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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Southern Baja Stand Up Paddle Race: '09 La Ventana Classic and Kite Expo

Do this right now, pull out your calender and block out time in January, 2010. Believe me, you will want to be down in La Ventana (30 minutes from La Paz International Airport in Southern Baja California) for next year's La Ventana Classic and Kite Expo. Last week, Kiwi and I had a chance to participate in the Classic's stand up paddle events and I can tell you that there is no event in the stand up paddling world that comes close to this one for pure FUN!

Photo: I didn't get a chance to get these two out paddling- but there's always next year!

The Classic is a four day water sports festival conceived and organized by Tim Hatler, owner and proprietor of Palapas Ventana. The goal of the festival is to raise money for the renovation and development of the small town's elementary school. Last year, Tim was able to raise enough money to paint the school and build the students a new restroom. Before the new bathroom was built every student in the school had to share one toilet!

Photo: Start of the qualifier.

This year's Classic was the biggest in the event's four years of existence. The event drew every major kiteboarding company as well as top ranking kiteboarding pros and more than a hundred amateur kiteboard competitors. The beach was covered with the latest models of kites and boards, all available for demo. There were Pacifico Girls walking the beach and local folk dancers on the main stage. As expected, the beer tent was going off and was almost rivaled by the ice cold margaritas being served off the adjacent table. Mix in a DJ spinning thumping tunes and a professional emcee keeping the whole deal rolling and it was obvious that the Classic had grown up.

Photo: Hard to believe that the small beach in the back ground is almost ten miles away. Leg 1 of the qualifier with Kiwi leading the way.

Although the Big Air and Old School Trick contest were cool (two words to describe who dominated these events: Richman brothers... unreal) the Classic's real draw is the ten mile, Cerralvo Island to La Ventana race called "The Crossing". The ten mile channel crossing is completed by the pro riders in twenty five to thirty minutes of hardcore, pedal-to-the-metal racing. The amateur division can take an hour or more to pull it off. It's a radical event, definitely worth hanging around for, if only to see how exhausted these guys are when they come blowing across the finish line.

Photo: Stickered up.

This year, Tim asked me to organize a SUP race for the event. In addition, Tim needed me to hand out demo SUP boards and to give basic instruction to those looking to try out stand up paddling. Isle Surfboards, the only stand up company to sponsor the Classic, stoked us out by sending down four stand up boards and paddles for people to demo. I'm a stand up paddle freak so when I'm tasked with spreading the stoke, I take it seriously. I wanted to be sure that everyone got a shot at trying out their equipment. If you've paddled the Sea of Cortez than you can understand why stand up paddling has blown up down there. In the small town of La Ventana alone there are over twenty regular paddlers out every morning laying down tracks in the perfectly still water. The Classic brought out many more takers willing to demo Isle's SUP boards- I was happy to oblige them.

Photo: Next year, this photo will be taken from the island offshore, and these guys will be a lot more worn out at the end of it all.

The Classic is one of those events that has a rootsy, down-to-earth feel about it. If you've never raced before and you want to try it out in a low key environment, this is your event. The emphasis this year was on having fun and there were events for all skill levels of paddlers. The day I arrived Tim had just completed the buoy-to-buoy, "Chase Race". In this race competitors started at either end of a two buoy course and raced around the closely set buoys trying to lap each other. The race required skill, stamina- and that you wear a Mexican wrestling mask. Like I said, the emphasis was on fun.

Photo: What do you think, easy to breathe in that thing? Kent, trying to kill it before it kills him.

The big day came on the third morning of the contest. Conditions were perfect for the SUP course race. The morning brought us sunshine and perfectly flat, seventy degree water. The twenty two competitors were sent to race a three mile course with the top five men and women finishers moving on to the final event.

Photo: Women's Division Winners: 1st Cynbad Brown, 2nd Tonia Farman, 3rd Michelle Koff

I chose a sprint distance course because it keeps the racers in sight of the fans the whole distance and because three miles is a friendly enough distance to encourage new paddlers to participate. The final course was a half mile, three buoy course that had to be completed three times before sprinting for the beach finish line. Next year, the major SUP event will be a 10 mile SUP version of the Crossing. Stand up paddlers will race from Isla Cerralvo to La Ventana for a cash prize.

