Buying a brand new SUP can be an intimidating process. Size, style and shape are just a few of the details that go into picking out the right board for you. So what do you do when you’ve done all the research and shopping imaginable, but you still aren’t sure? You demo it, and that’s where the Orange County shop SUP to You steps in.
The name says it all—SUP to You literally brings the SUP to you. After a customer narrows down their board choices online, co-owners Steve “Steve-O” Owen or Ryan Okon will bring the board to the customers’ paddling destination of choice and allow them to demo the boards. Once the customer finds their perfect fit, SUP to You will even hook their car up with whatever racks or gear they need to take the board home.
The industry has countless board options, and seeing as most quality sleds cost a pretty penny, buyers need to be confident in their purchases. Testing a board out first is the best way to build that confidence. Online, SUP to You has hundreds of boards to choose from. Their brick and mortar store carries plenty as well. Customers simply pick the board they want to demo, SUP to You delivers it to the water for no extra cost and the prospective buyer makes a purchasing decision from there.
“We think of our shop as a SUP candy shop,” says Okon. “If you open a magazine and see a board, chances are we have it, and you can try them side-by-side for yourself.”
SUP to You is a small shop in the Laguna Beach canyon, easy to miss for the common passerby. But don’t let the small size fool you; the shop has a big motto that is making buying a SUP much less stressful.
“Every board we carry, we demo,” says Steve-O. “That way people can paddle multiple options and make sure they choose their perfect board.”
“Most of the time people are doing their research and then they come into the shop to see the options,” said Ryan. “We’re attracting a lot of people who don’t want the first board purchase experience where they grow out of it or realize they made the wrong decision. We like to avoid that step all together.”
Steve-O and Okon like the idea of a running a full-service SUP shop, and that’s exactly what they deliver. And in the two years of business, SUP to You has never had a return; that’s 100 percent satisfaction right there.
During the summer months, the duo loads up the van with multiple boards and heads down to Baby Beach at the Dana Point Harbor every week for their Monday Demo Day. The demo day is not a day of renting out boards to random walk ups, but more so the perfect opportunity for a customer who is serious about buying a board to try it out on the water.
“Physical touch is everything,” says Steve-O. “Being able to actually touch and feel the board changes everything for a buyer.”
Steve-O loves their expression, “We sell stoke,” and it’s true. The owners have a red carpet approach with each and every person that walks through the shop doors. From educating each customer on the products, to meeting them on the beach for a demo, to installing racks in garages after a purchase is made. Ryan and Steve-O are running a SUP specialty shop and just want to share the lifestyle of the sport.
So where will you go when it comes to making your first or next SUP purchase? Well that’s SUP to You.
SUP to You has recently become affiliates with Sean Poynter and his SUP n’ Surf Retreat with Ian Cairns, coming up October 12 in Punta Mita, Mexico. If you’re looking to step up your SUP skills, this educational camp with the world’s best instructors is the go-to option for paddlers of any ability level.
Check out another great shop.
For more gear purchasing help, check out the Gear Guide.
by Phil White
If you have a post-paddling mobility routine (and you should!), you’re likely spending most of your time smashing your quads, sorting out your shoulders and liberating your lower back from stiffness. These areas all deserve attention, but so does your body’s less obvious, more obscure parts and equally important parts. When was the last time you gave a second thought to those aching forearms, the stabbing pain in your elbows or the weakness in your wrists?
Spend two minutes per side on each of these mobilizations (better yet, keep going until you make change) and you will restore slide and glide to your soft tissues, break your elbows out of their pain prison, and make your hands and wrists feel a whole lot better. Plus, by delaminating your gristly arm bits, you’ll improve paddling performance because you’ll recapture missing range of motion and halt mechanical compromises and technique errors, like flaring out your elbow, caused by neural tension. Two minutes a day…it sure couldn’t hurt!
Liberate your gristly, post-paddling forearms with the lacrosse ball smash. Photo: MobilityWOD.com
For a two-dollar investment at any sporting goods store, you can get one of the most versatile mobility tools out there: a lacrosse ball. If you can’t find one, use a tennis ball or any small, somewhat hard ball you can find. Once you’ve got your ball of choice:
-Find a counter, desk or bench.
-Turn your left hand over so the palm faces up.
-Place the ball underneath your forearm where the wrist meets the forearm.
-Use your other arm to apply pressure to the top of your left forearm.
-Contract your hand into a fist and hold for a few seconds.
-Relax for two seconds, then repeat. You can also make circles with the hand.
-Repeat on the other arm.
-Ready to step it up a notch? Stack a second ball on top of your forearm and apply pressure to it and repeat the contract/relax and hand circling motions.
-Remember that you have easy access to all the tissues of your arms, so experiment by rolling the ball slowly across any sore spots.
Smash your triceps to alleviate “paddler’s elbow.” Photo: MobilityWOD.com
Now that we’ve addressed the forearm, let’s try to free up some restrictions upstream. Tennis elbow is an all too common ailment for watermen and women, even if you never go near a tennis racket. We typically make the mistake of looking at the joint itself, when in fact it’s the soft tissues above and below the hinge that are causing the issue (plus, in the case of your triceps, also contributing to shoulder issues). Now that we’ve already gone downstream to the forearms, here’s part two of the cure:
-In the gym, place a barbell on the squat rack at shoulder height and place your left arm on it just above the elbow.
-If you don’t have access to a barbell/rack, use the edge of a chair or lie face down, extend your arm and place the lacrosse ball or a roller just above the elbow, and do the same motion as you would with the barbell version.
-Take your right hand and push down on your left bicep, to apply pressure between your tricep and the barbell. Then, rotate your left palm slowly toward your body (clockwise for your left arm) and then the opposite way.
-You can also use the “contract and relax” technique by clenching and unclenching your fist throughout the exercise.
-Work your way up toward where the triceps meets the shoulder (in other words, your armpit). If you find a sore/tight spot stay there and give it some lovin’ until it loosens up.
Improve wrist range of motion with this banded distraction. Photo: MobilityWOD.com
Paddling makes your wrists and hands tight – no shocks there! In addition to doing pressure-based mobilization to feed some slack into the system, you can also use a banded distraction to improve capacity and liberate those clawed hands.
-Take a medium stretching band and loop it low around a squat rack, bedpost or any other stable pole. Loop the band around your wrist.
-Kneel down and place your left palm on the ground, with the palm facing away as if you were grabbing your hand and pulling it downwards.
-Bend your elbow a little and then press back to a straight arm, keeping your hand flat on the ground. You can also oscillate around the wrist in very small circles.
-Do this for two minutes, then repeat for the right arm.
Now that’s the face of a guy with a properly proportioned paddle! Ethan Mangat puts his child-sized stroke to good use in Hawaii. Photo: Matty Schweitzer
A few years ago, kids wanting to try SUP had to lug around their parents’ clunky, adjustable paddles. While these cheap, two-pound paddles were no big deal for an adult, the same could not be said for their children.
It is not just the weight factor that poses a problem for kids either. The shaft and handle of an adult paddle – yes, even that $400 advanced model you have your eye on – are far too big for a child’s smaller hands. Another issue is that the surface area of most adult blades, usually ranging from 80 to 100 square inches, is too much to handle for juniors.
Thankfully, SUP’s rapid growth has driven advances in paddle technology that were unthinkable just a few years ago. Ergonomics and equipment are finally coming together, good news for the younger generation of SUP users. Here are the top three choices for kids’ paddles:
Few individuals have done more to advance paddle performance technology than Quickblade’s Jim Terrell. The former Olympian first created the Flyweight and Elite Flyweight, reducing blade size to the 70-square inch range and finally getting total weight under one pound. Back in the lab, the Mad Scientist decided that those numbers were still not low enough for kids. Soon enough, Quickblade was at it again with the Microfly, which offers a blade size of just 66 square inches and a carbon version that barely tips the scale at only 11 ounces.
Kialoa Kikei II
When Dave and Meg Chun’s company debuted the Kikei I, it was one of the most kid-friendly paddles ever created. The Kikei II combines everything we liked about its predecessor – intuitive adjustment mechanism, bombproof blade and a shaft tapered for small hands – in a lighter package. Another bonus with Kialoa’s paddle is the huge 53 to 69 inch adjustability range, which means you should only have to buy your child one paddle before they graduate to an adult stick. Plus, it’s a great value at just $149.
The Vantage is one of our favorite mid-level paddles for adults. So, when Riviera decided to create a paddle for juniors with the Sprout, we expected quality. This small but mighty paddle has an even greater adjustable range than the Kikei II and an optimal blade angle of 10 degrees. The slim blade is easy for kids to stab in and out of the water cleanly and the handle size is just right for growing paddlers.
Summer is here, which means beautiful weather, longer days and hopefully lots of beach time, whether on the ocean, lake or river.
Summer is also the time to get fit, from toning your body to just feeling better about your physical health. Here, we outline a full-body workout and kick you off the couch on your way to better health. You may not be needing gym shoes, but the workouts will be just as intense.
The following workouts will improve your SUP performance, burn fat, build lean muscle and increase energy. The training techniques are effective but they’re also fun. And best of all, with a little ingenuity, they can all be done outside. So let’s grab some beach buckets, apply some sunscreen and build a fierce physique!
— Nora Tobin
Time to swap the crunches for movements that will work the entire core. It’s not only important to train the rectus abdominis to get that definition we all love, but also activate the transverse abdominis, which flattens everything out. These activities challenge the core in all different planes of motion, giving you one shredded stomach.
Forearm Plank with Arm Raise
— Come into a forearm plank with elbows under shoulders, hands clasped and legs extended straight.
— Keep hips level and lift right arm up to shoulder height. Come back to center and lift left arm up to shoulder height. Keep your glutes and core engaged the entire time. Repeat for one minute.
Side Plank with Hip Raise
—Come onto your right side with elbow directly under shoulder and feet stacked. Lift hips off the ground, forming a straight line from head to heels.
—Lower hips back toward the ground, then lift straight back up to starting position. Draw shoulder blades together and belly button toward the spine. Repeat the lifts for 30 seconds each side.
Forearm Plank with Leg Raise
— Come into a straight-arm plank with wrists under shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Draw belly button up and in.
— Engage glutes and lift right leg up to hip-height. Come back to center and lift left leg up to hip-height. Continue to repeat the movement for one minute.
*It’s best to combine all three programs—resistance training, high-intensity intervals and core conditioning, alternating each day. However, even if you can only fit one of these programs into your routine you will still see major benefits.
Interval training has become favored over steady state cardio for many reasons. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) torches fat, improves power output, builds lean muscle and strengthens the cardiovascular system. It’s also a very effective workout in a short period of time. An interval training session can be completed in 10 to 20 minutes. This type of training is designed for short bursts, exercising at a fast pace for 20 seconds, followed by a moderate pace for 10 seconds.
The short, fast bursts of movement elevate post-exercise energy expenditure, which means the body burns calories well after the workout is over. Fat oxidation (fat burning) is significantly higher during interval training than steady state cardio.
