“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Inspired by Emerson’s words above, pro paddler Beau Nixon of Australia began embarking on SUP adventures across New South Wales, which he’s documented for his blog, appropriately titled Do Not Follow. From Sydney’s Hawkesbury River to a trip on the Manning River with his pooch, Nixon paddles three to four days on each river, sharing information along the way and giving viewers a glimpse into the land down under. Here’s Nixon, touring Newcastle’s Hunter River.
More from Beau Nixon here.
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Welcome to our new feature, The Weekly Insta, a collection of the week’s best Instagram photos from all corners of the standup world. There’s a story in every nook of social media, and none tell it better than Instagram as athletes, coaches, events and shops use it to contribute their proverbial thousand-words. So here, we curate the best of the best so you don’t have to.
Hashtag #theweeklyinsta for your photos to be considered for the feed.
Check out more paddling imagery here.
Collected by Mike Misselwitz (@mrmizzel)
“You don’t see people walking around like crabs do you?” Tasmanian SUP charger Kyron Rathbone asks in this clip. “We didn’t walk out of a cave sideways so we’re certainly not going to surf sideways.”
Ex-pro surfer Luke Egan and Rathbone give us convincing arguments that the future of SUP surfing is in the parallel stance, not the traditional surf stance. There could be something to this.
Keep checking SUPthemag.com for the evolution of this new style.
More videos here.
Photo: Erik Aeder
When you get a few days of winter grayness in a row, it’s easy to get a “case of the Mondays” as Office Space memorably puts it. But even if it’s too cold for you to boost your mood with a wetsuit-donning, cold weather-braving paddle, there are a few things you can do to cheer yourself up. One is to eat foods with mood-boosting properties. No, we’re not talking drive-through fare that tastes good at the time but makes you feel like garbage later; rather, five healthy foods that can give you a lift, no matter what the weather’s doing.
While it’s tempting to steal the creamy milk chocolate from your kids’ advent calendars, we suggest you go with its high-cacao cousin instead (and leave those calendars alone, too!). Chocolate is one of the richest natural sources of the mood-enhancing amino acid phenylalanine, particularly if you get one of the highest cacao varieties. Not to mention, that dark chocolate tastes good too.
Fish isn’t the first food that comes to mind when you’re looking to perk up, but don’t ignore it. Not only does fish provide a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids to enhance joint health and reduce post-workout soreness, but it also enhances mood by increasing your brain’s production of serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are directly linked to mood, so fire up a salmon fillet or get to your favorite sushi joint next time you’re feeling blue. If you don’t do fish in its original form, fish oil provides much of the same benefits.
Another food that kicks your brain into high gear is that cooking staple, garlic. This flavor-rich powerhouse stimulates production of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. In addition, the chef’s favorite also relaxes blood vessels and reduces blood pressure, which can do lasting damage if it remains too high. And, the chromium in garlic helps with insulin response, so your body better regulates its response to carbohydrates. Did we mention that garlic is also believed to have anti-cancer properties?
Photo: Jack McDaniel
Many of us are lacking in vitamin D, particularly in the winter when the sun isn’t only shrouded by snow-dropping clouds, but also provides us with less daylight. One of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is a depressed mood. While it can be a wise insurance plan to pop a vitamin D pill containing up to 2,000 IUs for women and 5,000 IUs for men, there are other, more natural ways to get a vitamin D fix. One way is to search your supermarket for mushrooms that have been exposed to vitamin D (or just buy regular ones and put them in a sunny spot in your house for a couple of days). As mushrooms often grow in shady conditions, not all are created equal. But the sun-drenched variety can provide all of the vitamin D you need for the day.
Oh, the humble banana. So often overlooked by many people in favor of more gaudily colored and juicy fruits, it remains a go-to for endurance athletes looking to stabilize their mood before a race and get some quickly absorbed carbs during extended exercise. Credit the amino acid tryptophan (yep, the same one that’s prevalent in turkey and, contrary to popular opinion, does not put you to sleep), which, when combined with the vitamin B6 in bananas, causes a surge of mood-lifting serotonin. The potassium in bananas also contributes to elevated mood by helping your nervous system function optimally.
