Fishing From Your Stand Up Paddleboard – the Basics

Fishing From Your Stand Up Paddleboard

Fishing From Your Stand Up Paddle Board – the Basics

I have to confess – I’m HOOKED!! While I’ve been paddling for 6 years now, it was not until recently that I decided to bring a fishing rod along while I paddle. Maybe you are in the same boat – paddle boarding in enjoyable, but you are ready to do more than just look at the wildlife. OR – maybe you are a long time fisherman/woman and you are wondering what it takes to get started with SUP fishing. That’s what I wrote this blog post for!

What you will need to get started in stand up paddle fishing:

  • Stable board – We usually recommend something in the neighborhood of 10’6 – 12′ in length, 30″ – 34″ wide, and 5″ – 8″ thick. The flatter the rocker profile, the better, too, since contact with the water equals stability. Smaller paddlers with less gear may be ok with the smaller (10’6) size, but having some extra room to move on the 12′ size boards is nice. Plus, the longer boards track better and can cover more territory in less time if you are really trying to scope things out.
2017 Bote Rackham Bugslinger
It doesn’t get much more stable than the Bote Rackham
  • Lightweight Paddle –  make sure that you are paddling with a paddle that won’t wear you out. Since you may be paddling with a lower cadence while cruising slowly on the hunt for fish, a larger blade size is ok, and maybe even preferred for moving a little more water sine you won’t be engaged in full race-stroke mode while SUP fishing. But – make sure your paddle is lightweight and your arms and shoulders will thank you at the end of the session.
Werner Trance 85 Paddle
My paddle of choice is the Werner Trance
  • Fishing gear – This can be as much or as little as you think you will actually use during the session. Some paddlers bring multiple rods. If you opt to do this, you may want to get a rod holder accessory. If you have a BOTE board, the tackle rac, or bucket rac will keep your rods stowed. If you have just one rod/reel, you may be ok to just put the rod in between your feet on the deck pad. Make sure to stow your tackle either under a bungee, or attached to the tackle rac with a tackle web or other bag so your tackle doesn’t go swimming!
Kula Cooler as a rod holder
The Kula Cooler is a great place to stow your rod while fishing!
  • Large Center Fin – You will be walking around on the board, and hopefully hooking into some fish that you will have to fight! So, for added stability while SUP fishing, you will want to consider using a large center fin with a fair amount of surface area. Surface area = stability. Consider one that is not too deep in case you find yourself in some shallow water situations.
Future Runner JB Keel
It doesn’t get much more stable than the JB Runner fin!
  • Small Cooler – Your cooler is a dual purposed piece of equipment. While yes, it can keep your lunch and drinks cold, it is also a place where you can have a seat, or stand on to have an even better vantage point to scope out where the fish are hiding. BONUS – the KULA cooler has a pad already attached to the lid for a cushioned place for your behind, and also has notches in the cooler to lay your paddle or rod down when you are taking a break.
white Yeti Roadie Epic Boardsports
white Yeti Roadie for your fishing adventures
  • Anchor – If you are in a location with either wind or current, you may want to invest in an anchor so that you can stay put while fishing. A Wang anchor works if you have a BOTE Rackham or 12’HD Bugslinger with the “through holes” to place the anchor through the board. Otherwise, you may consider a small bell anchor that can be thrown off the board with some rope.



A Stand Up Paddler’s Sun Bum Sunscreen Picks

Sun Bum Sunscreen Quiver

A Stand Up Paddler’s Sun Bum Sunscreen Picks

My sunscreen “arsenal” “quiver” “picks” whatever you want to call it – this is what I use as someone who loves and lives in the SUN:

Sun Bum Sunscreen Quiver
Sun Bum Sunscreen Quiver

If you truly love to stand up paddle, then you spend lots of time outside and in, on, or around the water. So whether you are on your board, or just hanging at the beach in between sessions, you need take sun safety as seriously as you do water safety.