The beauty of interval training is that it can be applied to almost any activity. Here are some fun ways to perform interval training:
Standup Paddle Intervals
Perform 30 seconds of paddling as fast as possible followed by one minute at a moderate pace. Repeat 10 times.
Beach Volleyball Bursts
Start in the center of the volleyball court. Sprint to the bottom left corner. Sprint back to the middle. Then sprint to the top left corner and back to the middle. Repeat on the right side of the court, always coming back to the middle. After you have hit all four corners, rest for one minute. Repeat the series 10 times.
Leave the paddle and board on the beach and swim at a moderate pace for five to 10 minutes to warm up. Then, perform a 50-yard sprint (two lengths in a pool or about one minute in the ocean or lake). Follow up the sprint with a two-minute slow drill. Extend both arms straight out in front of you and practice a controlled freestyle stroke, bringing both hands to meet each time before starting the next stroke. This drill helps with stroke technique. Repeat the series 10 times.
Originally published in SUP’s Summer ’15 Issue, on newsstands now.
Got some steam left? Extend your workout with Part 1 of SUP’s Summer ’15 Fitness Guide.
Video tutorial: SUP specific training exercises you can do anywhere.
Get hard-core: Find out what else you can do to get those abs of steel.
If this video doesn’t get you stoked to vote in the fifth annual SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama, we don’t know what will. But you’d better do it soon! Voting closes on Sept. 3rd. Log on to SUPawards.com and vote for your favorite nominees for top female and male paddlers of the year, top expedition, movie of the year and top philanthropic effort. In return for your vote, you’ll be entered to win big prizes from event sponsors Tommy Bahama, GoPro, Martin Guitar and Futures SUP!
Edit: Brent Deal
Cantabria is a sparsely populated, quiet and quaint, utterly beautiful little region in Northern Spain. It showcases the supremely stunning country scenery the region is renowned for, with a population of cows possibly greater than the its population of humans. Beyond the land, far more fun, friendly empty waves grace the Spanish shoreline than there are of surfers who ride them. For travel fanatics and insatiable SUP surfers, Cantabria is a dreamy little slice of Spanish heaven.
Here, the traveling couple, Stephane Etienne and Nicole Boronat—both talented SUP surfers with a knack for exploration and a tendency toward wanderlust—find themselves enraptured in the heavenly Basque Country setting. Surely you would be too. Enjoy it vicariously here until you get there yourself.
More: See a different side of SUP in Spain.
For the latest in our One Move Workout series, we’re going back to an Olympic lifting exercise. When you’re pushed for time, compound lifts that work major muscle groups and involve joints moving through a full range of motion are a great way to get big results in just a few minutes. Add in a speed component and you can complete a total body workout very quickly.
The clean is one of the best such examples. Like the snatch – which we covered recently – the clean improves the power and quality of your hip drive, which is essential in SUP. It also requires you to quickly cycle between several fundamental movement archetypes, including the squat, hang and front rack.
As you become more confident with the hang clean variation, you can work with your coach on pulling the barbell from the floor and adding the overhead split jerk component. But as mastering the full lift can take months or years, we asked Olympian and SUP fitness pro Sean Pangelinan from The FitLab to show you the simpler hang clean variation. You’ll still get more than 90 percent of the benefits of the full movement, without the steep learning curve. Still, have a training partner or coach check your form.
As with all workouts, make sure you take time to warmup adequately. We suggest five to 10 minutes of slow rowing, running or functional movements like jumping rope, pushups and mountain climbers, followed by a few active mobility exercises. Then be sure to do another five to 10 minutes of slow cardio to cool down, along with some more mobility work. This helps send your body from the sympathetic (fight or flight) state into parasympathetic recovery.
Tip: Add the hang clean to your fitness regiment along with this simple series of exercises from the fitness guide in SUP‘s Summer ’15 issue, on newsstands now. To make sure you have the energy and nutrients to complete your workout, try incorporating some of these healthy high energy foods to your pre-workout diet.
Want more? Check out parts one and two of the One Exercise Workout series.
Slater Trout slinks into the hole slot on Day One of the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge during the Elite Course Race, surrounded by the world’s best racers, as well as a thick layer of smoke from nearby forest fires. Photo: Brian Munce (@photobymunce)
After a weekend of diehard racing among the world’s top paddlers, the fifth annual Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge wrapped up yesterday in hot, windless conditions with Annabel Anderson winning both Saturday and Sunday’s events for the second year in a row. On the Men’s side, Danny Ching took the course race win on Saturday, while 42-year-old Kelly Margetts beat the all-star group of paddlers on hand for Sunday’s race to steal the story of the event. Travis Grant, who’s putting on the best season of his career with wins at Molokai 2 Oahu and the Carolina Cup, took second in both races for the overall win.
The weekend’s conditions were anomalous for this section of Hood River, Oregon. The ferocious westerly winds that grace the Gorge, which famously couple with the river’s opposing current to create massive bumps, failed to register for Saturday and Sunday’s races. Instead, a light easterly breeze blew down the river, exacerbating the oncoming current for paddlers and carrying with it a thick layer of smoke from numerous forest fires in the surrounding area. The smoke settled into the Gorge for the weekend, tainting the air to leave contenders even more winded. To top it off, temperatures hovered in the high-80s through the weekend. Needless to say, even for the fittest racers, this year’s Paddle Challenge truly lived up to its name.
An ominous air hung over the opening day of racing, as Miami’s Andres Pombo, a member of the paddling’s extended family, went missing during a downwind practice run. After authorities recovered his board and found GoPro footage from the camera attached to its deck, which showed Pombo separating from his equipment before drifting off screen, a massive search was launched to find the missing paddler. Pombo has yet to turn up and recovery efforts remain underway.
The day of course racing kicked off with a dominant performance by Annabel Anderson. The Kiwi proved yet again she’s the lady to beat (coming off a second-place overall/14-foot stock win at Molokai 2 Oahu) taking a commanding early lead in the Course Race that cinched her the victory long before she crossed the finish line. Behind her, friends and training partners Fiona Wylde and Angie Jackson duked it out for the second-place finish, with Jackson eventually pulling ahead to settle the duel just before the finish line. Wylde came in a close third, with Shannon Bell (4th) and Terrene Black (5th) wrapping up the top-five. See below for full results from the women’s Elite Course Race.
On the men’s side, Saturday’s Elite Course Race played out with a proper—if odd—battle among a handful of the world’s fastest gents. Ching was the undisputed top performer, holding a lead throughout the five-lap course before almost losing it while heading for an incorrect buoy near the end of the race. He was followed by the lead pack before they realized their mistake. Ching finished just steps ahead of the on-fire Grant, who was just coming off one of the performances of the year at Molokai 2 Oahu. New Caledonia‘s rising threat Titouan Puyo finished third with world champion Connor Baxter, Georges “The Tahitian Beast” Cronsteadt and Maui superstar Kai Lenny filling out the next few places in that order. A splintered chase pack came in more than a minute behind Lenny. See full results for the men’s top-20 below.
Day Two on the Gorge kicked off with a paddle-out on behalf of Pombo, the missing paddler. Jake Jensen led the pack on Pombo’s board, followed by what may have been the largest paddle-out group in SUP history, with nearly 250 community members rallying to support the search. What a supportive group the SUP community is.
Meanwhile, race coordinators reevaluated the day’s racing due to the light winds, resolving to cut the usual eight-mile Double Downwinder (where competitors do the downwind run twice for time) in half for Sunday’s race, a welcomed revision given the brutal conditions.
The women were the first to test the waters, putting on valiant performances despite the oncoming current and dead wind. Anderson once again took first-place, making a clean sweep for the 2015 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge for the second year running. Nearly a minute behind Anderson, Wylde (2nd) and Black (3rd) came in neck-and-neck to round out the top-three, followed by Angie Jackson and the youngster Shae Foudy.
On the men’s side, a main group of 15 to 20 paddlers jockeyed for position behind the leading pack, which consisted of Grant, Ching and Margetts, as Puyo paralleled the pack with a line of his own all the while. Smaller draft trains took chances by breaking off to run their own lines along side the chase pack, with Lenny and Josh Riccio opting to go it alone for a stint and Cronsteadt choosing his own route as well. In the end, Margetts, a favorite contender among the paddlers, proved that age is not a factor by beating out the young guns to claim victory with a time of 1:19:27.73. The 42-year-old, who turns 43 in a few days, beat out runners up Grant (2nd) and Puyo (3rd) for a storybook ending in the vicious Hood River conditions. A perennial contender at past BOP events, this is the biggest win of Margett’s career. An amazing performance from the Australian resident.
More from Columbia River Gorge.
More info on Andres Pombo, the missing paddler. Our condolences to his family and friends.
It’s waiting for you in Richmond. Courtesy: Teresa Cole
If you are looking for adventure, Richmond is the place to visit. The James River is 344 miles long, forming in the Appalachian Mountains and flowing to the Chesapeake Bay. The James River runs through Richmond, Virginia and boasts the only urban whitewater with class III and IV rapids (lower James). For those paddlers looking for something a little more mild, the upper James offers a chance to run class I and II. There are also several sections of flat water for those just getting started or wanting a more relaxed day. The James is a great place to see osprey, Great Blue Herons and eagles. It is also one of the best places on the East Coast to fish for smallmouth bass. There are several put-ins along the entire Richmond stretch, maintained by the James River Park System. The best put-ins are Huguenot Flatwater Park for mellow paddling, swimming or fishing, Pony Pasture for those wanting to run Class I and II rapids (take out at Reedy Creek) or put-in a Reedy Creek for those wanting to run the lower James (class III and IV). There are several other put-in places along the river as well.
Shop: Carytown is an urban retail district lining Cary Street at the southern end of the Museum District in Richmond, Virginia. The district includes over 250 shops, restaurants and offices.
Eat: Richmond has some of the best eating on the East Coast. Depending on your mood, anything and everything is available. For tacos that will make you melt, try En Su Boca or Don’t Look Back. Looking for a cold brew after a long day on the river, try Hardywood Park Brewery or Ardent. Want to try something a little nicer, head to The Roosevelt in Richmond’s historic Church Hill. Richmond offers something for everyone.
Submitted by Teresa Cole
Urban Paddle Guide Info
Welcome to the 2015 Urban Paddle Guide presented by SUP ATX! Our mission is simple: build the best online resource for padding in towns and cities across the United States. Every urban area has unique places to paddle and we want your help finding out where those are! Enter your town in the Urban Paddle Guide now by sending us a picture(s), a brief description (no more than 350 words), then telling us about shops, restaurants and other resources as part of the entry form.
We’re prepared to reward you mightily. By entering, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a free trip to Southern California for the 2015 SUP Awards and the 2015 Pacific Paddle Games as well a brand new Lahui Kai board and paddle from SUP ATX.
Enter the Urban Paddle Guide presented by SUP ATX.