Photo: Kevin Voegtlin
Check out a map. Providence is Rhode Island’s only major city and is located at the head of Narragansett Bay. It’s an eclectic, picturesque micro-city surrounded by flatwater and surf opportunities, all within a half-hour drive or less (even the downtown paddle is pretty damn cool). Two hundred and fifty-year-old Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design are the foundation of a thriving arts, intellectual and cultural community, which also makes it a city of foodies, full of excellent eateries perfect for pre- and post-paddling fuel.
It’s called the “Ocean State” for a reason. Although Providence is part of the mainland, the state gets its name from several islands that make up a significant portion of its landmass. The fact that almost 15 percent of the state’s area is comprised of bays and inlets, together with a significant coastline featuring some of the most consistent (if frigid) surfing on the East Coast, make it an easy SUP destination. Head south and you hit Warwick, an idyllic New England waterfront town with big paddling opportunities (visit the Kayak Centre for more info). Another 15 minutes south and you’re in Narragansett, a beach town with excellent surfing, open-ocean cruising as well as multiple rivers and inlets for calmer conditions (check out Narragansett Surf & Skate or Matunuck Surf Shop). Hop over the Jamestown and Newport Bridges (where you’ll see a myriad of paddling opportunities below) and you’re in Newport in another 15. Probably the most famous destination in Rhode Island, Newport is an international sailing center, equally suited for SUP in both surf and flatwater (check out Island Surf and Sport). Looking for downwinders? On a north wind you can set a shuttle and go from Providence all the way down the bay towards the ocean, with ever-building seas underfoot. When the wind goes south, pick a point (say, Point Judith) and head north knowing you’ve got the safety of shore to your west contrasted with the raw, open Atlantic to your east. Looking for more culture with your paddling? Boston is a half-hour north with the Charles River, and whole new set of paddling options.
–Jimmy Blakeney is the product/marketing manager for BIC SUP and a fixture in the RI SUP scene.
This article originally ran in our Summer 2014 Issue as part of the “Paddle Town Battle” feature.
The Paddle Town Battle was simple in concept: pick the best standup towns in North America and let you, dear readers, vote to decide the ultimate SUP city on our Facebook page.
But what makes a good place to live and paddle? Is it access to the water? Is it a nice place to live? Is it the people? We debated. There were so many questions to answer that we formed categories: proximity to types of paddling (ocean surfing, whitewater, flatwater, downwind, river surfing), community (races, shops, people), off-the-water amenities (breweries, eateries, yoga studios) and influence (what role this place has played in the sport). Then you spoke loudly and proudly. You told us why your town or city was the best place to be a standup paddler. In the end, the people of Puerto Rico rallied around beautiful and diverse Rincón to put it at the top of the bracket. We let the locals tell you why their town made our Top 10.
More North American SUP destinations here.
Click here for more From the Mag.
Last weekend, 400 paddlers from around the globe flooded the River Seine to join the Nautic SUP Paris Crossing 2014 race and leisure paddle. Putting in early morning before the sun rose, standup paddlers took off from the National Library of France and paddled past iconic Parisian sites, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Museé d’Orsay, and Pont Neuf, in one of the biggest events of the year.
The pro race saw New Caledonia’s Titouan Puyo take top honors in a tight race with Denmark’s Casper Steinfath, as well as French paddlers Gaeten Sene and Eric Terrien, who finished second through fourth respectively. French racer Celine Guesdon took first on the women’s side, ahead of Great Britain’s Joanne Hamilton-Vale and France’s Valerie Vitry, who finished in second and third.
Men’s Pro Results here.
Women’s Pro Results here.
For more information, visit: ParisCrossing.Salonnautiqueparis.com
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Photo: Tracy Kraft Leboe
You seem to enjoy painful pursuits like paddling the length of the Hawaiian islands non-stop or, more recently, the 11-Cities Tour in one push.
