Like my brother Conn once said, “Taking SUPs on a surf charter, is like having a Swiss Army knife when you go camping”.
Add it to your stash of surfboards and its like having a multi tool of wave riding vehicles for all conditions. Maybe it’s because I’ve surfed all my life, and ‘surfing only’, gets a little boring when you’re riding perfect waves with just your mates. I like to have options, ride different boards on different waves, and basically just have fun trying and testing different boards, fins and set ups. It adds a whole other level to wave riding and it opens up exploring the islands and coral reefs from a boat as well. I just love the extra technicality of SUP’ing quality tropical waves.
I was super keen to try out the new Corby prototype Coreban sup. The model I took along was the 7.2 x 27.7 , and at 4.6 kg, it was the most amazing travel companion, and fitted into my traveller board bag with both my surfboards. All three boards with bag and all my extra surf gear weighed in at under 20 kg.
The big test of these new little snub nosed boards would be in the hollow and barreling waves of the southern Maldives. I was super keen to give them a go and hopefully get some solid waves and even some barrels.
After some long haul flights via Dubai and Male, we skipped an hour further south on a small local flight. Then it was paradise personified.
Our floating home was the Hariyana, a 90 foot charter boat that’s sole purpose is chasing down waves.
These outer atolls, are the most southern atolls in the string of over 1000 Islands that make up the Maldives, and theoretically they are the least surfed and explored. I wanted to find out for myself…
I was joining a bunch of “boys” in their late 30’s and mid 40’s. Many of these guys are players in the financial world, but they are surfers too. In fact these guys averaged 7 hrs a day in the water and it was inspirational. We chased waves all over the islands, scoring lefts and rights and uncrowded tropical barrels. I surfed my brains out, and then I SUP’ed a few epic sessions as well. We never surfed with another surfer, and only ever saw one other charter boat.
My only SUP buddy on this trip was the infamous Francois “Fanis ” Finlay. And boy did he step up to the plate again. As we could only fly on the small island planes with boards under 8 foot, Francois was riding his Coreban 8.0 vibe. He took this board to the limits, surfing solid 6 foot plus barrels and riding way beyond the levels this little fun board was designed for.
Riding the vibe with a thruster set up, he was locking into and surfed some of the heaviest and biggest waves of the trip. In fact most of them.
I think he tallied up more waves on that little vibe, than most of us rode in total, together.
The little 7.2 Corby punched well above its weight too. I found it so stable, for its size and getting into waves was super easy. It rode fast and high, and came off the bottom with speed and control, specially when ridden as a quad.
My Coreban 7.11 Platinum is definitely my go-to-board in these hollow tropical waves, but after riding the Corby, I’m ready to mix it up a bit more. I want a shorter SUP I can travel with and that can tick all the box’s. I think I’m gonna go about 7.5 by 28 in the Corby and I recon that will kill two birds with one stone. Covering small mushy waves, right up to hollowed waves in the overhead range too. It’s the perfect travel companion and can even be ridden as a longboard, surfboard in smaller waves too. In fact Francois (at 100 kg) had a Jol surfing the Corby as a surfboard on one occasion.
Moral of the story. Go to the outer atolls. Surf your brains out with a handful of mates.
And make sure you take a SUP or two, cos it’s just so much fun!
For more travel information give Greg a Shout and check out his travel website : www.truebluetravel.co.za
The Outer Atolls, Maldives