Thursday, June 30, 2011

Full Froth! Strand Leper's New Sub 8'6 quiver of Imagine Wave Weapons

I feed off of excitement and whenever I hear from my old buddy, The Leper- I know I'm going to get my full froth dose for the night. Check out the quiver this guy is on right now- talk about paring it down to the bare minimum... The Lep and Corran of Imagine have been whittling away at it:

This is one of the Lep's bread 'n butter boards: 7'9 x 27 x 3. I love how the paddle is almost as long as the board... so rad to see where some are taking board design. I don't think there's enough volume in that to float a 207lber like me but for the person this board is built for (Lep) I'm sure it fits like a glove.
This is the Lep's "big board" all of 8'3" x 27 x 3.4- and looking good. Almost as good as Strand's Frenchy, Maximus... who frickin' owns that place! One thing I know to be true, the closer you can get a stand up board to looking like a surfboard, the better it's going to surf. This one looks surfy! This is what's cool about custom boards and working with a shaper, you can ratchet down your dimensions until you get exactly the feel you're looking for out of a board.
And if you really haven't dropped it down in size enough there's always the 7'9 x 26!!! I honestly don't think I'd be able to stand on something that narrow and small. I do remember hopping on one of C4's first really small stand up boards- I jumped on it and pushed it to the mud below. Point being- scale is important. One guy's small stando is another guy's surfboard- don't get caught in the hype, find a board that is built specifically for you and your dimensions.

This always amuses me...

Every time I'm off on a surf trip and I've got my two boards stuffed into my single board bag (I always try to bring a smaller, "regular" surfboard with me... just in case) I always get a kick out of watching them get loaded up. It's kind of a morbid fascination- I'm always waiting to see if a board-crime is being committed. Check it out:

Those are my babies over there in that gray FCS stando bag. By the way- those FCS bags are the best around- great zippers, spacious and very durable. I've had mine totally overloaded on five or six trips down south and it's never blown out or torn apart from being dragged around.

When I was kid, traveling with a surfboard meant staying up the night before carefully prepping it for the hazards that lay ahead. These were the days before removable fins. You'd go to the surf shop and buy a big foam block that had two or three fin slits cut into it, the block would go over your fins and you'd wrap the whole thing together with duct tape. That was just the start of it. Typically, you'd take two or three beach blankets and wrap them around the nose and tail. Then, you'd stuff the whole thing into a sleeping bag, wrap that a couple times with duct tape and then jam the hundred pound, burrito-board into your board bag.

Problem was, when you landed in Honolulu, some big, burly baggage handler would always give your board bag the "Welcome to Hawaii- have a good time" stamp of approval with the Vibram side of his size twelve steel toes. I never actually got a chance to see the crime being committed - but I always craned my neck out the window of that plane to take a look. I guess that's where my fascination with watching my board being loaded took root- old habits are hard to shake.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Santa Cruz's Jay Race: A Hawaiian Transplant Gives a Play-by-Play

I was stoked to hear from Sam Lucas up in Santa Cruz- he penned a cool account of his experience in the 12 mile Jay Race. Check it out:

Well, I’ve got some time to tell you about my little 12 mile adventure this past weekend at the 10th Annual Jay Moriarty event in Capitola. You know me, I'm a surfer and not a racer at all. I only race when there's no surf.

Sam, in the rest area with his board.

I’m always looking for an excuse to get out on the water; be it surfing, fishing, or paddling, I’m game. Last year, I did the 2 miler and was planning on doing it again because it was such a fun event. Little did I know that I was going to be ragged on by all my friends about not doing the 12 mile race. I got it the worse from my fiancée though. Who would of thought? So I made the commitment and registered for the 12 mile event a couple of weeks before the event.

I’ve been preparing for the event by paddling with my Santa Cruz paddle buddies and my best friend Dana. We paddle in the open ocean on the weekends, and in the canals by my house during the week. I’m also tracking a south swell that hit Hawaii days before the Jay race (It takes about 2 days for a south hitting Hawaii to reach us). All my friends back home are telling me that I’m missing it and it’s probably the best south swell to hit Hawaii in a long time.
Of course, with that swell in the water, I’m getting a little antsy. I really want to surf and in the back of my head, I’m thinking about bailing on the race. I watch the rest of the week for the swell to come in. I finally gave it a rest the Friday night of the race because nothing was showing up on the buoys. That’s it, I’m in for sure now. 

The 12 mile course.