Photo: Men's Winners: 1st Mark "Kiwi" Field, 2nd Ozzie Lenzsch, 3rd Marco Pena

In the end Kiwi dominated the Men's field by winning both the qualifier and the final event, taking first place on a stock Isle Surfboards 12' x 30" stand up paddle board. Michelle Koff, the women's third place finisher also won on a stock Isle 11'6" stand up board, using one of Ernie Johnson's, Johnson Big Stick ply paddles.

Photo: Cranking it home, 3rd place Michelle Koff

With two contestants finishing first and third it seems that Isle's onto something for the stock paddle class. Are they the fastest on the water? The gauntlet has been thrown and it's unknown as to who in the stand up paddle racing word will accept the Paddle Crossing Challenge. The only way to find out is to come on back down next year and try your luck in the water. See you there!

Interested in supporting the 2010 La Ventana Classic? Contact Tim Hatler at or email him:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tahoe Masochist Tour 2008: Part III

Lake Tahoe Masochist Tour 2008, wrapping it up and heading home:


Photo: Sand, sun and fun- just another day on the lake. So how long of a paddle was this circumnavigation?

Rich H: If you drive a car around the circumference of the lake you’ll tack on 72 miles. When you paddle, you don’t need to follow all of the bends and curves of the road – estimated guess of 55-60 miles…? Four days. Do you think this trip could be done without a support boat?

Rich H: No.

Photo: Close your eyes and imagine paddling through this little scene- feel the glide, smell the pine? Stuff like this just gets me fired up to get out and on the road- you can stand up paddle anything! Was there any one moment on the lake when you saw something that just blew your mind?

Rich H: At one point we were paddling across and looking down at the deepest spot of the 2nd deepest lake in North America- that's a mind blower!

Photo: Camp food bandit. Now that you've finished your trip and your looking back at it, is there anything you'd do different next time? And how about board design, any ideas about how you could improve "touring type" stand up boards?

Rich H: If I did this trip again I'd be sure to drink more water. Also, I'd bring bee traps for the campsites. The yellow jackets run like crazy in the fall and get inside of everything. No design improvements, not any that I’m willing to share anyways…..paddle season is about to start again. How was the boat traffic on the lake- were you constantly getting buzzed by jet skis and power boats?

Rich H: We paddled the lake in mid-September. Like most seasonal destinations, things really slow down in the basin after Labor Day.

Photo: Rocky landing, beautiful spot. Where are you paddling next? Any paddle trips in the works right now?

Rich H: None at the moment, we're still trying to figure out if we’re going to compete in this year’s Catalina Challenge. Tyra and I have been very fortunate and had some great paddling moments in 2008 besides Lake Tahoe. It would be a pretty hard year to follow-up. Anybody you'd like to thank for helping support the trip?

Rich H: Lots of people to thank for helping us out on this trip. George from Patagonia for styling us out (again), Alexa from DaKine, O’Neill Wetsuits, Mark from Stay Covered Surf Accessories, Kapitol Reef, and Steve Boehne of Infinity for making such a wonderful SUP craft. Steve got together with us before last year’s Catalina and cranked out an amazing 14’ SUP that’s been raced, battered, beaten, and transported all over the western states. Thanks Rich- keep us posted on what's going on next!

Rich. H: No problem!

Photo: Masochists, all of 'em!

Stand up paddle surf lessons in San Diego. Spring is right around the corner and summer's not far behind- let's get you out and paddling now so that you're a pro by June! I specialize in one-on-one, private stand up paddle surf lessons. Click here for more information and testimonials from satisfied paddle clients. Give me a call now and let's get out and learn to stand up paddlesurf: 619.213.6622 or

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tahoe Masochist Tour 2008 Part II: The Pain Continues

The Pain Continues, Part II of the Tahoe Masochist Tour: Have any of you ever done a long paddle like this before?

Rich: Joel, Tyra, and I competed in the Ocean Ohana Catalina Challenge in March of 2008. Catalina to Dana Point, 40 miles on a SUP, good fun.

Photo: I'm not sure if the descriptor "glassy" really covers what we're looking at here. As far as gear goes, did you have any specialized boards or paddles? Talk about the logistics of an adventure like this; was there a safety plan, a paddle plan?