Montana’s Alberton Gorge has it all: fun play waves, challenging rapids and beautiful scenery. This spring, the Badfish/Boardworks crew—including river standouts Michael Tavares, Mike Harvey, Miles Harvey, Brittany Parker, Natali Zollinger, Spencer Lacy, Matt Gagen and Zack Hughes—plumbed the gorge for the best lines and best surf they could find.
“Alberton Gorge was a perfect SUP destination,” says Mike T.
See the video, produced by Elements Mixed Media, for proof.
Check out our feature on this trip in our Fall Issue, on newsstands September 4.
Photo: Roxy Facebook
There was certainly no shortage of good vibes, great people and high energies as Roxy’s #RunSUPYoga series hosted around 1,000 female participants at Huntington Beach last Saturday. #RunSUPYoga is a three-part, all-women’s event aimed to promote active and healthy lifestyle across the globe. Together with host and Roxy ambassador, world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore, #RunSUPYoga has been touring the world to spread love and awareness for fitness and outdoor lifestyle. The famous Southern California beach was covered with standup paddleboards, yoga mats, running shoes and booths from Zico and Cabo Chips, providing energizing food and drinks.
The overcast morning started with a two-heat, one-kilometer SUP race. To no one’s surprise, Gilmore came in first-place looking as graceful as can be, followed by 50 or so women paddling vigorously to keep up with the champion surfer (myself included, huffing and puffing to finish just two places behind Gilmore). After a quick wardrobe change, shoes were laced and the shoreline 5k run began. Right off the bat, a lot of us women were not prepared to run on the sand, but despite the sandy struggles everyone who started the run crossed the finish line with to encouraging cheers from the crowd. The top-six paddlers and top-three runners all won prizes presented by Roxy. Following the run — and after a much needed water, snack and lay-face-down-in-sand break — came the hour long, relaxing and reinvigorating yoga session lead by humorous host, Elise Jone. By this time the sun was gleaming down on the roughly 650 women getting our Vinyasa on in the sand. All in all, the day brought more than 1000 women together to celebrate life, fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
Photo: Annie Maize
In the end, we caught up with Stephanie Gilmore to reflect on the outstanding event:
SUP: What makes you want to be a part of events like #RunSUPYoga?
SG: I just love to see girls being encouraged and inspired. I love that Roxy has always been an iconic brand, not only for surfing but to get girls to challenge themselves physically and get out there and have fun and not just lay there and be beach babes.
SUP: What’s different about #RunSUPYoga compared to other events you’ve done in the past?
SG: This event mixes it up, it’s not just a run or a surf or a sup. That’s what you have to do to keep exercise interesting, you have to mix it up.
SUP: As a professional surfer what’s your opinion on SUP?
SG: I actually love it. I injured my knee a couple months ago, and SUP has been the perfect rehabilitation tool because it’s the perfect amount of balance, a good way to trigger different muscles and the core strength it builds is incredible. Obviously in flat water it’s good, while in waves it’s pretty challenging. Everyone thinks surfers would be pretty good at it but it’s really difficult; it’s a totally different type of balancing and you find yourself sore in so many different places compared to surfing.
SUP: How do you think the HB #RunSUPYoga went?
SG: The turnout was incredible, all the girls were real excited. The vibe was great, I think it was a huge success!
SUP: What’s next for #RunSUPYoga?
SG: This event is definitely going to happen again. After seeing the success of each event, including Barcelona, Bali, Hawaii and especially here in Huntington, we’ll be doing it in even more awesome locations and next year will be even bigger and better.
Get engaged with more #RUNSUPYOGA.
Get empowered with more SUP Women.
What does it take to elevate your expertise to the highest level possible? How do you transform your skill set from elementary to exceptional?
The simple answer is practice. 10,000 hours of practice to become a master, according to popular theory. But for those who don’t have 10,000 hours to dedicate solely to standup paddling (that’s nearly three hours a day, every day, for ten years), quality mentorship is the key to unlocking the upper echelons of one’s SUP skill. To take your standup paddling to the next level in hyper speed, ISA gold-medalists Ian Cairns and Sean Poynter’s SUP n’ Surf Retreat at The Royal Suites by Palladium is an option worth considering.
“The idea behind SUP n’ Surf Retreat is to provide any paddler who’s serious about improving performance with access to personalized SUP instruction from the best coaches in the business, in a premium location that’s perfectly suited for teaching and learning SUP,” Poynter told SUP the mag. “Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time paddler, our retreat is a way to accelerate your ability beyond what’s typically possible.”
Cairns himself is a former member of the Bronzed Aussies who helped pioneer professional surfing alongside fellow legends like Peter Townend, Mark Richards, Mark Warren and Shawn Tomson before transitioning to a career as a surf and SUP coach. He developed his teaching strategy for the retreat through years spent as a surf coach—first for world champion surfers like Tom Curren, Lisa Anderson and Sunny Garcia, and more recently for the US SUP team, which won the 2015 ISA World Championships in SUP surfing last May.
“My teaching method is three-part,” Cairns told SUP. “I focus on strategy—how to position yourself and choose waves in the lineup; skills—how to ride a wave once you’ve caught it; and attitude—how to maintain a positive outlook on your SUP experience. I’ve found I can have a profound impact on a surfer who’s willing to learn, even in the crummiest, tiniest waves.”
Poynter is living proof of the merits of Cairns’ world-class instruction. Born in Ohio to parents who’d hardly spent a day in their lives on the ocean, Poynter started training under Cairns a few years back. Within a decade of picking up the paddle, he’s transformed into one of the world’s top-10 SUP surfers. With Cairns’ coaching, Poynter is now as close to mastery as anyone in the game, and while he clocks more SUP time than most, he’s still shy 10,000 hours.
Poynter and Cairns’ strategy behind SUP n’ Surf Retreat is straightforward: take a group of aspiring paddlers passionate about improving their abilities and isolate them for one week in a paradisiacal environment. Provide them with premium accommodations on and off the water so they can focus entirely on the task at hand—progressing their paddling prowess. Place them in friendly, uncrowded, warm-water waves for multiple sessions every day, side-by-side with two of the best teachers on earth. During those sessions, film each participant’s session, then individually analyze every turn from every session with input from Cairns and Poynter and take what they learn back to the surf to practice. Repeat this process each day for a week, and Cairns says, “Anyone, of any skill level, will enjoy a week with us at this retreat and leave with a skill set that will make them a much better standup paddle surfer. Period.”
SUP n’ Surf is partnering with The Royal Suites by Palladium—a 5-star resort with more 56 locations across the globe—to host the getaway in a luxury environment intimately personalized to cater to each attendee. The inaugural retreat, which will be hosted at Palladium’s premier facility in Punta Mita, Mexico, October 12 through 17, features all-inclusive accommodations, an array of activities for the family members, a boat shuttle to carry paddlers to nearby breaks, and access to the resort’s bountiful offerings, in addition to the education in SUP. As if that’s not enough, word on the water is Palladium’s staff makes one heck of a margarita.
Visit the SUP n’ Surf website to contact Poynter and Cairns personally and reserve your spot before space runs out!
SUP n’ Surf Retreat’s Facebook page.
See what Sean Poynter does with just a day and a half in Mexico.
When Gaspar de Portolá and his men first discovered San Francisco Bay during a land expedition in 1769, they couldn’t have known they were unveiling one of the best SUP spots on earth. Today, the Bay is well-known as a standup paddler’s haven with something on tap for all who SUP. Whether touring, downwinding, surfing or just fooling around with friends—from Alcatraz to Angel Island, McCovey Cove to the Golden Gate—the paddling opportunities are virtually endless in San Francisco. One can only imagine how different the history books would read if Portolá and his men were into SUP.
Check out the San Francisco profile in our Urban Paddle Guide.
Downwinding in San Francisco: A SUP magazine digital feature.
Andres Pombo, a Maimi paddler competing in the Naish Columbia River Gorge Paddle Challenge, was separated from his board and went missing during yesterday’s practice runs. Authorities are still searching. Photo: Andres Pombo Facebook
In an unsettling turn of events, a paddler went missing Friday in Hood River, Oregon in preparation for the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge.
According to Facebook reports–all conjecture at this point until confirmed by authorities–Andres Pombo of Miami, Florida was doing practice runs on the Columbia River Friday with friends in preparation for the event when he was separated from his board. In GoPro footage found on a camera attached to his board (the board was recovered later), Pombo is seen being separated from his SUP before disappearing off screen. His hydration pack was also found in the river.
The Columbia in Hood River is a massive body of water, literally hundreds of yards wide, creating the border between Oregon on the south, and Washington on the northern shore. The region is a mecca for windsports, as athletes have come to the small town an hour east of Portland for decades to enjoy kite- and windsurfing as well as kayaking, mountain biking, snow riding and other sports. Wind traveling west to east creates incredible swell–there’s footage of kitesurfers catching proper waves in the middle of the river–that paddlers can paddle into and surf, actually traveling against the current up river.
The last few days in Hood River have seen a significant wind event with powerful gusts traveling up the Gorge with strong winds being felt into Eastern Oregon and Idaho. Dozens of paddlers have been enjoying the primo conditions ahead of the event. The search continues today. No word on whether races have been postponed but we will update this post as we learn more.
Update, Monday, August 24, 11am PST: The Hood River County Sheriffs Department released a statement to the Hood River News declaring it “highly unlikely” that Pombo survived his swim in the Columbia River. Rescue crews have continued to search throughout the weekend, failing to find anything. The media outlet also confirmed that Pombo was not wearing a PFD or using a leash, thanks to video footage found on the South Florida resident’s board.
A site has been set up to help Pombo’s family, with the target of raising $10,000. Contributions amounted to nearly $17,000 over the weekend. Click here to help.
Update, Thursday, August 27, August 26, 5:00pm PST: After five days of search and rescue efforts following Pombo’s disappearance, at around 9am Wednesday, the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office reportedly spotted Pombo’s body near Swell City, across the Columbia River from Ruthton Point in Hood River. His body, which was spotted by the Sheriff’s Office search plane, was discovered floating in the middle of the massive river not far from where Pombo was believed to have gone under.
“It’s just a grim reminder of what can happen,” said Hood River County Sheriff Matt English. “We feel terrible for the family…it’s a tragic event. We’re just glad that we could help when they have a really hard time.”
According to coordinators of the fundraising campaign created to help Pombo’s family, a portion of the remaining funds will go toward “water safety outreach and education in Andres’ honor.”
Board testing at Doheny State Beach. What will you ride? Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
Equipment will be key at the Pacific Paddle Games, presented by Salt Life, October 10-11 at Doheny. Racing through the surf is a specialized skill that takes both stamina and technique. Having the right board for the job definitely helps. The following is what you need to know about equipment at #PPG2015.
Board length. Pro males will ride 14′ boards throughout the event and Pro females will ride 12’6″. Race organizers decided on this for simplicity’s sake. One board for all the pros in all the races. It levels the playing field and doesn’t divide up the Pro winners. That said, there are multiple categories in the Open divisions for people’s preferences.