I get up early and get ready to head down to Capitola. Parking is scarce and expensive. I wanted to get a space as close to the event site as possible. I roll into the parking lot in the dark and I hear waves crashing. Being the prepared guy that I am. I also packed my surf SUP in the rig
I run out and check if there is any wave action worth suiting up for. Yep, there it was. The south swell I’d been waiting for with head high set waves.

Once again, I start thinking about bailing on the race and surfing all day. My friends roll into the parking lot and say let’s surf before the race. I was like race you to the beach! So, I’m standing there in the lineup and having a blast surfing. My buddies Andy and Dana say we should go in and rest up for the race. So, we all turn around and go in. While taking off my wetsuit, I’m thinking again: I’m definitely going to bail this event and go surf my brains out somewhere else. 

Sam, off to race the 12 miler.

Right then, all my paddle friends from Southern California (Matt Becker, John Becker, Aunty Martha, Joe and Jack Bark, and John Goodman) show up and egg me on into doing the race. I’m thinking again…12 miles of pain and torture, or fun in the sun surfing all day! Of course I fell into peer pressure and reluctantly got ready for the 12 mile run up and down the coast.

The racers are all getting ready in the start area. Some of them are really getting psyched on the sand just before they paddle into position near the starting buoy. I’m just there thinking to myself I just want to finish. This year they started us in the water because of the south swell in the water that was creating a nice shore
pound that could cause some issues. So I paddle into position at the starting line and start relaxing getting my head ready for the long haul. 

 The horn blows and all the competitors take off. I start paddling and trying to keep a steady pace so I can make it to the end. I aim for the first buoy a mile offshore. I see all the top guys getting there quick and making the right hand turn to the next buoy at Pleasure Point. I’m chugging along with one thought in my head: Didn’t I tell Shawn that I wasn’t going to do something like this again at the Santa Barbara 9 mile race?

I hit that buoy and now aim straight for the Pleasure Point buoy. I look ahead and see the pack starting to string out. I have my iPod blasting tunes in my head and I keep a nice rhythm. I start to tell myself that the buoy isn’t that far away and I can get there. I make it to the Pleasure Point buoy and start my way to the Steamer Lane buoy. I’m chugging along looking at the buoy about 3 miles away and saying it’s not that far and I can make it there.

I’m already getting tired and thirsty. I pop a GU and drink water from my camel back to keep me from feeling too tired. I come across a paddler sitting on his board. I stop and ask him if he’s all right. I introduced myself and he did the same. His name was Chris and he did this 12 miler last year. This year he had his son join in the fun. He was waiting for his son to catch up. So, I sat there and kept him company till his son made it to us. As soon as his son caught up to us, I got back on my board and paddled toward the Steamer Lane buoy.

Sam at the finish.
  Once I rounded that Steamer Lane buoy I took aim at the 1 mile buoy (it’s actually about 1 mile off the Santa Cruz board walk. Which is half a mile long!). The water in the stretch was jumpy and made balancing on my board challenging. To top it off while paddling out to the 1 mile buoy I see what looks like a baby shark breaching the water and catching full body air like on Discovery Channel! I almost took a crap in my shorts! I’m telling myself to relax and DON’T fall in this area and hurry to the mile buoy!

I hit that mile buoy and it was a huge relief to get there. I take that thing on my left shoulder and point straight towards Rio Grande drive in the mountains, that’s my landmark to get me back to Capitola. Now the fun part of the race begins because the wind is now at my back and I can catch some bumps and rest for a little while. I pop another GU and drink water. Then I start paddling with a little quicker pace to keep me gliding along with the wind and waves.

I see in the Pleasure Point buoy in the distance and, again, I say to myself that it’s not that far. As I’m paddling downwind I see other paddlers in the water that were ahead of me the whole race and I’m catching up to them! I’m feeling all stoked in my head. I never thought that I would actually catch people. During this leg I was just having a blast. I was catching people and eventually passing them! Dude, I got super psyched and started to pick up my paddle cadence. 

12 miles is a long way!

  That feeling of fun and games all came to an abrupt end as soon as I rounded Pleasure Pont. As soon as I hit that corner the point blocked the wind at my back and I was back to paddling to make it to the finish again.
I set that feeling aside and start to look for the last buoy to round in front of Capitola. I see it in the distance and tell myself again, that’s not too far. I can get there. By this time I’m really tired and have been bucked off my board about 4 times into the ocean. Falling off, then climbing back on the board, and getting it moving again takes a lot out of me. I’m getting closer to the Capitola buoy and pass a couple more people. I hit that final buoy and point myself to the finish line.