Rich: We brought four SUP boards: One 12’ Ron House custom (thanks Jay), one 12’ Laird, one 11’ 11" SOS Big Red (thanks Matt), and a 14’ Infinity custom that was first raced in the Catalina to Dana Point race and then used by me throughout the paddling season in various events. Also en tow was a 14’ IRB (inflatable rescue boat) with a four-stroke 25 hp motor. The boat was used to transport all the camping equipment, food, ice and beer for the duration of the trip (thanks Capt. Stabenow).

Photo: In the company of life guards, you never dive in head first- and no running on the deck!

Logistically, we covered the entire circumference in four days of paddling. Over the five days we were on the lake we each spent one of the five operating the boat and the other four days paddling. Whom ever was in charge of the boat for the day ran support; bringing up water, passing food and setting a course. Everyone took a different shift operating the boat and it worked out pretty evenly in the long run.

Photo: Paddling what looks like an inland ocean. Did you train for the trip? Any words of advice to others who might be considering a trip like this?

Rich: No more training was done then what we normally do – if there were a way to train your hands not to crack and blister at 6800 feet, I’d look into it. What was a standard day on the lake all about.

Rich: Morning wake-up with coffee and chow, clean-up camp, pack the boat, pick a destination, and shove off. We’d paddle to a pre-designated location and call it a day. Paddling times varied between 4-6 hours per day depending on where/how frequently we would stop. Pull up to camp, check-in and set-up for the night. Cold beers and campfire awaiting the next day’s paddle.

Photo: Done. Cashed in. Out. Five hours of paddling, some food and a few beers... the ultimate insomnia cure. Where did you camp out at? Did you need reservations? Was it crowded? What were the conditions like- cold, hot, mosquito infested, perfect?

Rich: We camped at various locations throughout the basin and even made more reservations than those that were needed (due to the fact that we were unsure just how long we could paddle towards the end of the trip). Towards the end, we all decided to make a run for it and skip the last night of camping. Good idea? 5 hours of paddling and we reached our intended destination. Conditions were pristine for almost the entire paddle – the last day of paddling we pulled the boards out at our final destination and a thunderstorm and rain storm ensued for the next two hours.

Photo: Tahoe pit stop, change the tires, fill the tank and burn it up out of there. What was the toughest part of the trip?

Rich: The third day of paddling, covering the entire west shore of the basin in 75+ degree heat and dead calm conditions. Good paddle, long paddle.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Stuff: Down the Line II Video, La Paz SUP Race, More Tahoe Madness

Great to be home again. I've got lots of new stuff and some unfinished business to take care of but to tell you the truth... I'm dead tired! Here's what's coming up this week:

1st: Check out the video clip I'm posting today. Down the Line II Rough Cut- I added some new footage from this last swell- some good stuff. Things to see include, Matt Wilson surfing in front of me- jiving and weaving inches from my rail and be sure to pause the clip at 2:17 that's a shot from inside of the wave looking at me in the pocket of the barrel- super cool!

Find more videos like this on Stand Up Paddle Surfing

2nd: The La Ventana Kite Festival's 1st Annual Stand Up Paddle Race was super fun this weekend- perfect race conditions and a really fun and fired up group of racers made for a excellent morning of racing. Check back for photos, a video clip and the full results.

3rd: Tahoe Masochist Tour Part II coming at you in the next couple of days- the pain continues!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tahoe Masochist Tour 2008: Running the Lake the Long Way

Anybody who says, "It's all been done" or even worse, "Been there, done that" obviously hasn't looked at a map with a stand up paddle in hand and a sense of exploration. There's tons of adventure out there and it just takes an open mind and a ready spirit to go do something remarkable.

Last week, we got a chance to chat
with Rich Hidalgo of the Imperial Beach Life Guards about his recent circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe. As far as I know, this band of masochists are the first to circumnavigate the lake. Approximately seventy miles of paddling and a whole lot of blisters later Rich and friends completed their trip- here's the story: So, who paddled the lake with you?

Rich Hidalgo: Joel Larimer (IBLG), Chris Harper (IBLG), Justin McHenry (Silver Strand State Beach LG), The Hidalgo’s (Rich and wife Tyra). Where did the idea to circumnavigate Lake Tahoe come from?