Rocker. Having the correct amount of rocker—the curvature at the nose and tail of the board—in surf races is crucial. It could be the difference between nose-diving and riding cleanly to the finish. It’s a fine line though: too much rocker and the board will be slow during the flat sections of the courses while too little makes punching through and riding waves more challenging. Most brands have an ocean-style race board built for these types of conditions.
Nose Shape. At the recent Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City one of the emerging trends was that most brands are offering boards built with a bulbous, wave-piercing nose. While not exactly new, these boards have proven their mettle in open-ocean and surf-race conditions and will be the most common race board at PPG. They have a rocker line conducive to wave riding and the nose punches through/floats over whitewater with ease.
Width. Stability is your friend in surf races. While many racers will go a bit wider because of this, many of the Pros will go super narrow in the name of speed. These boards are tippy, yes, but advances in rail designs and and deck shape has made many of the skinniest boards relatively stable. If you’re new to surf racing go with more width; if you have the need for speed look to boards designed for experts in surf racing.
Paddles. Shorter is often better for surf racing. The races at PPG are also relatively short and more technical in their design. Shorter paddles allow for quicker adjustments in the surf, around buoys and in the pack. Don’t go with anything too short and risk injury but do consider dropping a couple inches, if comfortable.
The fifth annual Naish Columbia River Gorge Paddle Challenge kicks off today with the Course Race, followed by Sunday’s highly anticipated Double Downwind Race. Photo: Columbia River Gorge Paddle Challenge Facebook
After a year of surprises, progressive performances and an inevitable dose of drama, the 2015 standup paddle racing season is finally on its home stretch, gearing up for October’s epic grand finale. But the season wouldn’t be complete without the Naish Columbia River Gorge Paddle Challenge—one of the most popular, prestigious and action-packed SUP events on the agenda.
For its fifth consecutive year, the event in Hood River, Oregon—a favored destination among elite wind warriors, bump junkies and speed specialists—returns to the famed Columbia River Gorge with a weekend of paddle racing, on-water demos, live music, delicious food and craft brew from one of the most densely endowed artisanal brewing regions on earth. Much like its neighboring river event—Idaho’s Payette River Games—the Gorge event takes on a scale far grander than SUP racing. Sure, standup is the beloved common thread that bands the people together, and sure, the racing is undoubtedly world-class, but the event is generally more about having fun than anything else. The way it should be.
Confirmed attendees at the Gorge Challenge include a stacked list of the world’s elite racers. The men’s side will include Connor Baxter, Danny Ching, Kai Lenny, Travis Grant, Mo Freitas, Jake Jensen, Georges Cronsteadt, Titouan Puyo, Beau O’Brian, Kelly Margetts, Vinnicius Martins, Slater Trout, Kody Kerbox, Paul Jackson, James Casey, Niuhiti Buillard, Martin Letourneur, Kenny Kaneko, Josh Riccio and Noa Ginella, to name a few.
In the women’s arena, top-tier talent like Annabel Anderson, Fiona Wylde, Angie Jackson, Terrene Black, Andrea Moller, Shae Foudy, Manca Notar and Morgan Hoesterey comprise just a portion of the registration list. Needless to say, competition is expected to be stiff.
The racing portion of the Gorge Paddle Challenge consists of two main race categories: the Course Race (today) and the Double Downwinder (Sunday). The Course Race consists of a one-mile course off Waterfront Beach Park, where the Elite division will complete five laps, the Open will complete four and the Groms two. Sunday’s downwinder, the event’s highly anticipated race that showcases the Gorge’s phenomenal wind, will consist of an 8-mile downwind run from Viento State Park to Waterfront State Park. The wind howls west to east on this section, directly against the current, which acts to create giant wind swell—often well overhead—from which the Gorge earns its fabled reputation as a downwinding mecca.
Check back in with SUPthemag.com for updates, recap and results from the 2015 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge.
San Diego’s burgeoning SUP star, 17-year-old Noa Hopper, lives life engulfed in watersports. Photo: Hopper
Some theorize that the best athlete is the one having the most fun. Others assert that the best athlete is the one who can master new skills the fastest. If either of these theories prove true, 17-year-old San Diego SUP sensation Noa Hopper is already on top, and he’s only getting better.
This past summer, while his friends were goofing off and going on family trips, Hopper was jumping between a range of water sports so broad that the term “polymath” seems a dramatic understatement. In addition to taking on daily SUP sessions in Mission Bay and Cardiff by the Sea, as well as his first season lifeguarding in Del Mar, Hopper also spent an inordinate amount of time practicing nine disciplines (yes, nine!) at the San Diego Canoe Kayak Team (SDCKT) headquarters. And then came the competitions.
Earlier this year, Hopper was on the fence about whether to take his first crack at Molokai 2 Oahu when he ran into veteran, world champion SUP racer, Candice Appleby. The SUP superstar encouraged him to give M2O a shot, and offered to be his relay partner for the intimidating 32-mile Channel of Bones crossing.
“If it wasn’t for Candice, I probably wouldn’t have even attempted Molokai this year,” Hopper said. “She’s done the race on SUP and prone boards and had everything planned down to the last detail, so that gave me a lot of confidence.”
Noa Hopper’s inspiration for competing in Molokai 2 Oahu stems from support from world champion racers Candice Appleby and Danny Ching. Could an aspiring SUP grom ask for better mentors? Photo: Noa Hopper Facebook
Another encounter that helped fuel Hopper’s last-minute preparations for M2O was a downwind training session with Danny Ching. Noa noticed that the seasoned world champion seemed a little sluggish and asked him what was up. He found out that Ching had paddled more than 20 miles that morning in his outrigger canoe, taken a brief rest and then joined his young protégé for another 15 on his SUP board. “Danny’s got more downwind experience than anyone and his tips convinced me that I could complete the channel crossing.”
The results of Ching and Appleby’s mentoring? First-place in the mixed relay division. Most people would be satisfied with such a momentous victory, but this was just the start of Hopper’s winning summer. After finishing M2O, he flew back to San Diego for three days and then went back to Oahu for a water polo tournament with his Bishop’s High School team.
During the school year, Hopper stays in shape with grueling two-hour, five day a week team practices that involve “lots of intervals and intense swimming drills.” So he and his teammates were primed for the weeklong tournament, which they ended on the podium, raising the championship trophy.
After the tournament, Hopper headed home to continue his lifeguard shifts, training at SDCKT and daily SUP sessions with Laird Standup teammate, Chuck Glynn. “We’ll head up to Cardiff, paddle for a couple of hours and then go for a huge breakfast at Pipes Café in Encinitas,” Hopper said. “I owe Chuck a lot, but not breakfast because he’ll sometimes eat two daily specials!”
Soon after returning from Hawaii, it was time for Hopper to pause his training and get back to competing. This time it was on to the 2015 USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships in Chula Vista. There, Hopper set a new standard of excellence by making the finals in all nine events he entered and scoring podium finishes in seven of them.
The most impressive of these results was arguably in the C2 1000 meters. Hopper and new partner Paul Chevallier stepped into a boat together for the first time and beat their more experienced competitors to claim the title. At the urging of Quickblade mad scientist, Jim Terrell, Hopper also tried his hand in sprint canoe (the event that took Terrell to four Olympiads) and C-1 canoe, in which Hopper finished fifth in the nation after only 10 practice sessions. Exposure to these new events has led to Hopper setting his sights on even loftier future goals.
“SUP was added to the Pan Am Games and hopefully the next step is it becoming an Olympic event,” Noa said. “I’d love to represent my country in SUP, kayaking and C1.”
Noa Hopper’s won so many national championship gold medals in different disciplines of paddlesports, they can barely fit around his neck. No doubt, he’ll make room for a few more medals when SUP becomes an Olympic sport. Photo: Noa Hopper Fac
More SUP Groms.
A look back at the 2015 Molokai 2 Oahu.
Voting for the fifth annual SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama closes on Sept. 3rd. Log on to SUPawards.com and vote for your favorite nominees for top female and male paddlers of the year, top expedition, movie of the year and top philanthropic effort. In return for your vote, you’ll be entered to win big prizes from event sponsors Tommy Bahama, GoPro, Martin Guitar and Futures SUP!
Giveaway items include: GoPro Session, Martin Guitar, Futures SUP Fins, and Tommy Bahama Beach Chairs.
The SUP Awards are standup paddling’s highest honor, recognizing the very best athletes in the sport each year. Honorees will be presented at the SUP Awards show presented by Tommy Bahama, Thursday, October 8, 2015, at the historic Casino San Clemente in San Clemente, California. The Awards show will precede the inaugural Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life, Oct. 10-11 at Doheny State Beach, boasting a historically unprecedented $55,000 prize purse, making this the biggest week in SUP!
Special thanks to presenting sponsor Tommy Bahama, as well as, Futures Fins, GoPro, Kona Brewing Co., Martin Guitar and Glenfiddich for their support.
Follow SUP magazine on Facebook and Twitter @SUPthemag for updates on SUP Awards voting. Use the hash tag #SUPAwards to start the conversation.
Paul Clark play paddles an Oregon iceberg in preparation for his upcoming solo of Alaska’s Inside Passage. Don’t forget the drysuit this time, Paul! Photo: Angelique Valdes
by Paul Clark
The board is rolled and the gear packed. By this time tomorrow, I’ll be on my way back to Alaska. It’s been some time since I paddled such northern waterways, but my memories are fond and familiar. How could it be with scenery this spectacular? I spent many immaculate seasons guiding sea kayak tours based out of Haines or Juneau. But an undeniable love affair with SUP some years back led me to surrender my seated ways, and I haven’t had any desire to sit back down since. It seemed my paddling days on the Inside Passage were finally numbered. Or so I thought.
Now, here I am. Board and bags packed, paddle parted in pieces and (single-blade) securely stowed, safety gear and sustenance stored in dry bags that will soon bear the Alaskan elements atop the deck of a paddleboard, not in the bow of a boat. This expedition is a kind of homecoming for me. I land in Juneau tomorrow, where for my first time, I will attempt a SUP tour in the rugged waterways of Alaska’s Inside Passage.
With carefully selected gear lashed to my board in dry bags, I’ll put in solo near Juneau and start paddling. What separates this trip from my usual expedition approach—I am embarking with a completely open itinerary for the next two weeks. I have a round trip ticket from Oregon to Juneau that gives me two full weeks before I’ll be deposited back in the lower-48. Until then, I’ll let the region’s weather (world-renowned for its unpredictability) and my mood (a bit more predictable than the weather) dictate what I do and where I go from there. I may take the ferry down to Wrangell, about 150 miles south of Juneau, then paddle back up along the coast entering Endicott Arm, Tracy Arm, and Taku Inlet—a path that retraces the canoe routes of John Muir. Or, I may paddle north to Haines and Skagway. The expedition could range anywhere from 150 to 250 miles. Regardless of which route I choose, I am certain to experience remote and wonderful wilderness. With my 14-foot inflatable I am open to a range of experiences and I’ll be able to adapt to most any circumstance.