So you already know what you need to be safe on your board, but what do you use to protect your skin, lips, and hair?! (Yes, we are going to protect your HAIR, too!) I’ll break down the products you see above and tell you why I use and love each:

Sun Bum Lip Balm

In KEY LIME flavor – of course, because well, every self-respecting Floridian loves key lime pie, and I am no different. I love this lip balm because it not only protects my lips, but it also conditions them at the same time, and this lip balm does NOT taste like sunscreen. Use this lip balm with caution. It tastes so good that you will want to EAT it. Resist the urge.

I also use this lip balm as a “base” for my lipstick or lip pencil when I am getting ready for the shop or a night out, and not just a day at the beach.

Sun Bum 3 In 1 Leave In

This magical formula is for your hair. Can I hear all the ladies rejoice? Now all those hours spent and hard-earned dollars spent on getting your hair to be that perfect shade of red, or auburn….will not be in vain! This spray helps prolong the life of your hair color when used consistently as part of your hair care regimen. And for those natural blondes that don’t pay the big bucks for your beautiful hair color – your hair will benefit too from the conditioning component of this 3 in 1 Leave In. No more frizzy, icky hair days. Your hair will be smoother and softer for using the Sun Bum 3 In 1.

**As a note** There is no sunscreen (SPF) factor to it that will help your scalp – so for all those visor fans out there (let’s face it, visors are cooler than trucker hats for paddling in the FL heat!) – please use some SPF 15 or greater sunscreen on your scalp to prevent skin cancer.

Sun Bum Pro Face Stick

You can rub the stuff in, or just leave your face looking pasty. I go pasty because I just don’t care about the looks. This stuff works, and it is easy to apply – on myself, and also on my 2 groms that are hard to pin down for sunscreen application. This is easy to pack in your PFD waist pack too and reapply as needed, but you may not need to. This stuff has pure staying power.

The PRO products are specifically made for athletic endeavors. It’s a mineral based endurance formula that is tough enough to stay on in extreme conditions. The Pro lineup from Sun Bum goes on thicker than many other sunscreen formulas and leaves a clear sheen film on your skin.

If you don’t like a face stick, the Pro formula lotions are also great too for the face. No pasty effect with the lotions.

Sun Bum SPF 30 Lotion

OK so I admit it. I like a bit of a tan on my arms/legs/stomach/back….anywhere but on my face. I can always wear bronzers on my face, but I want a little tan on the rest of me. The original lotions are light, sheer, and scented like BANANA! Yum. The original lotions are what I use in between sessions, while building sand castles with the kids instead of catching waves on my SUP.

Whatever your sunscreen needs – we have a wide range of options from the Sun Bum lineup! Get it in store at 350 N Atlantic Ave. Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 or online any time at:



Starboard Hyper Nut Review

Starboard Hyper Nut Surf SUP

If you have been on the hunt for a shorter board that can still provide you with the volume that you need and the stability that you crave on mushy surf days, then look no further than the hyper nut range from Starboard Stand Up Paddle Surfing.

New for 2016, we are super excited to have various sizes in stock for sale and also for demo in Cocoa Beach Florida. I personally ride the 7’4×30″ Carbon, while my husband rides the 7’2×28″ Carbon. He has more experience in the surf than I do at this point, so can handle the narrower width of the 7’2, while I find that the 30″ wide 7’4 suits me perfectly, even on choppy, sloppy days.

The hyper nut range has very little rocker, and ample volume in all the right places, so it outranks other boards in Starboard’s surf lineup, like the 7’4 and 7’10 Air Borns from 2014 and 2015, as well as the Pro series. What I can appreciate about the Hyper Nut personally is that I can ride a super short and super maneuverable board without swimming too much! I have found that the 7’4×30″ hyper nut is actually more stable than my 8’2 Starboard wide point in similar conditions. I still love my wide point, but the hyper nut has allowed me to get out on days when the conditions would be much too challenging on my wide point.

Starboard Hyper Nut Cocoa Beach
Svein Rasmussen, owner of Starboard International seen here unveiling the Hyper Nut at a demo event across from our shop in Cocoa Beach, FL.

