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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Off to the Hennessey's River Run!

We're on the move! Look for our five man Imperial Beach wrecking crew at the Hennessey's River Run. None of us has any experience racing at all- two of our elite racers will be on ten-footers, one of them a Stu Kenson quad!

Fair warning to you guys on your pretty boy eighteen footers- that blur in your rear view mirror- that's us behind you... way behind you.

Photo: Watch out... we're on fire!

Check back for the full story!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Olympus 1030sw: Early Thoughts

Here at we're not quite big time enough to get expensive digital cameras sent to us for review. So I'm going to have to be a little restrained in my testing of this camera because, after all, I shelled out my own bucks for it. Which kind of sucks because I would've liked to film myself dropping the Oly a couple of times onto a concrete floor- it'd be fun if it wasn't my camera. Here are some first thoughts:

The Olympus 1030sw just feels good.
First of all, the thing is pretty darn heavy. It kind of feels like a little metal brick. That's not a bad thing- it feels solid. Strong. Supposedly I could sit on the thing and not smash it- that's good because I could see myself doing that sometime.

Actually, it'd probably get smashed by my big, white, marine-grade (that just means it's white and more expensive), Igloo cooler. Or I'd forget it in the bottom of my daypack and jam a sandy, wet, wetsuit on top of it and then put the cooler on it. I think you get it, I abuse stuff. The camera feels like it could take it.

I'm a fan of the amount of metal used in its construction. How many times have you reached for some gadget and been kind of let down by how "plasticy" it felt? There's a lot of good, old fashioned, metal in this camera. In fact the only parts that were obviously plastic were the waterproof doors covering the battery and cable compartments and the big screen on the back of the camera. Speaking of the screen, it seems to me that if something's going to get messed up in the rough conditions this camera will be subjected to, it's the screen. It'll probably be a good idea to buy some kind of protective cover for the screen.

As far as photos go, I like it better than the X-acti. There's all kinds of controls and options that you can monkey around with. To be honest, I haven't done too much of my homework as far as what I need to do to take really bitchin' pictures (check out this guy's blog- he uses an earlier version of the 1030sw and get's unbelievable images). I've been messing with the "Scenes" settings for taking photos indoors and for sunsets and photos around the fire- it's been fun and for my purposes seems to work well. Favorite photography feature so far? The rapid fire mode- you can set the camera to fire off bursts of photos for as long as you hold the shutter button down- can't wait to use it to capture some lip schwackin' action.

All photos in the last two posts were taken with the Oly- check 'em out and let me know what you think about them. I'm still learning about this camera but so far- I like it. It feels really tough and the pictures have come out fine for me so far.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend Cruising: A Couple More Photos

Top Photo: Kiwi heading south. Never know what you'll find unless you get out and look around.

Middle Photo: Extraction Point. Doing point-to-point surf cruises takes a little bit more planning... and two vehicles. The rewards however make the hassle worthwhile and as the number of paddlers grows, the paddle-through option will become more and more popular.

Last Photo: The beers taste a lot better after a long day of paddling and kitesurfing, especially when you've scored a campsite right on the beach.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Secrets for the taking

Pull out a map, find an isolated stretch of coast sandwiched between two access points and go find your own waves. Bingo- your own personal secret spot. I can virtually guarantee that if walking, or in our case, paddling into it is required, you won't see a soul. It's yours, take it. Have fun with it. Name it if you want. What's the big problem?

Photo: Kiwi taking a break- ten minutes from downtown SD- not big, but fun and definitely not crowded. My first photo with the new Oly 1030sw.

I've got mine. I'm going to name it too. It's called the Dinosaur. Kiwi and I just pioneered it (or maybe we didn't but I really don't care). It's a three mile paddle down a part of the coast that is essentially in my back yard. I've never surfed it, or for that matter, seen anybody surf it. Why? Because nobody wants it. It's too much work. Guess what? There are waves there. Really fun waves, better waves than you'd expect.

