Camp SUP presented by Salt Life at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California went off September 13-14 2014. Demos, clinics, fun paddles–all on offer during SUP magazine’s premiere event aimed at helping everyday paddlers improve their skills and introducing new people to the sport.
Big thanks to Salt Life and supporting sponsors Ocean Minded, Payette River Games, Flips Audio and Sierra Nevada. See you next year!
In the Fall ’14 Issue, SUP magazine’s Joe Carberry writes that Kai Lenny’s athleticism is unequaled but it’s his aura and attitude that make him transcendent, able to appeal to the sport’s core, and casual fans at once.
But for now, let’s focus on his skills. Here, photographer Tom Servais–as interviewed by Sam George–discusses Lenny’s jaw-dropping ability at Peahi and how his riding style is changing minds.
Check out the feature in SUP magazine’s Fall Issue.
Written By: Bart de Zwart
Photo: MRX/Andy Zelkains
Not even a week after the 11-City Tour I had another very long race lined up—a very special race—the Muskoka River X in Canada. This particular race is special because, with 130 kilometers, it’s one of the longest single-day expedition races in the world. It’s non-stop and without support. It goes through lakes, up and down rivers, and has 20 portages around waterfalls, rapids, and locks.
And, it’s cold. During the day it was 44°F (7°C) and during the night, the temperature dropped to 32°F (1°C). The Muskoka River X is special also because we weren’t allowed to use GPS and had to find our own way to the finish with maps and compass. The organization gave us 20 pages with detailed maps and a description of all the waypoint, portages, hazards and checkpoints.
The evening before the start, we had the skippers meeting and got our trackers. With divisions for canoes (1 and 2), kayaks and SUP, 64 teams showed up at the starting line. The solos started first, followed by the two-person teams 10 minutes later.
When the race started at 7 a.m., it was misty, cold, and raining. I was dressed light with only race tights, lycra, compulsory life vest and rain jacket. I had my SUPskin dry suit in my pack strapped on the board along with all the food, rescue and navigation gear, clothing and water. I decided to use a relatively wide Starboard All Star (14’ x 28″)just to be on the safe side on the rivers, which proved to be the right choice, as it was fast and still stable in critical conditions.
I started with a good pace and was just behind a few of the lead kayak racers when we hit the first lake. My strategy was to follow the C2’s (two-man canoes), which were way faster than me, for the first 45 kilometers across the lakes. As soon as we got to the rivers I planned to pull out the maps and start navigating. The first portage, after two hours, was a two-kilometer walk/run to get to the next lake. The paddling got me warm, but the rain kept coming down, with temperatures only a few degrees above freezing. It wasn’t very comfy, but hell, this was an expedition race.
The scene is astonishing during the whole race—beautiful hilly landscapes, winding rivers—true Canadian backcountry. Although we had a slight head wind at the first lakes, after the portage the wind shifted, coming more from behind, making it possible to ride some bumps. Some of the lead C2’s came flying by, but I was still the lead standup paddler and was right with the lead kayaks.
At the first checkpoint, a medic asked a few questions to check if you were okay and not getting insane or too cold, and on I went, downstream this time. This was very new to me and very exciting. I was flying along the river until I saw the first big rapids. For a brief moment I couldn’t see the portage exit to get around the rapids, but found it just in time before I would be dragged down them.
Nobody brought enough water for the whole race. I started with 2.5 liters. Along the way, you fill up in the river. Some purify the water, but I drink it straight from the river (don’t try this at home).
After about 11 hours of racing, including six hours on the river and many portages, the weather cleared up, but night was coming soon. By the time I was at the second checkpoint, it was already late in the day. From there on it was upstream.
The problem with the cold nights on the warm river is the fog. During the night the fog starts and becomes very thick. Lights are impossible to use because with the reflection, you see nothing but white around you. I still felt pretty fit, but dreaded this part because of the currents against me and, with the fog, I didn’t know what to expect.
When night fell, it was pretty dark. I only used my headlamp to look at the maps or during the portages. By this point, the cards were shuffled. I was well ahead in the SUP field and was paddling together with Graham–a Canadian kayaker–who was in solid second place. We passed through some of the heavy current hazard areas where I had to give everything just to make a few meters. I could see the trees on the side passing by so very slowly it wasn’t even funny. The canoes had a harder time here and some turned over.
It was getting colder and colder and the fog, thicker and thicker. At the last checkpoint I put on some warmer clothes. We were still at a very good pace and had only 19 kilometers to the finish when the moon began to come out.
Fortunately, we found the entrance to the last river without problems. However, the fog was very, very thick; all you could see were the contours of the trees. It was spooky and mesmerizing at the same time: the moonlight shining through the trees, the fog swirling around us, and every now and then, a brief opening in the fog.
With the maps we found our way to the finish. The last few kilometers were flying by, despite the fact that we couldn’t see anything on the lake just before we entered the same town we left early the day before.
Graham and I crossed the finish line in 18 hours and 23 minutes. Graham took second place in kayak and I came in first place for SUP with a new record. Of the 64 teams that started only 44 arrived at the finish, with only two of six SUP competitors finishing.
When I got back to the car, I realized just how cold it was; I had ice on the roof of the car.
1st SUP: Bart de Zwart, 18 hours 23 minutes
2nd SUP: Pete deMos, 21 hours 29 minutes
1st C2: 13 hours 17 minutes
1st 18′ Kayak: 17 hours 54 minutes
For more on Bart de Zwart, click here.
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Saturday, September 6, 2014, the sold-out inaugural Butterfly Effect (BE) Tahoe event saw over 100 participants ranging from 7 to 70 years of age. Women traveled from as far as Maui and Colorado to attend the event. Held at the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area, the day was crystal clear and the winds calm, making for a perfect day on the water and at the beach.
Tatiana Howard, founder of The Butterfly Effect, led the morning ceremonies. While participants stood in a large circle holding hands, she announced the beginning of Butterfly Effect Tahoe and expressed her desire to share Aloha with all. After opening remarks and a ceremonial hula to set the tone, a handful of participants were selected to release monarch butterflies. The group was awestruck as the butterflies took flight and tears of happiness were seen across the faces of BE participants. Little 7-year old Maylanie, the youngest participant of BE Tahoe, had a smile stretching ear-to-ear on her face all day.
After a morning paddle on the calm, crystal clear lake, the day was filled with hula-hoop lessons, a water fitness program, SUP yoga, and raffles. The event culminated in a fun relay race where the participants had to each don grass skirts, leis, and flowers, and drink the nectar of the gods from a wooden bowl before running through the water to her paddleboard. The race ended with hula, dancing the story of aloha in the mountains.
The final activity of the day had BE ladies participating in a beach cleanup, followed by an after party at Caliente for continued celebrations. Every woman left the BE Tahoe event in high spirits, feeling stronger within, after one of the best days to end the summer.
Lindsay Felsh of Tahoe was instrumental in bringing The Butterfly Effect to California and shared her excitement about the success of the day: “As a paddler born and raised in Tahoe I wanted to share the aloha spirit with women of all ages and all ability levels in the Tahoe area and beyond. When meeting Tatiana at The Butterfly Effect Maui, we immediately clicked and expressed the same appreciation and passion for empowering women. I was so fortunate that she was willing to bring this event to Tahoe and I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout! I can’t wait to see what next year brings.”