R.H.: Joel and Chris originally came up with the idea of visiting the Tahoe area in the fall season. The idea morphed into a SUP circumnavigation of the lake. Originally there were going to be prone paddle boards, mountain bikes, and we even flirted with the idea of a catamaran. Stand up paddling was the final option and we rolled with it. So Rich and Joel planted the seed, how did you and Tyra come into the picture?

R.H.: Tyra and I caught wind of it and just started amping to do the thing. Chris was held at gunpoint to purchase some Lake Tahoe ‘Water Maps’ and we planned the trip soon thereafter. Chris was able to find these ‘Water Maps’ of the lake (highlighted areas of camping, fishing, docks, expected air and water temps, windage, etc.) from a kayak store in the Tahoe area that sold them online. We reviewed the map, plotted a course, made some camping reservations, and set a departure date. Kind of organized, kind of loose. So what's the experience level in a group of paddlers like yourselves? I know you're all life guards (except Tyra who is an Imperial Beach fire fighter) but what's the sum of your experience?

R.H.: Everyone involved has a ‘water background’ – Chris is our resident corporate donkey; works for the man 5 days a week and Lifeguards throughout the year in Imperial Beach. Joel is currently Lifeguarding in New Zealand and will return in a few months for the summer season in Imperial Beach. Justin is attending the full-time Lifeguarding academy at Asilomar, Monterey, CA for the CA State Parks system and is a long-time Lifeguard for Silver Strand State Beach. Tyra and I both work and live here in Imperial Beach. Everyone involved lives, works, and recreates in the ocean and the paddle seemed to be something different and challenging for us all to do.

Check back for Part II of the Tahoe Circumnavigation!

Stand Up Paddle Surf Lessons in San Diego: Give us a call! 619.213.6622 or email Click here for more lesson information.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Big Chad Report: Surprise!

Editor's Note: Remember Big Chad? Every so often my buddy Big Chad will score some ridiculously good surf- or come across a hot board and next thing you know he's all fired up to post it up. Of course, his stoke just pushes me over the edge and I'm always happy to get a fresh perspective on ol' So here's Big Chad's latest report... and from the looks of it- he killed it out there!

Ever had one of those sessions where you thought you were just paddling out to get wet, hoping to just catch a few, but not really expecting anything special. That is exactly what I had today. Sure there were some gnarly looking fast paced barrels breaking right out front, but I wasn't feeling like they were makeable on my paddle board. I chose to move down the beach and try my luck with a fun but usually mushy break. What I found was wonderful. Instead of it's usual mushy self I found a walled up, peeling left that made my heart pound! So much fun, if you were out there somewhere I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Typical in between sets wave.

Plenty of wave to do full top and bottom turns!


Nothing like having a view between sets!

Beach break barrels

You had to catch it just right: tide, crowd and wind. If you worked it out, or just got lucky then you know how good it got today. Phenomenal, unreal, stupid-good. The guys surfing the right were getting unbelievable tubes- deep clean and fast. Shallow too- some guy got butt bounced and had to crawl up onto the sand. I tried my best but we're talking doubling up, pop up peaks with no real set take off spot- tough conditions for stand up. I'm out there again tomorrow!

Here's a few from the paddle camera:

Photo: Looking for an escape route.

Photo: Pedal to the metal.

Photo: Caveman squat.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stand Up Paddle Touring: Circumnavigating Lake Tahoe

Seventy miles of paddling, sheet glass, sunshine, blisters and bears. Sound interesting to you? Check back for the full story Tahoe's first circumnavigation by stand up paddle board.

Photo: Bear country... or maybe he's just looking for his Kialoa!

Photo: Blisters... paddle the lake, pay the price.

Photo: Beautiful water... out there and waiting for you.

Stand up paddle surf lessons in beautiful San Diego! Don't stand on the shore and miss out on the all the fun. Jump right in and learn from San Diego's friendliest stand up paddle instructor- me! Email me at or call (619.213.6622) for your lesson today! Click here for more information!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Waiting, dreaming, waiting!

I was able to get out into the water today for an hour before low tide. Sheet glass and a nice little left running off into the big hole at the foot of my street. It was a super fun and clean little wave but nothing like what we've supposedly got coming.

Now it's just a waiting game. And it's killing me!

Photo: Paddle cam photo from last weekend. Dropping in and hoping that this one will stand up enough to get worked.