Am I letting the cat out of the bag? Should I be hit with a bolt of lightning for revealing some "secret" spot? I don't think so- here's why: THERE AREN'T ANY SECRET SPOTS. Especially if you live here in Southern California. It's all been done, logged, photographed, posted, published and downloaded. The great thing is that even with all that publicity- they're still not crowded- even here. People just don't want to do the work- even if they know exactly where the spot is and how to get to it.

So find a spot with some paddling miles between it and the nearest parking lot. There's still a ton out there. Make it your secret spot. Just be sure to give it a good name.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Squeaked out- now let's see if I can figure this thing out.

I beat the punch on this one. Squeezed out the backdoor, Shaun Tomson-style. I was still in the hunt so I prowled around 'til I found what I was looking for: Olympus 1030sw for the low, low price of $450 bucks at the neighborhood Circuit City.

But wait, didn't I just see that same camera for sale for $399 from the same Circuit City if I purchased it online and drove over to the store to pick it up? Yep, and that's what I did- ordered it right from my desk (and utilized a coupon they posted for an additional %10 off the price) and hoofed it over to the big box to pick it up.

But it gets better, I also asked them if I was eligible for the free xD card "with purchase of an Olympus camera" and, guess what, I was- so a nice 2gb xD card came home as well.

Out the door, tax and all with the memory card... $399. Not too bad. Not clean, not stylish but safely out on the flats and cruising over the shoulder- I'll take it.

On Another Note: Here's why you always wear your seatbelt in Baja- note the cracked windshield where face impacted glass. More on this later. Don't worry- all survived...

Off on a little paddle trip up the coast (and then back down it...)!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Heading for the light.

A Note: I know I'm getting all weird on you with this little story I'm putting together. Patience please. I've got a cautionary Baja road tale for you (and a gnarly picture to go with it) and more legitimate content- just let me get this out of my system and we'll soon be back to our regular programming.

Part II: Heading for the light.

Riding the tube ain't easy.
I miss it most of the time. Either I don't see it coming or I just can't quite figure out how to stuff myself in. Matteo calls it, "Occupying the hole". I love that- I just can't do it when it matters. Not this time, this time I was locked in.

I knew what was coming, all the complaints posted on the web explained the same scam: First, there'd be an email saying that I had to call in to "verify" my order.

Here's mine:
Order # 5#####-W

Dear J.A.,

We thank you for choosing 86th St. Photo & Video as your choice for all your photographic equipment.

In order to further verify your order, we will need to speak with you on the phone. Please call our Verification department at 1-800-815-2040 Ext. 213 Jason so we may verify and complete processing your order.

If you have already called and confirmed your order, you may disregard this request.

Second: "Jason" at extension 213 would try to pressure me (the up-sell! kind of like, "Would you like to supersize that?") into buying some ridiculously priced accessories. My conversation went like this:

Jason: Hey bro, did you know that you forgot to buy batteries for your camera.

Me: Really, on your website it says that batteries come with the camera.

Jason: Uh, yeah but those batteries only last twenty minutes (a lie).

Me: No thanks I'm not going to buy any batteries.

Jason: Well how about some memory cards...

Me: Naw, I'll just take the camera- thanks anyway.

Jason: Okay, I'll process your order and you'll receive it in (said quickly in a muffled voice) four to six weeks...

Me: Hold on a minute- I paid extra to have it sent in two days...

Jason: Hey bro- don't you know how hard it is to get these cameras....!

And then finally, the dump. Once "Jason" knows you're not going to buy any $150 batteries- and that waiting a month for a camera is pretty darn ridiculous he just waits for you to back out of your order.

Me: Look I need that camera sooner than a month from now- let's just cancel this order.

Jason: I'll handle that right now.

The weird part was that as I was having this conversation I felt as if I were reading scripted lines. It was an almost word-for-word match of the web accounts I'd found about this place. Strange but completely true. Avoid this place people- creepy and unethical. Trouble, I can tell (read more about it here).

