I was extremely skeptical, bordering on resistant when I first saw the SUP Hipster online. Had it not been a trusted friend who made the introduction, I would have likely rejected the review opportunity outright. Heck, I wasn’t even sure if I had a board that would be relevant to use with the SUP Hipster at first. I own an Infinity Downtown, a New Deal, and a pair of inflatables from Hala. The perfect quiver for my standup paddling pursuits. My two Infinity boards are ultra-light and the Hala inflatables each have their own roller bag / backpack.
I typically don’t have to walk far to the water and I’m not a recreational paddler with a heavy all-around board. I just don’t fit the SUP Hipster’s target demographic.
I then paused and considered the possibilities for the using the SUP Hipster beyond my initial gut reaction. Maybe I could use it when surfing Bluff Cove in Palos Verdes… It might be useful walking down the ¼ mile trail to the beach. What about surfing the beach break in the South Bay… Maybe I could park up the hill in Manhattan Beach’s free parking zone and casually walk down to the pier with my Infinity New Deal hanging stylishly from my hip. Yes, there is actually free parking in Manhattan Beach, just not by the beach!
I slowly began to see the potential in using the SUP Hipster. The more I thought about it, the more I saw the possibilities. I decided to give it a try.
So, what is the SUP Hipster? It is essentially a belt version of the hook shaped racks used by surfers to carry surfboards on a bicycle. As the name cleverly suggests, the hook hangs off your hip. It is really as simple as that.
The belt is secured with a velcro strap. It is super sturdy and easy to use. All that is left for you to do is adjust the position of the hook to your height and you’re all set. Boom! If you’ve ever worn a backpack with a load bearing hip strap, the SUP Hipster belt works exactly the same way.
I tried it out in Manhattan Beach. Instead of parking right at the beach, I grabbed one of the free spots up the hill, roughly ½ a mile away. I slide my New Deal into the hook and began to walk down the street. A smile quickly spread across my face. Ok, this dorky looking think is actually pretty cool. Another SUP surfer approached me when I was walking back to my car after my session and asked where I got “that thing”. The SUP Hipster just might be hip after all.
The SUP Hipster is equipped with a small loop on the back for recreational paddlers to secure the hook up and out of the way and continue wearing the belt while paddling. It may or may not be in the way of your PFD or suit your personal preference. I’ve never used it in this fashion, but the option is there.
Watch this short video to see just how easy The SUP Hipster is to use.
I have used my SUP Hipster several times throughout the summer and am proud to admit I love the damn thing. If beachside parking is an issue, no problem. I can park further away from the beach and comfortably walk down with my surf SUP hanging casually at my side. Super easy. Super simple. And, yeah, it’s even kind of fun.