There will be glaciers, hemlock forest, whales and bears. There will be plenty of “liquid sunshine,” or, as most people know it, rain. The Inside Passage has long been a test piece for adventurers. The weather can be brutal, as can be the wildlife. I’ve been asked, “Are you bringing a gun?” No, but I am bringing a drysuit, and plan to wear it every day on the water. I’m more concerned about hypothermia than bear attacks. That said, I am extremely conscious of the bear habitat and I plan to do everything I can to avoid contact with bears. Both black and brown bears live in abundance where I will be paddling and camping, likely outnumbering the human occupants by a long shot. Coexistence is often the best defense against wildlife not conditioned to human populations. You are not food, but you can be in their way. The goal is, don’t be in their way.
Paddleboarding isn’t the typical craft there, but I hope to show its versatility and practicality in this type of extreme environment. Aboriginal Tlinkit and Haida natives paddled dugout canoes there for hundreds of years. It’s truly an honor to paddle in areas where such a tradition exists. Away from crowds, paddling deep into the solitude of wilderness, shrouded in mist and aware of life bigger than one’s own; that’s something I can’t get enough of. Paddleboarding is how I reach these places. And besides, it’s less the destination and more the experience. See you on the other side.
Stay tuned to SUPthemag.com for updates on Paul’s journey through Alaska’s Inside Passage.
Video: Kai Lenny Paddles Alaska
Soloing the Sea of Cortez, Baja California
Backwaters: 100-miles on the Lower Deschutes
Got a question for Paul Clark? We’ll connect you.
We’ve seen a lot of media coming out of Keahi de Aboitiz recently. The Noosa Head, Australia native now residing on North Shore, Oahu, has been busy, exploring and shredding apart the waves of his various stomping grounds and documenting it all for the world (and the World Tour) to see. Regardless of what continent Keahi is on, he’s surfing as good as the best of ’em and earning his keep as a promising nominee for Top Male Paddler at the upcoming 2015 SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama. Keep your eyes out for this kid on the rise.
Keahi on the North Shore.
Check out some more SUP Surfing.
Resistance training is a powerful fat-burning tool, as well as a major contributor to performance. It contributes to improved body composition due to the effect it has on the body’s fat metabolism during and after exercise. Resistance training stimulates various hormones, which act to break apart the fat cells in the body and generate a fat-burning environment during and after exercise. That strength and power will also improve your performance in the water. Whether you’re paddling or surfing, a base of strength is essential to reach maximum power output.
In order to be at your best when it comes to performance and overall physique, it’s also ideal to incorporate tempo training. This type of resistance training varies the speed at which you lift in all planes of motion—lowering down (eccentric), pausing at the bottom (isometric) and move up (concentric). Manipulating time under tension has shown major results with fat loss and improved athletic performance.
With tempo training, there is no need to lift heavy weights. Lighter weights at variable speeds will allow for longer time under tension and a great buildup of lactic acid, which leads to fat burning and increased power. Again, power is key in performance.
Here are a variety of ways to implement this training outdoors, no matter where you live.
Fill two buckets with sand. They should be about 15-20 pounds each. Perform each exercise for 10 reps. Repeat the entire routine three times.
— Stand with feet hip width apart holding the buckets by your side or as pictured. Deeply bend both knees, shift hips back and lower down toward the ground. Lower down in a count of 4 seconds (slow tempo).
— Hold at the bottom for 1-2 seconds, keeping chest lifted and core engaged. Explosively drive up to standing in 1-2 seconds (fast tempo).
— Stand with right foot forward and left foot back, holding the buckets by your side or as pictured. Be sure your right knee is directly above ankle and torso is upright. Deeply bend both knees and lower down toward the floor. Lower down in a count of 4 seconds (slow tempo).
— Hold at the bottom for 1-2 seconds. Explosively drive up to standing in 1-2 seconds (fast tempo).
— Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding one bucket in front of hips. Draw shoulder blades together and keep chest up. Deeply bend both arms and lift bucket up to chest height performing a biceps curl. Take 1-2 seconds to curl the weight (fast tempo).
— Pause at the top for 1-2 seconds. Lower the weight back down at a much slower pace for 4 seconds (slow tempo).
— Stand with feet hip-width apart, keep a slight bend in your knees and hold one bucket at chest height. Press one bucket straight overhead at a quick pace (1-2 seconds). Hold at the top for 1-2 seconds.
— Bring the bucket back to chest height with a slow tempo (4 seconds). Make sure to keep hips under shoulders and do not overarch your back.
Hit the beach and get started with these easily approachable techniques, and stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 of the SUP Fitness Guide!
Originally published in SUP’s Summer ’15 issue, on newsstands now.
More SUP fitness tips.
Best post-workout chow.
Downwinding—the act of paddling a narrow board in white-capping water, harnessing the wind at one’s back and gliding between rolling wind swells coming from all angles—is no easy feat for most paddlers. Even the most skilled surfers and river SUP experts can be amateurs. Even the fastest flatwater paddlers can lose races to guys who understand bumps in the wind. But, judging from this video of longtime Maui paddler Jeremy Riggs and friends downwinding Maui’s famed Maliko Run, you wouldn’t think it’s challenging at all. Jeremy’s been doing this run for decades, and in doing so he’s adopted textbook skills with the wind at his back. Minimal effort, maximum glide—that’s the goal, and man, do these guys make it look fun. Watch, learn, then go out there and catch some bumps of your own.
More downwind madness.
By Will Taylor
A fisherman paddles a river gorge at sunrise, quietly dipping his paddle in the placid water. Stalking, he follows the circulating current looking for brush dangling over the riverbank or a quiet eddy off the main channel. He casts into a tranquil pool where the water occasionally boils with the movement of fish. And then, what every fisherman lusts for: the strike.
Standup fishing makes sense. SUPs are quiet, versatile, easy to transport and cheap compared to other watercraft, not to mention you can use them anywhere there’s water; whether you’re a fly fisherman searching for trout or a blue-water spearfisherman hunting tuna.
And while fishing’s SUP ascension has seemed to move slowly, more and more companies are producing boards and gear angled at anglers.
Thomas Flemons of Diablo Paddlesports got into the game early, designing the company’s first prototype in March 2009 in Texas with college buddy Jay Korbell. Six years later, there are more SUP fisherman than ever.
“We’re seeing a lot more people on the water standing to fish,” he says. “And that’s definitely leading to a surge in the market.”
Flemons stalks the Devils, Guadalupe and San Marcos Rivers in Texas on his standup and is thinking of new ways to change the game.
“The market’s evolving,” he says. “We’ve got a very versatile, very interesting concept hopefully coming out this summer.”
Diablo isn’t alone in his development. Larger boardmakers such as Bote, Yolo, Imagine, Boardworks and Jackson all offer SUP fishing models that are getting more technical, and more lethal in their designs.
Pau Hana designer Todd Caranto’s first board design was his Big EZ, which he customized in 2009 to create the Angler version. The demand for this board has been so high Pau Hana is currently backordered.
“I think it’s going to be the future of our sport,” Caranto says. “Any (manufacturer) who’s going to make a decent profit will need to be involved in fishing.”
And that’s a good thing, for both the gear makers and the customer.
“It’s kind of like the beginning of SUP was where you would only see a couple guys here and there,” Caranto says. “Pretty soon we’ll be everywhere.”
This feature originally ran in our 2015 Gear Guide.
The Pacific Paddle Games, presented by Salt Life are coming in hot. On October 10th and 11th, SUP racing and a festival atmosphere will return to Doheny State Beach for a spectacle that is not to be missed. We’ve announced board classes. We’ve announced a $55,000 prize purse. We’ve opened registration. And now we’re airing it all out. SUP mag’s editor Will Taylor sat down to answer the racing public’s most burning questions. Here goes.
Why an overall winner?
That one’s simple: we wanted the best overall SUP racer to win. There was A LOT of discussion around this point before we made a decision to make the pro paddlers compete in both the Distance and the Technical race. We want to make this event as exciting as possible; having the best racers in the world on the water for as much of the event as possible is how we’re doing that. It will be a tough weekend for those racers but they’re world-class athletes and it’s going to be a world-class show.
How does the prize purse work?
The prize purse awards the racers that do the best in the equally weighted Distance and Technical races. Eight grand to the first place winners for the overall on both the men’s and women’s side. There is a small prize purse in the pro divisions on each race but the goal is to have as many people as possible do both. There is also prizing in the Junior Pro and Prone Divisions.
Is this just a Pro event?
Most certainly not! The Pacific Paddle Games has something for everyone. Aspiring groms, steely juniors, first-time racers, weekend warriors—there’s a category to fit every type of paddler. Not to mention the West Marine Demo Zone, which will be running all day throughout the weekend, giving everyone from first-timers to seasoned paddlers a chance to try gear from the industry’s best companies.
Will there be a webcast?
Yep. As a media company, we want to make SUP racing look as exciting on the web as it does on the beach. That’s a tall order but we want to make it a reality. From in-depth analysis to play-by-play commentary by the sport’s leading pundits to sizzling footage, we’ll have it live from Doheny. Not to mention the post-production, beach announcing and up-to-the-minute coverage.
That’s it for now. We look forward to seeing you there.
More PPG Info.
For questions, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pacific Paddle Games have no association or relationship with the former event known as Battle of the Paddle owned by Rainbow Sandals.
In the second installment of SUP’s “One Exercise Workout” video series for standup paddlers, Sean Pangelinan of The Fit Lab walks us through a workout that requires no weights and no gym—just you and your ambition. The “burpee” is a proven fitness technique for athletes in all disciplines, but it has particular application to standup paddling as an all-around, full-body exercise. It’ll work everything from your calves to your core to your upper body, and leave you primed for those demanding days on the water.
Check out the first edition of One Exercise Workout.
More on-land paddle training.
Ever snapped a leash in bone-crushing barrels? Cracked the collar on your adjustable paddle halfway into a channel-crossing? Ever slipped and sandwiched your GoPro between body and board, effectively busting your shutter and your sled in the same, sorry spill? Don’t worry, radical paddler; it happens to the best of us. SUP’s theory: if you never break anything, you’re probably just not paddling hard enough.
Gear malfunction—it really does happen to the best of us. Sometimes it’s the gear’s fault. Other times, it’s the operator’s. And pretty much every time, it’s a major bummer. So, to remind you that you’re not alone in the realm of gear-gone-wrong, we asked a handful of top paddlers to share their worst experiences with gear malfunctions. We took their tales of gear woe, bundled them into one exclusive page and pitted that page in our 2015 Gear Guide, where those tales now sit (on newsstands), sandwiched between pictures and praise representing the finer side of gear—the “gear-gone-right” side—gear we love, revel in, drool over and dream about. Because after all, without the bad, how could we get the good? And if this edition of “Word on the Water” does nothing else for you, at least it lets you know—you’re not alone when our gear fails, even if it is in a bone-crushing barrel.