5 W’s of Buying a SUP

Cocoa Beach Stand Up Paddle Boarding

5 W’s of Buying a SUP

You want a stand up paddle board, or SUP. But which one should you buy? Often used in the field of journalism, the “Five Ws” constitute a formula for getting the full story. I have found that the same questions have helped many of our customers get dialed in on the right board for them. I hope that it may be of some help to you, too. The following is just a framework. My husband and I own Epic Boardsports, LLC in Cocoa Beach Florida. Since 2011, we have been guiding customers through the buying process and are proud to stock the best brands in the industry. We are available via phone, e-mail, or in person at our shop 6 days a week to help customers with their individual needs. But hopefully the following can be a great place to start for you or someone that you know who is beginning the process of shopping for their first SUP.


Who am I buying this board for?

Adult? Child? Adult PLUS child or canine “passenger”? And then – is the paddler a beginner? A more advanced rider? Is the one board going to be purchased for multiple paddlers? This is where most people start in the buying process. The answer to the “who” question should help a buyer determine how much “real estate” and volume is needed in a board. A board that is 10’6 x 30” with 160 liters of volume may be a perfect 1st SUP for an athletic, average-sized adult. But that same 10’6 x 30” board will perform much differently with a 50 pound child or dog riding along on the nose of the board. When riding with company, we have found that the paddler and passenger alike are more comfortable with more length, width, and volume. If sharing a board with a spouse or friend, more consideration should be given to the needs of the paddler that will be using the board more frequently. If riding with company some, or all of the time, consider the mix of use.  If mom or dad is going to bring junior along only 10% of the time, then maybe consider getting a board with the right volume for just mom or dad, which may sit a little lower in the water and lose some performance when paddling with junior.


What am I paddling for?

Let’s break it down: fun, fitness, or fishing? That is the question. It may sound like an oversimplification, but you gotta start somewhere, and those are the 3 broad categories that cover most paddlers. If fun is your focus – then be ok with sacrificing some in the performance department just to be able to enjoy some “liquid therapy” time. You don’t need a specialized race board to enjoy some scenery and close encounters with nature. Customers who are focusing on fun and relaxation tend to be happiest with boards that are 9’5 to 11’2 in length and 29 to 36 wide, with ample volume (so board thickness may vary anywhere from 4” to 7” thick to achieve the necessary volume for the paddler)

Models to consider: Naish Nalu 10’6, Starboard Drive 10’5×30, Pau Hana Oahu 9’5×32 or 10’x32

Are you paddling to maintain a certain level of fitness or race? Then you may be more concerned about performance. Consider boards that are 10’6” or longer and anywhere from 24” wide to 30” wide. You will be able to cover more distance and have a more efficient, higher cadence stroke if you aren’t paddling a wide board. Also, look at “displacement” shape boards, or “hybrid displacement” shapes. They tend to give you added performance over traditional planning style boards with “surf board” noses.

Models to consider: Pau Hana Mini Sport, Pau Hana Cadence, Starboard Freeride, Starboard AllStar Models, Boga El Tiburon 11′ or 12’6

Are you paddling to take your yoga practice to the water? Then stability is paramount. Consider a board that is 9’ to 11’ long and 32” to 26” wide.

Models to consider: Pau Hana Lotus, Starboard Astro Yoga, Naish Nalu 10’10 or Naish Alana 10’10

Do you want to tour many miles of coastline with gear on board for fishing or camping? Better consider volume and tracking capabilities over any other variables. Popular adventure boards are those that range from 11’ to 14’ in length and have tons of waterline for tracking and width for stability.

Models to consider: Jimmy Lewis Searcher, Starboard Fisherman, Starboard Avanti, Naish Glide series, Pau Hana Big EZ Angler


When, or how frequently, will you be paddling?

