Monday, June 30, 2008
If you're in any of these photos and would like them emailed to you- contact me through my email link and I'll forward them to you.
A couple of items of interest: Check out the custom checkerboard paint job on that C4- looking sweet! Reminds me of a Dennis Jarvis surboard I had in 1984.
Also take a look at the new deck pad from C4- it's got raised ridges along the rails presumably for bracing your feet when the boards tipping or up on rail. That's a good idea.
Check out the board fishing rig that was being demonstrated- that'd be a great Baja item.
And- There was this stubby little Hynson Fish Stand Up Board- I didn't get a chance to paddle it but it looked interesting.
Go here for more photos from the C4 Paddle Day.
Looking for stand up paddle surf lessons in San Diego? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 213-6622. We can also set up stand up paddle board rentals with drop off and delivery. Click here for more information.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Warning: No Photos - Just a pissed off Rant, Scroll Down For All Photo Issue- Continue at Your Own Risk!
Then I hear this voice, "Some big boards you got there...".
I look over and here he comes- an older guy, probably in his sixties, sporting a red "Old Guys Rule" tee shirt. He's got those eighth grade glasses- the type that darken automatically when you go outside- the type that got you smacked up a little after school. And the bowling ball gut- the spherical hallmark of the has-been, the "surf check guy" who holds up the seawall and talks about how bitchin' it all used to be. Like I said, here he comes tottering down the alley, right up to me.
I'm kind of surprised. What did he just say? "No", I say, "these are stand up paddle boards." I'm not really understanding what's going on...
"They should be illegal- stand up paddle boarders hogging all the waves!" And with that he walks right by me and around the corner. That stupid, red, "Old Guys Rule" tee shirt etched into my mind.
What the? Who does that? It's hard to believe that there are actually people who feel the need to approach someone they don't even know and pop off. To me the irony is this; with that beach ball pinned to his gut the guy definitely couldn't paddle out, much less surf, anything other than a....drum roll please...... long board!
So here we have Mister Old Guys Rule all pissed off about us hogging waves when I can guarantee that the last time he paddled a board under nine feet, Nixon was flashing double peace signs on the way back to Yorba Linda. And when Herbie Fletcher started popping off that the "thrill is back" you can bet Mr. Globe Gut signed right up for a piece of side-slip boogie. All the better to snag set waves from outside of the pack, all the better to poach at will.
And now he's pissed at us- that my friends is what is known as FULL CIRCLE.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Camera Grom disappeared on me so I've had to take the photo/video duties into my own hands- it's been fun but I really can't wait until the boy's back on the beach with his trusty cash can.
Top and Second Photo: Jeff Neu paddled out on his stand up this morning- probably the first time I've seen him off his shortboard in at least five months. The guy hasn't forgotten a thing though- "Pinky" snagged some of the best ones out there.
Third Photo: Spork racing down the line on the Diablo- let's go paddle 3M's!
Photos Four and Five: This kid was schwacking it left and right (well mostly left) I snapped these with hands all jittered up on 7-11's finest arabica- I thought they came out pretty cool though.
Check Back: A visit to Stu Kenson's surf shop and a look at his latest stand up creation- The Stinger.
We do have to remember that we're not "just another surfer" in the water- we're on a high visibility, extremely large and potentially dangerous stand up board.
Photo: These guys aren't the enemy- but bad decisions that leave your SUP board pinballing through the lineup will make them that way!
Like it or not, in this crowded surf world, we've got to play by a different set of rules. Here's a post from www.ipaddlesurf.com with my reply- check it out, especially if you're just getting started in surf paddling.
"I have a friend who surfs North Garbage regularly. I stopped by after work today and watched from the cliff. There were only three surfers in the water (my friend a longtime surfer, a short boarder and a SUP.) A waves comes in and my friend is closest to the peak and gets the wave. The SUP is on the shoulder standing in position and goes over the falls crashing into my friend as she makes her bottom turn, causing both of them to fall off their boards. The SUP was not going to take the wave, but just kooked out. I heard negative comments from a guy at the top of the cliff. This sort of stuff gives SUP a bad name."