Responses collected by Rebecca Parsons
Hometown: Biddeford, Maine
Occupation: Kayak/SUP instructor
It was 2013 at the North Shore of Oahu. I broke a leash and my friend grabbed my paddle and my board. I drove to the local surf shop and asked for the strongest SUP leash they had. I got back in the water and after taking a nice wave I got caught inside. I dove in and was dragged back until I felt the snap of my brand new leash!
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Occupation: Employee, Moku Surf Shop
Hands down a broken paddle or a heavy water logged paddle!
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Occupation: Human Resources Manager
I was visiting a friend in Miami and borrowing equipment just to get on the water for a quick paddle. About twenty minutes in, the wind picked up and then five minutes later the handle of the paddle cracked off. Paddling back up-wind with no handle and a ragged-end shaft was definitely an unplanned adventure.
Hometown: Westerly, Rhode Island
Occupation: Children’s music teacher; SUP instructor
A major defect I’ve experienced with my favorite high performance epoxy board was when the paint chipped off more than average on the front, tail and sides. It exposed the board to more sun damage, which lead to cracks that began to let water in.
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona
Occupation: Construction Project Coordinator
I had a Thule SUP Taxi incident that led to my board coming off my car and landing in the ditch. I was completely unaware of the need to lock it, thinking it was only for security purposes. Super bad day for me!
Hometown: Juneau, Alaska
Occupation: Retired USCG licensed boat captain
I’ve had some up close experiences with sea lions, humpback whales, nasty currents and high winds to deal with, but my gear has always worked flawlessly.
This feature originally ran in the 2015 Gear Guide.
The main differences between caimans and crocodiles are caimans’ smaller size, rounder snout and upper jaw covering the bottom teeth. But that’s hard to tell from a paddleboard when all you see are menacing, beady eyes. It’s even harder to explain that to your kids wobbling next to you.
We’re on the Rio Mora in Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park and while caimans are commonplace, SUPs aren’t. According to our guide Reinaldo, who works for my friend Rafael’s company, Rios Tropicales, these are the first SUPs the seemingly soulless, reptilian eyes have ever seen.
“It’s okay,” he says to my daughters, Casey, 12, and Brooke, 16. “We’re bigger than they are so they’re afraid of us.”
“Yeah, and I’m bigger than you,” Brooke chides Casey.
If nothing else, this fuels them both to paddle harder. We continue upstream, taking a tiny fork to the right. Howler monkeys screech overhead and a white-face monkey leaps branches. Slaloming through dangling vines and ducking under giant frond leaves, we continue until our path is blocked by a 250-year-old mountain almond tree. It fell, says Rey, just two months ago and its wood alone is worth $30,000.
It’s these and other over-lumbered indigenous hardwoods, as well as the largest green sea turtle nesting area in the world that led to the region being preserved as a national park in 1978. With 25 percent of its land in its national park system, Costa Rica is a shining star of the world’s preservation movement, for good reason. It’s home to more than 500,000 species, four percent of the world’s total. Located in a freshwater maze dumping nutrients in the Caribbean, Tortuguero is one of its crown jewels. And it was the perfect place, I reasoned, to instill an environmental ethos in my kids. What better way to see its tannin-filled waterways than from a paddleboard?
Arriving two days earlier in San Jose, we rose at 5 a.m. to drive over the Continental Divide’s cloud forest before descending 6,000 vertical feet in 30 miles to the Caribbean wetlands. At our put-in on the Rio Suerte, we unloaded a mix of SUPs and kayaks and began our paddle to Mawamba Lodge on the outskirts of the park.
It didn’t take long for the jungle’s charm to take hold. Spider monkeys, the second fastest tree monkey in the world, launched from tree to tree and yellow trumpet flowers and vibrant orange heliconias illuminated the green river banks.
Two hours later we entered a canal paralleling the Caribbean from Nicaragua, comprising the heart of the park. Here, we loaded our boards onto a motorboat and shuttled to lunch on the bank. While Rey flipped a SUP upside down as a table, we took a boardwalk hike through the selva. The setting prompted Casey to whistle the bird song from the Hunger Games.
Two steps in, we spotted a hand-sized, female golden orb weaver spider glistening in the strongest web in the world, one whose protein researchers synthetically emulated to make bulletproof vests. A tiny male the size of a watermelon seed sat off to the side fixing the web; it was clear who wore the pants in the relationship. A viper, toucan and poisonous red dart frog later, we emerged back at the river where we hopped on the boards for the final push to the lodge. At the tiny community of Tortugeuro, where the canal makes an abrupt U-turn, we turned north and soon saw the green roofs of Mawamba Lodge, our home for the next few days. A covered dock housed a fleet of motorboats used by guests arriving by more conventional means.
Built in 1985 by entrepreneur Maurizio Dada, the 40-acre, 56-room lodge was one of the first established in the area and is as well appointed as our jungle environs. An open-aired bar, pool with bridge and waterfall, large open-walled dining area and hammocks swinging from every porch quickly sent the kids scrambling. But its best feature is its location, sandwiched on a jungle spit between the freshwater estuary and the crashing waves of the Caribbean. It was a mango pit’s throw to each.
It’s clear that Maurizio follows his government’s conservation ethos. That afternoon, we toured the lodge’s bio-digester, which heats the rooms’ hot water with human waste. Next, we visited his “ranarium,” or frog farm, and a butterfly pavilion filled with the fluttering wings of blue morphos and zebra longwings. The country has 10 percent of the world’s total butterfly species, and Maurizio is bent on keeping it that way.
Walking back through a well-kept forest of paprika, avocado, lime, coconut, guava and other trees, we saw a three-toed sloth lounging high in a tree, prompting Brooke to ask for one as a pet. Yeah, litter box upkeep might be a snap – they poop only once a week—but our dog and two cats remain our home’s only animals.
At the bar, the kids basked in virgin piña coladas while we settled for soda and cacique, a local, triple-distilled sugar cane liquor. With the witching hour upon us, we loaded the boards on the motorboat and shuttled out to the river mouth for sunset. When the sun radiated a wall of green under a flock of white egrets, we paddled over for photos and then continued on to the river mouth. We heard the crashing waves of the Caribbean before we saw them, protected on our perch in the freshwater bay by the final finger of land.
Waking to a cacophony of bird calls, the next morning we find local critters having breakfast before us. No sooner than we sit down, the kids run off to see the mouth of a green vine snake wrapped around the head of a clay-colored robin, Costa Rica’s national bird, and an iguana the size of Casey’s leg placidly gnawing a leaf.
Fueled by thick Costa Rican coffee, we motor to the park office for our 8:30 entrance time slot. Heading south toward Panama, we turn up a tributary bordered by towering walls of foliage. A caiman submerges with a flop of its tail in the same lily pad we set the boards in. “Dad!” my daughters yell in unison.
Floating down the Agua Fria, we witness a log standoff between a caiman and orange-eared slider turtle. It’s not Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, but here everything is competitive, whether it’s plants vying for precious sunlight or animals practicing one-upmanship. Casey startles a Jesus Christ lizard, so named for its ability to run on water, using its tail as a rudder. Humans, says Rey, would have to reach 80 mph to accomplish such a feat.
Plunging in where we dare cool off and exploring a myriad of other rivers wending like blood vessels through the most pristine jungle in the world, we eventually turn and make our way back to the lodge. With the sun going down over water matching the color of the sky and as smooth as the inside of a seashell, Rey and I paddle 15 minutes to the Tortuguero community. My wife and kids will hike over and meet us for what Casey’s had her eye on all trip: A coconut with a straw.
Pulling up to a throng of kids at the dock beneath two giant, colorful toucan sculptures, we stash our boards and watch a pick-up soccer game on a palm-lined field, the yells eclipsed by crashing waves. Since the town has no roads or cars, we stroll down a pedestrian-friendly walkway, taking in its “Don’t worry, be happy” Caribbean vibe. Locals play cards at a park table, kids zing around on rusted bikes and dreadlocked rastas mill around in Bob Marley shirts.
We find Casey her coconut, which she sips while watching the sky turn blaze pink. We toast Tortuguero and the unique experience of seeing it from a SUP. When I ask Casey what could possibly be better, she thinks for a second, emits a caiman smile and replies, “Maybe if I had this coconut on a paddleboard.”
If You Go:
The trip will likely require overnighting in San Jose. Try the Hotel Oro de Grano, a restored mansion in the heart of downtown. For paddleboards, either BYO inflatable or hook up with 30-year outfitter Rios Tropicales, which can also book your stay at the Mawamba Lodge, which can handle everything from meals to motorboat shuttles.
Shelby Taylor Rose rounds a turn buoy while rounding out her career as an elite athlete. Photo: Gabriel Sepulveda
After competing at the national level in soccer by the age of 16, Kentucky’s Shelby Taylor Rose faced an unexpected injury that led her to the dark depths of depression and an eating disorder, among other health issues. The mental and physical strains on her young body worsened over time, and, for the elite athlete, it seemed that her dreams of returning to a high level of competition were dissipating.
Fast-forward a few years, to 2015, and Rose is happy, healthy, and competing at an elite SUP level — an unlikely sport for a Kentuckian that grew up nowhere near water. After overcoming so much at a young, pivotal age, Rose is now out to not only compete and celebrate what her body is physically and mentally capable of in competition, but also to help youth find SUP. —Shari Coble
You’ve faced serious injury and illness early on in your athletic career; tell us about those obstacles and how they’ve affected you.
I wasn’t born a waterwoman, but my whole life I’ve always been a competitive athlete. I started off as a swim racer and soccer player–and when sports got more serious, I had to choose one to dedicate my time to; I chose soccer and followed it to the national level by the time I was 16. However, when I peaked at 16, I faced not only a knee injury, but depression set in from being out of sports. It lead to a bad eating disorder, which manifested in my body through auto-immune hepatitis (liver failure) at age 17.
I basically had come to terms with the fact that I would never be an elite athlete again. I’d overcome so many things that should have either killed or destroyed me, that I was focused more on being healthy and happy than winning medals. However, the athletic and active part of me was just on hold.
How’d you end up finding SUP?
I started SUPing while living in Sayulita, Mexico for my ‘gap year’ in college.
The water has always been a place where I’m comfortable; it’s peaceful and isn’t intimidating to me. So, when I picked up SUP while working at Standup Paddle Mexico shop, I immediately fell in love. I could work my body as hard or as soft as I wanted to. Everyday I grew stronger and more confident. SUP turned out to be what saved me: it brought me out of the mindset of being content with being semi-active to being stoked to be extra-active!
What does SUP offer you that other sports lack?
SUP is so different than any other sport I’ve competed in; not only in the full-body workout and the ‘high’ after exertion, or the way that every race is ‘best paddler wins,’ or even the complete control you have over your own races, based on your individual prior preparation and mental endurance—but the incredible international camaraderie I’ve found since day one. Every race is a battle when we hit the water, but off the water, it’s a reunion with best friends from around the world.
What are you doing to bring SUP to Kentucky?