Are you looking to paddle on the weekends for fun? Or are you going to be making this your primary fitness medium, and so will be paddling many times a week? If you are making a commitment to paddle frequently, then you may ok to consider a board that may feel a little less stable at the time of purchase, but that you are willing to grow into a bit. Another segment to the “when” question – is condition – related. Will you be paddling when the conditions are less than perfect? If you are paddling when the winds are up, you may want to consider a board that can handle some chop, or swell. Or, if you are up for paddling when the winds are cranking in a direction conducive to doing a downwind paddle, then you may want to consider buying a board that is made to perform in downwind conditions. If you are determined to get in the ocean and surf sup even in mushy, choppy conditions, then you need to consider a wider board with softer rails. If you are only going to paddle on the cleanest of days – river or ocean, flat water or surf, then you can afford to choose a board with sharper rails and a narrower width.

Models to consider for downwind: Starboard Freeride or Freeride XL, Starboard ACE series, Naish Glide Series

Models to consider for mushy surf: Naish Mana Series, Naish Hokua 32 Series, Starboard Wide Point Series, Starboard Airborn series

Models to consider for perfect surf: Starboard Pro Series, Naish Hokua Series


Where will you be using your paddle board?

Are you going to be paddling on the ocean to catch waves? Then consider a surf-specific SUP. Are you going to stick to the river? Do you want a board that performs well in the river for cruising, but can catch some waves too? Is your place to launch right behind your house, or do you want the board for travel? Even within surf sups, or race sups, there are differences in their performance in various conditions. For example, for surf sups, we have found that wider shapes or fish shapes perform best in our mushy wave conditions that we are given most of the time. The width provides the added stability element that is needed for inconsistent waves. Or consider, when selecting your race board – are you going to be paddling in open ocean events, or on flat-water conditions? Give some serious consideration to the rails of the race board when making your decision on this purchase because harder rails can be fine for flat-water racing conditions, but choppy, or open ocean events can prevent more of a challenge. If you will be using your board beyond your own backyard, what type of traveling will you be doing? If traveling by car – think through whether you will be transporting it on top of your car or if you want to fit the board inside of your vehicle. To transport the board on top of your vehicle, you may need to budget some money for a rack system. If you want to fit the board inside of your car, then consideration will need to be given to how much real estate you have inside your vehicle. The length or width of your board may be determined by how much room you have inside the car. If traveling by air with your board, consider an inflatable board.

Inflatable models to consider: Naish Inflatables, Starboard Astro Series


Why are you paddling?

Are you paddling to catch waves? To tour? To race? Generally speaking, longer boards track better than shorter boards, and conversely, shorter boards turn easier. So if you are looking to surf with your SUP, then you may find it easier to turn and manage your board in the surf if it is 10’ or shorter. If you are looking to race, then you need to consider which class you will be racing in – surf class? 12’6? 14’? That will hone in the board options there as far as length is concerned. If you are looking to tour efficiently, a longer board will track better, so you may want start the consideration at 10’6 or longer, and around 29” to 30” wide.

Models for Surfing: Starboard Hero, Starboard Whopper, Starboard Avanti, Starboard Pro Series, Starboard Wide Points, Starboard Air Borns, Naish Hokua Series, Naish Mana Series

Models for Racing: Naish Javelin Series, Starboard All Star Series

Models for Touring: Naish Glide Series, Starboard Pocket Touring, Boga Tiburon

Models for All-Around Cruising: Starboard Drive, Starboard Blend, Naish Nalu Series, Rogue All Waters Series

Now grab that board and get on the water!!

Ultimately, the buying decision is a dynamic process. The same quiver of boards that works for me as an experienced female paddler who is 5’2, and weighs 120 pounds will not perform the same for a novice male paddler who is 6’2 and weighs 210 pounds. Also, while blogs and forums related to the sport of stand up, magazine articles, and the opinions of friends can be useful information, they can also serve to add confusion in the board buying process. Don’t reach the point of “paralysis by analysis.” You have to start somewhere, and most likely, you will buy more than one paddle board in your lifetime. There’s no real substitute for an on-water demo. We have many boards in our demo fleet. They run the gamut in size and shape. Try before you buy if possible. While not every board on the market may be available for demo at your local shop, trying a few different boards out will help you make your buying decision much more confidently.