Now that I’m headed to the finish line, I know that all my friends already finished and are having beers (You know what I mean Ryan bud). I start to look at the finish line and for the first time during this whole adventure I say to myself: Man that’s a long way to go! I try to shake that thought out of my head as fast as I can. More importantly, I start to think about the beers at the end. I start paddling with a quicker cadence again.

The finish line is getting closer and closer with every stroke I take. I’m getting closer to my goal of just finishing this gnarly 12 mile adventure. Then I stop- I totally forgot about the swell that’s in the water! I see the shore break pounding the beach from the back of the waves. There’s no way I was going to get pounded and get my board all busted up from the cobble stones on the sand. So I pause and time the sets to make my escape to shore. Hopefully it would be a clean escape, and it was!

High Five? Dude, get me beer!
  My friends are on the shore cheering me on. Andy grabs my board and I run to the finish line and cross it in 3 hours and 4 minutes! That time includes waiting with Chris for his son to catch up earlier. I’m stoked!

Everyone gives me high fives and congratulates me for finishing. Of course I’m really tired, but not tired enough to stop looking for the beer that I’d earned. 

Liquid Militia Relay Team

 Well that’s my little 10th annual Jay Moriarty paddle race adventure for 2011. I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year! Thanks to my regular paddling and surfing buddies (Dana, Andy, and Gary) for always being there bros! Thanks Kyla, Ryan, Shawn, and Pablo for always supporting me! I am Liquid Militia 4 Life! Thanks also to Blueline/Paddle Surf Hawaii (Jim Brewer, Blane, and Austin) for my killer surf SUP’s, Isurus Wetsuits (Jim Brateris) for making some really great wetsuits that keep this token Hawaiian dry and warm, Kialoa (Dave and Meg Chen, Pam, and Lisa) for the awesome paddles and that Toro worked really well for me, and Joe Bark for making me an awesome race board!

And... The guys Dana, Andy, and Andy's wife Nancy who took 3rd in the relay event! Congrats to them!

Monday, June 27, 2011

PauHana at the TEVA Mountain Games

Stoked for the PauHana Team who had a strong showing at the Teva Mountain Games. Todd at PauHana sent me some photos he snapped while he was up there. It's pretty obvious to me that Todd and the boys at PauHana are stacking the deck in the river running department. Two major PauHana contributors are hardcore kayakers Nick Troutman (the current World Freestyle Kayak Champion) and Nicky Kelly, a top female kayaker for the last decade. Nicky is such a force in river events that she won or placed in every event she entered!

Team PauHana

Todd reports that, "Nick Troutman, who rides our Big EZ down river... took third in the first SUP Cross event... he lead through every heat and then got hit in the shins by the C4 rider right before the finish". Now that's an event I could watch- a cross between stand up paddle and NASCAR ("put him into the wall, Ricky Bobby"). 

PauHana's Cross Fit... looking good!
In the media spotlight....

 Congratulations to the PauHana team- keep us posted on your adventures.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The incredible, inflato-matic stand up board... fun and funky!

I had an opportunity to mess around with a C-4 inflatable stand up board borrowed from Vicki Carson at Emerald City (reach her at I have to say, that thing was a lot of fun and I could see how practical it would be for a traveling stand up surfer. Check it out:

Vicki's got the traveling inflato thing all figured out. Here's one of her set ups with the board rolled up and the the pump and three piece paddle nested into the opposite side of the rolling bag.
Vicki's paddle quiver- specially selected for traveling with the inflato- Vicki's building a rental fleet of boards and paddles for people on the go desperate to bring a stand up board with them. Great idea!
Not pumped up... but ready to rock and roll!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

No words.

Some days- I've got no words. They just won't come out. This is one of those days- off to paddle and figure it out.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hand Shaped by Al Merrick, Channel Islands Stando: FOR SALE!