My mother and I organized the first ever SUP race Labor Day weekend on the famous “Shaker Village” lake. Our hope is to target all the tourists on vacation to the lake resort and put on an ‘SUP Showcase’ for all people to see the level of talent from around the world, and give free clinics and demos to those first discovering SUP. It will have live local music and food trucks, nighttime glow paddles, a kids event, and will be a hilarious fun time in Kentucky! We’ll have good cash prizes to offer pro racers, and hopefully attract come big names to the untouched area. I’ll stay in the area for a while to do some local clinics with shops around the lakes to help boost awareness and participation.
You’ve said before you want to impact younger girls entering SUP, like your mentors have impacted you. How do you hope to achieve that goal?
In Sayulita, I’ve started a youth-SUP team with partner Javier “Bicho” Jimenez in conjunction with Standup Paddle Mexico. In a small town, right on the ocean, we just want to give kids a good path to follow—and [teach] accountability for their own lives instead of falling down the easy wrong path. The hope is to give local kids a place to come and find confidence and strength, purpose, and family.
Catch up with the fastest female in France, Céline Guesdon.
More SUP Women.
Shelby Rose and Javier “Bicho” Jimenez started this youth SUP team in conjunction with Standup Paddle Mexico.
It’s been an exceptionally prolific year for marine life sitings on the Pacific, and Brent Allen has been there to catch it with his GoPro. Here, he paddles with buddy Harrison Deisroth, along with pods of Bottlenose Dolphins and Risso Dolphins and a school of stingray in Monterey Bay, Central California.
More animal paddling.
Life ain’t easy for a Standup World Tour super star. Well, actually, judging by the lifestyle of World Tour standout, Australia’s Keahi De Aboitiz, maybe it is. At least he makes it look so.
Follow the Standup World Tour’s cameras as they follow Keahi around his adopted home on North Shore, Oahu, for a birds eye view (literally, lots of drone footage) into the good life. If it is hard being a World Tour surfer, you wouldn’t know it from this.
More Standup World Tour.
Life can get hot on a summer day on the water. Don’t let it exhaust you. Photo: Aaron Schmidt
Pushing through painful heat during an intense SUP workout while you burn up is one thing; fighting heat exhaustion is another. Professional endurance athlete Tom Jones has put the pains of heat exhaustion behind him plenty of times, including the time he ran 121 marathons back-to-back, or standup paddled down the California coastline, or was sparring with training partner Chuck Norris (seriously). Here, Jones shares valuable information on the subject, directly from his personal experiences, so that you don’t have to suffer out on your SUP. This summer, don’t get beat by the heat; instead, educate yourself by learning how to prevent heat exhaustion, the symptoms, and how treat it if you get it.
“Heat exhaustion develops when you’re exposed to high temperatures during exercise,” says Jones. There are two types of heat exhaustion: water depletion and salt depletion. If not dealt with properly, heat exhaustion can lead to a more serious condition, heat stroke (also known as sun stroke), which can cause damage to vital organs and potentially result in death.
While temperature is obviously a key factor in bringing on heat exhaustion, many don’t realize humidity is also a major component, as it’s reported that a relative humidity of 60% can inhibit sweat evaporation and the body’s natural cooling system. Also, consider the state of your skin: If sunburned, your body’s ability to release heat is impaired. Certain medications and medical conditions can also affect body temperature and other factors that contribute to heat exhaustion.
Avoid exercising in the peak heat of the day and during high temperatures, but if you must play then, make sure to wear light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight clothing. Before letting the heat hit you, plan on having a surefire way to stay cool or to cool yourself once you feel hot. When Jones began to feel the onset of symptoms during his 1,250-mile expedition down the California coastline in 2007, he was proactive in his fight against the heat:
“I rolled off my board into the water right away, holding the side as I dunked my head underwater,” Jones says. “I also poured ice water on my head to stay cool and informed others of how I felt.”
However, Jones says being prepared for hotter temperatures than you expect is the key: “Super-hydrate, super-fuel, and get plenty of rest the night before. If I want to prevent heat exhaustion, I’m making sure I have cool water onboard, that I get wet and stay in a cooler environment until I start feeling better. I’m also going to bring a buddy with me so I can tell someone I’m not feeling good.”
Acclimating to hotter, more humid climates for a few days prior to physical activity also helps the body adapt to temperature when you do exercise. Find out from your doctor and/or pharmacist if prescribed medications can affect body temperature or make you more susceptible to suffering from heat exhaustion. Bottom line, prepare as much as you can, but always listen to your body and the signs it’s giving you.
“Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, feeling like you’re going to barf, extreme sweating, muscle cramping, headache, weakness, and high heart rate,” Jones says. Other symptoms also include pale skin, dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration), fainting and confusion.
When it comes to deciphering between which type of heat exhaustion you may be suffering from, symptoms for water depletion specifically include headache, excessive thirst, weakness and even loss of consciousness. Symptoms of heat exhaustion from salt depletion in particular include cramping, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
“First, get out of the heat and into a cooler temperature as quickly as possible,” Jones says. “Hydrate with water, not coffee or other stuff. Try to lower your core temperature by submerging yourself in cool water or jumping in a cool shower; and, if possible, remove what clothing you can to allow heat to escape the body,” says Jones. If you can’t remove clothing, try to loosen it or get it wet.
If symptoms don’t begin to subside after attempts at treatment, get help: “Seek medical attention right away,” Jones says. “You don’t know if it can lead to some other illness or problem, like a heart attack or heat stroke, especially if your health isn’t in good condition.”
More Paddle Healthy.
Shane Perrin and Nathan Woods, founders of the Keep Standing podcast, after completing a 164-mile odyssey up the Willamette River. Photo: Shane Perrin
10 years ago, Shane Perrin was lying on an operating table with a surgeon standing over him. Perrin had a rare kidney disease and could easily have died, had it not been for his mother testing as a donor match and giving her son the ultimate gift: one of her kidneys.
Though Perrin was once clinging to life, you wouldn’t know it to see him on a SUP. Since recovering, he achieved a whole host of distance paddling firsts. 340 miles down the Missouri River? Check. First standup paddler to complete the Texas Water Safari? Check. Paddling through snake infested waters in Belize for La Ruta Maya? Check. Plus, he broke the 24-hour SUP flatwater record last year for good measure.
When Nathan Woods heard about Perrin’s comeback exploits, he was in dire need of inspiration. After losing most of his lower left leg to a freak football accident, Woods became determined to get active again and soon found SUP. “After my accident, I needed a sport that I could do with the limitations of my leg,” Woods said. “SUP was perfect because it was accessible and I could be stable on flatwater.”
Nathan Woods paddling toward Portland. Photo: Jeremy McLaughlin
Woods was soon paddling several times a week, and as his leg healed and his body grew stronger, he began going further and further. When Perrin interviewed him for his Stoke Radio show, Woods shared his plan to paddle 164 miles up the Willamette River, from Eugene to Portland. Always up for a challenge, Perrin asked if he could join in, and the two completed the odyssey in September 2013.
As he was battling back to health, Woods felt like he needed a mantra to rally around, and came up with “Keep Standing”, bought the web domain for it and soon was receiving thousands of hits per month. Coincidentally, around the same time a fan asked Perrin to sign her hat after a race. He scrawled the same phrase below his signature.
When the two friends started talking about what else Woods could do with the Keep Standing mission, they settled on a plan. Perrin was eager to get back into broadcasting, as he had ended his Stoke Radio show due to work, training and family commitments, while Woods had been inspired by The Tim Ferris Show and other podcasts. And so, the Keep Standing podcast was born.
The first guest was Charles “Chaka” Webb. Until 1986, Webb was an avid SoCal surfer who lived for waves. But a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed in both legs and thinking his surfing days were over. In 2013, Webb discovered SUP, and after Onnit Ability Boards made him a custom board, was soon back on the water. Within months he entered the Battle of the Paddle, and has since become one of the leading advocates for adaptive paddling and Urban Surf 4 Kids, a nonprofit that provides water-based events for foster children and orphan youth.
“Charles is living proof that SUP isn’t just a sport, it’s adventure therapy,” Woods said. “For me, Charles, Shane and many others, standup has enabled us to rediscover joy.”
In keeping with the podcast’s “Life is 10% what happens, 90% how you respond” tag line, Woods and Perrin are also featuring inspirational stories from other sports. Another guest was Ryan Reddick, a national circuit motocross rider who was paralyzed after a mistimed landing in 2011. The 21-year-old Reddick has since gotten back on his bike and is helping develop and test an exoskeleton that offers paraplegics the hope of standing and walking again.
“It’s not the person who finishes on the podium who always has the most inspiring story,” Perrin said. “Often it’s the guy at the back of the field who has overcome incredible odds. Those are the stories we want to share through Keep Standing.”
Check out the Keep Standing podcast.
More paddling inspiration.
SUP is all about exploration. Exploring new waters, exploring new gear, new techniques and new limits. So, this video is right up our alley. The boys and girls on Torch Paddles’ TeamSuperTramp went all the way to British Colombia to test their fate in this massive, steep, sickeningly fun looking drainage ditch in SUP and kayak, hurling themselves down the gully and (if they make it) out into open water, all the while using their one-of-a-kind LED light-embedded paddles to direct them. It’s exploration at it’s max and it sure is rad.
Can someone please tell us where this is so we can explore it ourselves?
More B.C. SUP exploration.
The Naish Maliko (center) has a combo between a pod nose and and water-shedding dihedral for open ocean paddling. There were many more boards with hybrid noses at this year’s show. Photo: Taylor
Outdoor Retailer has come and gone and we’re tired—but stoked. The who’s who of the SUP world (and the rest of the outdoor industry) descends on Salt Lake City every year during the first week in August to launch new products, talk to dealers, start new relationships and continue old ones. After talking SUP all day, we inevitably go out and talk SUP all night. And then we do it again and again for days and days and days. It’s exhausting but it’s also exhilarating. We get to see new products, get into the minds of designers and find out the grand plans for the following year. It’s a lot to process but it’s always fun. Here are some things we noticed this year.
Versatility is becoming the norm in race boards. Yes, there are still flatwater race boards but most companies—Naish, Focus, Surftech—are now selling a model with a rounded, rockered nose for use in bumps, rough water and surf conditions that still fly in the flats. These boards, with pod-shaped noses, have been around for a while now but they are now appear widely-accepted. If you have a 12’6″ or 14′ that can handle in all arenas, wouldn’t you prefer that over different boards for each condition?
Focus SUP designer Nitzan Benhaim with the Mo Freitas’ pro model. Photo: Misselwitz
Inflatables are everywhere. All the brands offer them now. Most companies have seen the light for quite some time but now there are no hold outs. They’re just too convenient, too simple to travel with and too cheap not to offer. Top-shelf brands like SIC are now offering boards like their iconic Bullet series in blow-up tech while brands like Hala Gear are pushing the limits of inflatable river designs. Brands are fully aware of the benefits of the inflatable and have either introduced or added more inflatables to their lines. Bottom line: consumers now have more choices than ever.
