Last weekend’s Bangsak SUP Fest, in BangSak, Khao Lak (Thailand). 2 days of competition with a SUP Surf and Technical Downwind in the waves of the Andaman Sea. Daniel Hasulyo headed down to see what all the fuss was about this event and was pleasantly surprised. Here’s his recap of the weekend;
I was very happy to see the evolution of Thai SUP paddle boarding both in the surf and in racing conditions, as couple of years ago it wouldn’t have been imaginable to have 60 participants getting in the water with such conditions, yet last weekend everyone had a blast and made the best out of the rough seas. Great atmosphere, good energy both on land and on the water and beyond happy to walk home with an over all event title, winning both the SUP Surf contest and and the Technical Downwind race.
As over the past months I got used to surf the new 6’9” Spice in Bali, I felt comfortable to take it with me into this mushier waves and it totally payed off. Super maneuverable and reactive it made the every wave an exciting and dynamic ride. The Quick acceleration gave me the chance for some complete top turns, but splashes and full control on the steep sections.
The event stretched out in 2 days with many categories tackling the waves all day. 4-7ft mostly wind swell and strong tides, turned the beach of Bangsak into a non stop wave pool.
The Technical Downwind race was a show of its own. Moved to Sunday afternoon, with full low tide, and waves that started breaking 500-600m outside the shore, it was all set for a big derby. Simple course, 2 bouys, and a beach run, one long lap, one shorter lap, 4km total distance (due to extreme conditions), beach start, then straight 1 and half km upwind/swell then bout turn and joy ride. Knowing that it would get really choppy in the bay, I decided to take the 14×23 AllStar on this trip, and it was the right decision. I could paddle into the larger sets rolling in and made the gap that I made on the upwind even bigger on the field, flying at speed above 20km/h towards the beach. Then quick run and a shorter round 2 and a big victory. Ah, I could have done that all day. So much fun! I really enjoy riding my 14ft raceboard in the surf and this was just the perfect race. It really reminded me of the good old days of Battle of Paddle and PPGs.
Really looking forward to the next edition.
Big Thanks to all organizers and a big shoutout to all Thai participants as I’m really proud to see all of their progress.
Till next time!
See you soon,
Words: Daniel Hasulyo / Pictures: Mr Kosit