As with every Butterfly Effect stop, a local organization received a donation from funds raised at the event. Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner was honored to be the beneficiary of proceeds from The Butterfly Effect Tahoe. Truckee Donner Club President Linnis Jellinek explained how BE aligns with the Soroptimist mission to improve the lives of women and girls through programs that lead to social and economic empowerment: “The Butterfly Effect is a perfect fit with Soroptimist Mission and Core Values. Women supporting and encouraging women develops empowerment at all levels. Tatiana has created a fun and powerful event and I encourage more women to attend this event next year.”
The Butterfly Effect Tahoe will return in September 2015!
For more information, visit: BEtheEffect.com
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Photo: JP Van Swae
For more paddle options, check out the 2014 Gear Guide.
Click here for more Gear.
Manette Alacala is known for being a standout surfer in her home country of the Philippines. But the smiley surfer also does pretty darn well with a paddle in hand. Maybe she’s picked up SUP skills from her Tasmanian charger fiancé Kyron Rathbone. Or maybe she’s just naturally skilled in the water. Regardless of how Alcala’s gotten into SUP, we just enjoy watching her have fun paddle surfing, even when it’s small.
Click here for more SUP Women.
The Standup World Tour and World Series join forces at this week’s Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam. Competition begins Tuesday, September 16, with World Tour surfing.
Check out the schedule of events:
‘Tommy Bahama’s Opening Night’ hosted by Dave Boehne & Tristan Boxford
Doors open and Red Carpet @ 6pm, Registration Open
‘Talk Story presented by Turtle Bay’ goes LIVE @ 7pm
7:10am: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
7:20am Start for the Huntington Beach Pro Trials
7:10am: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
7:20am: Start for Round 1 of the Women’s Main Event
9:20am: Start for Round 1 of the Men’s Main Event
1:20pm: Start for the Women’s Repechage Round
6:50am: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
7am: Start for the Men’s Repechage Round
9:40am: Start for Round 3 of the Women’s Main Event
11am: Start for Round 3 of the Men’s Main Event
1:40pm: Start for the Men’s Round 4
6:50am: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
7am: Start for the Women’s Quarterfinals
8.20am Start for the Men’s Quarterfinals
9:40am: Start for the Women’s Semi Finals
10:30am: Start for the Men’s Semi Finals
11:30am: Start for the Women’s Finals
12:15pm: Start for the Men’s Finals
6pm: Registration & Welcome event for the Standup World Series (location tbd)
7pm: Stand Up World Tour wrap party (location tbd)
9am: Open Division Athlete Check in
10am: 3km Open distance Race
12pm: Elite Division Check in
12pm: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
12:30pm: World Series Sprints
4:30pm: Sprints Podium
7pm: Movie Screening (location tbd)
9am: Check in for Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge
9:45am: Starboard Morning Show goes live
10am: Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge
11:30am: Check in for Surf Exhibition event for World Tour athletes
12pm: World Tour Exhibition Event
1pm: Check in for 6km and 10km Long Distance Races
2pm: Start for Long Distance Races
4:30pm: final podiums
Make sure to tune into SUPtheMag.com for LIVE coverage of the Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam.
For more information, visit: WatermanLeague.com
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
The Victory Koredry Surf Race to Victory and US SUP Tour joined forces for two stiff competitions in the waves of Huntington Beach this past weekend.
Saturday’s race offered up swell up to the shoulder-high range, giving spectators plenty of carnage as the racers made their way through the surf again and again in their mandatory blue helmets. On the men’s side, Zane Schweitzer narrowly edged out Mo Freitas after some see-saw antics in the waves. Youngsters Fiona Wylde and Shae Foudy took the number one and two spots on in the pro womens, respectively, with veteran Candice Appleby taking third.
Sunday on the south side of Huntington Beach Pier saw contestable, if not amazing surf, for a big day of competition. In the end it was Hawaiian phenom Mo Freitas who took the men’s win ahead of current number one on the Standup World Tour, Caio Vaz (2nd), Frenchman Alexis Deniel (3rd) and Ian Vaz (4th). Expect a big contest from these international athletes in the upcoming Standup World Tour event this week. Sophia Bartlow took another US SUP Tour win after her breakout performance at the Zuma Beach stop. Young gun Izzi Gomez was right on her heels, with heavy-footed Emmy Merrill placing third and South African Tarryn Kyte in fourth.
Men’s Pro Race
1) Zane Schweitzer
2) Mo Freitas
3) Javier Jimenez
4) Fernando Stalla
Women’s Pro Race
1) Fiona Wylde
2) Shae Foudy
3) Candice Appleby
4) Halie Harrison
Men’s Open Race
1) Fisher Grant
2) Max Flemming
3) Kieran Grant
4) Myles Blazer
1) Erika Benitez (Raced with Pros)
Men’s Pro Surf
1) Mo Freitas
2) Caio Vaz
3) Deniel Alexis
4) Ian Vaz
Women’s Pro Surf
1) Sophia Bartlow
2) Izzi Gomez
3) Emmy Merrill
4) Tarryn Kyte
Men’s Open Surf
1) Javier Jimenez
2nd) Fisher Grant
3rd) Chris Rockwood
4th) Brent Pascoe
Women’s Open Surf
1st) Lara Claydon
2nd) Mason Schremmer
3rd) Krista Metzger
4th) Nikki Newland
Men’s Over 40 Surf
1st Place – Chris Guizeit
2nd Place – Carlos Vaz
3rd Place – Michael Shelly
4th Place – Tony Stearns
Rob Rojas, taking the win. | Photo: TahoeCup.org
After three grueling races over the summer and more than 4,500 competitors in attendance over the three events, the O’Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series in Lake Tahoe, Calif. wrapped up Sunday, September 14, with a 22-miler at the Fall Classic, and a big win by Southern California’s Rob Rojas.
Taking off from El Dorado Beach in South Lake Tahoe, competitors paddled pristine race conditions on a glassy racecourse with warm weather. With the overall O’Neill Tahoe Cup Series Title and $20,000 in prize money up for grabs, competitors battled to be first across the line at Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe.
The start, El Dorado Beach. | Photo: TahoeCup.org
Unlimited paddler Rob Rojas crossed the line first, with an impressive time of 3:38:09, winning the Unlimited division and the overall O’Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series Title after taking wins at the two prior events in the series, The Donner Cup and The Jam from the Dam. Local Tahoe paddler Rand Carter came in second with a time of 3:55:17, while Michael Valenzuela, also of Tahoe, came in third with a time of 4:16:42.
Tahoe local Jay Wild took first in the Men’s Elite 14’ division with a time of 4:01:10, and Ben Sarrazin of Petaluma, Calif. was just behind with a time of 4:03:39. Third place finisher Brennan Rose (4:12:12) took the O’Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series Title for the 14’division after he racked up two wins earlier in the series, as well as a top finish at Sunday’s Fall Classic.
Jay Wild, 14′ class champ. | Photo: TahoeCup.org
The ladies brought the heat to Tahoe too, as Jen Fuller of Sausalito, Calif. took first in the Women’s Elite 12’6” division at 4:31:50, while Reno’s Nina Oakley and Wendy Ackermann of Homewood, Calif. finished in second and third, with times of 4:35:16 and 4:58:30, respectively. Fuller also took top honors in the series, taking the O’Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series Title for the Women’s Elite division.
The view from above. | Photo: TahoeCup.org
Click here for full results.