Okay- just got this and I've never seen a deal like it. This board is a Channel Island's, Caddy Model stand up board that was hand shaped by the master himself, Al Merrick. You know, Al right? Oh yeah, he's just the shaper behind the boards of Kelly Slater, Tom Curren, Dayne Reynolds... you know guys like that (if I left any insane rippers off that list- lo siento, my bad- do me a favor and fill me in). Check it out: 

I'm digging the "floating in suburbia motif" of this shot...
This board was commissioned and owned by So. Cal. ripper Ted Robinson and it looks to be in pristine shape. The board is 9'0 and I'm thinking probably around 28 - 29" wide (I don't have that info- so it's just a guess). Ted is looking to get $900 for it- so you're looking at a price that's at least 1/2 what you'd pay for a custom Channel Islands board- assuming the big guy would even be able to fit you for one this summer. If you're a C.I. junky this is a must have. Here's a shot of the bottom: 

Contact Ted at (310) 569-1821 or email

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not so scary...

I hope I didn't freak you out too much about southern travel- that was just an incident that burned itself into my brain so I had to barf it back out. There's lots to like down there- check out this little surprise:

Bag o' lobsters... name your price (I paid three bucks for one)... mmm, tasty!

His tail, my stomach... I see the connection.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Southern Mexico Stand Up Paddle: Guns, Drugs, the Cartel and me Part II

I've seen guns in Mexico before. The military guys are always packing, the Policia too. If anybody was "dressed to kill" and could put a little fear in your heart it should be these government guys. Typically, they're decked out in full tactical gear, they've got roadblocks set up with machine gun nests and armored Hummers and most ominously, they usually have those black masks with only eye and mouth holes obscuring their faces. But, strangely, all the roadblocks, weapons and even the black masks never bothered me- I always felt like those guys were out there protecting me; keeping me watertight, keeping my head attached.

It was the casual absence of all the typical battle accoutrement that set this guy apart. When his chubby pal stepped aside to let him swing out his long legs (perfectly timed, by the way, with my passing right in front of the open door) I saw (and believe me, these details are seared into my mind) a bright white pair of tennis shoes setting off dark blue jeans, long brown arms and, like an exclamation point, a bare chest covered by a black mesh assault vest. The vest held parallel rows of horizontally stacked ammo mags. It was the ammo that got my mind buzzing and like a super computer working in nano-time my brain started putting the details together: big, clean SUV, bullets- wait, guns and ammunition are illegal in Mexico... the only people who've got that stuff are the (brain clicking down an internal checklist) 1. Army. 2. Police.... 3. Chicos malos, traficante, bad guy... cartel. 

Whoever it was, this guy was obviously outside the law. I've been surfing in Mexico for at least thirty years. I've heard, second or third hand, about banditos and bad deeds but I've never come face to face with anything unsavory down south. Here, undeniably, in my face I was looking at a bad guy. The embodiment of all the sensational violence I'd heard and read about was RIGHT HERE in my sphere of being- it was undeniable and hyper-real. I felt like I was in a dream world, the curtain had been pulled back and guess what? Oz was packin'! My vested friend uncoiled himself from the back seat and stood up. I watched his machine gun (it looked like super sized, black M-16) swing out behind him, barrel down, like a black viper hanging from a string around it's tail. The whole thing looped around his neck. As he moved, the rifle clocked towards me like a pendulum and I watched him put his hand on the weapon to control its path. Then he looked up at me. 

Oh shit. I snapped my head down so fast that I honestly could not describe his face- I couldn't even make up a fictional one for you if I wanted- my mind was racing, my heart pounding. Over and over, my internal klaxon was screaming, "Danger, Danger... get us the eff out of here". How easy could it have been for him or his buddy to reach out with their hand, palm down on the fender of my vehicle, and halted me right there? Could I have disappeared that easily? Thankfully, I must have looked like a stupid surfer (I've been told that both of the groups fighting for control of the highway acknowledged that tourists are "off limits") because my little piece of shit Ford rental (thank God I didn't get the SUV that I'd requested) just burped a little when my foot involuntarily kicked a little and I lurched up the road. 

Now, I know that some of you seasoned mainland guys out there will undoubtedly chalk me up as a pussy with a hyper-active imagination (actually, I'm a detail guy- I remember small things) and no understanding of local politics and the benevolence of the local drug lords (they've paid hundreds of thousandths of dollars to remodel churches and schools). And, I should say, the locals went on about their day, seemingly oblivious to the big, white SUV that remained parked in front of the hardware store for the next three hours (watching, patrolling?) the occupants reshuffled and reseated inside the thing. 