Starboard Pocket Rocket Review

Starboard Pocket Rocket Customer
Many thanks to Jeff Venn, who shared with us his review of the 2015 Starboard brushed carbon Pocket Rocket:
I’ve been stand up paddle boarding for a few years now after surfing for the last 30. Finding the right balance of performance and stability in a stand up surf sup is the hardest part. After hunting down a carbon fiber version of the Starboard Hero model, I ran into Epic Boardsports of Cocoa Beach Florida online and gave them a ring. Unfortunately, Jennifer had just sold the last two brushed carbon Starboard Hero boards she had and there were literally none available in the US. The waves were really good that day and I had travelled south from Jacksonville, so she said come on in and surf out behind the shop and check out our selection. When I went inside I saw all the great performance boards from Starboard, Naish, and a few others. I was after a Starboard brushed carbon model and ended up moving to an carbon 8’5” Starboard Pocket Rocket from my Starboard brushed carbon 8’2” Wide Point. The Starboard Pocket Rocket is 8’5 long and 30″ wide, and has 10 liters more volume than the 8’2 Starboard wide point but is quite narrower and has a pulled in tail and five fin boxes so that you can ride with either a quad or thruster setup. It was a great upgrade and the board is more responsive and maneuverable than my Wide Point and is still plenty stable.
After wrapping up his Cocoa Beach session across from the shop at 4th St., North, Jeff headed a little further south…………….
The secret bonus was that I happened to catch monster hole that afternoon, which was firing too!!! You can see a shot of monster hole that day here
Jeff stoked about his new starboard brushed carbon pocket rocket
Jeff stoked about his new starboard brushed carbon pocket rocket
Jeff adding the pocket rocket to his Starboard quiver which includes the 8'2 wide point and the 9'0 hero.
Jeff adding the pocket rocket to his Starboard quiver which includes the 8’2 wide point and the 9’0 hero.

Shop Small this Saturday for a Big Impact

Epic Boardsports is just one of THOUSANDS of small business that make up the backbone of America! Come out and support us and other small businesses who are participating in the American Experss “Shop Small” event this Saturday, November 29th.

Don’t wait to get yourself, or that paddle-boarder on your Christmas list those perfect accessories that they’ve been wanting all year long! We have tons of goodies in stock – and when you buy them this Saturday, after registering your American Express card that qualifies, you can receive a statement credit of $10 for shopping and spending $10 or more with us!

Learn more at:

Stand Up for the Cure Miami Event

Stand Up for the Cure Miami on November 8th, 2014 was an amazingly family friendly event that you should make some time for next year. The event was held at the Miami Yacht Club, which is in a bay just north of the cruise ship terminals. The focus is on fun, not competition, though there were multiple kids races, and one main race event for the grown-ups. The event is to benefit the Susan G Komen foundation which has a focus on breast cancer awareness and research. Many SUP pros were there, including Zane Schweitzer of Starboard Stand Up Paddle Surfing, and Kala Alexander of Maui. I enjoyed the event with my sister, who is a cancer survivor herself, and my two boys, Xander and Ziek. Ziek rode along with me, and Zane, while Xander was busy riding his own board, the Starboard Kids’ All Star. Many thanks goes out to the event organizers for putting on a great event, and to Zane Schweitzer for spending so much focused time making sure that all the kids at the event had a great time. He got many junior paddlers on the water for the first time. And after seeing the smiles on their faces, I know that it won’t be their last.

Zane Schweitzer getting Ziek dialed in on his board while Xander watches on
Zane Schweitzer getting Ziek dialed in on his board while Xander watches on

Xander charging hard in the kids race event
Xander charging hard in the kids race event after some tips from Zane

Xander getting his board signed by Zane - STOKED!
Xander getting his board signed by Zane – STOKED!