Wow- that sucks! I paddled the Cliffs quite a bit last summer and it can be really fun but in the last year- it's been more and more touchy with more "comments" being thrown around.
I know a few of the guys who SUP there regularly- I wonder who it was? What color was the board?
It kind of reinforces the idea that SUP paddlers should seek out and surf what I call the "non-spots" at the Cliffs- there are many mushy, semi-spots that prone surfers don't even want or aren't even surfing- those are the spots that you should be SUPing at the Cliffs.
It's absolutely wrong to paddle up into a pack of guys on one of the name spots at Cliffs- you're definitely going to get vibed. I just paddle well outside of everyone so that they can see I'm passing them by and head for empty spots down the beach.
Bummer that happened- when I first started paddling there, there were very few paddlers so everybody was interested in the SUB- I even let a New Break local give it a spin down there while I surfed Newbs on his (leashless) hand made Prodonovich longboard- I guess things have changed!
Looking for stand up paddle surf lessons in San Diego? Contact us at email@example.com or (619) 213-6622. We can also set up stand up paddle board rentals with drop off and delivery. Click here for more information.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Here's a first hand report from Chris Koerner:
2008 Rock to Rock
The Rock to Rock Race is an annual paddleboard race that starts at the Isthmus on Catalina Island and ends 22 miles away at Palos Verdes. For a lot of paddlers it’s been their first channel crossing and a stepping stone to the legendary Catalina Classic.
The R2R has been around since the late ‘90’s and took a brief sabbatical in 2005/2006, although a few die-hards held an underground R2R to keep the memory alive. In 2007 the official race came back with a new finish at Abalone Cove and added relay divisions including standup paddle. That year Ernie Johnson and I found a last-minute escort boat and partnered up to paddle Bill Stewart’s golden slipper. We had a beautiful glassy crossing with deep-blue water and the occasional pod of dolphins giving us inspiration. I was pretty surprised that no other standup paddlers competed as there were several in that year’s 40-mile Avalon to Dana Point Catalina Challenge. Maybe it’s because the race is held on Father’s Day, but for many of us that’s the perfect way to start the day if you’re going to finish it with a steak, martini and cigar.
On the Friday before the race EJ & his wife Andie sailed their boat over to Two Harbors while my wife Shirley and I came over the next day on the Catalina Express. On the way out of San Pedro a strong NW ground swell was pushing through the channel and there were whitecaps everywhere. I knew then and there this wasn’t going to be like our ’07 crossing. In contrast, the afternoon in Two Harbors was a tranquil oasis in the lee of the wind and swell as we took turns putzing around on the ULIboard tenders and dingy and saying hi to old friends and paddlers. Looking out past Ship Rock the seas were still looking pretty messy and back on the boat while having a beer and some chips I had some serious thoughts about going back to Dana by sail rather than PV by SUP. Later we joined the other paddlers and boat crews on the beach in front of the Harbor Reef Saloon for the pre-race meal and meeting while praying for an evening glass-off that never happened.
Morning came pretty quick and we got to the beach for the 5:30 check-in as the traditional pre-race bonfire blazed nearby. Our board this year was an 18’ something by barely 25” missile from Ohana paddleboards. EJ and I didn’t too much pre-race water time on the board but at least we had a few hours across the channel to get used to it. This year I got to do the start leg and would let EJ finish the race. That’s always my favorite part; 60 or so paddlers flying through the moorings and getting a look at where you stand in the pack as you pass the last row of sailboats, then off to Ship Rock to hopefully find your escort boat. We traded off paddling every 25 to 30 minutes and on a couple of those legs mid-way I would catch a cross chop or phantom wake and wound up going in the water a few times. When I was upright the board had a beautiful glide and would take off on anything resembling a swell.
Overall it was a pretty bumpy crossing, but thankfully the wind backed down a couple hours into the paddle. The girls really did a great job keeping us on course and the paddlers hydrated as the boat was getting pitched around more than we were on the board. We did our exchanges off a dingy trailed behind the boat and it was pretty uneventful till the last changeover when I slipped climbing up the transom and pinched a finger on a rail and somehow got a nice bruise on my hip (it’s actually in the shape of Catalina Island).
