ out of a Clark tandem blank…pretty narrow in choppy conditions…the sport was called standup/falloff back then…;-)

I should also mention that we used surf wax for traction…

We flew Sean Ordonez over from Maui to build some homegrown SUP’s…

Deb in Spring of ’06 on her 2nd custom Sean Ordonez SUP…the first person to standup paddle on Lake Lopez…a real SUP pioneer…also, from what we can figure, she is very likely the first woman to standup paddle in California back in 2005…most likely the first in North or South America…we’ve crowned her our “First Lady of SUP”…;-)

Also, Lake Nacimiento…images from February of 2006 on a prototype 10’11” “Stand Up Paddle”…waaaayyy back in the day before it became SUP…;-)

All of our early custom SUP’s did double duty as light air windsurfers…

The early days…it was fun pioneering…lots of firsts…

Early halcyon days of SUP on the Sean Ordonez “Big Red” prototype…it was blue…then became Big Red…;-)

Wardog, among the first to take the drop at this Central Cali Coast spot on the original “Big Red”…another first for the history books…;-)

Sean Ordonez during a visit to Santa Barbara…getting ready to paddle the prototype for “Big Blue”…

Prototypes of the Sean Ordonez “Big Red” and “Big Blue”…which were to become the first molded sandwich epoxy production SUP’s in the world…notice the double leash plugs…we were the first to establish these for standup boards because I had them installed on all of my big wave guns for survival in case of a leash break…I used 2 leashes at certain NorCal spots…

Our first container samples of the production Big Red and Big Blue SUP’s…

This was the first SUP for many standup paddlers…we shipped them all across North America and Puerto Rico…even, to all of the Hawaiian Islands…

We smile when we see chucklehead bloggers and other new SUP board companies sending us solicitations to buy ad space or boards and accessories…etc…claiming to be OG when they learned on one of our boards…or, one of the many that came long after…and, didn’t even realize that they were soliciting a pioneer of the sport on the mainland…;-)

There was no “paralysis by analysis” back in the day…picking a SUP was quite a bit easier…you were on a waiting list for container arrival…and, you had your choice of a 10’10” blue one or an 11’11” red one…our first logo die-cut SUP pads arrived shortly afterwards…as well as bags big enough to fit these SUP’s…

Deb shown with the carbon Pohaku standup paddles (later name change to C4)…we were a “master distributor” of these “high tech” standup paddles…the first retailer in California with stock to sell…sold like hotcakes by default…

After selling through several containers of the SOS SUP’s…we went on to open the first fully dedicated SUP store on the North and South American continents…that was thousands of SUP’s ago…with many more to come…

WARDOGMy First SUP

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