I still didn't have a camera and I'd taken a shot that almost knocked me off my board. But the barrel was still makeable. I could see daylight. Life was just tossing bombs at my head. If I was going to make this one I'd have to bob and weave, compress and release- make like da Cat and head for the light.

Check back: Bricks and mortar save the day- and I make my wave.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dora's Tube Ride and Me: Almost Scammed!

Anybody remember "Surfers: The Movie?" If not, I don't blame you. The film came out 18 years ago; try to remember what you were doing in 1990. I was a junior at UCSB, living with five guys in a two bedroom one bath apartment, eating burritos, surfing Sands and, oh yeah, working on a degree in Aquatic Biology. I don't remember much about the movie but there was one scene I'll never forget. It was Dora's interview. I remember thinking, "What a freak". At the time I thought he just came across as an arrogant ass- but I never forgot his part. It's funny because I think about that scene now and then and the more I travel through this world the more I think I understand what he was saying- at least a little.

Anybody else remember Dora's little vignette? The part of it that's seared onto my brain is his analogy of life and tube riding. He starts talking (and as he's talking he's standing there hand jiving and mind surfing through the dredging pop up sections of his consciousness) about how in life, you're just flying down the line and, if I remember correctly, "shit's coming at you man and your just weaving and ducking and it's all starting to suck up and- whooosh- shit's flying over your head, but you just keep charging....". Everytime I navigate through some bullshit day I think of that bit from Surfers: the Movie. Man, Dora may have been the ultimate con man/genius-savant but, I swear, I think he was on to something.

Here's my tube ride: We all know I'm looking for a new camera. I finally decided on the Olympus 1030sw and even ordered it for the unbelievable low price of $269! I should've known nothing could be that good; shoot, everybody else was selling them for $350 at least. But, 86th Street Camera and Video promised me that I'd have it in a couple of days (Your Satisfaction Guaranteed!). It was only a couple of hours after blogging about my order that I received my first reader comment, something to the effect of, "Those guys have a lot of complaints about them!". It was enough of a seed of doubt to get me Googling (type in: 86th Street complaints and see what you get). Can you feel the section starting to stand up in front of you? That blue little bump's gone all steely gray and it's getting vertical, and very thick. Get ready, you know what's coming next!

What a nightmare! The complaints against these guys were all the same, they were masters of the bait and switch. There were so many similar stories of sleaziness that I couldn't believe they could all be legitimate. So I let it ride. I didn't cancel the charge to my card. I decided to ride it out even if it was looking like a nasty closeout. I'd picked my line and I thought it might make a good story if it got nasty. Secretly, I was holding out the hope that I might get spit out the other end with a great camera at an excellent price. I thought it might get a little dicey back there with the foam ball licking at my tail block but I'd fought my way through nastier situations how bad could it be?

Nope. I took it in the back of the head. I got lipped. Axed. Hatcheted.

Check back to see if I get pile driven into the reef or squeak out the doggy door.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Check it Out: Stamps 9'0 x 28 3/4 x 4 1/4 For Sale

If you're looking to move down in size from your 12' starter SUB check this board out. It's the one I'd buy if I had an extra $1100 bucks on me- this thing is effing hot. Actually, I'm holding at 235 lbs so I might go a little bigger but for someone who's in the 175 - 215 range this board would be perfect.

A couple of things: I like the round tails on these boards- I'm finding that with the increased tail width, the round tail provides the best compromise between stability and bite. With the round tail you can bring the board all the way down into the flats, push it over and it'll hold- or you can pump a quick mid-face turn to clear a section and the board will squirt (you can see me doing both of these turns on the same wave in the last two videos posted- the Mahi 2 has a round tail and I'm stoked on it).

The curves of the tail basically fit anywhere on the wave- you may not get the kick in the ass punch of a square or diamond tail but you make it up in versatility and flow... at least that's how I see it. Secondly, I'm sold on hand-made boards - I'll never go back to a molded board. The handmade boards feel like surfboards- try one you'll instantly notice the difference.