Photo: Here's a shot from a hot little swell that pushed through town last summer. What a day! Glassy, warm, fun little waves zipping through the pier and throwing out nice little sections. This day was all about building speed and STICKING the rail off the bottom.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Go Pro Hero: Down the Line Video Part I

Mike convinced me to post this one now. This is getting closer and closer to what I'm trying to get with this little camera. Hopefully, I can pull into something this weekend and make it legit!

Find more videos like this on Stand Up Paddle Surfing

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slotted at the sand bar: More Go Pro madness!

This little camera makes even a hack look good! Now I know why the word "hero" is in the name. All you need to do is set the thing up, paddle out and let it start snapping away. Somewhere in all those photos you'll find a keeper, even if you're more chump than champion!

Photo: Nope, I didn't get barreled. That wave is only waist high but the lighting is right, the angle is good and even the horizon is level- through no skill of mine!

Stand Up Paddle Surf Lessons in San Diego: Give us a call! 619.213.6622 or email Click here for more lesson information.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Camera Grom's Cut: Sunday's Mushburgers

Here's Camera Grom's Cut of the footage he shot this Sunday:

Everybody's amping for the swell that's supposed to hit this weekend. I really don't like getting so worked up because each time I start anticipating it, I'm let down. Things are looking good though; we've got a good, solid swell that's been on the charts and forecast by more than one surf guru and the weatherman is calling for a big Santa Ana (which means offshore) blow. It could get really, really good.

I'm already visualizing the shots that I want to get. If it all works out I should be able to finish my third little Go Pro clip. This next one features better angles than the last two, let's just say I'm providing more context in the frame. Stay tuned!

Stand Up Paddle Surf Lessons in San Diego: Give us a call! 619.213.6622 or email Click here for more lesson information.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stamps Factory Tour Video Clip

Check out what Cowboy put together for the Stamps Surf Board Factory:

If you haven't met Cowboy, head over to Cowboy's corner at Tim's website: that dog's got a lot to say (and check out the Rides section while you're there... hide your wallet).

Confessions of a Paddle Cam Junky: Some observations.

Half the battle is admitting you've got a problem. Here's a few observation from a Go Pro Junky:

1. You surf differently when you've got a camera on the paddle. Instead of cranking turns around a planted blade, you start nursing 'em so you don't splash the housing and screw up the shot.

2. Unmakeable tube over a broken razor blade reef studded with protruding rebar sections? Sounds good! Cutbacks around undetonated explosive ordinance? Let's do it! Paddle surfing in a bacon suit in the Red Triangle? I'm an XLS! You get the feeling that you're going to do some dumb things once the conditions get heavy... all in the name of getting the shot.

3. Your sessions start getting anorexic. Instead of a four hour go-out, an hour seems pretty good. After all, how hot is that little tube section going to look? With these babies, instant gratification is just a hard drive away.

4. You think your footage looks cool, even if, to everyone else, it looks like your pole dancing... in a wetsuit.

5. You've gone from down the line flow master to straight line kook all while holding your paddle straight up over your head like Bruce Jenner charging the pole vault.

6. No matter how hard you rip, 990 of those 1000 stills will capture you with a stupid look on your face.

7. Yes, that wetsuit does make you look fat.

8. You realize that you've sold your soul- you photo slut.

Free Stuff: I made a couple of extra DVD copies of the Go Pro clips I shot this weekend- the DVDs also have six other older clips from this blog on them. If you've got a shop and want to have some pretty nice Go Pro footage for prospective customers or some stand up paddle video to play for laughs, send me an email and I'll mail one to you. First five who respond will get DVDs. If they suck bad remember that they do make super cool danglies for your rear view mirror!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Video: Cold, offshore, San Diego morning, small surf/big fun

Here's another video clip. Three videos in two days of surfing, I guess when it rains it pours around here. Camera Grom is going to whip up his cut from the footage and I'm sure we'll see that in a couple of days. Here's a cool little bit of information: I surfed for almost exactly an hour with the crew that's in this little film. I had the Grom come over right after the session to upload the shots onto my hard drive. When analyzed on a waves per hour basis, the results of our little session were an eyeopener.