For more information, visit: TahoeCup.org
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Written by Laurel Winterbourne
Photography by Trevor Clark
Paddling by the few canoes and occasional camper was a reminder that many people paddle the Yukon River, but most had never seen it done on a standup paddleboard. Wide-eyed canoe paddlers stared at us as we glided by.
Anxiety crept in with every day that our departure was delayed by rain, river safety prep and packing. As an experienced standup paddler in flat water and paddle surfing, I felt mentally unprepared for eight days and 200 miles on the Yukon River. The anxiety faded into exhilaration and awe as I stepped onto my fully loaded inflatable SUP and paddled into the swift current, leaving Whitehorse as a distant memory. The current quickly guided us out of the bustle and into the wild.
The writer standup paddling the Yukon from Whitehorse to Carmacks, YT.
Every mile behind us revealed a little more freedom, relaxation and wild open spaces. The paddle stroke becomes as easy as moving one foot in front of the other, the rhythm of the river setting the pace. The human need for nature persistent, all encompassing, quenched with each stroke. Each bend in the river uncovered a new landscape: the cliffs steep, sun-bleached and ominous; the next bend, forested peaks scrape the sky.
Just as our flow with the river settled in, we turned a wide bend and there she was—the beast of a lake whose legendary reputation we’d been brushing off in the days leading up to the trip. Thirty-one miles of flat water known as Lake Laberge, notorious for its heinous and sudden winds that can blow a paddler out to its depths at a moments notice, or in our case, across its entire length.
White caps were beginning to form as the river opened up to the seemingly endless lake. Winds were blowing hard, but fortunately, in our favor. The tarp, intended for shelter in a storm, quickly became our sail. We tied a corner to each of our paddles and used our spare paddle as a rudder. The wind straining against the makeshift sail created a steady wake behind the boards as the flow of the river fell off in the distance.
At the end of a full day’s sail we found a camp spot, slightly sheltered from the wind and sweeping views of the enormous lake. Cleaning up after a hearty dinner, I glanced up and was startled by an animal not far from us. My naivety became obvious as my fiancé Trevor said, “That’s a bear.”
The writer and fiancé/photographer with their makeshift SUP sail.
It hit me like a slap to the face, immediately trying to locate the bear spray and remember all the pamphlets I’d read about bear safety while preparing for our trip. Do I play dead or stand my ground? Make noise or slowly back away? Was it a black or brown bear? Turns out it was a brown black bear and fortunately it hadn’t seen us hidden by the shadow of a large boulder. After a few sniffs in the air, it trotted towards our tent, made a circle around it and continued on its way—a reminder that things can get real, fast.
Taking a break after a long paddle.
We spent one more night on the lake and were able to finish sailing the remainder of the lake the next day. Without the tarp and Trevor’s ingenuity it could have taken us nearly a week to cross that lake with three- to four-foot wind swell. With the beast of a lake behind us, we were ready to take on anything.
We were rewarded with the return of the river’s current and a spectacular stretch of the Yukon called the 30-Mile section. The water changed from milky blue grey into the most beautiful jade green, so clear you could see each rock on the riverbed rushing under your feet. The mountains became steep as the river narrowed, creating a swift pace to the current.
Bits and pieces of history litter the 30-Mile section. Old trading posts, gold dredges and giant paddle wheel ships could be explored on the shore. Eating lunch and setting up camp where some of the greatest explorers once did created a feeling of timelessness.
Some days on the river were leisurely, letting the current carry us through burned forest and vibrant purple fireweed. Others, we paddled hard and fast. Food and sleep felt best after days like that.
The late midnight sun hung low on the horizon with its dusty orange glow. After eight days of paddling, it was over. All I wanted to do was keep paddling, the rhythm of the river calling me back to its flow until next time.
For more from Trevor Clark, visit: TrevorClarkPhotography.com
Click here for more Field Notes presented by WaveJet.
The first annual Camp SUP presented by Salt Life at Doheny State Beach was a resounding success this weekend as paddlers ranging from first-timers to experienced racers came out to test boards, learn from their heroes and mingle with the greater paddling community.
The weekend centered around getting as many paddlers out as possible to enjoy the beautiful weather and paddle as much as possible. Vendors such as Focus, Body Glove, SUPreme, OAM, SIC, Riviera, ULI, Laird SUP, SUP ATX, Kings, Surftech, Boardworks, Hobie, Infinity and Naish kept standup paddlers on the water all day while companies like Mamma Chia, Ocean Minded, Banzai Bowls Salt Life, Hinano Tahiti and Sierra Nevada kept them refreshed and comfortable on land.
“It was great to see the paddling community come out in force to take advantage of this special weekend,” said SUP magazine managing editor Will Taylor. “Paddlers had everything they needed to have fun—from boards to paddles to apparel. The vibe on the water was awesome as well.”
Paddling personalities such as Nikki Gregg, Dave Boehne, Connor Baxter and Gillian Gibree taught classes to eager students in fitness, surfing, stroke technique and yoga, respectively. A highlight of the weekend was the Grom Clinic, put on by SIC, where young paddlers got to learn from some of the best in the business.
To top it all off, the conditions offered everything from small waves to flat water to downwind bumps, giving every type of paddler a chance to test out any kind of board that fit their style of paddling.
Camp SUP proved to be an awesome format to connect some of the best brands in the industry with everyday paddlers looking to improve their skills, learn about products on offer or get introduced to the sport for the first time.
Look for our video recap due out later this week.
This summer, SUP magazine took a journey to Oregon. We picked up pro paddlers Morgan Hoesterey and Matt Becker as well as Managing Editor Will Taylor’s home town buddies Luke Martinez and Dave Lacey and paddled 60 miles down the south coast of the state. The trip was four days and three nights, with the crew on the beach along the way.
We experienced many types of conditions: wind over 30 knots, smothering fog, blinding sun, large swell, pretty much everything but the rain the state is famous for. There were bruised egos, noodle limbs and chapped skin, but every night there were countless stories to be told around the fire.
Here’s Part One of the series, chronicling the fantastic and sometimes scary downwind conditions of the trip.
Look for the full feature in our Fall Issue, on newsstands now.
For information on paddling in the area, contact Lacey South Coast Tours, LLC.
SIC HOOD RIVER from SICMaui on Vimeo.
Check out the smiles in this video from Hood River. Downwinding is fun and premier downwind board-builders SIC Maui know it.
They’ll be spreading the same stoke at the Grom Clinic at Camp SUP presented by Salt Life on Sept. 13 and 14.
Send your aspiring paddler(s) out with the SIC team at 3 p.m. on both days for an hour-long tutorial to get them stoked for life. From getting on the board for the first time to race training tips, SIC will leave a smile on every young paddler’s face.
SIC is a perfect fit for this portion of Camp SUP as they work tirelessly with the Junior Waterman Club in Dana Point, training the next generation of standup paddlers.
More SIC here.
Photo: Matt Burgess
Kyron Rathbone, 34; Tasmania, Australia
So how did you get into standup in Tasmania?
I’ve ridden waves on various craft since before I could walk. I got into standup through mates that made it look too good to resist, plus it’s a great way to stay in shape. I sent an email to Fanatic asking for one board to be the first person to SUP Shipstern Bluff (a mutant big wave usually towed into). They said yes and have been helping me out ever since!
What’s the paddling scene like in Tasmania?