The board is used but in perfect condition- the deck in front of the pad has been sprayed with Hula Deck so you'll never have to wax it. It's got a sanded finish so it's light- I really like this board- snag it or I will and then I'll have some serious explaining to do! Contact Tim Stamps to buy this board.


Better Yet: Drive on up to the Stamps Board Works, meet Cowboy, talk stand up boards and order up a new one- go on, you know you deserve it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Camera Ordered: Thanks for all the help!

We've got a great little community here! I'd like to say thanks to all who responded to my plea for camera information especially Gary at Srfnff, PonoBill of Kenalu, Chad of Chad Industries, Brewer over at BlueLine and Denis- who's a pro- thanks for all the good information.

I decided to go with the Olympus 1030sw- I ordered one a couple of days ago for $260 and spent another forty bucks or so on xD cards- a pretty good price I thought. I chose the Oly because I need a camera with the nuts to hang out with me. I'm tough on equipment (by the way PonoBill gives a great description of dropping his Oly, fumbling for it in the air and in the bobble shooting it across the room twenty or so feet- kind of the polar opposite of Franco Harris' amazing ball scoop- thanks for that Bill). This summer the camera will experience the sweaty cantina's of southern Baja, the heat of Bend, the grit of a northern Baja campsite and the waxy depths of my surf trunk wax pocket- if it's going to hang out with me it's got to go the distance. I'm sick of not trusting my camera gear- let's hope the Oly is up to the test.

If you've got any experience or secrets to share about shooting with this platform please send them my way- I'll post them up here. I'm a total amateur when it comes to this stuff so no piece of information will be too basic for me. Especially video mode- can't wait to try this thing out.

Camera Grom's Cut: As you know Grom shoots the video and edits his own cut- here's what he put together (rumor has it he's closing in on the dough for his new digital SLR- stoked!):

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday's Sneak South Swell: Check the Video

This one caught us all by surprise- we thought it'd be about shin high and gutless. It turned out to be a pretty fun time... Check it out!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Camera's Dead- Any photogs out there?

Okay- I need some advice here. I'm looking for a new camera so if you know anything about water cams you need to get back to me. I know Olympus has a little waterproof/freezeproof/shockproof /kookproof unit- how's the picture quality on that? Pentax has the Optio- I've read it's got good picture quality but questionable durability. What's up?

Here are my needs: tough, waterproof, fit in the wax pocket of my trunks and good enough picture quality that I may publish photos to print (translation: pictures may be used in a book I'm completing...) if desired. If you've got some experience or advice please post in the comments section. I'd like to get a camera before the Hennessey's River Run which is May 2nd.

If you've got pictures up and posted send me the URLs so I can check 'em out- be sure to tell me what kind of camera you're running. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Kore Dry Shirts: No I'm not going to model one!

Uh no, I'm not going to model one for you guys.

A couple of reasons:

1. I'm best viewed when heavily photoshopped or on blurry YouTube videos.
2. I prefer to be relatively anonymous- don't want the paparazzi going all Britney on me!

And if you've been looking for the shirt, here's the correct link. Lori at BRG told me that the manufacturer recently changed the name from Stay Dry to Kore Dry, same shirt- different name. If you're still confused drop them an email- they're super nice people who know their business.

Oh yeah, if you do order one, type "paddlesurf" in the coupon code and you'll get 10% off the shirt. Sweet.

Sanyo X-Acti Review: If you've been following along you know that I've been shooting and filming with a Sanyo X-Acti waterproof video camera. You also know that this is my second one- the first one's screen died unexpectedly. That camera was replaced by a very helpful Sanyo warranty department but, alas, the second one has also died. Unexpectedly as well- in a puff of smoke. I'm not the only one, I've heard of others experiencing problems with the camera.

At close to five hundred dollars a unit I would've expected the camera to last longer than it did (first one six months, second one three months). Therefore, I cannot recommend this camera. I'm not going to even pursue a replacement- Sanyo will only repair it if I pay for the parts. If the camera had lasted a couple of years I might consider it but given the life expectancy of this product, it'd just be a waste of money.