And what did I do? I did the obvious thing, the surfer thing. I found the mango lady, hid behind her little pyramid of bullet proof fruit and sent a kid up the road for a six pack of Indio. For the next three hours I remained very still. I figured if there was a big black viper up the road- it wouldn't see me... unless I moved.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Southern Mexico Stand Up Paddle: Guns, Drugs, the Cartel and Me, Part I

First of all, I'm going to tell you- and I know you'll be pissed- I didn't snap too many photos. I know, I know a picture is worth a thousand words and all that- problem is, when so much is happening around you sometimes you forget to pull out the camera. Or you are afraid to. Let me explain. 

Basically, I found myself wondering who would be cruising a big ivory colored GMC Denali around a small dusty, seemingly inconsequential, Mexican village. I was up the road, bumping along in my little Ford sedan, dodging monster topes (pronounced toe-pays these are DIY speed bumps built out of rocks, cement or asphalt that, depending on your level of attention, either slow you down or skin your undercarriage like the peel off a banana) and wondering if the old lady at the corner would sell me some mangos off of her tree. Maybe I'm like a T-Rex that only sees things when they move, or maybe I was still a little buzzed from my afternoon Cuba Libre, regardless, when the big, off-white vehicle, with the blacked out windows made it's move up the road and pulled over to the curb facing me I saw it- and my internal danger bells starting going off. Something was up- this was no campesino farm vehicle. 

At that point, I really didn't want to be there. But I didn't want to draw attention to myself by whipping a U-turn.  I mean, it was possible, I might fit in with all the locals, right? There I was a shirtless surfer with a semi-feral afro hairdo and a pair of wrap around shades cruising up the only road in town, solo, in a shiny silver rent-a-car. I fit in, right? Not so much. As I came up on the SUV the back door opened up- my chest tightened: look down, look down, don't make eye contact I said to myself but I just couldn't stop my eyes from watching what was crawling out of that dark hole.

The first guy out was short and chubby. He stepped out and his head instantly started pivoting around just like those secret service guys surrounding the president. His eyes swept over the windscreen of my vehicle and then moved off of me and across the street. The next guy out behind him was death. And I looked him full in the face. He returned the favor. I almost pissed myself.

More to come!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Did you miss me???

Wow- sorry guys and gals. I think I left you hanging in a huge way.... got you all worked up and then it all just went black, right? Believe me, it wasn't for lack of trying on my part. I got completely cut off from the net! The satellite at my friend's restaurant fried itself leaving me (and the whole little surf camp) totally separated from you guys. I missed y'all. And I'll make it up to you by filling you in as soon as possible. Let me give you some highlights to tease you a little more: 

1. I see a cartel guy with a huge machine gun. I am scared. 
2. I surf roping left hand point break waves; working out every possible paddle/cutback combination I can think of. I am stoked.
3. I meet new friends, reunite with old surf buddies. I feel at home, I laugh and smile. I'm practically  glowing (the rum helps). I feel very alive. 
4. I spend a night in a sweaty cinder block room. I meet the Mexican torture machine. I am miserable.
5. I drink enough rum to believe I'm invincible- the mosquitoes know better. I am very itchy.

Best trip ever. 

Are you worked up? 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Paddle Potential

Flying over the Baja coastline makes your mind start to reel with potential paddle adventures. Check out these shots for way overhead:

Wow: Looking at the color of the water, all the nooks and crannies and the endless little coves and beaches... makes me want to set aside some serious Baja flat water paddle time.

You know there are some waves down there when you see wedges of whitewater: Triangles mean peaks, lefts and rights... I see triangles (although I don't know if this shot really shows it since I'm posting from my ipad using an App. that doesn't let me preview the shot- but you know what I'm getting at, right?)

This is from... right now. And it looks like the surf is getting a little better. I'm out there!

The coffee is delicious here. So nice to pull into town and see all of my old friends down here. Nice people and a nice place; happy to be here for a few days!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 10, 2011

Let the games begin...

Off to mainland. Great returning to a spot over and over again- I've already run into four other people I've surfed with down there before. Check back for updates!

BM #3 and the internet all from the comfort of 30k feet. Check back!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hobie 8'6 x 29" carbon fiber rails... little rip stick!

Had a super fun time surfing up north the last couple of days (I'm a teacher- and school's out!). I was stoked to hook up with Laguna stando surfer Will who was cool enough to let me get a couple of waves on the little Hobie stand up he was riding. In short, that's a great board! Check out the photos that Will sent me:

I really liked this board. Even though the conditions were pretty junky, this thing made good speed, was solid through a couple of cutbacks and snaps and was a completely do-able small stando for a 210 lber. Will told me he get's a little twangy, liveliness from the parabolic carbon fiber rails (there's no stringer)- I only got a couple of decent waves on it so I'd need to grab one of these for  some extended testing to verify that aspect of the board.
You can see from this shot how pinched the rails are- definitely not big bulbous rails. The board was tippier than the 8'6 I'm on now but not ridiculously so- the thing had a very surfy feeling to it.