When it was all over LA Co. lifeguard Kyle Daniels won the race for the second year in a row in a time of 3:42:42, with Brian Szymanski of NCP winning the stock paddleboard and Jane Cairns first Wahine. We finished in a little over 4:21:47 beating our time last year by about 15 minutes. Like 2007, we were the only standup team competing. Long Beach lifeguard Jared Vargas was the only other SUP competitor and did a great job doing the first solo SUP R2R in 4:45:16 on a very stealth looking double carbon Bark 16 with Crockett and Tubb’s old boat as an escort.
It’s always a great experience being in the water with our fellow paddlers, but this one is very special as there are always a few kids paddling with their dads. Joe Bark did the relay with his kids and some friends, and Tony Hotchkiss teamed up with his 83-year-old dad Frank. Judging by these teams and the number of kids at the finish I’d say the R2R has become a great Father’s Day tradition. I hope my kids join me for a paddle one of these years, but in the meantime paddling a relay with a fast guy like EJ was a nice way to go as we had a pretty quick crossing and I wasn’t too tired to have that steak & martini when I finally got home.
HEADS UP: The paddleboard community has been very gracious and accommodating in letting standup into their events. There are some very cool races throughout the year and I don’t think you’ll find a nicer group of people anywhere. Check out the events page at www.eatonsurf.com and www.paddleboard.com for local race updates. Eventually I expect we’ll see some SUP-only events and some races have tried a staggered start or separate course for SUPs in the mixed events. In the meantime be sure to respect your fellow paddlers by giving them some space whenever possible. SUP is a different craft altogether from the traditional paddleboard and I know first-hand it’s not a great feeling when you’re in a pack and having a carbon fiber blade swinging away inches from your head.
Dig deep !
Check back tomorrow for some new Rock-to-Rock photos!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The water's warm (70 degrees at the beach down the street), the sun's out, my lawn's going nuts (I'm mowing it every three days!) and the tomato plants are creeping and flowering.
I've been pulling double and triple surf sessions with stand up paddle surf lessons mixed in between it all. It's been a busy, busy, busy summer!
We've had south swells stacked on top of each other. It's been all about waiting for the tide to come up enough to let those long walls organize themselves on the sand bars.
You roll up, drink a cup of coffee and watch the peaks start to form- paddle out, drop in, and look for speed - pump that big board as fast as you can down the line... Nothing fancy, just clean surfing at a thumping beach break- ain't no mush burger happening down here.
Here's a few summer time photos- Hope you're scoring too!
Top Photo: Bikinis mean summer.
2nd Photo: Tower 5 covering Tower 4- again?
3rd Photo: Goofing around in the dwindling south swells... get ready though- we're looking for more this weekend!
Last Photo: East County.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I'm working on getting Chris to send me the play-by-play report. The last one about the Bay-to-Bay race was a hit- what's up Chris!
Friday, June 20, 2008
You've got no excuse now- Kelly Kraus of Emerald City Surf Shop (619 435-6677) is hosting a C4 "Learn-to-Paddle" event at Coronado's Glorietta Bay Park. The event will take place Sunday, June 29th from 8am until 11am.
The good folks of C4 Waterman will have the whole fleet of C4 stand up boards and paddles available for test drives. In addition, all event attendees will receive a discount on C4 products purchased at Emerald City Surf Shop. If you've been waiting for an excuse to spend a Sunday morning splashing in Bay, here it is!
And, yes, the surf got even better today! I could try to describe how the perfect southern angle of this swell swept through our little town, transforming our sandbars into lefthanded, BARRELLING, point breaks but it'd probably end up sounding a little ridiculous. So I'll just post some photos from yesterday's Dog Patch mission instead. Enjoy.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
These photos got me so fired up that I woke up early, threw the board in the truck and scored head high +, dead glassy DPatch with just a couple of other stand up paddlers. I ended up riding a left peak all by myself for about three hours in a peeled down spring suit (the water was super comfy- I was sweating in the wetsuit). If I didn't have a paddle surf lesson tomorrow, I'd be back up there in a heartbeat!