By the way: If you dream of true Baja surf adventure check out what these guys pulled off- I'm 99 percent sure I know the spot- let's leave it unnamed. Really, really cool stuff. I found this on the Mule Transport Systems site- check it out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Product Review: Kore Dry Shirt

As you can tell from my last two posts, the weather this weekend was just about as good as it gets. So good, in fact, that I sucked it up and decided I'd trunk it for Saturday's morning session. I was also really curious to try out the Kore Dry Shirt that the folks at sent to me for review.

I was surprised to find a black colored shirt when I pulled it out of the UPS envelope. I hadn't specified a color (heck I hadn't even ordered it- it was just one of those cool surprises that sometime show up at the command center) but I'd figured a UV protective paddle shirt (SPF 150+) would've definitely been a sun reflective white.

Another surprise was the loose fit- this is not your run of the mill rash guard. The Kore Dry is designed to fit loosely to facilitate air movement and breath-ability. I liked the loose fit, it was comfortable and it didn't hinder the paddling motion. In two hours of paddling I didn't experience any hot spots or chaffing.

I realized why a black shirt was a good idea when I paddled out in just trunks and shirt. The black, long sleeved shirt soaked up energy from the sun and provided a nice bit of warmth. It was just enough to take the edge off of a cool morning surf session. It's the perfect transition piece between paddling jacket and bare backing it completely. The fabric is designed so that the fibers remain dry at their core and continue to provide insulation even when wet. If splashed, the water beads up like mercury droplets and rolls right off the thing. When I did fall in, the shirt dried quickly and didn't seem to suck the heat right out of me like a clingy, lycra rash guard. I can vouch for the insulating effect of the shirt it kept me going when everybody else was in full suit mode. Granted, I wasn't warm and toasty- but I wasn't shivering either.

This is a product that I can recommend. The shirt is well made and doesn't bind, constrict or cling during paddling (I also used it for a couple of hours of kitesurfing- it worked great). If you're going to use it in temperate climates, such as California, I'd recommend the black Kore Dry- if you're doing big runs in full sunshine or are paddling in tropical areas, go with the white shirt. I'm paddling in the 18-Mile Hennessey's River Run in early May- I'm hoping another surprise finds its way to my doorstep- this time in white.

Check out Kore Dry shirts at

Also, check out the last two video clips to see me surfing in the Kore Dry long sleeve black shirt- yeee haw!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Beautiful Day

Surfed the 8'0" Stamps today in some glassy, fun peelers. We're missing most of the hard south swell that's passing through right now but every now and then a waist to chest high left would push through.

I'm stoked on this smaller board. Again, the downside is that it is wobbly- I fall quite a bit but I think this can be overcome if I keep at it. The surfing side is insane- to me it feels like ripping down the line on a big fish. And you can just pop up into the lip and bust little floaters too. I'm going to see about having one of these made to my spec's.

Here's Camera Groms Cut of the clips from yesterday:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My California Day

I don't know how hot it was in El Cajon today but I'll tell you it was just perfect down here at the beach. Some type of high pressure magic slid in and showed us what summer should really be like. I had a great day. It would've been a perfect day if my X-acti (you know Sanyo's five hundred dollar water proof video camera, my second one after the first just decided to die on me) hadn't made a frying noise and emitted a little puff of electric smoke. It was kind of like when the tapes burn up in the old Mission Impossible shows- just a buzz and a poof- toasted.

Including my morning paddle surf, I completed three seperate paddle sessions today. One of them was a lesson on the bay (yep, it's starting early this year- this could be a big summer for stand up paddle surfing) and the other was a three mile back bay cruise with my wife Kathy.

The lesson was great; two friends who'd heard about stand up paddling and wanted to give it a shot- both were naturals at it. We spent a couple of minutes on the beach and then pushed off into the bay and cruised around the yachts and hidden waterways of the San Diego back bay. Lessons are great- it's really rewarding to watch a person realize how fun and accessible this sport really is- and it's just fun helping someone learn something that's undeniably cool.

