Representing SUP Surf in a Positive Light Gains Respect in Hawaii

Frank Forbes Bluesmiths SUP Hawaii
Global Partner

We’ve known SUP soul surfer, Frank Forbes a long time. From his time in Montauk through building & shaping his SUPSonic boards, to marrying Hilda (goddess among women) and having Indy, their small wild flower daughter, Frank Forbes has represented the sport of SUP since the beginning.

Here’s a story of one of Frank’s recent adventures on Hawaii.  In it, Frank shows what it is to gain respect as a stand up paddle surfer in the line up of aggressive males.  It’s about respect. To get it, you give it. To own it, you’ve to put the work in. Here’s how:

Frank Forbes Bluesmiths SUP Hawaii
Frank Forbes earns his respect in the line up by waiting his turn, holding his ground and then sticking it … hard. You can learn a lot from a guy like Frank. Photo by: Hilda Forbes

Respect in the Lineup:  Hold Your Ground & Know Your Skills

Last weekend’s south swell had me dust off my SUP and head to my favorite south shore surf spot.

I got out my favorite SUP board which is pink, got out my paddle, slipped on my Bluesmiths Surf Trunks and my bright pink Bluesmiths long sleeve Kahaha top.

As usual there were guys in the water already on surfboards.

I paddled out to the line up. I could feel the dislike of SUP vibe that the surfers were sending my way. Which, like all the hate I have encountered before, I ignored.

I waited for every surfer to catch a wave. Then, it was my turn. The surfers did not want to give me a wave, but I held my ground and took the next set wave that came my way.

The takeoff was both steep and late with a bit of an air drop into a barreling wave. I stuck the takeoff and pulled up high and tight for a tiny cover up.

Then, I paddled back out to the line up and waited my turn for another wave. Again, a set wave came … and again, it was a steep late drop to a fast turn and down-the-line firing wave face. I made the drop, pumped down the line, made a big bottom turn then carved up giant turn up the lip and kicked out with a smile on my face.

That’s when a surfer paddled right over to say something to me.

I am so used to confrontation, I almost expected to be barked or yelled at for just riding my SUP.

The surfer paddled right up to me and he said, “I’m not a fan of SUP and was very concerned and bummed when I saw you break out your paddleboard to surf here. I was more freaked out when you paddled out in the lineup on your SUP wearing head-to-toe bright pink. 

I thought to myself, ‘This guy is a SUPERKOOK and is going to be dangerous and out of control.’

Then, I watched you surf and you took off deeper than most of the surfers out here and stuck two very steep, critical air drops. You ripped those waves on your SUP like I have not seen before.  I enjoyed watching you surf your SUP.  Welcome to the lineup.”

This was the first time in 13 years of SUP surfing that a surfer, and total stranger, complimented me on my SUP surfing. I am glad to see SUP surfing finally getting appreciated by the surfers.

Compliments feel much better than confrontations!”

– Frank Forbes
Makena, Hawaii



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Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.