For me it’s the challenge just to do something most people cannot do. And life is so much nicer after you do something like this. When someone’s sick and they come out of it, they see life differently. They appreciate things more. You don’t take things for granted.
What’s the hardest part of these grueling paddles?
Making the time to organize and to actually do it because I have a family, a wife and a daughter. My wife likes what I do but she’s afraid of things sometimes. The hardest part of actually doing the paddle is the mental part. Sometimes it’s just hard to keep going.
So how do you mentally prepare?
I don’t think you can. The only thing is knowing that you can do it. Physical ability is obviously an important part of that. As long as you can keep going and have your food and your emergency things ready and all organized, you know you can do it. Whatever happens you will be prepared. Because if things go wrong, the wind comes in the wrong direction or something, you need to know what to do. The more prepared you are for these things the better you will be mentally. Safety mostly means preparedness.
How does your family handle these trips?
My wife knows all the bases are covered and whatever happens I’ll be all right. I have a tracker so she knows where I am. If I do something where she doesn’t know where I am for 24 hours, that’s the part she doesn’t like. When she knows where I am and what’s going on it’s a lot better.
What advice would you give someone wanting to get into these types of paddles?
Train everyday and know the risks you’re taking. The other is be prepared for everything. Have some safety backup but don’t depend on things like a locator. Everything I do I want to get out of it myself. If things go really wrong I can press a button but you should think, “I want to get out of here myself,” and have (technology) as a last resort.
You seem to train and race against people quite a bit younger than you. Where does your energy come from?
It gets harder and harder as you get older. I train with Connor (Baxter) to find that source of inspiration. If you train with other people, it helps. It used to be the other way around, with him chasing me, but we still push each other. Sometimes I still push him.
This article originally ran in our Spring 2014 issue as “Core Commentary.”
More From the Mag here.
Board packed and ready to go at 6am in Greifenstein, Austria
“Oh god. Not again,” I weakly gasp as I stagger from my ten-dollar-a-night bed towards the bathroom.
One step inside the blue tile shower/toilet combo and I projectile vomit everywhere. I drop to my knees before the porcelain throne as painful convulsions leave me gasping for air. After a half-minute of hope-you’re-not-eating-lunch-while-reading-this, I crumple into the fetal position. There’s nothing left.
My formerly swollen, I’m-gonna-stuff-my-face-because-it’s-impossible-to-get-fat-on-this-SUP-trip torso feels like an empty tube of toothpaste. I haven’t managed to keep any food or water down for the last 36 hours.
I’d grin at the naïveté of my original expectations of this expedition versus the pitiful reality I find myself in, but any part of me capable of producing anything remotely akin to a smile is splattered on the floor around me.
“Living the dream,” I mutter.
The downside of hammock camping is the necessity to find adequate trees to hang the hammock. Close to Regensburg, Germany.
After two weeks of logistical planning and zero physical preparation, I launched my green 404 Monster into the murky brown waters of the Danube River in Ingolstadt, Germany. I’d spent plenty of time paddling the temperamental Atlantic on Boston’s north shore and SUP surfing world class breaks all around New Zealand, but for some reason, the idea of a current made me nervous.
Within minutes of standup paddling on the swift river, my concern abated.
Sure, trying to dodge barely submerged rocks at the last second with 60 pounds strapped to your board isn’t the simplest task, but nothing compared to the nightmarish vortex I’d imagined. The tension and stress of planning a multi-week expedition evaporated into incessant grinning and semi-maniacal laughter in the glorious July sun. Progress was swift…for the first ten miles.
The once 50-yard-wide river quadrupled in width and slowed to a painful crawl. I’d hit the first of the Danube’s 62 dams.
Paddling through Vienna, Austria. Photo: Daniel Dutkowski.
At the portage point, a middle-aged bearded guy with a kayak—loaded with what must have been 250 pounds of superfluous gear—greeted me. “It eez a guhd day! I vas jahst pray-yeeng to Gahd vor help! Und now yuh iz come!”