Kathy's three mile paddle turned into a bit of a workout when the north wind came up and pushed back against us as we paddle back to the beach. The wind also got my old kite surfing hackles up and so I was pushing hard to get us back so I could pump up before the wind died completely. No luck- I flew the big kite and ended up doing a couple of mushy runs as the wind was slowly leaving the beach.

A dying evening wind isn't such a bad thing. Especially when it means that there'd be a chance for a nice little sunset glass off- which did happen, but I was too tired to even think about it. So I did the next best thing, I sat under a palm tree in my back yard and sipped a margarita. Don't need a million dollars to live like a millionaire. And tomorrow's supposed to get even better!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Take 'em Everywhere!

Check out this spot: Clear green water, mini-grom running wild on an open beach- sign me up!

This photo got me fired up for a trip I'm taking this summer. I'm loading up the boards, kites, bikes and the travel trailer and heading up the coast. I'm going to run the whole thing from the southern border up to the Columbia River.

Undoubtedly, I want to hit some surf spots along the way but really I'm looking for something a little bit different this trip. I want to find the sweetest flatwater paddles in the California-Oregon region. Got any suggestions? I'm already set on running up to Hood River and then over to Bend. I want to paddle some of the Cascade Lakes and hook up with the paddlers up in that part of the country. The water looks flat, fast and blue- I'm stoked for it!

Like I said, sign me up, I'm ready for some inland adventure!

Speaking of flatwater: We're fielding a "team" for the Hennessey's River Run- yep, me and my crew are going to stink it up- we may not be fast, we may not be fit but we're going to be there- are you? Are you ready for this race: It's an 18 mile open river, down current run. Whooo Hooo bring it on!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Old Mastic Trick: Just in Case You Don't Know

Yeah, yeah I know... it screws up your release. Whatever. Here at the paddlesurf command post we have different priorities. I use the stuff because:

a. I'm not a paddle stroke perfectionist. I don't do long runs- I'm surf-centric.

b. The paddling that I do is to catch waves, so it's usually just a couple of quick strokes to get in and going and in the churning, aerated water I'm paddling through- a little lip on the blade's not a big deal and finally,

c. the edge on some paddles is sharp- I'm worried for me and I've seen some pretty substantial rail gashes on guys who don't wrap the edge.

So if it's screwing up my release, so be it- besides once you see how mangled the rest of my stroke is you'll understand it doesn't really matter.

So, in case you haven't seen it (I think the guys at wrote about this awhile ago), here's how to wrap your paddle with electrician's mastic:

Top Photo: Get the right stuff. I buy mine at Home Depot. Look for it in the electrical department. It's not electrical tape, this stuff is thick, stretches and stays on in water.

Middle: Cut it about six inches short of what you actually need. You will be stretching it around the edge of the paddle so you'll make up those lost inches when you pull the mastic around the blade. You'll want to either clamp the shaft into a vise or get somebody to hold it steady for you while you wrap the blade.

Last: What you end up with is a nice, clean looking, rubbery edge on the blade. I do this to protect the board more than the paddle. In fact, some blades come with built in blade protection. For example these QuickBlade Laird Hamilton paddles feature an integrated ABS plastic edge. The ABS is tough enough to protect the blade but it is rather sharp and it can ding up a board pretty badly if you're a paddle hack; like me.

Check Back: I'm working on a video of the whole paddle prep process!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Video: 8'0 Stand Up Board- with Big Boy on Board!

Short, curvy and fun... we're either talking about Salma Hayek or Stamps' 8'0 a.k.a "the biscuit". Check out this short clip of a short SUB... understand, the waves were horrible on this day- and that little chunk managed to get itself going!

>Amazing that at 235lbs it even floated me at all. I'm going to pester Stamps for the volume number on that board. I've seen other small boards but the owners of the boards have weighed much less than two bills. I've always thought that a 10' for a guy above 210' is proportional to an 8'0 for riders in the 100lb to 160' range. This board has made me think about how small I can go on my next board- I'm thinking I'd like to see something in the 9'4" or 9'6"length. Maybe even a 9'0 like Stamp's performance model but beefed up to 30" wide.

