Sean Yoro isn’t your average standup paddler. He’s not your average artist either. Or even your average conservationist, for that matter. Yoro combines these three disciplines to create something that is anything but average, something completely anomalous to its surroundings.
Using a paddleboard for his art studio, Yoro paints portraits of women in obscure places that provide an impactful environmental message. He first drew international attention to his work in the crumbling canals of New York, where he painted nude portraits at the waterline using a standup paddleboard to support him. For his latest project, Yoro teamed up with Camp4Collective and The North Face for an installment on Baffin Island, Nunavut, in which Yoro painted floating pieces of ice for a dramatic comment on climate change. Check out this behind the scenes video and follow up with our full digital feature on Yoro’s ice installment. It may just inspire you to get creative with your own SUP-suppported mission.
The Standup World Tour and Standup World Series are basically the big leagues of standup paddling. Since the inception of the World Tour in 2010, these circuits have provided the ultimate competitive arena for professional standup paddlers, bringing legitimacy and growth to the sport on an international stage. Last year, the Tour and Series struggled to secure sponsorship and after the events were unexpectedly cut short to make due, there was no shortage of speculation about what might happen in 2017. Fortunately for all parties involved, the Waterman League—creators and proprietors of the World Tour and Series—secured a new investor for the year to come, and big plans are underway for an unprecedentedly legitimate season of standup paddle competition. In this podcast hosted by Erik Antonson of PaddleWoo and The Progression Project, Waterman League CEO Tristan Boxford does his best to curb the speculation and fill us in on what to expect in the year to come.
More Standup World Tour
More Standup World Series
SUP surfing is what you make of it. Like to ride big boards and glide through sections? Awesome! Like to ride boards so small that your up to your thighs when your waiting for waves in the lineup? Shred on! In this video, Erik Antonson, of The Progression Project fame, finds a nice balance between flow and performance. Whatever you’re doing, just have fun. You know Antonson is.
Read about these session over at The Progression Project.
Explore Sota Rica with The Pioneers of Style.
It’s not everyday that an afternoon paddle with pals turns into a play date with some of the ocean’s most majestic creatures. Here, a lucky duo paddling off the coast of Encinitas, California experiences just that.
Video: Humpback Whale Nearly Swallows Paddler Whole
Breaching Whale Splashes California Paddler
There’s more to Kentucky than horse racing and fried chicken. A lot more. And if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, particularly a standup paddler, you’re pretty much in backwoods paradise in the Bluegrass State. Here are five local favorites for destination standup paddling in Kentucky. From rivers to creeks to flatwater fun galore, there’s endless adventure to be had there. (Tip: pack some fried chicken, chances are you’ll want to stay longer than expected.)
More obscure SUP destinations in our Backwaters series.
Mexico’s Sea Of Cortez—located between the Baja Peninsula and the Pacific mainland—is one of the most biologically diverse seas on earth. It boasts more than 900 varieties of fish and upwards of 2,000 marine invertebrates, plus a few paddlers here and there. Amid the whale sharks, dolphins, invertebrates and other species who call the Sea of Cortez home, a paddling vacation here just might make you never want to go back to your own home. And if that’s the case, no worries! As you can see, there’s plenty of space here for newcomers.
Feature: A SUP Spearfishing Trip in Remote Baja
The Sport of King’s Mongoose Cup is one of the worlds most beloved and respected Paddleboard events, dedicated to promoting harbor safety and raising funds to assist board builders and water craftsmen.
The concept originated in 2008 as part of the Festival of Whales. As part of the Parks and Harbor Commission’s effort to increase safety inside the Dana Point Harbor, the Doheny Long board Association approached surf legend and harbor resident Mickey Munoz with the idea of event. The result was a Paddleboard competition named after Munoz’s moniker “the Mongoose.” An immediate hit, the event drew paddlers from all over the nation.
In 2014 the Mongoose Cup, broke off from the Festival to accommodate the large crowds and participant demand. Supported of the non-profit Sport of Kings Foundation, it became its own entity, a day-long family festival offering a wide range of competitions and races.
With a dedicated volunteer force, a legendary host and a strong supporting organization, the Mongoose Cup has earned its place as one of SUP community’s most popular and longstanding events, serving the active sports enthusiasts, promoting water sports safety and underwriting a great charitable cause.
The Sport of Kings is a non profit 501 (c) (3) foundation that benefits those in need in the California Surfboard building industry. The Sport of Kings tax ID # is EIN: 45-4970637.
The boundaries of possibility is ever-expanding when it comes to SUP surfing standing waves on the river. It seems every new edit we see features better turns, more technical maneuvers and more impressive stunt work. What we see here from river SUP guru Hannah Ray Childs is the epitome of progression and the definition of fun on the standing wave at Charles City Whitewater Park, Iowa.
More picture-perfect river surfing.
Pro Picks: North America’s Top 5 River Waves
Professional river SUP aficionado Dan Gavere’s career path has been anything but conventional. His occupational trajectory—from growing up on the rivers around his hometown of Salt Lake City to trying out for the US freestyle kayaking team to pioneering the sport of standup paddling on whitewater—is about as improvisational as the lines he draws on the river. But bottom line: the guy is making it in life by prioritizing his passion. And for all the little kids out there still deciding what they want to be when they grow up, his story is an inspiration. Here, Gavere shares his journey to becoming a pro river SUP athlete.
Dan Gavere and Corran Addison charge the Hood River, OR.
Meet India’s First Female Pro SUP Racer
Competitive or not, exposure is a main objective for standup paddlers. Massive swell, roaring wind, a pack of racers, uncharted seas—in every subdivision of SUP, and especially in competition, it is our prerogative to get in front of the force. To be fully exposed.
Fortunately for 20-year-old Giorgio Gomez—one of the world’s best SUP surfers, rising race talent and all-around paddling poster boy—exposure is not only something he’s learned to live with but something he’s striving for.
A sponsored surfer since he was a wee lad and brother to perhaps SUP’s most famous female—two-time Standup World Tour champion Izzi—the lifestyle of a Gomez child has never offered shade from the spotlight. It’s always been “brighten up or burn out.”
“In the SUP scene, my style sticks out like a sore thumb,” Gomez says. “But being different’s rad.”
His differences earned him a surfing sponsorship with Quiksilver at the ripe age of 10. For a surf rat, Broadway doesn’t get much brighter and Gomez spent his pre- and early-teen years skipping around the East Coast competing in youth contests.
When he transitioned from prone surfing to standup paddling a few years ago, he brought along the swagger he’d accrued in the surf sector. Beyond winning titles, Gomez’s primary goal is to help standup’s image get—in his words—cooler.
“People are starting to catch on, but the standup industry is still pretty behind,” Gomez says. “I want to bring style to SUP. It’s more interesting and gives the industry more appeal with big brands.”
