Copyright © 2011 108 SUP WORKS

                   Why C4 Waterman?

"A lot of people think that C4 is a stand-up company.  It's not a stand-up company, it's a company based on a lifestyle.

What we cherish is the Hawaiian value system, things like friendship and family. 

C4 stands for the core four things that we believe in: Balance, Endurance, Strength and Tradition; four things we need to use in life.

Balance is not just physical balance, it's mental balance, spiritual balance, and the roles we balance in life. Endurance: being able to outlast challenges: physical, mental, economic. Strength and tradition go hand in hand. Strong tradition. Our background, in being from Hawaii, whether by blood or by heart, means that tradition is at the heart of what we portray.

These values are what we are marketing, not boards. We are marketing our values through surfing and that's the part that's free. Respect the land, respect the ocean, respect your friends, neighbors, whoever is around. 

It's not about flying a logo, it's about flying the core values and that's the message we want to spread to all in our extended ohana." - Brian Keaulana


Their Innovative Line of Stand-Up Boards, Cross-Over Paddles, Watercraft &Accessories Open the Waterman Lifestyle to All.



Through their own highly respected pursuits, Hawaii's Brian Keaulana, Todd Bradley, and Mike Fox have brought together more than 100 years of ocean experience to create the C4 Waterman brand of wave-riding toolsand equipment. Sharing a passion for ocean sports, the drive to excel, and a desire to share the waterman's spirit, their state-of-the-artpaddles, stand-up boards and accessories are the modern evolution of the ocean-based lifestyle that Hawaii is famous for. These decorated innovators have opened a portal to the rest of the world.

C4 Waterman offers a diverse range of high-performance stand-up boards, ranging in length and design from 10'0", to 10'6", 11'6", and even a new high-performance racing board-- the Vortice XP. These boards are the product of technology and techniques that can be applied to every size and type of wave - or even to flat-water. C4's innovative inflatable stand-up board, the "Uli" , is made for travel and ideal for lakes andrivers, opening up the lifestyle and cross-training benefits to those who live inland.

Keaulana, a mentor to surfers worldwide, has teamed up with former prosurfer and respected shaper Dave Parmenter to create a progressive blend of rocker and curves for boards that maintain speed while staying 'loose'. The Beachboy style of surfing, which originated during the early days of riding the waves at Waikiki, has never had so many options or as much room to move as it does today, thanks to C4 Waterman.

When it comes to paddles, C4 Waterman's quiver of "Pohaku Paddles" includes wood, carbon, and hybrid wood/carbon models that cover the gamut from stand-up surfing, to canoe-paddling, to steering and big-wave models that allow you to "hook in" and manage the speed andmaneuverability on large days. There's also a travel-friendly 2-piece paddle that doesn't compromise function for form.

With the number of surfers and paddlers growing exponentially around the earth's coasts and shores, the 'fun'-damentals are being revisited. Advancements in materials and design, and the added benefits of time and experience have opened up a whole new door of possibility. Today, the rest of the world is catching on to an idea Hawaiians have long-understood: that you don't have to limit the way you have fun to one means of taking to the water.

Ironically, stand-up paddling and surfing was founded in laziness. The old Beachboys of Waikiki learned that they could better teach the tourists and take their photos if they could use their surfboards like a platform. By using a paddle they were able to move about more freely and easily, with minimal effort. What started as laziness soon became a tool for training, after they learned it actually improved their core strength and balance while at the same time being a lot of fun. These principles, core to every type of training, and to life, are the basis of C4 Waterman.

"Anybody can do this," says Keaulana. "It's not about being 'somebody', it's about being your best and creating your own best experience in life. Within every person there's a waterman. C4 is a concept based on a waterman's lifestyle and values. It represents the Core 4 disciplines of being a waterman: Balance, Endurance, Strength, Tradition (B.E.S.T.) The same skills we need for life."

While they've individually clocked up a stunning amount of water time, it is by embracing the history and accumulated knowledge of their forefathers that the C4 watermen have shortened the learning curve and lengthened the surfing lifespan for those who share their love of riding the ocean - be it on a stand-up board, or in an outrigger canoe.

"Our philosophy is based upon a respect for the ocean and the Hawaiian roots of these sports, along with the desire to extend the culture and camaraderie of true watermen," said Bradley. "It is our goal to develop a complete line of waterman equipment and accessories, utilizing our own expertise to offer a better product for those who wish to further explore the lifestyle."

By Dave Parmenter, C4 Board Designer/Shaper and Team Rider

Welcome to the exciting and fast growing new sport of Stand Up Paddle Surfing

A lot has happened in this emerging sport over the past year, and whether you are interested in high-performance surfing, racing across the Molokai Channel, or just cruising along the coast or your local lake, you'll probably want to learn as much as you can about all the different types of SUP paddle craft available on the market.

