From Miami to Charleston to Los Angeles we have seen a rise in the popularity of paddle boarding (or SUP to those in the know – Stand Up Paddleboard) around the country. It’s awesome exercise and something one can do on still waters.
Three Brothers has been making some of the best boards in the business since 2009 down in Daytona Beach, Florida. The company was founded by two brothers after their youngest brother passed away, a dream they had all shared as kids.
We spoke to owner RJ Murray about the rise in popularity, how he learned the sport, and advice for beginners. Be sure to check out their site for an hysterical video of a paddle boarder shooting hoops from the water.
Have you seen an increase in popularity for paddle boarding?
Yes, the sport has blown up. I remember when we first started, no one knew what it was. So a big part of our job back then was educating only because no one knew anything about it. This past year it seems like paddle boarding is everywhere. It’s awesome, but with any explosion of popularity, you also get a lot of people who are not in it for the right reasons.
They are only in it to make as much money as they can as fast as they can and when that happens you just get a lot of junk boards on the market, and that creates a bad name for the sport. It makes things harder for those of us that are in it for the right reasons with passion behind it, to do business. Those companies won’t last; people aren’t stupid and they can see through the poor business practices. Over all though, it’s amazing. There is nothing better then driving in some place I’ve never even been and seeing someone on one of our boards. It is the best feeling – we have really been blessed.
How did you learn how to make paddle boards? Did you have a teacher/mentor?
We have made our own surfboards for ourselves and friends ever since we were kids. When we first learned about SUP about ten years ago, we looked everywhere to find blanks to make one, but we couldn’t find any as big as we needed anywhere local. We had to order them from out of state. I remember when we made the first one it was awful. We made it too thin and it didn’t even float us. We got better with the ones we made after that, but we were either making boards that were great in the flat water or great in the surf but not both, and we wanted a board that would work in both places. We finally got it. So I would say we really learned the hard way, by trial and error, but I wouldn’t do it any other way because it made us pay attention to every detail. Because of that, I think we make one of the best boards on the market.
Is there a trick for a beginner on getting it right?
The trick is to just simply take your time, do not be in a rush to stand up. Start out on your knees and go at your own pace. Don’t stand up until you’re ready. Also try to learn in calm water. Other than that there is no wrong way to do it, every one has their own style – so just have fun.
Give us some of the top places to paddle board in the States.
There are so many great places to paddle in the US:
- Tamoka River in Ormond Beach, FL
- Any where in the Florida Keys
- 1000 islands in Coco Beach, FL
- Lake Dillon in Dillon, CO
- Sullivan Island, SC
Those are some of my favorites, but there are too many to list!
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