Check Back for my 'Patch photos.
And... The stand up paddle surf lessons are blowing up with more and more people contacting me everyday. Super fun to see that stoke spreading!
If you're interested, check the Lessons Link. We're also renting paddle surfing equipment to San Diego paddle surfers. The best part is the paddle surf rental comes with a pick up and drop off service for those who don't have a full sized truck to move all this stuff.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
A while back I posted a submitted photo of a stand up board being made by Kauai shaper Mark Angel for a guy I call Maui Bob.
Maui Bob is a cool guy- every so often he'll send me a cryptic message about what's happening on Maui and usually, if I'm lucky, he'll send some photos of cool stuff from the islands.
We all love to see what's happening out there because, basically, designs pioneered out there usually filter down to our beaches. And, the water is so much heavier out there that it's cool to see what the really gnarly stand up guys are doing.
Well, today we really scored in the photo department. Check out the finished stand up board that Maui Bob ordered. Drop dead beautiful. But beautiful in a scary way because if you check the lines on that board (and the double leash plug) you'll come to the quick conclusion that it wasn't meant for putzing around at the Dog Patch. No, that board was made for something much more meaty- and if you walk down the beach with that stick, you better be ready to paddle it out into what it was made for.
I think I'll hang out in the Dog Patch for awhile.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Check out Steve King's new carbon fiber, Alexander designed Gemini- I call it the Diablo. Steve had this one made at 10' by 30" which is a step down from the 11.5' Gemini he started on and a world apart performance-wise.
I got a shot at paddling it today in meaty, head high shorebreak. The board moves really well through the water; it's stable and doesn't yaw at all even with it's small quad fin setup.
This board is made of 1lb foam, it's really light and yet it punches through whitewash easily. I was really surprised by this because I'd always thought that heavier boards were easier to paddle out through broken waves.
Another surprise came in surfing the board. The thing is fast! Whip it around, point it down the line and it goes! Additionally, with the small fins that Steve was running, I thought it'd blow out off the bottom but the board held really well.
The board turns much differently than my 2+1 set up, more of a mid-face pivot than the swoop that I'm used to on my board. On the one open faced wave that I snagged, I found that the Diablo liked to be driven rail-to-rail.
Steve's previous Gemini was more of a point and shoot board- the Diablo wants to be pumped for speed. Steve agrees that this board is dying for a lined up point break set-up to really get jamming. It'd be fun to get this board on a race track wave and find it's top end.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Here's a note I received detailing the event:
I’m writing in response to the webpage about the Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle.
The race will take place in October at Doheny just south of the rivermouth. There will be a pro money race with a total purse of 25k and 1st place will take home 10k.
The course will be laps around 4 buoys so all spectators can watch the action. For 10 miles worth of laps, each competitor will have to complete a running dash to a flag on the beach for every lap (distance of run not determined but will be relatively short). Boards cannot exceed 12’6”.
There will also be amateur class trophy races. Everybody is welcomed to participate in this event.
All entry fees will go to help the Surfing Heritage.
Rainbow Sandals is funding the entire event.
There will be more info to come for the event is still being planned.
If this is true, it's huge- the purse alone equals that of a major surf event and the format will be killer for beach spectators. Rainbow will be really stepping up to the stand up paddle plate if they do indeed sponsor this event- let's all hope it comes together. I'll definitely make the drive to see some manimals paddle their brains out. And no, beach runs and my specialized physique do not mix- I will be there purely as a spectator. What about you?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
All the way in the Bay2Bay
by Chris Koerner
I really like point-to-point races. It’s always nice to see a new part of the coast and going from point A to point B almost always beats a run back to point A again. Also, I’m not the fastest person on the water and I don’t like the prospect of getting lapped on a paddle around a set course.
I’d thought about paddling the Bay to Bay race for a long time. It’s been around for 25 years, and paddle boards have been doing it since at least the mid-90’s. Because of the modest entry fee and the fact that an escort boat is not required a lot of paddleboarders have used it as a tune-up for the Catalina Classic. It’s definitely not your typical paddleboard or even outrigger club-run event in that it is open to any kind of human-powered watercraft. In fact there’s more kayak divisions than anything else.