As the designer and shaper of the C4 Waterman Stand-Up Paddle surfboard line, I'd like to brief you on some of the features of the boards we offer.

One of the most common questions I am asked is, "What makes the C4 boards different from the all other SUP boards out there?"

Well, first and foremost, it would have to be the people behind the boards. Between Brian Keaulana, Todd Bradley and myself, we bring over 130 years experience in surfing, canoe paddling, paddleboard racing, sailing, sea-kayaking and water safety disciplines to our SUP surfboard designs. Sure, there's been a lot of arguing about rocker and templates and fin arrays, but in the end it sure has helped the design evolution zip along.

Over the past decade I've been fortunate to have worked closely with one of the surfing world's preeminent watermen, Makaha's Brian Keaulana. Makaha, on Oahu's leeward coast, is the big board capital of the surfing universe, and the surfers there really demand a lot from their tandem boards and tankers. Brian was the originator of the modern high-performance SUP short board, and innovated most of the surfing techniques you see spreading around the globe right now.

Along with Brian, I've also spent a lot of time with Todd Bradley learning about canoe and racing hull design. A veteran outrigger canoe racer, Todd has crossed the Molokai Channel more times than I've had hot lunches. Five years ago, when we began designing our first SUP paddleboards, he envisioned a whole new class of racing-------a regatta-style division consisting of super-light, very fast paddle craft that would skate 'downhill' like flying fish. It wasn't long before we were hip-deep in EPS and hotwires and carbon fiber, experimenting with all sorts of hull designs. Sure, there were a few duds in the mix, but with Todd behind us (well, out in front of us, actually--------he smokes the rest of us in the races) it wasn't long before we came up with a 14-footer that really started shaving some minutes off our Hawaii Kai runs.

The chief feature I've tried to infuse into all the C4 Waterman boards is something pilots call 'control harmony'--------when a maneuver feels seamless and crisp in a perfectly coordinated response of ailerons, elevators and rudder. Like aircraft, surfboards move and turn on three axes, and both pilots and surfers love it when their craft answers the helm sweetly.

Without the proper and carefully balanced combination of rocker, outline, vee, and flats and edges, a Stand-Up surfboard is little more than an unwieldy tub. And the added leverage and torque provided by the paddle brings a whole new set of considerations.

The fleet of C4 Waterman SUP surf and paddle boards are designed, shaped, and ridden by a bunch of guys who paddle and surf them every day. Over the past 5 years we've paddled thousands of miles on our SUP surf craft---------in the surf, across the open ocean, on lakes and down rivers. We've tested and refined our boards in Hawaii, Australia, the Maldives, Europe, Japan, Tahiti, and all across the continental United States.

The Top 5 Myths, Mistakes, and Misconceptions

by Dave Parmenter 

It seems the new hybrid sport of stand-up paddling and surfing is getting more popular everyday. That’s great, but things are moving so fast that it is getting hard to keep up with all the advances. It seems like each day another SUP-oriented business sprouts up, and each seems to have its own ideas about equipment and techniques. Frankly, this infant sport is in an awkward phase-----------its explosive growth has outpaced the formation of a core elite. Simply put, at present there are very few seasoned authorities on SUP surfing out there, yet an increasing number of insta-experts are inflicting all sorts of baloney on the gullible SUP newcomer.

          With that in mind, we thought we ought to tackle a handful of the most common SUP errors we encounter in our travels….

#1. Stand-up surfboards are just oversized long boards.


Nope. Don’t listen when you hear a little voice telling you this--------that’s just all the misfit SUBs in the used board rack whispering in your ear.

Given ample flotation and girth, just about any sort of watercraft will let you get out there and start stand-up padding. But for the discriminating surfer and paddler, there’s a lot more to progressive SUB design than merely widening a tanker.

       When blown up to jumbo proportions, the drawbacks inherent in typical longboard designs-------rolled bottoms, soft & round rails, old-fashioned rockers---------become magnified. Drag is increased, response grows more sluggish, and once the board gets on a sizzling wave face the surfer finds he must wrestle an unwieldy sloth that has all the handling characteristics of a Greyhound bus with the power steering out.

       Properly designed SUBs are not oversize long boards, nor are they blown-up short boards. They are stand-up surfboards-------a wholly new, rapidly-evolving class of surf craft, one that borrows design components from all the existing types of surfriding craft and combines them in a finely-tuned matrix that allows the progressive SUP surfer to lean on the paddle and push the board into places and angles no big board has ever been.


