David (Dave) Bell and Craig Allsep (Seppy) are good mates and keen surfers whose knowledge of the ocean began at an early age sailing yachts competitively. Dave operates the Rose Bay Stand Up Paddle centre and you will find Seppy at Brunswick Heads. Here’s Dave’s story on his first encounter with stand up paddling.
It was 2001 and I was living in Hawaii. I was down the beach and there was Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, standing on these oversized boards using these equally oversized paddles to head out past the break. Of course, I didn’t realise it then, but what I was witnessing was two legends contemporising what Polynesians of ancient times had done so long ago -stand up paddling.
My second stand up paddleboard sighting was in San Francisco, when some outrigger canoe friends appeared with the same completely oversized boards I had seen Laird and Dave on back in 2001. But it wasn’t till 2005, while at Newport Beach in California, when a friend handed me one of those same oversize boards to take out for a ride for myself that the penny dropped. I had a new found extension to my surfing and within months I had ordered my own board.
In 2006, Seppy and I decided the time was right to go into business together, selling the equipment and assisting people to experience for themselves the joy of stand up paddling.