I was amazed at the amount of surfing we did in that time period. An hour of surfing yielded forty clips. Each clip has at least one wave on it so that's forty waves in an hour! And this was in pretty dismal, inconsistent conditions. That's a lot of wave riding for an hour. It gets you thinking about the advantage we've got over prone surfers, it's the type of edge that we definitely should keep under control if we're going to promote harmony out there.

Find more videos like this on Stand Up Paddle Surfing

Another One: Paddle Cam in Baja

How much can you look at yourself before you get sick of it? I'm thinking we're going to need two cameras. One on the paddle and one mounted to my chest or hip and then edit the clips between the two different angles. It's pretty obvious: I've got problems.

Find more videos like this on Stand Up Paddle Surfing

Stand Up Paddle Surf Lessons in San Diego: Give us a call! 619.213.6622 or email Click here for more lesson information.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Paddle Cam: Video and Stills.... I'm HOOKED!

I'm going to lose sleep and valuable hours of my life with this thing! Check out this video I just edited up from footage I shot this morning:

Find more videos like this on Stand Up Paddle Surfing

Here's a still photo:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Go Pro Hero surf photos: Paddle Cam!

All I can say about this one is, "Thanks Casso!". I saw a couple of photos he'd taken on Stand Up Zone and realized that he had found the angle that I was looking for. Next thing I know I'm cutting off the FCS tab from the factory supplied Go Pro FCS mount and sanding it flush to the base. The flat face of the Kialoa Shaka Pu'u made a perfect mounting spot. All I did was whip up some five minute epoxy and in a few minutes I was ready to start blasting off photos. Here are few of the better ones I nabbed this morning:

Photo: Early morning, still a little dark and a bit overcast. There were some fun ones out there- high tide walls, lefts and rights.

Photo: I ended up shooting in the "2 second" mode by accident. I thought I was shooting video but I must have pushed the wrong button a couple of times. It's a happy mistake though, I'm digging these shots!

Photo: Half way through a round house cutback, trying to push my back arm all the way through it to bring it all around. It's cool how the slower shutter speed blurs everything that's moving in the frame- it's a great effect... and totally unintentional.

Photo: Running down the line on the far inside of the sand bar. I'm so jazzed on this little camera! I've already been thinking about how I'm going to change the angle of the camera on the mount and where I want to place it when I'm doing different things on the wave. I can see that I'm going to be preoccupied for a little while!

The camera mount snapped off the paddle blade after my third wave (bad timing too, my fourth wave was a couple feet overhead and was a real screamer). On inspection it seems that the epoxy didn't form a bond with the mount. I probably should have roughed that part up quite a bit more. I've already modded up a replacement mount (zip ties are amazing) and I'm locked and loaded for tomorrow morning. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stand Up Paddling Southern Baja Surf: Small but fun!

Every so often somebody would call home and get a surf report. Each time they called, the report would be the same: "It's flat, cold and wet- stay down there and enjoy the sunshine". So we did. It really didn't matter if there was surf or not. In fact, flat water just meant that we'd be able to get in a nice paddle either up or down the point. Fortunately, we did manage to score some small surf- small but shapely and super fun.

Here's a bunch of photos from different days at the point:

Photo: This was from the offshore day. When the tide turned around and started pushing high again- this peak started firing. I'm probably about five beers deep here- it's the only explanation I can give for taking pictures rather than sprinting for the water.

Photo: Sometimes all you can do is sit and watch it all happen around you. And this is easier to do if the water's sapphire blue and holding steady in the mid 70's.

Photo: It's looking like Matt Wilson coming full steam down the point on a nice little lump. It's nothing spectacular but it's still the kind of day that'd draw a mob back at home.

Photo: Another day, farther up the point at the "hidden left". On mixed swells this little peak will start to work- from down on the point, it doesn't look like much. You've either got to walk or paddle up there to see what's really going on- which makes it a perfect spot for the stand up board. I spent the afternoon catching wave after wave all alone while fifty yards away a wave starved pack of prone surfers fought it out for anything even close to rideable. Eventually, a girl surfer named Catherine made the paddle up and kindly asked if it'd be alright to surf the peak with me. Great manners but totally unnecessary with me- I'd been feeding off that thing for an hour and a half and I welcomed her company. She was easy on the eyes.

Photo: Going right- happy and stoked as a grom. Baja rules!

Stand Up Paddle Surf Lessons in San Diego: Give us a call! 619.213.6622 or email Click here for more lesson information.