But Gomez is thinking beyond the SUP world: he has his sights set on Hollywood. Already auditioning for various gigs as a model and actor, Gio’s stroking straight for showbiz. With a lead-role in the upcoming music video for Swedish pop star Peg Parnevik’s, “Ain’t No Saint,” he’s making progress already. If pro paddling isn’t all the glam for Gomez, it’s definitely been good for his sex-appeal. —MM
The SUP Lifestyle: Gabriel Gray and the Great Outdoors
“That’s the problem with SUP,” said my non-paddling surfer buddy, as we stood on the sands of Malibu amongst the good-natured pre-race chaos at LA Waterkeeper’s 5th annual Standup for Clean Water event. “There’s no standup paddling style. I mean, compare this to a surf contest, in or out of the water. You got style there. What is standup style?”
Good question, I thought, and took a critical look at my SUP brethren. Sure, I saw more than a few middle-aged beginners (this being primarily a fun race), all wearing their respective uniforms: men in short-sleeved, short-leg spring suits and ball caps, their neoprene booties filling with soft sand, women wearing too much rubber, colorful rash guards, sunglasses, sunscreen and funny hats. But this very recognizable subgenre was actually in the minority. For the most part, the teeming throng resembled something you’d see in old photos of 1960s surf competitions, where packs of super-fit guys in trunks and tans mingled freely with muscled-toned gals who wore their bikini’s proudly. In fact, some of the ladies on the beach, carrying their race boards and paddles, all sun-bleached hair and rippling triceps, looked more like surfers than half the guys on the World Surfing League’s pro tour. I told my friend as much.
“Well yeah, they might look like surfers,” he said. “But once they get in the water, what does style have to do with SUP? You can’t be stylish on a standup.”
“And why not?” I asked.
“Because you have a paddle in your hand.”
I thought about presenting my thesis, comparing the physical confirmation of a proper paddling stoke with classic Greek athletic sculpture, drawing on the similarities between Danny Ching in sprint mode and the Greek artist Myron’s famous bronze figure of a discus thrower known as Discobolus (c. 425 BCE), but it was just too damn hot.
Instead I just said, “Have you ever seen Dave Kalama SUP surf? Keahi de Aboitiz? Candice Appleby? Or Annabel Anderson at speed? Jenny Kalmbach doing anything?”
“No,” he said. “But check that guy. He makes my point for me.”
I turned to see a large man, well past middle age, trudging toward us. He was assembled in a long john wetsuit with a rash guard underneath, the requisite booties, paddling gloves, a gigantic hydration pack the size of a dromedary’s hump loaded with sunscreen and energy bars, festooned with a hanging waterproof instamatic camera and an emoji keychain, the entire kit topped off with what looked like a Foreign Legion kepi with neck flap.
“What a kook,” said my buddy.
“Sam!” cried the approaching spectacle.
It was Tony Montero, actor, performance artist and fairly recent standup paddleboard convert; an old friend, who I hadn’t seen in years. He wrapped me in an exuberant bear hug, almost lifting my feet off the ground.
“Isn’t this great,” he beamed through heavily zinc’d lips. “What a great day to be out here with everyone. Hey, try to guess which board is mine.”
I looked over to a row of race boards in the sand, stiletto noses point seaward like spear points. Plopped down in the middle, a Clydesdale among thoroughbreds, was a huge board, with a GoPro mount on the nose, a thick deck pad (that I would later learn was where his dog sat) and mounted stereo speakers.
“Yeah, I know what you’re probably thinking, but I don’t care,” Tony said, gazing affectionately at this Bismarck of a board. “It’s all about getting out there and having a great time, right?”
I looked at my old friend Tony who was almost hopping up and down with excitement. He had the biggest smile on his face. All because of that paddle in his hand.
I turned to my surfer buddy.
“Now that’s style,” I said.
This article was originally published in our 2016 Summer “LifeSTYLE” Issue.
More advice from Sam George
More From The Mag
This is the story of the first nonstop SUP circumnavigation of Bermuda, attempted by Christian Shaw and Gordon Middleton of Plastic Tides. The brutal overnight effort resulted in plenty of type II fun, a great campfire tale, and the world’s longest Ocean SUP race – The Devil’s Isle Challenge.
At 6:30pm on May 5th 2015, Christian Shaw and myself set out to attempt the first nonstop SUP circumnavigation of Bermuda. For days prior, the wind was blowing a gale and no such attempt could be made. But with an opening in the weather we took our chances. Stepping aboard my LIVE Watersports catamaran SUP with 40 miles of hard paddling ahead of us, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving it for the next—what I guessed would be—16 hours.
The year prior, we started Plastic Tides together to raise awareness of plastic pollution and to encourage adventure and exploration. We were in Bermuda for the second time to fight the issue on a new front: plastic microbeads from cosmetic products. This included lots of outreach, school visits, presentations, social media—the gamut. Our schedule was packed full for days to come, so the only chance we had to circumnavigate the island was to start in the evening and paddle through the night. We hoped with this schedule a number of our friends and followers would see us off and receive us.
We left the shore. In the back of my mind I had the nagging feeling that I wasn’t ready. Christian had just returned from an intense ski tour in the French Alps and before that a winter of surf and kiteboarding in Hawaii. I had been in that cold, stiff hibernation that comes with living in New York City during the winter. I hadn’t been training. I just sort of “showed up” as they say. The first few strokes I felt rusty, my muscles weren’t ready to work yet. After getting into the swing of things, my muscles warmed up though and I started to feel strong. I felt good, like a haze had been lifted.
From the aquarium at Flatt’s Inlet, we headed toward Fort St. Catherine at the northern tip, choosing to paddle clockwise around the island with the prevailing currents. The section after Fort St. Catherine—St. David’s Head—is known as the most treacherous so we hoped to have some light remaining. The wind forecast showed a decline later in the night and the wind that remained would ideally push us south along the shore. Stroking on, we took too much time posting to social media and catching some video for later. It put us behind schedule, but there was simply nothing for it. Without posting on social media, our circumnavigation would become only a personal challenge, nothing more. While the personal challenge is still a reason to try, Plastic Tides is about changing the mindset around plastic use and consumption, and without the awareness of our followers we would fall short of that goal. We want to show that we’re serious about the issue at hand, and that we’re willing to put ourselves at risk to fight the problem. So, we took photos and wrote copy as frequently as we felt necessary and posted them across our platforms.
Behind schedule we rounded the horn as night fell. The full moon wouldn’t rise for another hour, so we relied on our other senses and kept a wide berth of shore. The bow and stern lights we had bought that day quickly paid for themselves as a few boats went speeding closely by. The night was exacerbated by something we hadn’t expected – the forecast was wrong. The wind had picked up slightly instead of falling off and heavy, disorganized chop layered over the four-foot ground swell bouncing off the cliffs. Even on our catamaran boards, stability quickly became a thing of the past. During the day this chop would be no problem, but in the night, everything changes. You can’t anticipate. Instead, you react. Your muscles have to stay tense and ready; you’re cautious to stroke hard; your eyes strain and your brain is on overdrive. I felt a wave of uncertainty flow through me. We couldn’t have even been a quarter of the way and I could barely stand. I had to ask myself, was this such a good idea?