The board is ridiculously fun to surf. I'm dying for a head-high, glassy day where I can really get my back foot into the thing. It's a fast board and it's soooo much easier to throw it up into the lip than my big board. I can only imagine the speed I could generate on a lined up left hander, I'm also curious about how straight up into the lip I could put the thing and how it'll behave coming off the bottom at speed.

In the paddling department, you have to remember that as the board shrinks, the paddling sweet spot shrinks as well. Standing on this board was tough. I fell a lot, probably three times as often as when I'm on my ten footer. Dropping in on such a small board was also much different than on the bigger stand up, you get into the wave much later than you're used to, there's very little "glide in". Additionally, I'm going to have to figure out how to punch whitewater with this one- I was totally unsuccessful on it today. In fact, paddling this board makes you feel like you're learning all over again- which is cool with me because I love the process of figuring things out.

What's the point? This question crossed my mind a few times out there. After all, don't I have a hot 8'0 mini-longboard at home that surfs equally well when prone paddled into a wave? Uh yeah, but... who cares! It's just fun to paddle out on all kinds of crazy things and have fun- and having fun has always been the point to me.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Check 'em Out: Team Industrial and Cali Kites Paddle Team Photos

Here's a few more race photos:

Team Industrial: EJ and Tony Mueller powering into Dana Harbor- these guys did eight shifts of paddling, each run lasting twenty minutes. The team finished in a little over 7 hours.

Last two photos: Crazy Team Cali Kites. First race, first time on this board. Spoke French most of the way, and sported a "Racing Stripe" just for this run. Classic.

Last Photo: Here's the Cali Kites team leading the pack across the channel... for the first few minutes after the starting horn.

Any other racers with photos? Send 'em to me and I'll post 'em up.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A little bit more...

Got a chance to chat with Rich Hidalgo, Sergeant with the Imperial Beach Lifeguards and Avalon to Dana Point racer. Here's what I learned:

1. If you're going to compete, bring the right stuff: fourteen feet is nice, sixteen to eighteen with a rudder system gets you a little bit more competitive. Let's see, my old F250 4x4 came in right close to 2o feet long- looks like you'd need to construct a dedicated board garage for that kind of hardware.

2. Hardcore award goes to the two brothers who first crossed to Catalina the morning of the race on a PWC (Waverunner), then turned around and paddled a rudderless stand up board almost forty miles as a two person team. In trunks. So that's two hours crossing on the PWC and seven plus hours paddling- that's a long hard day. Who are those guys?

3. If it's worth doing once, it's worth doing again. Rich says the whole team is fired up to run it again- there must be something to it, these guys (and gal) are hooked. More races in the works.

If you haven't already done so, go check out KeNalu the online journal of stand up paddle surfing. Bill Babcock, the editor, is holding onto some additional Catalina photos from other racers and will be putting together a photo essay. Check it out!

And... If you're sending me photos to post please send high resolution photos as attachments to my email address. A few have sent links to photobooks etc. which I haven't been able to access- hook me up! Send photos to:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Avalon (Catalina Island) to Dana Point Race

Here's a couple more photos of the Avalon to Dana Point Race. I'm piecing together the whole story- I'll post once I've got a little more information.

Top and Bottom: Imperial Beach paddlers. For being first timers on the big course- the thirty eight mile gap didn't seem to phase them much. I.B. local surfer/firefighter Tyra sticking one of the first legs of the race- she was the only woman to compete in the stand up paddle division. Eight hours hours later she'd be pulling the team into Dana Point- the team's total time on the water was close to 8 hours and 50 minutes- brutal.

In the lee of the island the conditions weren't too bad- but I've been told that it got really nasty once you left the island's shadow. A combo swell from the NW and SW brought with it washing machine conditions. I believe the technical term is mixed seas. Nasty stuff. Everybody got tooled.