Idiots guide to downwind run

  • LEASH – Wear a leash to avoid unintended iron man swims for your life.
  • ROCKER – Get a true downwind board to feel a glide. Otherwise, say “hello” to frustration and a thorough saltwater nasal clense.
  • BALANCE – Get a board that you can easily stand and walk on. No one can think about downwind SUPing if they can’t even stand up. Start with a stable board.
  • SAFETY – Take your favorite bathing suit model (what we mean here is “legitimate guide”) with you that knows the route and/or be very confident you know your route. Avoid unnecessary tea parties with the nice folks in the Coast Guard.
  • TIMING – When the tip of your board is on the back of a swell, paddle like Kai Lenny. Always look forward, following waves.
  • FOLLOW WAVES, that is how you catch glides. You want your board “nipping” at the back of a swell in front of you.
  • CONNECTING – Once you can catch one glide, and good luck at this, catch the next by directionally surfing your board behind the next swell you can see. If you can do this, and do it well, go race in Hawaii; this is what separates land lubbers from waterpeople.
  • LAUGH – You will fall, you may bleed, but, to date, the only sport we are aware of where you will be unable to control your inner child and scream like joy. Then laugh that you, as an adult, still can do that.

Have fun, be safe!
-10 Downwinders!


  1. Profile photo of HawaiianThunder
    wrote on April 6th, 2013 at 9:06 am


    Nice Write up of Downwinding fundamentals! “Laughing” is Key to a successful downwind! It’s all about having fun and enjoying the Glide! :-)

    • Profile photo of Nathaniel Dietz
      wrote on June 21st, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Nathaniel Dietz

      Good tips! I got my first taste of riding bumps, albeit small ones, off of Golden Gardens when the wind picked up and I was out there a ways. Only had to take about 10-15 strokes total to get back in. Pretty amazing feeling!

  2. Profile photo of Andre Sapp
    wrote on June 20th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Andre Sapp

    Ive been wondering about downwinding on the Strait?
    Anyone have any experience doing that. It seems like there could be some epic runs with some real long fetch swell to be had
    I thought there was a summer downwind race on the strait, but I havent seen anything on that lately.

  3. Profile photo of Naim
    wrote on June 20th, 2013 at 7:55 pm



    There is a race called Da Fuca:

    Same thought process as you have pointed out. The problem; swell is on-shore and does not really line up, at least at the time of year they hold the event. Some good rides here and there. What we need is a downwind run with windswell that lines up parallel to the shore, has fetch, is consistent and has additional values like logistics, environment etc.

    I have found just that place but it needs to be thoroughly tested before we hold an event. The wind funnels, there is fetch, and at the right time of year is 60%-75% chance of wind and can reverse course if wind is north or south. Hit me up if you are interested in helping out, I am planning on staying out there for a few days in August or September to work out all the kinks, then we can start planning a world class downwind run event for Team 206.

    @supmonkey lets do this brudah!

    • Profile photo of Andre Sapp
      wrote on June 20th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      Andre Sapp

      thats the race I was thinking about.

      But, Hells ya, I’d love to help out with that. I was thinking it would take some exploration and trial and error to find the right route. So if you are already on to something, that sounds great.

      I’ll be in HR July 11 – 14 and for the big race weekend in August.

      Otherwise – see you on the water somewhere.
      I’m headed to the Oregon coast for some SUP surfing this weekend. First time on my 9’0″ Fanatic

  4. Profile photo of mr206
    wrote on June 20th, 2013 at 8:06 pm


    I will join you guys for the trial runs. I would like to get a boat?
    Joe has a real keen idea of what to do out there… I am not sure he will put it in writing yet!!!
    Looking forward to seeing you at some races or in HR Andre!

  5. Profile photo of scott christianson
    wrote on June 21st, 2013 at 8:48 am

    scott christianson

    Glad I’ve come upon 206. I’m wanting to get into downwind. Anybody have a board they recommend? I’m wanting to build a CLC Kahola 12′

  6. Profile photo of mr206
    wrote on June 21st, 2013 at 12:10 pm


    If you are intermediate, you want a carbon Naish Glide, 14′, newest model. More advanced, Starboard All Star, carbon, newest model. We have the last Glide available used for $750, if you want it; it was my first real DW board. Let us know how else we can help!

    • Profile photo of Josh Schiffer
      wrote on June 29th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Josh Schiffer

      Hi Matt, Please tell me more about the Glide. I am definitely interested in checking it out. I’ve started doing downwinders over the last few months under the tutelage of Art and am definitely ready to graduate from my Bark Expedition to something lighter. Cheers, Josh

      • Profile photo of mr206
        wrote on June 29th, 2013 at 3:27 pm


        Hey Josh!

        I/we (Godfather and myself) have a 2014 Starboard All Star, 2013 Glide and 2011 Glide in our quiver; you could try any/all if you like. The 2011 Glide is the best beginner DW board I have ever ridden. The All Star is the best advanced DW board, and the 2013 Glide is the best intermediate. The 2011 catches glides as easy as the All Star, but the All Star is “tippy.” The All Star connects glides better. The 2013 Glide seems to be a hybrid of these two, it catches glides “okay,” connects “okay” and is stable.

        Price wise, the All Star will cost you at least $2500, the 2013 Glide $1500 and Godfather
        s 2011 Glide I think he wants $800 for.

        Bottom line; if you wanted the best beginner board to use for 12-18 months the 2011 Glide is awesome. The drawback to the board is the “eject’ button; it doesn’t turn like a surfboard when you are in surf stance because of the sharp rails. It turns opposite you think it should when you are in surf stance. But, it catches glides with the best of them, is highly durable, highly stable and won’t nose dive on you, a huge advantage to a beginner/intermediate.

        Last note, if you are learning under the tuteledge of Art, you may be faster than me quickly 😉

        • Profile photo of Josh Schiffer
          wrote on June 29th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

          Josh Schiffer

          Awesome. Thanks for the info Matt. I would love to check out the 2011 & 2013 Naish. I’ve ridden Art’s new starboard and loved it, but it was in light chop. I’ve also tried a different 2013 Allstar in a pretty heavy downwind and was actually surprised that it felt really stable (probably because that particular board was 27.5″ wide). I’ve also tried a Naish glide but it was my 2nd DW ever so I was just out there trying to survive. I’d probably notice a greater difference in the boards now.

          Lets try to hook up at one of the races. I am really busy through mid-July but will try to make most of the Ballard, Lake Union races after that point.

          Wouldn’t lose too much sleep about me ever catching you or Art in a race! Not going to happen.

        • Profile photo of Abigail McCarthy
          wrote on July 10th, 2013 at 10:16 am

          Abigail McCarthy

          Hey Matt- Do you know if the 2011 Naish is still for sale or if someone’s bought it already? I had so much fun on the downwind I did in hood river this weekend I think I want to get a little more DW time, and a used board would be a great way to do that.

  7. Profile photo of team206
    wrote on June 21st, 2013 at 3:05 pm



    Yes bro, lets do this. We need a few things, some I have already started work on. Here’s a list:

    1: Date. 2-3 days with historical good wind, I am thinking August when the thermals are in affect and when ground swell from NW is expected.
    2: Cabin/vacation rental as home base
    3: Escort boat that can carry our boards so we can move around easy to find the ideal lines. If we don’t have the luxury of escort with space to carry boards, then Jetski will do as a safety net.

  8. Profile photo of mr206
    wrote on June 21st, 2013 at 6:05 pm


    Cool! I can’t do Aug 12-13, and the 20th is the GPC, but midweeks look good? I can get a cabin if we decide on dates. I can check with Art on the jet ski!

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