Tassie is cruisey for SUP. Everyone gets along and no one shies away from a party wave opportunity. The scene is exploding. Paddlers are everywhere, usually five-to-10 SUPs at the well-known breaks. Racing is huge now too. Every weekend there is a race in one town or another. More underground stuff though, people with passion who are not necessarily in it for the glory.
Are you competing much in SUP?
I have competed in a few of the state surf competitions this year. I actually ride a shortboard and paddle in laying down with my paddle under my chest then stand up and rip the bag on my 5’10”. They still haven’t got the rules figured out yet so anything goes.
Last year you SUP surfed a huge tidal bore on a river in Borneo (an Indonesian territory). How did that happen?
I got an email from a mad Frenchman asking if I would like to be the first to surf a crocodile-infested tidal bore through the jungles of Borneo after he apparently heard I surfed neck-and-neck with Great White Sharks in Tasmania. I jumped at the chance. Everything about it was surreal: 28-minute rides, chocolate-colored muddy water, the noise, the sheet-glass faces, crocs on the river bank and getting thrown from my board from a lightning strike so close I thought I’d traveled through time.
Are the waters of Tasmania pretty shark-infested?
Oh man, there are sharks everywhere down here. Last week my mate actually beat one off with his paddle. We see them most surf sessions, which is another reason I only really ride SUP now. No arms and legs dangling in the water.
Give us a perfect day for Kyron Rathbone.
Getting tubed/kegged/barreled/slotted/pitted/shacked till the cows come home. I want to keep doing what I’m doing and pushing new boundaries in SUP surfing here in my Tasmanian playground and the rest of the world… Yeeeeehaaaaaaa! —JC
Click here for more From the Mag.
Photo: Peggy Schmidt
Will Schmidt, a former US Marine, first got hooked on distance paddling crossing the Catalina Channel from Avalon to Dana Point, California. He then paddled the California Channel Islands chain, a distance of 225.6 miles. This spring, Schmidt paddled 1,386 miles in 58 days from Canada to Mexico encountering 45 knot winds, big seas and severe isolation. Schmidt, previously depressed and anxious after serving in the military, credits standup with saving his life. His journeys raise funds and benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps aid US military service vets. We got Schmidt on the phone to talk about his mission.
How’s the journey back to normal life?
The trip changed me and how I operate on a daily basis. I’m less picky. I’ll stand for a little more. I use less, I waste less. I haven’t worn shoes in three months. It showed me how little I need to get by on a day-to-day basis. I walk more than use my car. I’m real conscious about what I buy, what I eat, what I use, without overdoing it. It’s less cluttered and a little more free.
Why Canada to Mexico?
It was something no one had ever done before (on a standup). I wanted to do something that made a statement. It’s a big accomplishment that not many have done on any kind of craft. It’s treacherous. In this day in age, when everything has been done, how exclusive is it to be the first?
Tell us about the support you had on land.
I did most of Washington and Oregon completely unassisted. I sent three food resupply and packages to people along the coast. Other than that, I was completely by myself. I found gear that was the lightest weight, then weighed everything out and went with half of it. Instead of an iPod I brought an iPod shuffle, instead of a tent with poles, I got a tent that blew up. On the California coast my 88-year-old grandma and mom supported me by car. In remote areas like Big Sur or the Lost Coast, I’d take three or four days of supplies and then we’d connect.
What was the most logistically challenging portion of the trip?
The hardest part of the trip was the King Range National Conservation Area. It’s 70 miles from Cape Mendocino to Fort Bragg area. It was the worst part of the trip. Cape Mendocino is the westernmost point of California and one of the most windy parts of California. I had 45 knot sustained wind at my back that was so overpowering I got thrown off the front of the board. The next day I fought the Humboldt current, then fog, then rain, wind from all directions. I made it to the only town in King Range, Shelter Cove. I’d lost my last pair of shoes, I was wet, I was miserable. I coerced a bed-and-breakfast owner into letting me stay. The next day I paddled for 12 hours and only made in 26 miles and landed in Westport just north of Fort Bragg. It was a tough, upwind-style paddle. I ate while I was paddling. The fog cleared for about ten minutes and it was the most beautiful piece of coast I’ve ever seen. And in ten minutes it was gone again.
How do you feel when you finish a mission like this?
Kind of lost. I was so used to getting up and moving that taking it easy and not having a schedule was kind of odd. Throughout the trip I felt better when I was paddling. Halfway through the first day my body started to seize up and throb. My body decided, “You’re done, we’re going to repair.” That was pretty brutal.
How about mentally?
Mentally I was wiped. My mother and grandmother were having a conversation with me and I didn’t know what I was saying to them. I was happy to be done but a lot paddling that I do is my history with anxiety and depression. Finishing and not having something moving forward my mind brings up those depressive anxious thought patterns.
How do you work through that?
I believe that standup paddling saved my life. I found a purpose for what I was doing. The big thing I did was get right back on the water. A lot of people said, “Aren’t you going to take a break from paddling?” No. If I ate a big dinner, it’s not like I’m going to eat tomorrow.
For more info on Schmidt check out Areyouinspiredyet.com.
The 6th Annual Round the Rock race at Seattle’s Seward Park saw nearly perfect conditions as 197 competitors took to the water for the 13-miler around Mercer Island. With $10,000 in prize money up for grabs, top athletes and weekend warriors went all out for a chance to walk away with some extra cash.
Unlimited racer Brett Saguid was first to cross the line with a time of 2:07:16. The 14-foot elite class saw Chase Kosterlitz take the big win, with an impressive time of 2:08:26, followed by Arthur Daniel, who finished at 2:11:47.
On the ladies’ side, the dominant Lina Augaitis took the win with a time of 2:18:20, ten minutes ahead of second place finisher and stock paddler Shannon Bell, who finished at 2:28:36. Fiona Wylde took third with a time of 2:33:11.
Other events included beginner and experienced kids races and a 3.5-mile open race. Funds raised by competitors prior the race benefit the charity Athletes for Cancer, which received a check for $32,000 from this year’s race.
Full results here.
For more information, visit: RoundtheRock.com
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By Brody Welte, PaddleFit
Cranking up the intensity is the best way to make the most of your time training on land. Make sure that you can perform these exercises with outstanding form. High-intensity training leads to fatigue which leads to bad form. Form first, then turn up the speed and intensity.
This circuit is meant to hit all major muscle groups. There are two different suggestions for intensity: standard is for those of you just beginning training, advanced is for those who have been training hard for at least six months.
Warm up properly! And I don’t mean just static stretching. Stick to movement-based warm ups (check SUPthemag.com). At minimum, jog lightly for five to 10 minutes to get your heart rate up before you start.
Photos: Aaron Schmidt
Start off standing up, place both hands on the ground and jump your feet back so you are in a push-up position (If you can’t jump back, then place your feet one at a time to get into push-up position), now jump your feet back up to your hands and stand up.
Jump your feet back so you are in push up position, perform a pushup, now jump your feet back up to your hands landing in a surf stance, and jump as high as you can. Switch the foot that comes forward each burpee.
Photo: Aaron Schmidt
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Lower your hips down as far as you can at the same time sticking your butt out behind you. Make sure to keep your back straight and at the same angle as your shinbones. Get to 90 degrees (or more if your knees are healthy) then push off the floor through your feet to bring your hips back up underneath you to the starting position.
Perform a jump squat. Push as hard as you can off the floor and jump as high as you can. Land softly to not jar your knees.
