I was told about a spot that only breaks a few times a year. At first it was hard to believe it existed, but then I was shown a video that proved it. Now I've seen it with my own eyes and surfed it! What a unique experience to ride that wave with 3 cool guys and the sun in our faces.
More photos by Jeff Sterling will be posted soon.
Photos by Dave Brewin...
Thursday, November 19, 2009
My recent post about the Bellingham Bay downwinder didn't make any mention of the safety precautions myself & my partner took to help diminish the dangers of big, cold water. I felt the need to let the 3.5 of you who read my blog know that safety & getting home alive is my number one goal, everyday.
Here are some of the precautions we took that day...
1) both dressed for submersion, full wetsuits, booties.
3)leashes... hugely important!
4)my partner had a VHF marine radio... I should have had one too... I do now.
5)people knew our plan and our intended route.
6)we had hand signals for each other "I am ok" & "I need help."
7)we had a back up plan if the wind took us somewhere we didn't expect.
8)we went out with plenty of daylight (11am)
9)we kept an eye on each other
Some will say that a dry suit would be better & I won't argue that point. There are pros and cons to both wetsuits and dry suits in the water.
I hope those of you that read this blog will take into consideration these safety measures next time you go out. Be safe and have fun and stay alive!
Monday, November 16, 2009
It was crazy-windy up here yesterday... sustained winds over 35 mph and gusts over 40 mph. My buddy Tom and I decided to do a downwinder from Marine Park to Locust since the wind was SSE. Perfect. We were both paddling the prototype race boards that Tom and his engineering team are developing. Mine was 12'3" and his was 14'. Very fast vessels on smaller seas & probably faster with someone more skilled than me in yesterdays water! I lost count of how many times I fell-in. The waves were shoulder to head high and not very organized... it was more like a rodeo than a paddle. It would have been crazy to be out there without a leash and a PFD. Tom even had a helmet and VHF radio... both smart choices. Why a helmet? Well on several occasions I would fall on the down wind side of the board and the wind gusts would pick-up the board and tumble it over my head like it was a potato chip. If I'd gotten clocked in the head it would have been ugly...
I also wish I had my GPS, as I would love to have seen my top-speed a few times out there.
Had the video camera going, but it got shut-off after 17 minutes, probably when I fell on it. I will post a short video eventually.
Awesome display of Mother Nature, and I was glad to be out there with someone.
Side Note: Later in the day I found out that the Coast Guard had been out looking for two "distressed" looking stand up paddlers. Someone saw us falling in & thought we were in trouble when he couldn't see us anymore... I talked to the Coasties & let them know all was well and went as "planned." Sort of....
Yesterdays wind chart...
Sunday, November 8, 2009
You know northwestern folks are tough when you get almost 3 dozen to show up in 45 degree/windy weather to try SUP'n! Another great, good-vibe day was had by all who showed up to try the Starboard line-up. Also on hand were lots of Kialoa paddles and Ocean Rodeo drysuits.
And of course the whole deal brought to you by Bellingham Kiteboarding. If you are thinking of buying a paddle or SUP, please think about "buying local" and giving Andy a call. Cheers!
Photos by Heather Nelson...
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Big by my standards anyway... 16' at Neah Bay transformed into 6-8' a little closer to home.
Biggest I've seen here by any means... Hit the water at 6:45am and the shore break was thunderous... had to really time my entrance into the water between sets. Lot's of 300lb logs floating around, which is always a sign things are dicey. Today was one of those days that reminds me I'm still pretty new at surfing, even though I've been doing it for 20 years, if that makes sense? Awesome, awesome day...
Getting chased by a wall of white-water
Late take-off, time to exit...
Monday, November 2, 2009
Yesterday, 6 SUP'rs, 2 prone paddleboarders and 8 safety kayakers pre-ran the Deception Pass Dash race course, to make sure a SUP could complete the first half of the course, before the tide change, and the infamous Deception Pass currents flush us back out to sea.
Mission accomplished! The conditions were stellar and most likely won't be this good on race day; December 12th. The course is 6 miles... but it feels like 7 or 8 to me. It took myself and the two prone paddleboarders just under 1 hour 15 minutes to complete the course. I was on my 18' Bark, had I been on a shorter board... it would have been longer. Throw in a 20-30 knot wind, 2-3 foot seas, the tide swing and much colder temps; December 12th will be VERY interesting. These were the conditions last year and there were MANY DNF's on the results list.
Check out Brandon & Heathers blog site for more pics:
My good friends Brandon and Heather took the new K15 out for a paddle and wrote about their findings on their blog...
Stay tuned for my review of the 12'6" Starboard Pin...
Sunday, November 1, 2009
A lot of people ask me what I do for training, besides paddling. Well, I try to paddle as much as possible on my days off, as well as run and cycle a bit to keep my cardio somewhat intact.
But about every third day, I am stuck at a fire station for 24 hours where I have to get creative.
For the last two to three years, a core group of firefighters has used the training techniques of local mixed-martial artist Scott Sonnon. He is the creator of RMAX International and Tac-Fit, a work out program designed specifically for police, special forces and firefighters. Scott travels all over the world training the worlds elite combat forces and mixed martial artists. Scott has taken us under his wing and has developed a work out program that packs a great all-body work out into a relatively short period of time. Between Tac-Fit and SUP, my core strength is better than it's ever been.
Check out the Tac-Fit site sometime: http://www.rmaxinternational.com/tacfit/
I have also added some paddling specific moves using some very basic gym machines and bar bells:
Using the pull-down attachment on a universal gym, I try to mimic the SUP stroke and I will either do light weight and MANY reps until failure or heavier weight and do fewer, more powerful reps.
We call these floor-wipers and I highly recommend using a spotter when doing these. While holding up a bar-bell in the bench press position, move your legs up and down in a V-pattern, not allowing your feet to touch the floor. Try to get up to 50 per side. Builds great core strength and muscular endurance in your arms and shoulders. Start with a weight that you can control!