The tail is pulled in quite a bit on this one and there's a slight swallow tail  back there. These design aspects produced a solid bite of the bottom- the little bumps in the outline loosened it up nicely.
Of course you gotta go with the Futures! Will chose the Jamie Mitchell Futures fin set and I think it's a good match for the board. As always, you're going to want to move that back fin around until you find the sweet spot. I liked the Jamie set in there because that larger back fin really helped produce some nice drive in a board that's relatively tight out the back end.

It was super fun to surf with Will and all the folks up north- I'm definitely planning on heading back up that way in the next couple of weeks. But right now, all I can dream about is mainland Mexico... stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Next Generation: CD Kinley... check out the video clip.

When I started paddling there weren't any groms. The equipment was too expensive and there were just enough paddlers around for stand up to be labelled under the, "isn't-that-an-odd-way-to-surf" category. Things have changed a bunch since then. For example, there are kids like Kai Lenny cracking the lip with legitimate snaps (if we tried that there'd be slipped discs all up and down the beach) and now, check out Southern California's very own CD Kinley. It's clear to me, the groms are here... and they're definitely ripping:

Meet CD Kinley: Infinity SUP team rider from Robert Zaleski on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Stand Up Boards: Custom Stamps 8'6 heading south...

Here's a new one just out of the Stamps factory- this one's heading south. I'm sure I'm going to see this board in action when I'm down in southern Baja this Christmas. Jess's new 8'6 Grim Ripper, check it out:

The Grim Ripper is a super fun shape blending both stability and rip-ability... I've got one just like this and have loved the board. Jess will be tearing on this one.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kill the creep.

In stand up paddle racing there are two types of competitors, those who lose and those who creep. If you've ever participated in a race with a water start, you know what I'm talking about. For the non-competitors out there, allow me to explain. A typical stand up paddle race begins in the water when the racers line up between two marks waiting patiently, in a straight line, for the starting gun to fire. Sounds like a great idea, right? Problem is, that's never how it actually works out.

Creepy guy.
 The racers have no problem getting out between the two buoys but the longer they wait, the more they begin to slowly move forward, anticipating the starting gun. Creeping. I've seen little creeps, the occasional dab of a paddle slowly moving racers past the starting line. And I've seen big creeps- guys paddling up-tempo, fully aware that the race hasn't started, pulling themselves yards in front of the other racers. Once the creep begins, there's no stopping it- it feeds on itself. Other racers see the creep building and like flesh eating bacteria it grows exponentially and rapidly. Often, once the creep has begun, you can look to your left and right and see racers in a full frenzy and in most cases- the biggest creepers will be the top finishers. They know the dirty racing secret: you either creep or you lose (just like I told you before). 

Creepy van.
 That's why we've got to kill the creep. If stand up paddle racing is ever going to be standardized and regulated in the manner proposed by organizations like the World Paddle Association (WPA), creep has to be identified and destroyed. I've got a couple of suggestions: 

1. Get rid of water starts. Mark out a section of the beach with two flags, line up all the competitors between them and sound the horn. This was how the Elite race was started at last year's Hennessey's International Championships at Mission Bay and at last year's Battle of the Paddle. Those starts were clean and the races fair. It's a central truth, the beach is no place for creeps.

2. Have the racers sit on their boards- nobody is allowed to be standing at the beginning of the race. The Paddle for Humanity, sponsored by Waterman's Applied Science incorporated this creep killing strategy- and it worked. This simple solution drives creeps crazy- more race directors should use it. 

These are two simple solutions that would greatly level the playing field for stand up paddle races. I would love to see the WPA incorporate anti-creep strategies directly into their bylaws. Creep sucks and the sooner we kill the creep, the better.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Future Fins Factory Tour... Check it out!

I like Future Fins- these guys and gals are the real thing, committed to pushing performance limits and focused on making the best fins out there. Check out the factory tour (I just poached this from Stamps' Facebook account... thanks bru- see if you can find him in the flick):

Futures. Tour - Made In The USA from Futures Fins on Vimeo.