East End Surfing, Wakeboarding and Paddleboarding Trends

Paddleboarding, Photo: iStock.com
Paddleboarding, Photo: iStock.com

The Hamptons’ waters are made for summer sports—from surfing to wakeboarding to paddleboarding. It’s not summer until the Hamptonites break out their swimsuits and hit the surf. But no matter what your summer sport of choice—whether it be thrill-seeking surfing or the casualness of paddleboarding—things in 2018 might look a little different, and we’re not talking about the swimsuits.

Just as there are trends in fashion or beauty, summer water sports see their ups and downs in what’s trendy and what’s selling, too. What can you expect this year when hitting the waves? While the same water sports are still going to dominate the ocean this year, there will be a few fun, exotic changes.

The latest trend to look out for in the surfing community are Haydenshapes boards. Surfers love how lightweight and floatable these boards are, not to mention that Haydenshapes offers up an exciting feature: customization! Surfers can choose from a variety of shapes, including the Hypto Krypto, Holy Grail, Plunder and more, as well as specify the length, the width and the thickness. Representatives from Sunrise to Sunset Surf-Sport say that hand-dyed boards are totally the “in” thing this year, and the more vibrant the color, the better. The boards are completely customizable, including text, logo and color!

Haydenshapes also offers a dope marble collection, which first debuted as a collaboration with renowned fashion designer Alexander Wang. The images of slabs of marble are digitally printed onto silk and then inlayed onto the board during the lamination process.

Pastels will be another big trend this year within the surfboard community. Lavender, mint, sky blue and pale yellow will be spotted everywhere in the swell this summer. And not just block-colors—dip-dyed pastels will prove to be super popular, too!

Montauk is a great place to surf
Montauk is a great place to surf, Photo: Christopher Broich

Wakeboards are getting larger. This is a trend that first started to pick up in 2017, but the predisposition for a bigger size is spilling over into 2018, too. In fact, the bestselling wakeboards of 2017 were XL sizes. The average board sold in 2016 was 145 centimeters, but 2017 and 2018 is seeing lengths more toward 151 centimeters. Some of these boards include Slingshot’s Nomad board, Liquid Force’s Daniel Grant Eclipse and more.

That’s not all. Wakeboards are undergoing more changes. With wakeboarding parks on the up and up, more wakeboards are seeing damage from equipment (and vice versa). For this reason, tons of wakeboarders are loading up on extra protection for their boards, choosing ABS sidewall and base protection in the form of either sintered or urethane bases.

Not much of a thrill-seeker? The Hamptons waterways have room for those of us who want to chill in the waves, too. Paddleboarding is still as popular as ever, especially among Hamptons-area yogis who want to take their practice to the sea (or the bay).

But would you be willing to try an inflatable paddleboard? Hard paddleboards, made of epoxy, used to be all the rage—after all, they pick up a bit more speed than the inflatable variety. But 2018 is seeing an upswing in inflatables, as they are considered more lightweight. Globosurfer produces a board called the ISLE Airtech, made of military-grade PVC. The board is wider—which makes it less likely for a yogi entangled in a seriously difficult pose to take on water and get wet—and inflates up to six inches. Inflatable paddleboards also typically come with a pump and a bungee system used for holding onto personal items—like your yoga mat.

Another popular paddleboarding trend? Bringing the pooch along for the ride! Dogs who paddleboard are called SUP pups—which stands for Stand Up Paddleboarding pups—and are swiftly kicking paddleboarding yogis to the shore. It’s a great way to spend time in nature while also bonding with your pet. Of course, make sure your dog knows how to swim and, without fail, responds to your commands before bringing your doggie onboard.

No matter which water sport you choose to take part in this summer, there’s no denying that the waves will be good, the sky will be clear, and life in the Hamptons is sweet.

Check out our 2018 East End Beach Guide!

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