The week leading up to the race we had a southerly blow, but by Friday it warmed up and it was like a summer day. Some of the stand-up paddle distance boards I’ve tried actually surf pretty good, and I had envisioned a paddling a course well inside the kelp and riding a few clean righthanders from OB all the way to Pt. Loma.
Saturday morning rolled around and I was up at 4:30:am and on the road to to Santa Clara Point. Unfortunately, by the time I made it to the beach I’d already missed the 6:45 paddleboard start. I was able to get a race number and hit the water just as a group of kayakers took off at 7. Right from the start there was a pretty good headwind inside Mission Bay, and when I caught up with a couple SUPs who were alternating stand-up and knee paddling I knew it was going to be a long haul.
I could barely see the kayakers in front of me but found a good line to the inlet. At this point I figured I’d see how bad it was outside and decide then if I wanted to turn and do a downwind run back to my car. I’d read theories on how fast a stand-up paddler can go downwind at various wind speeds against other craft. I think the idea was that at above 25 knots of wind with your body mass acting as a sail your speed could be even faster than an OC1 or surfski. I saw the opposite side of that theory in full effect when the guy in the tupperware kayak with the fish-hook hat and pipe blew by me like I was standing still.
I’d never been to the inlet to Mission Bay before but who would’ve thought there would be good waves there? There was a very fat left hander breaking along the inside of the south jetty a la Newport Wedge. I watched a couple nice waves roll by visualizing myself making a drop and trimming out as a big sportfisher came up behind me and it’s chest-high wake knocked me in the water. After dodging a couple more fish-hunters I made it outside the jetty and follwed a pack of ‘yakkers out to red buoy.
I’d just rounded the buoy and was heading south when I spotted a couple thigh-high dorsal fins about 50 yds away. They weren’t the friendly stubby kind but the big scary pointy variety. The seals on the buoy didn’t look too stoked about them either. I made a straight shot to the OB pier then veered off to a group of guys paddlesurfing a break to the south.
The stand up surfers were getting some good rides and from the backs the set waves looked to be about head-high. I asked one of the guys about the paddle to Pt. Loma and he figured it was 5 or 6 miles. At this point the wind was still building but you could keep a good pace between gusts and just try to hold your own when it was blowing hard. I kept moving up to the next couple packs of surfers keeping my eye out for the sneaker sets.
By about mile seven I caught up with three kayakers and kept pace with them for awhile. A couple big waves rolled under us around DTs that brought back memories of a pretty heavy session I’d had there a few years ago involving a shifty peak, a long hold-down, a close-up of the cliffs, a fast approaching marine layer and an even faster very large container ship.
Pretty soon we could make out the light at Pt. Loma and we all picked up the pace. One of the race escort boats came by to tell us to head for the boat off the point before turning into the bay. Talk about delayed gratification: that meant another mile of upwind hell, but at least there was some kelp to to keep the chop down. Once around the boat, the run started to turn downwind and the fun began.
Just off the point the big yellow RIB escort boat motored in front of me and caught a little runner into the bay. I turned around to see a chest-high wave starting to feather behind me and took step back and rode it up the channel. After the wave backed off there was a bit of chop and current for a couple hundred yards, but when I hit the calmer waters of the San Diego Bay it was straight downwind and fun little runs from the waves and boat wakes for about three miles. At this point there was about five miles to go, and the closer I got to the finish the more in-your-face the wind was again and it was back to dodging boats and crossing wakes. Pretty soon Coronado Bridge was in plain view and that was enough motivation to keep moving.
When I got to the beach I found out the other SUPs had all dropped out and I was the only one to finish. I had stopped looking at my watch at about 11:30 and I’m sure my time was over 5 ½ hrs. I know next year all the fast guys will be there and with the right conditions they will probably cut my time in half. Just watch out for the the guy in the tupperware kayak with the fish-hook hat and pipe.
Chris left out a couple of items that I'll add now:
1. Chris paddled the race on a 15' ULI inflatable board that was assembled the night before- kind of a testament to the functionality of the inflatable board I'd say!