Continue the story of the first-ever SUP circumnavigation of Bermuda in Part 2 of this three-part series, releasing next week.
The 411 on Plastic Tides.
The Devil’s Isle Challenge: Bermuda’s first major SUP race
Find and support Plastic Tides on Facebook.
Standup paddling is a great way to improve your fitness while also exploring our beautiful natural environment. It works for us, but some folks prefer a more “controlled” environment to get their fitness on. Bridging this gap is the new Glide Fit–a square board that is geared towards fitness classes in the pool. To see what this looks like in action, check out their recent promo video.
The 2017 Sydney SUP Festival is coming to Pittwater Bay on February 18-19. The festival will include paddling fun for the whole family including SUP racing, lessons, demos, and much more. So learn more about this festival by checking out their promo video.
Laird Hamilton didn’t earn his reputation as one of Hawaii’s most respected watermen with flabby abs. In fact, together with his wife Gabrielle Reece (a professional volleyball player herself), the two make quite the fitness power couple. Go through the motions of this core workout they put together and heed Laird’s simple advice (“10 here, 10 here, 10 here…”), and someday soon you might just achieve abs like the big dog himself.
Another land workout for SUP.
More SUP health and fitness.
Laguna Beach. This quintessential Southern California beach town is nestled between the cozy hills of Orange County and the brilliant waters of the Pacific Ocean. While summer months are filled with tourists, winter is arguably when this little town shines. For example, check out this drone footage of paddlers enjoying a beautiful wintertime paddle off Laguna’s beautiful shoreline.
Must-see footage of standup paddling with Orca whales in Laguna Beach.
Five California SUP races in January.
11’6″ x 31″ x 6″ (200 liters)
The Rio-Grande from Jarvis Boards offers a rare combination of quality, beauty and durability only achievable by pairing natural material with expert craftsmanship. Hand made in Austin, Texas by company founder Tony Smith, the Rio is a stunning and sustainably assembled specimen using a responsibly sourced layup of mix-matched wood and recycled bio-waste Entropy Resin. It’s billed as an all-around board for touring and fitness paddling, and at 11’6”, it’s easily maneuverable even for smaller guys and ladies. The leather strap handle is also a nice design flair that makes it easier for more petite standup participants to transport, as does the surprising 27-pound weight. On the water, the displacement nose slices through glass smoothly while the rail lines and single fin provide straight tracking, making it a great board for lakes or large rivers. It pivot-turns well too, thanks to a wide and balanced tail block. The boxy rails and non-existent rocker result in a more tippy experience when things get choppy, though, so it’s probably best to reserve the Rio for calm stuff. A great board for starting conversations, touring lakes and combining a passion for art with your love for walking on water. —Mike Misselwitz
This review was originally published in our 2016 Summer Issue.
More board reviews.
Buying a standup paddleboard can be expensive, but what if it doesn’t have to be? Just take a look at this video featuring two friends who found a way to build their own SUP–for free. Apparently, all you need is an old canoe, a few pieces of lumber, some pool noodles and a bit of DIY know-how. The duo does manage to succeed in transforming the canoe into a functional (yet unsteady) SUP, but we’re not sure how much fun you’d have. But don’t take our word for it, watch the video and see what you think.
10 DIY Halloween costumes.
Time-lapse video of paddlers shaping a SUP from recycled wood.
Stylish, environmentally responsible and functional on the water, the Federal Wood shades from the Idaho-based, eco-friendly manufacturers at Proof surpassed our expectations with this solid all-around eyewear option for paddlers. The frames are handcrafted from sustainably sourced black maple for a look that wears as well on hipsters and watermen alike as it does on the environment. They’re fitted with 100-percent UVB protective lenses for a safe and satisfying view and hinged with spring-loaded stainless steal for a snug but comfy hug. And perhaps most importantly for us paddlers, they feature a water and sweat resistant coating that performed well for us when put to the test in the ocean. And perhaps the best aspect of Proof’s wooden eyewear for paddlers: they float!
Proof was founded in 2010 by three American brothers, one of the first grassroots companies to produce wood-framed shades. The brothers built the company from their garage at first, before gaining global interest with eco-friendly practices and an expanding variety of quality products. Their business model is one we support, and their glasses are fashion-forward in fine form. But don’t take our word for it. Get your own Proof.
Sunglasses Review | Bureo Ocean Collection: The Newen
Sunglasses Review | Native Eyewear: Penrose
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation: Mother/Pilates Instructor
The long-sleeved, one-piece, bum-less women’s bathing suits were interesting today. I’m not quite sure what the actual name of those are…I hadn’t seen them before.
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation: Landscape Construction Contractor
That’s me. I just went out to the store and bought paddling gear because I was wearing a five-millimeter wetsuit paddling flatwater and I was too hot, so I was dressed all in black and looked like a real Gumby. I was that goofy old guy but I was comfortable.
Hometown: Sarasota, Florida
Occupation: Commercial Property Owner/Manager
Men should never wear speedos.
Hometown: Haiku, Maui, Hawaii
Occupation: Water Safety Specialist
Off-color clothing. Polka dots, stuff like that. That’s a little much.
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Occupation: Professional Standup Paddler
Back home guys wear, we call them sluggos or budgie smugglers (speedos), and just paddle around like that. That’s probably the worst I’ve seen.
Hometown: Kawela Bay, Oahu, Hawaii
Odd places to put a leash. I’ve seen guys with their leash on their arm. That’s the best.
More Word on the Water.
Watch James Casey shred in pumping surf at Sunset Beach.
Right at this very moment, South African Chris Bertish is surrounded by nothing but water. That’s because this big-wave surfer turned SUP expeditionary is in the midst of his daunting transatlantic SUP crossing. If completed, this feat would certainly cement his name as a legend in our sport. However, Bertish is more concerned about using this journey to foster philanthropy and conservation efforts. To learn more, check out this video from Two Oceans Aquarium that highlights his preparation, the crossing, and his efforts to promote marine conservation.
Most recent update of Bertish’s progress and the challenges he has faced so far.
More coverage of The SUP Crossing.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few months, you’ve probably noticed that foiling has become the hot new trend in standup paddling. New SUP foiling edits continue to be released by many of the sport’s biggest names including Kai, Connor, Laird, Zane–the list goes on and on. Check out the most recent edit from paddler Chuck Glynn, who tries out the new underwater wing on gentle waves in San Diego.
POV video of Connor Baxter downwind foiling on the Maliko Run.
New edit of Zane and Matty Schweitzer’s twilight SUP foiling session.
More Industry News.
San Clemente High School senior Hannah Reed made her first swimsuit during her freshman year of high school. After a few tweaks, she officially launched her own swimwear company—Hannah Reed Swimwear—offering a variety of hand sewn styles and patterns at affordable prices. Reed even offers custom-made suits at no additional cost. Here, the eighteen-year-old shares some insight about starting her own business and what sets her suits apart from others on the market.