Start in the quadruped position (pictured above). Walk forward with one hand and one foot at a time. Don’t allow your hips to get too high and be careful with your wrists. Start slowly.
One: Increase your speed but don’t compromise form. Two: Go different directions, backwards or side-to-side.
Two options. One: perform a hang on the pull-up bar with your elbows bent a 90 degrees. Hold as long as you can. Two: Use a lower bar about waist- to chest-high and grab onto the bar but with your legs angled out in front of you, your heels resting on the ground (pictured). This takes the weight off you can do more repetitions.
A full pull-up is the advanced version. Use a pull-up bar or a tree limb that will support your weight. Start with your grip a little wider than shoulder width, with palms facing towards you (traditional pull-up) or facing away (chin up; more difficult).
Stand upright with feet shoulder width. Step far enough forward with one foot so that both knees are bent at 90 degrees with the knee in back almost touching the ground. Face forward and keep your back straight. Push off the front leg and return to the starting position. Alternate each leg.
Perform a walking lunge (stepping forward in recovery instead of back). The next level is the jump squat. When you are down in the lunge position, jump in the air and switch your legs landing in the lunge position.
Essentially the push-up position but on your elbows. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders, drawing a straight line from your shoulders through your hips and knees to your feet. Don’t let your lower back sag. Hold this position.
Side Plank: Start off in the plank position above and rotate your body, bringing one arm off the ground. Rest on one elbow and the sides of your feet. Your ground elbow should be directly under your shoulder. Draw a straight line from your head through your hips to your feet. Hold this for a two count and then rotate back to the standard plank position and then rotate to the other side.
Check out our cool down video, linked above. If you don’t do that, walk around at a slow pace for two-to-five minutes to let your heart rate come back down. Now is a good time to introduce static stretching.
Stay tuned to SUPtheMag.com for the next installment of Fall Fitness, a water workout.
This article originally ran in our Summer 2014 issue as “The Quick Fitness Guide.”
As the popularity of SUP has exploded in the past few years, so has the number of participants in SUP yoga, many of whom rave about the added challenge of holding poses while on the water. And if we were asked to name just one person who’s leading the SUP yoga revolution, it’d be no contest: Gillian Gibree.
In addition to helping people worldwide launch SUP yoga and fitness businesses (and landing the cover of Yoga Journal), the San Diego resident is also pretty handy with a paddle, too, as shown by her win in the distance event at the 2014 GoPro Mountain Games in Vail and 3rd place at the 2014 Payette River Games. SUPthemag.com’s Brody Welte from PaddleFit caught up with Gibree to get her top three yoga poses for paddlers. —Phil White
“The half moon gives you a nice stretch in the obliques, which often get tight from paddling,” Gibree said. To start, lace your hands together over your head and aim your “pointer” fingers toward the sky. Then, move your hips slightly to the left as you pull your arms slowly to the right. Your body should now be in the half moon pose. If this is too difficult, just drop your right hand down against your side and keep the left arm extended. Hold the position for 10 to 15 deep breaths and then switch sides.
Your shoulders and upper arms take a beating when you spend a lot of time paddling, and the eagle arms pose can help relieve tension in these areas. First, draw your hands over your head. Next, sweep your right arm under your left so your elbows cross and wrists and palms are touching. Then, move your elbows slowly and smoothly side to side or raise your arms upwards to get a different stretch. “You can also make circular motions to really open up the shoulder blades,” Gibree said.
While it’s your back and back of the shoulders that often hold tension after repeated on water sessions, “the front of the shoulders and chest can also get tight,” Gibree said. That’s where the chest opener pose comes in. First, interlace your hands behind your back and draw your shoulder blades together. You can then either lift your chin to direct your gaze skyward, or fold forward as you exhale and draw your hands over your head, with arms still straight. These two variations will help open up your chest and the front of your shoulders.
To learn more about Gillian Gibree’s SUP yoga and fitness program, visit: PaddleintoFitness.com
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Any paddler would jump at the chance to shape their own board. But the barriers are significant: costs, tools, workspace and of course, time. I’d wanted to shape a board for years but like most of you, lacked the resources. Then I met Christopher Clark, co-founder of Shaper Studios.
Shaper Studios, started by Clark and his good friend Derrik Kapalla, gives potential board-builders a place to hone their skills and a chance to shape their own ride. You can glass it too, or they can do it for you. With the instruction, it costs about as much as buying a high-quality custom (roughly $100 per foot). If you get hooked, it’s $20 a month to use the Shaper facilities and their tools.
This video shows the process of the first SUP magazine custom hand shape.
Read the rest of the story in our Fall Issue.
Check out Shaper Studios.
The 2014 Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam (HB Pro) will host both Standup World Tour Surfing and Standup World Series Racing events from the September 15th to 21st in Surf City USA. Showcasing top competitors in the sport, the HB Pro will also celebrate amateur and youth participation with a large Trials event and Open Racing division, as well as the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge (U16) taking place on the final Sunday of the event. As Stop 4 on the World Tour and World Series approaches, tension is mounting in the race for the World Titles, and competitors will be ready to battle.
On the World Tour side, Caio Vaz has been leading the race for the World Title, winning two of three events, including the 2014 season opener, the Sunset Beach Pro. Vaz will be looking for another win to replace his lowest contest score, a third place at the Abu Dhabi All Stars. And, after placing second at the 2013 Huntington Beach Pro (to Kai Lenny), Vaz will be hungry for this year’s event title.
Three-time World Champion and 2013 HB Pro winner, Kai Lenny, will be looking for a repeat of last year’s win. And, after taking the event win over Vaz in Abu Dhabi, we’re expecting an extra impressive display of SUP surfing by Lenny as he works to set himself up for a fourth World Title.
Sean Poynter will be right at home competing in Huntington. The SoCal transplant has been on a nice streak, taking third in Brazil, followed by a second place in Abu Dhabi. Poynter, currently ranked fourth overall on the 2014 Tour, will be looking for a win to bump third place Keahi de Aboitiz.
Other top contenders to watch in Huntington include Maui’s Zane Schweitzer, Brazil’s Ian Vaz, Oahu’s Mo Freitas, Brazil’s 2012 World Champion Leco Salazar, Maui’s Kody Kerbox, Australia’s Beau Nixon, Justin Holland and Kai Bates, Tahiti’s Poenaiki Raioha, and US contenders Giorgio Gomez and Daniel Hughes, not to mention three-time Longboard World Champion and top finisher on the World Tour in previous years, Colin McPhilips.
Make sure not to miss it all go down LIVE at WATERMANLEAGUE.COM
Ladies will be bringing the heat to the Huntington Beach Pro, as the young Izzi Gomez and 2013 World Champion Nicole Pacelli will battle for points and the event title. The two are currently tied in the overall World Rankings, with Izzi nabbing two impressive wins earlier this year, and Nicole showing consistency to stay on top. After winning the 2013 HB Pro, then recently moving to Southern California, Izzi will have the advantage fighting for the win and Nicole will have some serious work cutout for her to take the event title.
Aline Adisaka of Brazil will be looking to strengthen her World Ranking, as she currently sits just behind Izzi and Nicole. Aline’s given solid performances at every event this year, which keeps her in the running for the 2014 World Title.