Paul Clark with the strangest and most intriguing inflatable SUP we saw at the show, the Hala Luya. Made for stomping big whitewater. Photo: Taylor
We saw more fishing SUPs at the 2015 show than ever before. Why? It’s part of the move to the inland market. Yes, there’s plenty of ocean fishing but usually, as long as there’s water, there are fish too, meaning you can fish across the country—and the world. Riviera has a good-looking new fishing SUP, BOTE continues to dial in their fishing offerings and more and more companies are jumping into the accessories game.
MTI’s SUP Safety Belt is redesigned for 2016 with a slimmer profile, more comfortable material and easier packability. Photo: Taylor
Along the lines of everybody jumping on the inflatable bandwagon, SUP brands seem to be moving in conservative, yet useful directions. Gone are the days of wild experimentation, throwing stuff at the walls and seeing what sticks or offering every kind of board out there. On one hand you could say that companies are playing it more safe. On the other, you could say they’re figuring out what works and improving upon it. They’re listening to what the market needs and wants and putting it out there. We’d say that’s a good thing.
Until next year!
More from OR 2015.
The gym can be a tough place for an unacquainted visitor. Weight training is downright dangerous without proper tutorial, and for standup paddlers, it may be difficult to know where to start or what exercises will be effective. But when performed correctly, gym training can be an extremely effective way to supplement your SUP strength training.
To help us hone in on some SUP specific strength training techniques, SUP the mag contributing editor, Annie Maize, stopped by FitBody Bootcamp and met with Adam Heredia for a quick rundown of an exercise routine that will compliment your time on the water and strengthen your SUP muscles.
More gym fitness tutorials for standup paddlers.
Contact Adam Heredia to attend his bootcamp or for a SUP specific personal training session.
To truly experience the madness and radness of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2015—last week’s enormous outdoor and action sports industry conference in Salt Lake City—you really needed to be there. But, in case you weren’t, this video from the Open Air Demo, held at Pineview Reservoir, Utah, on day one, should give you an idea for how things went down. Just about every SUP company in the industry was represented there, along with kayak companies, apparel companies and Sierra Nevada, which was giving away free beer. Needless to say, it was a great day on the water.
Livit Water is Nicaragua’s leading SUP rental and tour company that uses SUP to forward positive community and environmental causes. Photo: Scott Schmid
Travel to Nicaragua looking for SUP and you’ll find: there aren’t exactly copious rental or tour options available. Granada, Nicaragua’s Livit Water is a hidden gem SUP rental and tour company run by Scott and Gea Schmid. Scott—a lifelong surfer, and Gea—a hardcore yogi, are Southern California natives turned Granada locals pursuing their love for the outdoors by means of SUP. Here, we get to know Nicaragua’s first dedicated SUP rental and tour company, and the couple behind it. —Shari Coble
SUP: What inspired Livit Water?
Gea Schmid: In 2014, Nicaragua hosted the ISA WSUPPC in Granada. At the time, Nicaragua didn’t have a SUP team. Scott’s longtime friend, Carlos Deshon, (president of the Nicaraguan Surfing Association), began gathering locals to represent Nicaragua and asked for Scott’s help. Scott was a fundamental part in obtaining the SUP gear so the team could start training, then began training the team. They were able to solidify 11th place out of the 28 countries that participated.
The flatwater portion of the ISA’s took place in Las Isletas. These 360+ islands are located in Lake Nicaragua, just offshore from Granada and are the number-one tourist attraction in Granada. Before Livit Water, the only way to see the Isletas was by a motorized boat or kayak. Scott saw the potential of offer SUP tours and so, Livit Water was born.
What causes does Livit Water stand for?
Livit Water is an extension of the apparel brand that Scott and his brothers started 20 years ago, called Livit. The word ‘Livit’ stemmed from the brothers traveling to far reaching places, connecting with others and inspiring people to live with a sense of purpose. Livit collaborates with small community projects around the globe to bring awareness and raise funds for different causes.
We wanted to continue to use the name Livit and combine it with our passion for SUP because we’re firm believers that you can have a successful business that can positively impact the community you’re in. We aim to use Livit Water in a socially conscience way by donating proceeds and helping the local communities as well as preserving the natural beauty of Nicaragua.
Livit Water offers day- and multiday-tours on Lake Nicaragua (pictured here) and Laguna de Apoyo—Nicaragua’s largest crater lagoon located on a dormant volcano. Photo: Scott Schmid
Tell us about your tours.
The Las Isletas tour in Granada is our most popular. You’ll see various species of birds, lush vegetation, and the occasional local Nicaraguan paddling their wooden canoe to a neighboring island; in the distant trees you’ll hear howler monkeys. This is a great tour for first-time paddlers. Attendees also visit Laguna de Apoyo, the largest crater lagoon in Nicaragua and a protected Nature Reserve spanning six kilometers. In the crater of this sleeping volcano, we paddle to an area with natural hot springs and take a dip.
Livit Water also offers five- and seven-day all-inclusive packages. These trips include adventures in Granada, the area that surrounds Livit Water that hosts some of Nicaragua’s gorgeous beaches. The multi-day tours also include SUP in Las Isletas and Laguna de Apoyo, as well as daily yoga. Mixed into these trips are authentic Nicaraguan experiences, including a visit to a local pottery maker, chocolate-making, and a city tour of Granada by horse and carriage. We also include outdoor activities like hiking Mombacho Volcano and horseback rides on the beach.
What rentals are available?
We rent inflatable all-around SUPs hourly, daily and weekly. We have a retail shop in Granada where we sell Rogue and Riviera surf and all-around SUPs. The paddles we use and sell are also by Rogue and Riviera. We plan to bring in other brands in the future.
How have you been received by the locals?
We’ve been able to offer SUP to a growing community of affluent Nicaraguans looking for new activities and ways to explore their own country. With the assistance of social media, this eager group is expanding, and we’ve seen growing interest in the sport. Many of these first-time paddlers become returning customers that bring their families and friends to SUP for their first time.
Other SUP options in Nicaragua:
–Two Brothers Surf
–Funk Yoga & SUP Co.
For more info, visit: SUP Nicaragua Facebook page or LivitWater.com
More notes from the field.
Shaper Joe Bark walks us through his new Vapor shape. Photo: Taylor
Amongst the glittering lights, sore feet, shiny new products, familiar faces and new ones, there are always standouts on the show floor of the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. In this report, we focus on a handful of boards that caught our eyes this year. Look for more to come.
The Surftech Bark Vapor is a marriage from the depths of legendary shaper Joe Bark’s paddling mind: why not put a prone paddling nose from the famous Bark Commander prone board on a SUP? The result is the Vapor, available in both 12’6″ and 14″ (both 26″ wide). According to Bark, this is an extremely versatile shape, most at home in the rugged open ocean but also fast on flat water as well. This board has the potential to become your everyday distance sled for riding bumps to surf races.
BIC SUP adds a more aggressive shape to their Perormer line of boards. Photo: Taylor
BIC makes some of the most durable and functional boards on the market, all at reasonable price points. For 2016 they’ve added a 9’2″ to their Performer series for paddlers looking to drop down a board size while still getting all of the longevity from their Ace-Tec construction. At 31″ wide, this board will be plenty stable but a pulled in tail and nose will add maneuverability. Another crowd pleaser from BIC SUP.
Triple concave (noted with the orange lines) may add another advantage for Starboard All Star fans in 2016. Photo: Taylor
Starboard has taken its winning formula with the Connor Baxter/Zane Schweitzer/Fiona Wylde-approved All Star race board and taken it to another level. Most notably, Starboard innovators Mathieu Rauzier and Svein Rasmussen added a triple concave through the back of the board for better glide and more maneuverability in and out through the surf. At 12’6″ X 24″, the All Star is narrow but still promises to be relatively stable thanks to 8.6″ rails and the 16.6″ tail. Expect to see this already successful shape send more Starboard riders to the podium in the next year.
A slimmed-down touring option from BOTE for those paddlers looking to cover distance with all the amenities. Photo: Misselwitz
Shaper Corey Cooper at BOTE adds another versatile shape to the brand’s unique stable with the Traveler, designed with speed and agility in mind but also offering some nice touring touches. We love their Paddle Sheath, which allows you to store your blade in the nose of the board while you take a break, toss out a line or snap a picture. Plugs in the front and rear give you plenty of options for tying down gear while the 28″ width will still give plenty of glide. A great board for covering some serious distance with a your necessary adventure gear.
Mind blown? Baffled? Dazed or confused? That’s only natural; we were too when we first caught sight of the One Wheel. But after giving it a try at the summer Outdoor Retailer, the shock factor has settled and we’re ranking the One Wheel among the most innovative, fun, radical inventions we’ve seen. It’s a new way to keep your flow going off the water—a novel boardsport and transportation system as intuitive and fun as it is practical and convenient. Pro SUP specialists Mike Tavares and Luke Hopkins, along with shaper Zack Hughes, are on board and backing the One Wheel. We will be too, as soon as we get our hands on one to review. Stay tuned!
Fall on Horsetooth Reservoir. Colorado.
Usually known for its countless microbreweries and quirky bike culture, Fort Collins, Colorado is also a sweet spot for SUP. It is crazy popular right now. Anywhere you go in town you’ll spot a SUP or two on someone’s car. It’s no wonder it has such a following in this beautiful Front Range college town, with plentiful blue sky days anytime of the year, and so many great places to jump on your board.
Horsetooth Reservoir is by far the most popular place to get on the water, and the six-mile reservoir offers many coves to explore. It is a great place for beginners to try out their skills as there are rentals at the north boat rent, or a great place for more experienced paddlers to get in some distance training. Have fun exploring all of Horsetooth’s coves and rocks, try some SUP yoga, cast a line or reserve a boat-in camping site for a night under the stars. Be sure to arrive early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds boats, and the wind—unless that is your thing of course. Best time to paddle Horsetooth? In the fall when the leaves are changing colors and new sandy beaches are revealed as water levels drop. There are boat ramps located at the north and south end, as well as a swim area near the north end to put in.
Feeling more adventurous? Check out the Filter Plant run on the Poudre River (Filter Plant to Picnic Rock). Class II-III rapids like “Mad Dog” provide plenty of fun on this hour-long run. Keep an eye out for strainers and be sure to check the water level before you head out.
Looking for a more calming river experience? Take the Poudre River from Shields Street to College Avenue. This is a popular run for tubers and SUPers looking to relax and take in some scenery. When you get off at College Ave, walk the half mile to Old Town to grab some food or do some shopping.
Eat: When it comes to grabbing a drink or some food, Old Town is the place to be. Check out popular New Belgium Brewery or Odell Brewing Co. for a cold beer (food trucks usually on site)
Shop: Jax Mercantile has got the hookup on new boards, paddles and other paddling gear as well as plenty of other gear for any backpacking, fishing, climbing or hunting adventures. Think REI with a wider scope and a hometown feel. Most of the rafting places in town offer daily rentals and board sales. Check out The Gearage in Old Town to rent or buy one of Hala’s latest boards…a must have in Fort Collins.
Submitted by Kelly Gardner
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