Tell us about your background.
I grew up practically living on the beach, given that my house was right across from T-Street in San Clemente. My dad taught me to surf at a young age and I started swimming competitively when I was seven. I participated in Junior Lifeguards for four years and served as Captain and then Lieutenant. I never had any fear of the ocean and I welcome any sport that allows me dive into it.
What inspired you to launch a swimwear company?
I love being creative and bringing my ideas to life. Girls like having many bikinis and no one wants to wear the same one every day. I found it hard to find the perfect swimwear that was both affordable and fit the way I liked. Most of the bikinis I liked were $200+ for the set and my mother wasn’t going to buy those, so I decided to try and make them myself.
How did you learn how to make suits?
I was in a College and Career class and started Googling how to make swimwear. I looked up everything I needed to know on the internet and came across several YouTube videos that gave me some ideas. I also read sewing manuals to figure out how to set the proper stitching and what type of needle to use. I took apart my old bikinis and made patterns using them as examples, and that’s how I got my first set of patterns. Then I adjusted the patterns as I went along to get the proper fit and look that I wanted.
When did you make your first suit?
It was around February of my freshman year in high school. I wanted to have suits ready to wear for the spring and enough to sell on Instagram. My first suit ended up fitting way too small so I made a bigger pattern and tried it again and again. It took several tries, but I finally got it right.
What’s unique about your suits?
My company is unique because it specializes in the suitability and specifications the buyer desires. No two bodies are the same and a small, medium, or large bathing suit does not always fit one person or another properly in all the right places. Sometimes I’ll get special requests for a custom design. Each person gets exactly what they ask for and I don’t charge extra for custom suits. I also make a lot of my suits reversible so you can have options of mixing and matching.
What’s your hope for the future of Hannah Reed Swimwear?
I hope to be manufacturing my swimsuits in a warehouse in the US and be featured in an upcoming swim collective. I eventually would like to branch out and design clothing as well. I’d like to spend my time designing more and sewing less, although I do find sewing very therapeutic. It’s a great feeling to create a finished product that you know someone is going to enjoy wearing.
Learn more and shop at the Hannah Reed Swimwear website.
Related: Pro tips to ward off women’s swimwear malfunctions
Standup paddling’s popularity continues to grow both around the world and here in the United States. While the bulk of paddlers reside on the coasts, that doesn’t mean folks in landlocked states aren’t getting in on the SUP action as well. For a prime example, watch this recent edit coming out of Charles City, Iowa. Paddler Hannah Ray J has found two pristine river waves–known as Double D and Tew Shanez–to show the locals what standup paddling is all about.
Interview with the owner of a SUP shop who brought paddling to Iowa.
More river SUP action.
Melbourne, Florida. (December 26, 2016)
Balance Boards have been around since at least the 1950s. Today they’re more popular than ever as a fun and effective way to develop, improve and maintain agility, core strength and of course, balance. But they’re made of wood and hard plastics, making them intimidating to use for novices, kids and seniors, and uncomfortable for uses besides standing. They also lack adjustability to match different skill levels and types of use and are difficult to transport and store. Kumo Board co-creators Dan Smith and Jimmy Blakeney have solved these challenges by reimagining what balance boards are made of, what they can do and who they’re for.
“I’ve had balance boards in my house for as long as I can remember. I love using them to keep my balance honed, plus they’re just a lot of fun,” stated Kumo Board co-creator Jimmy Blakeney. “Now that I have kids I’m afraid they’ll hurt themselves or breaking something in the house because all balance boards are made of either wood or hard plastic materials.” One day when talking to friend and now business partner Dan Smith they struck on the idea to use high-pressure inflatable technology, similar to what’s used for rafts, to create a soft yet rigid board that would be better for kids and novices. A year and half of prototypes, testing and fine tuning later and Kumo Board was born. The patent-pending design and high-pressure inflatable technology make the board, roller and air cushion soft and user-friendly, unlike any other balance board on the market. Inflation is easy with any bike pump, electric car tire inflator or air compressor, while deflation is simple using an included deflator. Adjusting the inflation level allows users to customize the board, roller and air cushion to their skill level and size. A wide range of settings are possible using various configurations of the air-filled board, roller and cushion, each lending themselves to various activities. “As we’ve tested and refined the product more and more uses keep surfacing”, explained Dan Smith. “The fact that it’s soft and adjustable makes it ideal for so many activities it’s unreal.” From fitness and yoga to physical therapy, boardsport training, indoor family fun, standing desk pad, massage roller and more, Kumo Board offers something for everyone at every stage of life. For those on the go or looking to save space all components deflate and pack down to a compact, portable size. Kumo means Cloud in Japanese. “We think it’s the perfect name because being on a Kumo Board is like balancing on a cloud.”
Kumo Board is live on Kickstarter now, which is the first opportunity to pre-order. As with most Kickstarter campaigns discount pricing is being offered for a limited number of ‘early adopters’ who support the project early on.
Go to our Kickstarter.
For more information visit www.kumoboard.com or contact Jimmy and Dan at email@example.com.
CONTACT INFORMATION: www.kumoboard.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 401-572-7989
Facebook | @kumoboard | #kumoboard | #fueledbyair
USES & USER GROUPS
Fitness – Ideal for fitness use thanks to soft and comfy materials that are enjoyable to interact with and eliminate pinched fingers and toes common on wooden and plastic boards. Infinite adjustability in settings and configurations amplifies the benefits of other balance boards. A fitness program is currently being developed with Manic Training.
Yoga – The board by itself is a unique and versatile yoga prop that expands on the benefits of yoga blocks by offering a platform that can be used to modify yoga poses to make more vigorous or more gentle. Rocker in board creates additional challenge for various poses, similar to Paddleboard Yoga. At low pressure the board can assist with comfort in seated and kneeling positions.
Massage Roller – The roller by itself functions as a compact and portable “foam” roller that adjusts to the users preferred firmness from extra firm to super soft.
Indoor Family Fun – Thanks to soft and non-marking materials Kumo Board is ideal for indoor use. Kids, adults and seniors all benefit from these user-friendly materials for a wide variety of indoor activities.
Physical Therapy – Using just the board creates a terrific rehab, prehab stability cushion with infinite settings. One Kumo Board replaces a closetful of varying density foam pads, simplifying and improving rehabilitation programs involving these common PT items.
Standing Desk – By itself Kumo Board works great as a standing desk pad. Built-in rocker in the board creates an active, engaging experience where the user is constantly changing positions, a proven way to reduce back pain and fatigue associated with sitting for extended periods of time
Boardsport Training – With skateboarding and surfing now officially in the Olympics the Kumo Board is more relevant than ever. Thanks to the dual nature of both front to back and heel to toe balance challenge (with roller partially inflated) Kumo Board helps develop the deep balance needed to excel in boardsports.