Photo: Harry Wiewel
Iballa Moreno of the Canary Islands, finished with a great performance in the finals at Abu Dhabi, and will be looking to continue the Tour with another strong finish in Huntington.
Other top competitors to look out for at the HB Pro include SoCal powerhouses Candice Appleby and Sophia Tiare Bartlow, who will want to come out on top before their home crowd.
Connor Baxter is killing it this year on the World Series, with two wins out of three events, posting a second place finish (in Abu Dhabi) as his lowest of the three scores. There’s no doubt Connor will be fighting for a win at the HB Pro to secure his World Title before the World Series Finals next month.
If Connor is currently leading the World Series, it can only mean one thing: Kai Lenny is just behind him. Kai will need a win at both Huntington and the Finals in order to bring his point total up and be back in contention for the World Title. After only one event win thus far, followed by second place and fifth place finishes in Germany and Brazil, we know Kai is hungry for an event win—and to repeat as World Champion.
European Cup Champion Zane Schweitzer is just behind his fellow Maui boys, after posting strong finishes at each of the three stops on Tour this year. Coming off win after win in Europe, Zane will be confident and ready to dig deep in Surf City.
2013 World Series Finals winner, Jake Jensen, will also be pushing for points in Huntington. The Aussie is going strong this year and is known to pump up the power late in the season.
But behind them is the European Contingent of Casper Steinfath, Leonard Nika and Eric Terrien, as well as Hawaii’s Kody Kerbox, Mo Freitas, and Australia’s Beau O’Brien and Paul Jackson. Others to watch out for include Brazil’s Vinnicius Martins, South Africa’s Dylan Frick and of course Team USA, that will be filling in here for this fourth stop of the Series, with names such as Slater Trout stepping up to do battle.
Lina Augaitis leads the Women’s World Title race, with two wins out of three events. The Canadian’s been on a roll this year and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Lina will be looking to increase her lead with another win as she looks toward her first World Title.
After winning the World Series opener in Brazil and the recent Shonan Chigasaki Pro in Japan, Aussie Angie Jackson will be motivated to finish the year strong by battling in Huntington. Currently ranked second in the World Rankings, Jackson will be looking to hold off France’s Olivia Piana who sits just points behind in third.
Meanwhile, we expect to see a whole host of US talent stepping up to do battle, such as Candice Appleby and Talia Decoite amongst others, and the return of Kelsa Gabehart who put a couple of strong performances together in the opening two events of the season. You can also never count out the Europeans, as Olivia Piana, Manca Notar, and Sonni Hönscheid will all be looking for glory upcoming at the Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam.
With the World Tour Surfing running from the September 16th to 19th, an exhibition event scheduled for September 21st, and the World Series Racing event taking place the 20th to 21st, it will be non-stop action at Huntington Beach, as the ultimate SUP showcase will go down in Surf City USA.
Join hosts, Dave Boehne and Rocky Canon for a LIVE show like no other at WWW.WATERMANLEAGUE.COM
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For more on the World Tour, click here.
In this second and final installment of Finding You in Florida, filmmaker Chris Aguilar continues his journey in the Sunshine State, where he makes a stop at one of the Gulf Coast’s annual SUP events, the Florida Cup. Here, we get to know some of the faces of SUP—from competitors to race announcers to CrossFit trainers—all of whom are passionate paddlers with stories to share.
For Part One of Finding You in Florida click here.
Click here for more Field Notes presented by WaveJet.
An international field of over 100 paddlers from over 15 countries lined up at the start on Day 1 of the 6th Annual SUP 11-City Tour. Although it’s a five- to six-hour race every day, the start is as explosive as a 500-meter sprint, and this year was no different.
Jay Hasley and Peter Bartl started strong, but Bart de Zwart and Martijn van Deth caught up shortly, leaving Jay in their wake to form a three-man lead group. After only 15 minutes into the race, Peter surprised the competition by making the move to sprint ahead of Bart and Martijn, where he continued extending his lead with every kilometer up to the day’s halfway point. Upon reaching the halfway point, a turn of events changed the race, as Bart and Martijn turned on the power and began creeping up to catch Peter. With only a kilometer left before the finish, Bart caught Peter and won the first leg with a three-second lead.
Photo: Mayola Dijksman
Day 2 saw the same lead group came together after the start and remain together for the day, battling throughout. Peter dug deep several times to break away but never succeeded to drop his competitors. It came down to another sprint to the finish, where Peter and Bart took over, battling for the last 500 meters. Peter crossed the finish first, only 0.8 seconds ahead of Bart. With the finish of Day 2, Bart remained in the lead with only seconds over Peter, followed by Martijn in third and Franck Fifils of Guadeloupe in fourth.
On Day 3 and 4 it seemed the podium was almost sure with Bart, Peter and Martijn extending their lead even more over the rest of the field. But, between the three there was an intense battle for first place. It came down to a sprint each of the two days with Bart edging out on both sprints and extending his lead over Peter and Martijn.
The final stage saw intense racing as Peter gave everything he had, paddling the highest speeds seen in this competition thus far. In the first five minutes, Martijn dropped from the lead pack, but Bart managed to stay on Peter’s tail. After 25 minutes, the speed dropped down to normal race speed and the remainder of the race saw a battle between Bart and Peter.
Despite Peter’s incredible fighting spirit, he couldn’t break Bart this year. The two sprinted into the final city of Leeuwarden after 22 hours of paddling. Bart won the final stage and crossed the line 6 seconds ahead of Peter, claiming the 11-City crown for the fourth time, while Peter finished second overall and Martijn in third.
In the women’s division Janneke Smits of the Netherlands came in first overall, dominating every stage. Joanne Hamilton-Vale of England came in second and third went to Sweden’s Maya Persson.
For full results, click here.
For more information, visit: SUP11CityTour.com
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Welcome back to The Voice. In preparation for the upcoming Huntington Beach Pro, the Waterman League’s Tristan Boxford joins The Voice to talk about the state of the Standup World Tour and the World Series while addressing criticism–both just and unjust–that is sure to come with being the largest race and surf event series in the sport.
Be sure to watch for SUP magazine’s coverage of the Huntington Beach Pro.
Click here for more of The Voice.
SPONSORS AND VENDORS ON BOARD FOR CAMP SUP PRESENTED BY SALT LIFE
TWO-DAY FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT CREATED BY SUP MAGAZINE HITS DOHENY STATE BEACH SEPT. 13-14
SAN CLEMENTE, CA (SEPTEMBER 4, 2014) — Salt Life, a lifestyle apparel brand that embraces everything ocean life including surfing, fishing, diving and paddling, has teamed up with SUPmagazine to present Camp SUP September 13-14 at Doheny State Beach. Camp SUP is a unique two-day event created by SUP magazine to introduce new people into the sport, encourage everyday paddlers to improve their skills and give everyone a chance to try out the latest greatest hard and soft goods from leading SUP brands.
“We at Salt Life are proud to be the presenting sponsor of the first annual Camp SUP,” said Salt Life’s Jeff Stillwell. “This sport embodies living the Salt Life and we hope to be a part of this great event for years to come.”
Additionally, SIC Maui, a premiere manufacturer in the standup paddling world, has signed on to run the Grom Clinic at Camp SUP. Aspiring young paddlers are encouraged to join the SIC team at 3 p.m. each day for an hour-long tutorial guaranteed to get them stoked for life.