2. I'm sure the beers tasted pretty damn good on the beach that afternoon.
Thanks for an awesome first hand account Chris!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Rumor has it that there'll be a major SUP event happening this summer (or fall) here in Southern California. I'm still putting it all together but here's what I got:
1. I've been told that in October there will be a SUP race featuring a $10,000 dollar purse- from what I can tell, Honolua will be a major sponsor of the event.
2. Sources tell me that a "Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle" is coming soon to the waters around Dana Point.
Here's my call: The Battle of the Paddle and the Honolua Race are part of the same event. I've hear that Rainbow Sandals will also be involved. My feeling is that with the size of the purse drawing major paddlers from all over the world, you'll soon be hearing about other sponsors signing up for a piece of the action.
I'm predicting that the contest will include the big money paddle race and the SUP surf competition which will be held at Old Man's. But... how sweet would it be if they could book Lowers! I'd love to get a shot at polluting that right hander with a bunch of other stand up surfers. Undoubtedly the entry fee will be steep but if a 6' south swell is rifling through Trestles, wouldn't it be worth it? I'm going to start looking for a sponsor now!
If you've got some solid info. on these events and don't mind sharing, drop me line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Help me get to the bottom of this!
Photos: Top and Bottom: The surf is STILL firing here in San Diego! Check out the little chest to head-high left hander I surfed with two friends for a couple of hours yesterday- and again today. Hope you're getting some!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Nobody should've been out paddling in those nasty conditions but evidently the annual YMCA 20 mile Bay-to-Bay Race was underway. Chris Koerner from Dana Point told me that there were at least six rescues as well as overhead sneaker sets, sharks, nasty boat chop and that in-your-face, peel-back-your-eyelids south wind to contend with for the entire race. It wasn't a race it was a siege. I am amazed that anybody even finished the the thing and I heard a few tales of contestants car topping the gear after doing quick wind checks out of Mission Bay.
Chris completed it on a stand up board in five and a half hours- which is a ridiculous amount of time to be on the water. I guess the central question I have for Chris would be: What the #$%# where you thinking! I'm working on Chris to provide some more details- I think you might be interested to.
Photo: While the cat's away the sand bars will... FIRE! Even though I scored all kinds of fun waves today at Dog Patch it still hurts to come home, cruise up to the end of the street and see what, evidently, was firing all day long.
Today was a totally different day. It turned out to be a classic California surf day; glassy, warm and sunny with really fun, combo-swell peaks lighting up the beaches and reefs all over San Diego. I fired up to meet a bunch of friends at Dog Patch in San Onofre. Allen and Jamie Cheateaux were pulling together a crew to celebrate the beginning of their round-the-world adventure.
Tim Stamps and Cowboy were coming down to log some San-O time on Stamps' high performance 9'0 Stand Up Board. Big Chuck Patterson was out smacking stupid anything that crossed paths with him and his Hobie stand up (which looked pretty darn thin and very foiled out). EJ and Andie even staked out some beach real estate for the day. I ended up spending about eight hours at the 'Patch and got in three different sessions- trunking it the whole time. Hope you got some surf too!
Friday, June 6, 2008
That thing is hot; classy and stylish! Can't wait to see the finished board (did you hear that Bob?). And we'll need all the specs and a ride report!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Andie Johnson sent me some great photos from the Hobie Hennessey's Race in Dana Point. I've been told the conditions were pretty brutal. In addition to the mixed seas rebounding off the jetty there was a nasty south wind blowing straight into the faces of the racers for about four miles of the course.
On the bright side this was a race with cash prizes for the top three finishers in each category. For a full breakdown of all of the finishers checkout the Hobie race results page.
Tim Stamps' race boards did well placing in three SUP divisions. Ernest Johnson (EJ) paddled one of the new Stamps Arrow designs and finished 3rd Overall in Stock SUP; EJ took home a few bucks for his efforts. Farmer Dave, riding the Arrow 1, finished in 1st place in the 30 - 39 year old Division of the Stock SUP category with Tim Stamps finishing 3rd in the 40 - 49 age group of the Stock SUP class.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
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