KEY PRODUCT FEATURES
ABOUT THE FOUNDERS
We heard it before we saw it, the roar of water crashing into rocks and back into itself. My buddy Greg Peters and I had been running rapids for hours, days but as we pulled off the river to scout we realized this was bigger than any rapid we’d run before. There was a possible line on river left, where three-foot standing waves might or might not deliver a standup paddler through a gauntlet of barely submerged boulders. As we considered our options, a shoddily-steered raft came through sideways and nearly flipped. Greg believed he could do better. I believed it would be fun to watch him try.
His entry was perfect, though one of the sharper waves dropped him to his hands. He was up quickly, but on the rapid’s last drop, where the water poured over a band of boulders and dropped two feet into a vortex, I watched him pitch forward and disappear. When he eventually popped up from the froth and grabbed his board, I saw his paddle first—what was left of it. He dog-paddled pathetically to the far shore, climbed out, looked across the river at me and threw his hands up in the air.
We were halfway into a pioneering, three-day micro-expedition on Western Montana’s storied Blackfoot River. Planned months ago, the trip was a culmination of our development as paddleboarders. We had camping gear, food and 40 more boulder-strewn miles to go with one-and-a-half paddles to do it.
Only the day before, I’d stood on my board in the middle of the river, threw my arms in the air and called out a euphoric, “Yes!”
We were finally on the Blackfoot attempting something that had never been done on a standup (and probably any other craft for that matter): paddling the 80-some miles of river from our put-in deep in scarcely populated ranch country to our takeout in Missoula, all in one self-contained run. Work schedules limited us to three days for the trip but in a fit of enthusiasm (and perhaps a beer or two) we decided to go big and paddle nearly all the river’s navigable water. With the demands of land-based life pinning us to the civilized world, we’d barely made it to the water that day. But even though it was already mid-afternoon and there was a chance we might not reach our reserved campsite by dark, we’d made it on the river and were moving downstream.
Greg cheered back—it was awesome. Then we curled around a bend and the west wind hit us like a wall, pushing us upstream, against the river’s current. That was not awesome. I pulled near the low, grass-topped bank and dropped to my knees. Still the wind blew. Our trip, perhaps too ambitious to begin with, was collapsing as soon as it started. I searched for a strategy to save us. Maybe we’d be better off waiting until evening, when the wind was sure to die down?
“Do you know where the moon is right now?” I called out to Greg.
He didn’t, a bad sign. We’d been living inside of walls for so long that we had no idea of the moon’s cycle.
“Let’s try sitting down,” Greg yelled and started paddling canoe-style. I was skeptical, but we ended up making a bit of progress.
“I like this!” I cried. “I like this a lot.”
A critical decision was made at this moment: no matter the obstacles, we weren’t going to quit. With each bend of the living river we shifted positions—sitting, kneeling, standing—as the wind buffeted us from new angles. Shore grass rippled. Ponderosa pines swayed. Three calves and a cow scrambled up a steep bank in panic. This was classic Montana ranching country where golden fields are backed by blue mountains and forever sky.
The wind continued and so did we.
The Blackfoot River is born on the western slope of the Continental Divide and courses for 132 fast and cold miles through the mountains and broad valleys of Western Montana. This is the river of Norman Maclean’s iconic novella A River Runs Through It. Back in Maclean’s day (his family moved to the area in the early 20th century) getting here meant a long drive on a gravel road. At some point that road became Highway 200 and for much of the 20th century, ranchers, loggers and miners bruised the land and the Blackfoot suffered. Fortunately, bruises heal.
Thanks to a unique partnership of the valley’s ranchers, conservationists and state and federal land managers, the Blackfoot today stands as one of the most successful watershed protection and restoration efforts in American history. Forests regrew. Mines were reclaimed. Ranchers restored the banks of tributaries. Today, the river runs pure, its water teeming with trout while grizzly bears roam its banks. Maclean’s river is back.
Yet, until just last year you couldn’t float the entire thing. Its confluence with the Clark Fork River, five miles upstream from the literary and fly-fishing haven of Missoula, was blocked by the remains of a century-old sawmill and the Milltown Dam. The dam was finally removed in 2008, after two decades of debate (apparently some people like dams), and on July 1, 2014, the restored confluence was opened to paddlers for the first time in over a century.
Greg and I live in Missoula. Like half the town’s population, we’re writers. Unlike the other half, we’re not avid fishermen. Sure, we can catch a trout and cook it over a fire, but when we’re on rivers we prefer to stand and paddle them. For a couple seasons we’d been building our skills on the lower Blackfoot near town. With the confluence restored we realized it would be possible to run the length of the river and end in downtown Missoula, within walking distance of Greg’s back door. Once you dream up an idea like that, you have to try it. Which is how we found ourselves on the upper river, paddling downstream and upwind at the same time.
Merge Into One is a two-part digital feature originally published in SUP magazine’s 2016 Summer Issue. Look out for Part 2 coming next week.
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Efforts Led by Asia-Based AID Partners, LLC.
North Shore Oahu, Hawaii – (January 10th, 2017) – The Waterman League Group, known for its professional standup paddle surfing and racing and leagues—traditionally known as the Standup World Tour and Standup World Series—today is pleased to announce it has closed a Series A round of financing. The efforts were led by private equity firm AID Partners (AID), LLC and Darren Shaw, a Hong Kong based co-investor. Both entities will join the company’s board of directors. The proceeds of this investment will be used to expand the Waterman League’s Paddlesurf World Tour events established in 2009.
“We have passionately endeavored to build the Waterman League with integrity and authenticity and I am extremely proud to have attracted investors of this caliber and to begin working with our new partners to strengthen and expand our business,” said Tristan Boxford, Chief Executive Officer of the Waterman League. “Paddlesurfing is one of the world’s fastest-growing participatory sports and we feel that the APP World Tour will continue to appeal to a rapidly growing number of fans and professional athletes while embracing the mass participation component of our events.
“We are particularly keen to help grow the sport of paddlesurfing in Asia,” said Kelvin Wu, Chairman of AID. “We also see expansion of the event formats and increasing digital media coverage of the APP World Tour as having enormous potential.”
“I have been impressed by the Waterman League and what Tristan has achieved with limited resources,” noted Darren Shaw. “He has created an exciting competitive platform and attracted a dynamic group of young athletes for this relatively new sport, highlighting the timely attributes of adopting healthy pursuits, being out in the elements, and bringing awareness to our waterways and oceans. I feel every ingredient for success is in place.”
In conjunction with this new investment, the Waterman League has established the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals (APP) and aligned the two disciplines of paddlesurfing under a new “APP World Tour”, which will deliver eight events in 2017 in Oahu (Hawaii), Maui (Hawaii), Tokyo (Japan), Scharbeutz (Germany), New York (NY), San Francisco (CA), Hainan (China) and the Canary Islands (Spain).