#2. A Stand-up Paddle Surfboard Must Be Wide To Be Stable.


This is one of stand-up paddle surfing’s biggest and most widespread misconceptions. Simply put, excessive width is the poor man’s solution to stability.

       There are other ways to grant considerable stability to an SUB. When the outline, rail volume, bottom contour, rocker, and rail shape are put together in the proper configuration, an SUB can be amazingly stable even at 27” or 28” wide. And get this: All those boards you see in the racks with overly soft, round rails? Well, they can subtract 1 or 2 inches from a board’s stability quotient------one more reason why SUB widths are relative.

       A narrower plan shape with a perfectly balanced set of design components will paddle straighter and easier and, of course, perform much more like a conventional high-performance surfboard.

        Much like an airplane in flight, a stand-up surfboard is stable (or unstable) on three axes: Pitch, Yaw, and Roll. Roll instability (side-to-side) is usually the first thing the novice notices, but as SUBs become shorter or curvier you must also contend with pitch instability (the angle the nose dips up or down) and yaw (the tendency of the nose to swing side-to-side with each stroke).

        Additionally, when a stand-up board is over-wide the paddler is forced to extend his paddle slant-wise off the rail, thus losing the optimum mechanical angle of the paddle stroke. The more vertical the paddle shaft as it is pulled along the rail, the more power you get with each stroke. It’s also a matter of ergonomics: The slant-wise stroke forced upon you by a too-wide board can create needless torque on your arms and shoulders, and saps your paddle power like a engine sputtering on three cylinders.

        Furthermore, the wider the board, the more likely the nose and tail will be drawn in sharply to conform to aesthetic and control elements. Excessive outline curve, especially from the center-point to the nose, brings a considerable problem with yaw.    It’s no fun to struggle with a nose that whips from side to side as you are perched on the ledge cranking to make a late drop…


#3. The Best SUB On Which To Learn Is A Long Single-fin.


….Or a wide quad-fin or a short tri-fin, etc…

       No, the best board on which to learn is a borrowed board. By all means, learn on the biggest board you can find, but before committing to a purchase go out and demo everything you can get your hands on.

       If you can master the basics before you buy your own board, you will be more likely to end up with an SUB size and shape that won‘t hold you back when you begin to progress.

        Purchase an SUB with an eye on where your skill level will be two or three months from now--------not for the first few days when you are wobbling over the waters of your local inlet or lake.

       After all, there’s nothing worse than finally learning to crank a snapback while leaning on your blade, only to realize to do so on your 12’-plus leviathan will require a truss and two tugboats.


#4. The Towering Infernal: The Too-Tall Paddle


Wherever we go in the world, the most common sight we see is people using paddles that are way too tall for them. From San-O to Sydney, all too many SUB paddlers are reaching over their heads like children straining to reach the cookie jar atop the ‘fridge.

       Aside from squandering the mechanical advantage of the proper and efficient paddle stroke, using too tall a paddle sets you up for some sort of repetitive stress harm to your shoulders.

       While a general guideline states that the paddle should extend 5 or 6 inches over your head, some variability exists due to the thickness of your board, slight differences in paddling styles, and even the shape and angle of the paddle blade.

       Try standing on a bench with your paddle and take a few pantomime strokes; this way you can simulate the blade depth of your stroke and lets you see how high the top of the paddle goes overhead. Your top hand should be at the height of your forehead and nose when you push into your stroke. Any higher or lower and you will be suffering a power loss.

       Additionally, adjustable paddles, on which you can readily change the length of the paddle shaft, are great tools you can employ to zero in on the optimum paddle size for your board and style.


#5. Light Out For the Territories


        It’s no secret that planet’s surf breaks are over-crowded and teeming with short boarders, long boarders, body boarders, tow-surfers, kayakers, and bodysurfing marine mammals. Why add an enormous surfboard and a six-foot paddle to the biomass?

Unless your name is Laird or Keaulana, there is no good reason why you should paddle out on your stand-up surfboard at a crowded name break------or any spot, for that matter, which is an established conventional surfing break.

      Along every coastline in the world, no matter how jam-packed, there are countless overlooked breaks where there is little or no history of use as a traditional surf break.

The whole point of SUP surfing is to get away from overcrowded breaks and head off into fresh pastures. The fattest offshore reef, the tiniest beach break, the mushiest point------each becomes a J-Bay or Sunset or Superbank on a properly designed SUB.

       So find a wave that no one else wants and paddle out with a few friends, and not only will you rediscover the original stoke of surfing, but you’ll be doing your part to ensure that stand-up paddle surfers and conventional board surfers enjoy a peaceful coexistence.