“We are really excited to be involved with Camp SUP and for SIC to be the presenting sponsor of the Grom Clinic,” said SIC’s Marketing Manager Braly Joy. “SIC’s goal with youth programs is to help get kids on the water and make sure their first experience is a good one and a safe one so they come back.”
Camp SUP is the first event of its kind in the sport-part-demo, part instructional camp, and all about fun. Nikki Gregg, Gillian Gibree, Dave Boehne and Molokai Champion Connor Baxter have all signed on as clinicians for the two-day beach party. A four-mile fun paddle kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday (Register Here!). Part of the proceeds from the fun paddle will go to the winning Philanthropic Event at the 2014 SUP Awards.
Demos from some of the sport’s best brands and clinics highlight both Saturday and Sunday. The list of confirmed vendors includes: Bark, Boardworks, Body Glove, Futures, Henderson Wetsuits /Supreme, Hinano, Hobie, Infinity, King’s Paddle Sports, Laird SUP, Mamma Chia, Naish, NRS, OAM,Riviera Paddlesurf, SIC, Sun Protection Zone, SUP ATX, Surftech, ULI Boards, and Watermans Sunscreen.
Sierra Nevada, the Official Beer Sponsor of Camp SUP, opens their Beer Garden each day at 12 p.m. to kick off the beach party with live music all afternoon.
To learn more about Camp SUP, directions and a detailed schedule, visit: www.camp-sup.com
SUP magazine would like to thank Salt Life, Payette River Games, Banzai Bowls, Flips Audio, Ocean Minded, Sierra Nevada and California State Parks for their support of the 1st Annual Camp SUP at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California.
Header photo courtesy of Andrea Swayne/Dana Point Times
About SUP Magazine:
SUP magazine is part of The Enthusiast Network (TEN) and is the leading publication in the standup paddling world. With a progressive, approachable style, SUP strives to push readers off the couch and onto the water. By blending engaging print and destination features, gear coverage and in-depth instructional pieces with in-house video and event write-ups on SUPthemag.com, SUP magazine is changing the way you look at the sport, all while getting you into the game. For more information, please visit supthemag.com.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network LLC is the world’s premier network of enthusiast brands, such as Motor Trend, Automobile, SUP magazine, SURFER, Transworld and GrindTV. With more than 60 publications, 100 Web sites, the world’s largest automotive VOD channel, 800 branded products, 50+ events, TV and radio programs, TEN creates and delivers content that informs, entertains, inspires and connects with enthusiasts every day. For more information visit www.enthusiastnetwork.com.
Idaho Sturgeon from longersummers on Vimeo.
Fishing from a standup is in its infancy. Intrepid anglers the world over are discovering the joys of snagging fish on a board from pro surfers like Cory Lopez to avid fishermen like Ryan Sansoucy. Here, we watch as a paddler snags a sturgeon, a deep-dwelling, fresh water fish, in Idaho that looks to be about six feet in length. After a 45-minute fight, he lost it. Still, a solid fish tale and video proof to boot.
More SUP fishing here.
With all of the conflict and craziness in the Middle East currently, most people are avoiding the region. Not Mo Freitas. When the opportunity for a SUP surf trip in Israel came up, the North Shore, Oahu local let the idea marinate in his head for half a second before jumping on the offer. The trip was worth the risks of the region, as Freitas paddled the Dead Sea, the Jordan River and found some small surf, while also experiencing the “heart and soul” of local Israelis.
For more Mo, click here.
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Jeff Archer, owner of YOLO Boards, once called Nikki Gregg, “The First Lady of Standup Paddle Fitness.” And who are we to argue? Over the past few years, Gregg has been featured in Outside TV/NBC Universal Sports’ Facing Waves program, created instructional videos that are considered to be some of the best in the sport (including the forthcoming ‘Stand Up Paddling with Nikki Gregg’ series), and established a reputation as one of the premier whitewater paddlers.
In addition to being an SUP instructor and a competitor who has won titles at events such as The Payette River Games, Gregg also takes things seriously when it comes to water safety. She holds an EMT-B certification, AHA CPR/First Aid certification and has completed the rigorous Swift Water Rescue Training program. While taking time out from the recent 2014 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle challenge (just down the road, or should we say, downriver, from her home in Hood River, Oregon), Gregg shared three of her top tips for safe whitewater paddling with SUPthemag.com’s Brody Welte of PaddleFit. —Phil White
Photo: Chris Gragtmans
When you’re dealing with the unpredictable water conditions of a fast flowing river, you need to be stable enough to handle anything. That’s why Gregg always gets into a low and wide staggered stance she only half-jokingly calls “Crouching Tiger.”
“If you’re in this position you can easily take a knee when you go through a rapid. It makes for better stability side to side and back to front, which you must have on a river.” Gregg also cites the better balance that a lower center of gravity provides in such a position.
While you should respect the power of the river, you can’t afford to be passive out there. “Don’t let the rapid just take you wherever it wants you to go,” Gregg said. “Pick your line and aggressively paddle all the way through when the water gets crazy.”
While she advocates for a powerful stroke to maintain direction, Gregg also suggests that you “use your paddle like a motor and a steering wheel” while navigating whitewater. “You’ve got to take advantage of correctional strokes, such as a low brace, to keep yourself on your board,” she said. To do this, push the backside of your paddle flat against the face of the water, which will help you stand back up if you start to lose your balance.
“The safest place for you on the river is on your board,” Gregg said. So if you fall off, she suggests keeping hold of your paddle and trying to get back on as soon as possible, so you’re not pushed too far down river.
Gregg also advises you to fall as flat as possible if you can control your descent into the water—something she didn’t do when she fell off and broke her tail bone a few years back. “You don’t want to penetrate too deeply into the water because of all the rocks and debris that can be just below the surface,” she said.
Another piece of advice from the pro: river paddlers of any skill level need to wear protective gear—including a whitewater helmet, knee and shin pads and padded shorts—to minimize injuries. The must-have: a whitewater-specific PFD with a leash belt. “Attaching your leash to your PFD works better than fastening it to your ankle,” Gregg said.
In addition to these tips, Gregg suggests that paddlers start on a slow stretch of river, particularly if they’re only used to standup paddling on lakes or in the ocean. She also advises that everyone from novices to experts should always be accompanied by a partner or guide who knows the local runs intimately. And, it would do all paddlers well to ask the local SUP outfitter about any trees that may have fallen in the river or other issues the staff may know about. It is called “standup paddling,” not “fall in the river paddling” after all.
Click here for more tips from the pros.
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We’ve written of Justin Holland’s high level of stoke before. The Australian just loves to surf: big, small, windy, perfect, messy, whatever. He’s out there going for it. And we like that. Enjoy this edit from around Holland’s home stretch of coast.
More Holland here.
Photo: Darrell Wong
Last summer, Travis Baptiste stunned the water sports world when he won the stock category at the 2013 Molokai2Oahu World Championships (M2O). It wasn’t his success that was surprising–as Baptiste has long been considered one of Hawaii’s top young SUP talents–but his age: he had just turned 16. This time around at M2O, Baptiste’s fellow competitors knew all about his capabilities, but the knowledge did nothing to help them, as the 17-year-old once again claimed the title of Stock Class Champion. But, as we found out from Baptiste afterwards, his title defense was no sure thing and in fact, the Maui native almost didn’t put into the ‘Channel of Bones’ at all.