About AID Partners LLC
AID is a leading private equity firm based in Asia with a global prospective. An acronym of its strengths, A – advising, I – investing, and D – development, the firm has backed a strategic portfolio of companies that bridge many of its businesses from one part of the world to the other. AID’s investment focus is primarily in the media, technology and lifestyle sectors. Its portfolio companies include Legendry Pictures, Golden Harvest Entertainment, Freedom Network and Zoox Inc.
About Waterman League Group
The Waterman League Group is an event management and media production company headquartered in Hawaii focused on developing multi-disciplined water sports. The term ‘waterman’ refers to versatile athletes who can engage in various forms of water sports at the highest level.
As founders of the World Championship Tour for Paddlesurfing (also known as Stand-Up Paddling), the Waterman League has been crowning Men’s and Women’s World Champions for both racing and surfing since 2010, with flagship events across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, now branded as the APP World Tour.
The APP World Tour produces a complete inventory of programming, including live and post produced broadcasts from all its events, with distribution to over 100 countries worldwide via premier global networks such as CBS Sports and Fox Sports Australia, supported by IMG Media.
Information is available at appworldtour.com and fans can follow events @appworldtour on Facebook and Instagram.
Williams Group Public Relations
Words By: Rebecca Parsons
Photos By: Ted Gotwals
Nestled in the heart of Littleton, Colorado is a unique SUP shop that is open year-round, snow or shine. During the summers, 5280 Paddle Sports offers both rentals and lessons on neighboring reservoirs and local rivers. To make SUP accessible every day of the year, they also offer indoor lessons during winter and recently added SUP Polo to their program. Owner Andrew Bohnenkamp recently spoke with SUP Magazine to share the details about this new up-and-coming SUP sport and what makes Littleton such an ideal location for paddlers.
SUP: Tell us about the history of the shop.
AB: With no surfable ocean waves within 1000 miles, we decided to bring the closest thing to surfing to Colorado. Our doors opened in July of 2014 and we now offer SUP rentals and lessons at three reservoirs and two recreation centers, as well as board and equipment sales.
SUP: What makes Littleton and the Denver Metro area an ideal location for SUP?
AB: There are a lot of reservoirs here and lots of health-minded residents. This makes for a great audience to grow this incredible sport we are so passionate about.
SUP: What kind of training/certifications do your instructors have?
AB: All of our instructors have a previous watersports background and are ACA and Red Cross certified.
SUP: Where do your lessons take place?
AB: We teach year-round. During the summer, we conduct our lessons outdoors at Chatfield Reservoir. During the winter, we go indoors to Ridge Recreation Center. Both locations are in Littleton.
SUP: What activities do you offer in the winter?
AB: During the winter we offer both SUP Polo and SUP lessons.
SUP: Can you tell us more about SUP Polo?
AB: SUP Polo is a new and exciting team sport that combines elements of water polo and standup paddling. Imagine a lacrosse paddle that allows you to catch a ball, pass it, and still paddle your board. Get two teams of three people, two goals, and you’re bound to have a great time. We added this program in 2016 and everyone that has tried it loves it. It adds such a fun new element to paddleboarding.
SUP: What does your clientele base look like?
AB: We have a very mixed base of customers as we have a wide variety of offerings and equipment, for anyone from beginner to pro. Overall, we want to grow the sport as much as we can and share our passion for SUP.
The Florida shop that offers nude SUP tours.
Learn about other unique SUP shops.
There are many common routes to standup paddling: through surfing, through outrigger, through kayaking. And then there are the unusual paths. Gabriel Gray—fireman, EMT, adventure paddler, SUP business owner and conservationist—has one of those.
Born and raised on a 100-acre farm in Monticello, Florida, Gray spent his youth hunting, fishing, exploring and competing in rodeos. At 17, he went pro as a rodeo rider and spent the next decade traveling all over America.
When that chapter closed, he moved back to Florida, where he took his first job as a structure firefighter in Panama City and discovered SUP in 2006.
“It just came naturally,” Gray says. “You can get into swampy backwater areas and duck hunt and fly-fish where a lot of boats can’t go.”
From that background grew a love for paddling missions and for conservation that has only grown—when he can fit it into his schedule as an EMT and firefighter at South Walton Fire Department.
In 2014 Gray and his wife, Natalie, started Fight to Save Our American Rivers (SOAR), an organization aimed at, “combining stewardship, science, exploration, adventure and sport all into one package to show the true outdoorsman lifestyle.”
The group has snowballed since the first trip on the Flint River in Georgia, which was then number two on the American Rivers Most Endangered list. He’s since done projects on the Buffalo River in Arkansas, Gore Creek in Colorado and recently, Gray has been giving talks on his paddles, planning more trips and teaching multi-day SUP camping clinics.
“I decided to start bringing people on these trips that had never done this style of paddle before,” he says. “To take them out there and teach them and watch them and guide them and see them change from the beginning to the end. I love witnessing that and seeing what paddleboarding in nature does for people.” —Will Taylor
This installment of The SUP Lifestyle is the first in a seven-part series from our 2016 Summer “Lifestyle” Issue.
More From the Mag.
Each new year presents us with an opportunity to reflect on the year we’re leaving behind and to look forward to a fresh year ahead. In tribute to a great past year and an even better year ahead, here some of the paddling’s top pros share their personal highlights from 2016 and high hopes for the year to come. –Rebecca Parsons
2016 was a beautiful year full of adventures, great people, good surf sessions, downwinders, painting and a lot of travel. As an athlete I couldn´t have wished for more: winning M2O for the third time in a row, becoming European champion for a second time this year and winning the Olukai Ho’olaule’a. Another huge highlight, probably the biggest of the year, was when my granny showed up to surprise me at the Lost Mills finish line! Goals for 2017? Hard to say, I live in the moment. I could try to win M20 again or break the time record, but I´m just really happy to be able to do what I love to do, so I’m going to keep doing it! I also have to prepare for my art show coming up in 2018.
2016 was a breakthrough year for me in SUP and probably my most competitive year as an athlete. My highlights include winning the Pacific Paddle Games distance race, winning the ISA World Marathon Championships and winning Lost Mills in Germany. Coming into 2016 I wanted to win one international race, and I think I came home with 15 titles! In 2017 I’m looking to build on my 2016 successes and I’d love to be the top-ranked paddler in the world, win the Euro Tour, defend my World Championship and win PPG overall.
My generic answer would be this: I made top four on the Standup World Tour, was ranked 16th on SUPracer.com, placed second in the Gorge Paddle Challenge downwind, and I look forward to doing better next year! But this is only half true. I am so proud of my accomplishments and extremely humbled to have had the opportunities I did! I know how lucky I am to be able to live my dream, have fun, and self-sustain. In 2016 I was able to travel so much and in 2017 the exploration won’t slow down. I’ll keep learning and search for everything and nothing, realizing and creating my dream as I go!