Zane made sure all the kids had a great, and safe time on the water
Zane made sure all the kids had a great, and safe time on the water

Become a Pro – at Stand Up Paddle Boarding with your Kids

As a working mom or dad, you may be struggling to make time for fun, fitness, and time with the family. Look no further than the sport of stand up paddle boarding!

I am a PRO at paddling with kids. And want you to become a pro, too. I was pregnant with Ziek (now 3) and already mom to Xander (now 6) when we opened Epic Boardsports on July 1, 2011. I have found over the years that the sport of stand up paddling is the perfect way to get time together as a family while staying fit. I wanted to write this blog entry to share with you the ways I have successfully spent many hours on the water with my kids:

  • Keep expectations low – especially at the start. Keep sessions short and sweet until the junior paddlers are acclimated.
  • Keep snacks, water, and maybe even a couple toys (for the younger, ride-along paddlers) on hand.
  • Use leashes. Younger paddlers may become fatigued, or the wind may change direction, leaving you to do most of the work for the paddle home. A leash can be a great tool to pull your junior paddler home.
  • Encourage them. (“Great work! Keep paddling! You’re doing awesome!”)
  • Scenery is key. Find a place to paddle that has an abundance of wildlife or other cool things to check out (dolphins, manatees, birds…..) Kids are more interested in the natural world than in becoming a proficient paddler.
  • Think dinner. If your kids like to fish, bring a pole along with you! They can catch dinner while you paddle!
  • Take breaks often – let them swim (this breaks up the activity) or just rest and ask them about their day before paddling some more.
  • Think light and sized right. If they have an interest in paddling their own board, get them the right equipment from the start.  Sometimes a small surf sup for you can double as a flat water board for them.
Your kids will love the adventures that they can have on the Searcher, too
Your kids will love the adventures that they can have on the Searcher, too.


Paddling as a family is fun!
Paddling as a family is fun! Events with kids races help encourage them even more to keep paddling.
The Jimmy Lewis Searcher has enough volume for the family, a cooler AND fishing gear!
The Jimmy Lewis Searcher has enough volume for the family, a cooler AND fishing gear!
Race time with dad!
Race time with dad!
If you time it right, you may even be able to take nap time to the water!!
If you time it right, you may even be able to take nap time to the water!!

Jimmy Lewis Searcher Stand Up Paddleboard Review – Fun for the Whole Family

Jimmy Lewis, Searcher, Jimmy lewis searcher, jimmy lewis stand up paddle

People told us before we had kids that “life will change….” and “things will never be the same….” Well, they were right. But where it breaks down is that many parents just stop living all together and having fun once they have kids! The sport of stand up paddling has allowed us to continue to have fun on the water and also be active as a family. Our oldest son has a passion for fishing, and when we combined paddle boarding and fishing, everybody couldn’t be happier.

The Jimmy Lewis Searcher is 12’6″ by 33 1/2″ by 7 1/2″. Between those specs and the 363L of volume, there’s no more excuses when it comes to spending time on the water as a family. In addition to his 180 pound self, Jonathan was able to put our 25 pound 19 month old on his back, our 45 pound 4.5 year old on the tail of the board, and a 5-gallon bucket of bait & tackle in the center of the board.

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9′ 5″ Pau Hana OAHU Stand Up Paddle Board Review

Epic Boardsports Pau Hana

“Pau Hana?” What’s that mean? The literal translation is “Work done.” It’s a Hawaiian term for the completion of a job or period of work responsibility. If you’re in need of a healthy, relaxing way to decompress for 30 minutes after a long day at the office, or a way to enjoy some time with the family on the weekend after a stressful work week, then it’s time to consider an OAHU stand up paddle board by Pau Hana.

The Pau Hana OAHU was shaped and designed by Todd Caranto as a true nose rider SUP with a spooned out nose, wide tail, and full rails. This design gives it stability and maneuverability, while not making any sacrifices in the fun department.  Though designed as a nose riding SUP, the Pau Hana OAHU is an excellent all around board, too. My family and I have taken it down the WekivaRiver, into the Atlantic Ocean, and everywhere in between.

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