In the run up to this year’s M2O, Baptiste’s training was going well. In addition to putting in hours each week on his SUP and surf boards, he’d been spending a lot of time cross training in outriggers at Kihei Canoe Club. But then, two weeks before the biggest open ocean race of the year, things started unraveling when he got a sore throat.
“At first I thought I was just coming down with something, but it got so bad that I couldn’t talk, eat or drink,” Baptise said. “This sounds gross, but I had to keep spitting out saliva because I couldn’t swallow.”
Baptiste’s doctor was so concerned that he sent him to the emergency room, where physicians found an olive-size abscess in the back of his throat. Though lancing the abscess provided some relief after the initial stinging from the procedure subsided, Baptiste lost seven pounds from being unable to eat.
For a lean paddler who’s still growing, the weight loss would be quite a setback at any time. But, just before a 32-mile island crossing, it was a disaster.
Travis competing in his first M2O at 14 years old. Photo: Judie Baptiste
“My training went downhill and I could hardly get out on the water,” Baptiste said. “And when I did paddle, I couldn’t go very far, had no speed, and had to sleep a long time afterwards.”
Having put in so much prep time, Baptiste decided that he couldn’t just abandon his M2O title defense. So, when fellow M2O champ Connor Baxter asked if he wanted a ride to the race start on his family’s boat, Baptiste figured he’d go for it and see what happened. His throat had other ideas.
On the way to Molokai, Baptiste felt a searing pain again. Soon enough, it was so bad that again, he had difficulty swallowing. This was 48 hours before race time. A second trip to the emergency room failed to provide meaningful relief, and it took a knife pressed to the back of Baptiste’s throat the next day to drain the abscess. At this point, most people wouldn’t have even considered stepping on their board for a leisurely paddle, let alone competing in arguably the world’s toughest downwinder against a field chock-full of talent. But then, Baptiste isn’t most people.
“I had no idea if I could make it to the end of the race, but I just hoped my training would carry me through if I could get a good start,” he said.
Travis Baptiste, Kai Lenny, and Dave Kalama at the finish of the 2013 M2O.Photo: Mark Brekke, OnItPro.com
In the end, despite the weight loss, dehydration, and lack of sleep, that year of hard paddling was indeed enough, and then some. The 17-year-old didn’t just win the 14’ stock class for the second straight year, but also took fifth place overall, ahead of many more experienced racers who were competing on longer unlimited boards.
So, we asked Baptiste why he’s drawn to the shorter boards like one of his mentors, Jeremy Riggs. “Racing an unlimited board is great, but it’s a more challenging ride on a stock board.” “I like getting toward the back of my 14-footer and hopping between the wind waves you get on a downwinder like Molokai. It’s fun proving that a stock board can go fast, too.”
Another factor contributing to the speed and sustained power that Baptiste showcased in winning back-to-back Molokai stock titles is the mileage he logged in different craft during the past year, particularly a six-man outrigger canoe. When we spoke with Baptiste, he was sitting under a tree cooling off with his mom, Judie, after completing a grueling 26-mile canoe race in which his team finished third.
“Paddling a heavier craft like a six-man outrigger has definitely made my SUP stroke more powerful and increased my endurance,” Baptiste said. “That’s what carried me through at Molokai this year even though I was sick.”
In addition to his 4 a.m. solo workouts in the dark at Kihei Canoe Club and after school paddles, Baptiste is starting to expand his SUP reach beyond his local waters. A couple of weeks ago he accompanied his mentor and part-time coach, Danny Ching, to the 2014 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, where he finished ninth in the Double Down long distance event.
“The Gift of Giving.”
“When Travis gave his board away, the boy had a huge smile, but Travis’s was even bigger,” Judie said. “Someone titled a picture of it ‘The Gift of Giving’ and that’s just right. Danny was really impressed, and having gotten to know him the past few years, I have seen that he’s just as generous.”
When a bashful Baptiste took the phone back from his mom, he didn’t want to talk about his own generosity, but rather what he’s learning from Ching: “Watching Danny has given me an education on what it takes to reach the top and what it means to be a true waterman,” he said. “It’s not just what he does on the water—he’s constantly paying his blessings forward by giving back. I’ve seen him sign a kid’s hat and then give the pen back and ask the kid to sign his own hat. That makes people feel special.”
While Baptiste wants to follow Ching’s lead in SUP and lists a top 10 finish at BOP as one of his goals, he’s not allowing his focus on the sport to exclude everything else from his life. Like most of the senior class at Baldwin High School, Baptiste likes to goof around with friends, eat a burger or two while he’s “still young and can get away with enjoying food,” and attend the school’s football games on Friday nights (though unlike the rest of his crew, he’s usually in bed by 9:00 pm so he’s ready for those pre-dawn training sessions).
When he graduates, Baptiste will continue racing and plans to work at a Maui hotel leading canoe tours while studying business or hospitality and tourism at a college on the island. He’s just a “normal kid,” he claims. Yeah, a normal kid, who happens to have a couple of world championship SUP trophies on the mantel.
Travis with his proud mom, Judie, at the finish of the 2014 M2O. Photo: Mark Brekke, OnItPro.com
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The SUP 11-City Tour started with a colorful Prologue, Tuesday evening, where participants were dressed to impress representing their culture.
This morning the atmosphere was more serious as the athletes were anxious to see what the first day of racing would offer. At 9:15 the start shot sounded for the 6th annual SUP 11-City Tour in Leeuwarden, and everyone sprinted the first meters towards Sneek, our first resting point and city of the day.
The weather was spectacular with temperatures around 24C and light winds. Elite, Amateur, and Team paddlers competed side by side, on SUPs that varied from carbon 14-foot race boards to 12’6” inflatable boards.
At the resting post in Sneek, Peter Bartl of Austria arrived with an impressive four-minute lead on Bart de Zwart of Holland/Hawaii and Martijn van Deth of Holland. Nearly five minutes later the rest of the field raced into view, with Holland’s Janneke Smits arriving first for the women.
With another 20 kilometers to go after the resting post and a ‘stamping post’ in the second city “IJlst”, the participants headed towards the finish in the third city, Sloten. Before making it to the finish, the famous Slotermeer lake was waiting for everyone. Today, the lake offered rough conditions with chop created by the side onshore winds.
The finish of Day 1 was very surprising, as Bart de Zwart made up lost time and ended up winning the sprint from Peter Bartl finishing in 5 hours and 28 seconds. Peter Bartl came in second with a time of 5 hours and 30 seconds, while Martijn van Deth finished third in 5 hours, 1 minute and 16 seconds.
The female competitors did an awesome job, with Janneke Smits from Holland taking the lead today with a total time of 5 hours 48 minutes and 20 seconds. Joanne Hamilton-Vale from the UK came in 2nd with a time of 5 hours, 54 minutes and 13 seconds. Morene Dekker came in 3rd with her total paddling time: 6 hours, 10 minutes and 2 seconds.
Once passing the finish line, athletes were all smiles with a proper massage awaiting them, followed by a communal dinner and daily prize giving. The atmosphere in “SUP City”—our roaming home—is very unique. Everyone is part of the SUP 11-City Family. The volunteers work very hard to get the logistics on land and water organized, while the paddlers go very deep to keep up with the mental and physical challenge. The spectators can’t be forgotten, as they clap, hoot and holler, and keep the spirit alive. Together it’s an ‘insta bonding experience’ for everyone.
For more information, visit: SUP11CityTour.com
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