One of my favorite things about 2016 was the travel. One place that was great was Bilbao, Spain for one of the stops of the Euro Tour. We got to paddle in the estuary that went right through the middle of the city. Another great event in 2016 was the ISA games held in Fiji. They had the event at Cloudbreak, which I’ve wanted to surf since I was young. Being able to surf it with three other guys was pretty epic. I can’t really put my 2017 goals into too many words, but I just want to travel to new places, meet new people, spread SUP, win every event I enter and most importantly, stay happy.
One of the goals I have is to travel more. With the SUP industry growing, I’d like to see where else SUP has spread in the world. Another goal is to try and become one of the top 20 female paddlers in the world. This will require tons more training, but I am up for the challenge. Above all, my main goal is to try and get top-5 in the elite race at the 2017 Pacific Paddle Games. I would be beyond grateful if I could accomplish this goal, as well as all my other goals for this year.
This year has been about exploration. Pushing my boundaries physically and mentally in all aspects of life. I did way more races than I would have ever expected and I traveled to so many new places, each being another opportunity to learn about myself and the gorgeous world we live in. This year standup paddling has taken me farther than my wildest dreams. As I start a new rotation around the sun, I hope to keep my eyes open, learn as much as I can and spend as much time on the water as possible! Standup paddling is an incredibly fun sport and that is my number one goal…keep it fun!
Related: SUP stars’ 2017 New Year’s Resolutions
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” –Isak Dinesen
My doctors love the fact that I’m obsessed with the ocean. Which is good, because even if they didn’t, it probably wouldn’t change anything.
Ever since I first started feeling fatigue and Lyme associated systems in 2015, I made a conscious effort to spend as much time as possible outside and on the water. For the first month or so, I was still able to run, surf, and paddle most days. As the bacteria (Borrelia burgdoferi) spread throughout my body, I began to feel weaker, so I dropped running entirely. Surfing was next on the hit list. Paddling I am still hanging onto.
For the first seven or eight months I was able to paddle the 1.8 miles around the Dana Point Harbor. Then I reduced the distance to a mile. Then half a mile. Now, I am only able to paddle five or ten minutes at a time, but I still make an effort to do so as often as possible.
For me it’s important not to let the disease define me and to still hold on to my passions. I may only be able to paddle for ten minutes, but at least I’m paddling. On the days I don’t feel up to that, I simply sit on the beach with a book, watching the waves and enjoying the sunshine. And on the really bad days when I am barely able to get out of bed, I still make the effort to go outside and take a short stroll around the block or jump in the pool. Anything is better than nothing.
The ocean is my happy place and sunshine, aside from its cancer associations, is inherently good for you. Anyone who has Lyme disease or another chronic illness knows that a small dose of depression is part of the package. Sunshine can help improve your mood as it boosts your serotonin levels, aka “the happy hormone.” Brain fog is a common symptom associated with Lyme, but high levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream can help improve memory and clear up your thinking. Another major benefit of sunshine for us Lymies is its ability to boost the immune system by increasing the body’s production of white blood cells as well as increase oxygen content in blood. Borellia bacteria are unable to survive in an oxygen-rich environment, so pumping the body with O2 is crucial.
In addition to the vitamin D and sunshine you soak up while at the beach, another majorly beneficial aspect of getting out there comes from walking barefoot in the sand. Grounding, also known as earthing, simply refers to walking barefoot on earth. When you do so, electrons from the earth are freely transferred to your body, resulting in significant health benefits. Earth’s electrons serve as highly potent antioxidants and can improve heart rate, decrease skin resistance, speed up injury recovery time, and significantly decrease levels of inflammation (a key player in Lyme disease).
“So really what is happening with grounding or earthing is that you’re protecting your body from — I call it, collateral damage,” says Dr. James Oschman, an expert in the field of energy medicine. “Damage that was not intended to take place but does take place because we have disconnected ourselves from the earth by putting rubber and plastic on the bottoms of our shoes.”
When you’ve been sick for a year and half you are willing to try anything. Luckily, grounding is simple and definitely enjoyable.
While I’ve undergone a wide array of treatments over the past year, spending time at the beach makes me feel better every time. Whether it’s mental or physical really doesn’t matter, what matters is that to some degree it helps. So if you are battling Lyme disease, another chronic illness, or an injury, figure out what you are able to do and what makes you happy. For me, it’s the sea. –RP
Bodies in Motion: An Athlete’s Journey Through Lyme Disease – Part 1
In the past few months, Maui brothers Zane and Matty Schweitzer have had plenty of time to dial in the new SUP foils. In this latest edit, we see the duo ripping around on small–at times non-existent–waves during a recent twilight session. If nothing else, it certainly proves that SUP foils have opened up surfing to even those days when the waves are just too small. Add to that one of the new light systems on the bottom of their boards and this becomes a session you won’t want to miss.
Zane looks back upon his big accomplishments in 2016.
Zane and Connor Baxter’s SUP foil surf session.
Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club and Huki Outrigger/Surfski bring you the 21st Annual Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge Presented by Paddle Planet and Dirty Birds to be held in Mission Bay, San Diego,Ca. on January 28, 2017. Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge, a WPA sanctioned points race and flagship event for the SoCal Winter Racing Series, is one of the Longest Running Paddlesport Races in California offering access to all paddle crafts including OC-1 & 2, Surfski, Traditional Paddleboard, Standup Paddleboard and Kayak. The Hanohano Ocean Challenge attracts top level professional athletes and beginners from ages 7-80.
The Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge evolved from Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club (HOCC) Founder, Egon Horcajo’s Excel Surfski Race which originated in the late 1980’s. “ HOCC has grown the event to over 650 participants by expanding its mission to promote accessibility to paddling as an active healthy lifestyle while building our Ohana” according to Race Director Dan Van Dyck
You are encouraged to visit the race website for more details.
For Expo and Marketing opportunities, contact Dan Van Dyck.
Special thanks to our partners: Huki Outrigger/Surfski, Dirty Birds, Paddle Planet and CarboPro
Important notes on the event:
-Preregistration is highly suggested. (T-shirts guaranteed for pre-registered participants only)
-$25 for preregistration – race fees go up to $30 for day of registration!!!!
-Preregistration will help eliminate delays on race morning as well as cut down on paddler error while registering with our new online format. -PLEASE VISIT PADDLE GURU AND PREREGISTER FOR THIS EVENT.
-Food: Breakfast snack items and coffee will be available for free in the morning. Lunch will be an additional fee with menu items beginning at $5. -Please bring cash. The new lunch format allows us to account for the increased number of mouths to feed while keeping your race fee at $25.
-Bring a water bottle, we will have Gatorade and water to fill them up. We will also have complimentary Kona Deep Water on site.
-Raffle: Hanohano OCC still boasts the best Raffle west of the Mississippi…bring some dough and have a chance at a Brand New Huki OC-1 and a ton of other great product from our sponsors and vendors.
-PFDs are required on all paddlecraft with the exception of the prone paddleboard. Leashes are suggested for use on the long course for OC-1s and surfskis.
-No dogs, alcohol or glass are allowed in Mission Bay Park. Rangers will issue hefty fines.
About the Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge:
Celebrate our 21th Anniversary with us! The Hanohano Ocean Challenge has been hosted by Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club since 1996 after taking over the San Diego Excel Surfski Race hosted by Club Founder Egon Horcajo which began in the late 1980’s. The Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge has grown to be one of the Premiere Races in California and one of the biggest and longest running in the nation. The Hanohano OCC is a 501c3 non-profit Organization was formed in order to unite men and women who share an interest in perpetuating and participating in Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Racing at its’ highest competitive level. The Club encourages and promotes good will and sportsmanship among members. www.hanohano.com.
The key to being a fast and efficient downwind paddler is reading water: where the bumps are coming from, where they’re going and the easiest way to catch them. Sure, being a strong paddler helps too, but you can only go so fast with strength. In the video above, Hawaii-based paddle aficionado Robert Stehlik breaks down a run on Oahu’s famous Hawaii Kai run, where two different types of swells are running. While this may not apply directly to your home run, many of the tips are applicable in most downwind conditions.
More downwind action.
More from Robert Stehlik.
Christmas might be over and New Year’s in the rear view mirror but ‘tis still the season…to get a cold. People in the US catch a staggering one billion colds a year, which curbs our productivity, hinders our social lives and–if we’re lucky enough to live near unfrozen water–keeps us off our boards. Here are four tips to cut your chance of catching a cold:
1) Get Your Tea On
One of the most tried and true immunity boosters out there is green tea. But don’t just idly throw a tea bag in a mug of hot water. Adding lemon, lime or any other citrus juice to your tea has been found to increase the uptake of antioxidant catechins fivefold. Those crafy tea-drinking Brits are also onto something. While it might take a little getting used to, adding milk to your next “cuppa” also boosts catechin retention. Plus, hot tea just seems to taste better when it’s freezing outside, doesn’t it?
2) Have a Berry Happy New Year
Almost any berry is going to give you a ton of “good for you” phytochemicals, some fiber and a bevy of vitamins and minerals. But when it comes to stopping the sniffles in their tracks, two should rise to the top of your grocery list: elderberries and blackcurrants. The anthocyanins that give these fruits their rich color also enhance your body’s immune response and reduce inflammation. One study found that the kind found in blackcurrants also improve night vision by assisting with the regeneration of certain proteins. As fresh blackcurrants are hard to come by and expensive if you can find them, try adding dry currants to oatmeal or getting a juice with no added sugar, like this one from R.W. Knudsen.
3) Take a Deep Breath
Too many of us let the chaos of our hectic lifestyles put us in a state of chronic stress in which we take irregular, shallow breaths that make us even tighter and more anxious. This nervous system fatigue and inflammation can then compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to all manner of illnesses. The solution? Become conscious of how you’re breathing and if you’re stuck in a bad pattern, take a few minutes to inhale slowly and exhale even more slowly, several minutes a day. You’ll not only feel calmer, but will likely boost your immunity, too. If you need more guidance, check out the Wim Hof method. Good enough for Laird, good enough for you!
4) Stop Skimping on Sleep
One of the reasons that we tend to get sick at this time of year is that we dial up the intensity with all those family gatherings, Christmas parties and red-eye flights across the country. To make room for everything we want to cram in, we not only skimp on physical activity, but also reduce the amount and quality of our sleep. As a result, we end up tired out, worn down and less able to combat infections. The fix is simple: start winding down sooner and going to bed earlier, preferably at a consistent time each night. Also avoid anything that can compromise sleep quality, including blue light exposure from electronic devices, evening caffeine and a too-toasty bedroom (studies show that 65 degrees or below is optimal).
Three post-holiday SUP workouts to get back in shape.
10 plant-based proteins to clean up your diet.
In case you haven’t heard, South African Chris Bertish is in the midst of an attempt to become the first person to ever standup paddle across the Atlantic Ocean. He’s a month into his journey and as he explains in this interview from Cape Town, South Africa’s Cape Talk with Jeff Ayliffe, “It’s a lot more challenging than I thought it was going to be.”
When Bertish got on the phone with Ayliffe a couple days ago he was sitting in the calmest ocean he’d encountered on his trip, about 300 kilometers south of the Canary Islands. He was performing maintenance on his $100,000 self-contained SUP and finally was able to reach out to the outside world.
This interview is more than worth listening too. Bertish describes the intensity of weathering storms in his self-righting SUP, where every hour feels like a lifetime; paddling into headwinds when he’s supposed to have a tailwind and his encounters with whales and/or sharks accidentally trying to pull his board to the bottom of the Atlantic.
Bertish just reminds himself that, as in life, everything is always changing.
“It’s not constant. It will get better,” he says. “This too shall pass.”
Listen to the full interview below.
More on Bertish’s journey.
With winter now upon us, standup paddling tends to be a bit more difficult. Cold water and cold air requires that paddlers suit up in wetsuits, booties–and depending where you live–hoods and gloves too. But nothing comes close to this jaw-dropping video of paddlers SUP surfing in a frosty Lake Superior during the middle of winter. With sub-zero air temperatures and the water in the 30s, this SUP session took some serious dedication. However, these hardcore paddlers were rewarded for their efforts with perfect, groomed waves. So hit play and behold the coldest SUP session you’ve ever seen.
One paddler’s frigid experience SUP surfing in Iceland.
Footage of paddling through ice caves on Lake Michigan.
8’10” X 29” X 3.93” (150 LITERS)
Almost every company out there makes inflatable boards now. And for good reason: they’re some of the most versatile and useful boards out there. Red Paddle Co. a UK-founded SUP company has taken inflatables to the next level. Red started making pump-up boards in 2008 and have been refining them ever since. For 2016, they’re 8’10” Whip is one of the most impressive hollow SUP surfboards ever made. For us, it all starts with their RSS battens, which are flat, ruler-like rods that slide into pockets on each rail. They’re a little difficult to put in at first but once you get the hang of it, the trouble all makes sense: they’re a game-changer in the inflatable world, adding a stiffness that we’ve never felt in this category of SUP. The Whip is also extremely light—even for an inflatable—and durable thanks to the automated construction process and high-quality materials. But the big question still dangles: how does it surf? For an inflatable, it’s a competitor for best in class. The four-inch rails and pulled in tail get you down the line nicely in steep sections, allow you to manage your speed and even perform the occasional floater, waves and skill-level permitting. Without hard rails to dig into the waves, though, you can’t go vertical or surf rail-to-rail. Still, it’s a major improvement in the inflatable category and a great choice for traveling SUP surfers than can’t take the hassle of traveling with hard boards. —WT
Roger “Dogman” Saunders is undoubtedly one of the most colorful characters in the standup paddling community. Always having fun and never taking himself too seriously, Saunders keeps us entertained with his eclectic videos and progressive SUP surfing. Check out his latest edit of him having some fun.
Hilarious video of the Dogman taking a couch chair SUP surfing…literally.
More footage of the Saunders shredding in style.
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