Flo, a Romanian martial arts expert, beamed with excitement as we Hoorah’d his gear a half-mile to the other side of the dam. I hardly got in two words as he educated me on meditation poses that guarantee immortality, global conspiracies, and the importance of drinking your own bodily fluids. As we paddled passed Deggendorf and Regensburg over the next couple of days it became clear that my 12’6 race SUP was an incompatible travel companion to his bow-heavy sit-on-top kayak. Seeing as we’d been doing just over 25 miles per day, well shy of the 45-mile daily average I had planned, we parted ways.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I shifted my paddling into high gear. I blasted 90′s rock and the occasional Katy Perry song as I glided past pea stone beaches and the ancient Bavarian forests that hugged the winding shoreline. Having company is good, but screaming along to “Wide Awake” without the judgment of others is so much sweeter.
Freedom camping in Vohburg, Germany.
You’d think paddling alone 8 hours a day would quickly lose its thrill, but the meditative qualities of repetitious motion with bright sunlight glistening off the sluggishly churning water put me in a trance that had time flying by. The pattern of paddle, stop for coffee, find someone to put sunscreen on my back, paddle, stop for more coffee, explain that it’s not a kayak and no I shouldn’t be sitting, set up camp, sleep, wake up and paddle more, provided variation and filled my daily schedule to the brim.
I’d lay in my jungle hammock at the end of the day, write in my journal and wake up to the agro beeping of my alarm with a pen jabbing my side and a half written entry. But, before I knew it, my planned journey came to an end.
Another day paddling solo on the mighty Danube.
Being the first person to SUP the entire Danube River was a sweet bucket list item, but before hopping into the water, it was an ambition I didn’t give much credence to. In actuality, I only planned to paddle 300 miles from Ingolstadt, Germany to my old stomping grounds of Vienna, Austria, where I grew up. As far as anyone else knew, Vienna was the end of my trip.
As I greeted my friends at our designated pickup spot, my face betrayed my resolve. I was gonna keep paddling.
Few people were privy to my ambition of completing Europe’s most famous and second longest river, so when I announced my plans on the Facebook site, I got more likes and messages than a kitten saving an orphaned mouse.
With the enthusiastic outpouring of support, a few friends and I whipped together a website, updated my gear, and poured over maps and travel guides.
Despite best efforts to get back on the river before the summer weather sputtered, it took more than four weeks to resume my expedition. The cloudless July skies I had grown accustomed to morphed into a monotonous gray September haze as I set off from Dürnstein, Austria for the remaining 1,265 miles to the Black Sea.
Despite incessant rain, vicious mosquitos and run-ins with the occasional belligerently drunk fisherman, I was having a blast. Within five days I passed through the ship traffic and gothic architecture of Budapest, as crowds of people stopped and waved at what must have looked like a crazy American.
Paddling through Budapest, Hungary.
I soaked up the attention, but soon enough, the Hungarian water police slapped me with fines for “not having correct maritime lighting systems,” and “traveling outside of the designated ship channel,” in addition to various other infractions pertaining to ships and, apparently, SUPs.
Two hours later, I was back on the water, paddling enthusiastically towards the Serbian border. A few days later, the rain stopped, the skies cleared and I managed to break 100 kilometers in a single day. Having battled through rain and wind into the summery embrace of the mountainous Serbian/Romanian landscape, my morale soared.
“This is a breeze!” I thought, as I defiantly gulped water straight from a rusty tap at a shoddy café, ignoring warnings I had received about consuming unfiltered water in Eastern Europe.
If these people can drink the water, so can I.
Floating through the scenic Wachau, Austria in 5mph currents.
More Field Notes here.
The countdown to Christmas is on! Santa’s been spotted and he’s not hard at work at the North Pole—he’s escaping the colder weather up north, and having some fun shredding in the surf, sans reindeer and elves. Here’s a clip of Santa SUP surfing in Italy before the big day arrives.
More videos here.
Overall Waterwoman winner at the Bora Bora KXT Ironmana Morgan Hoesterey in the midst of the final 32km standup race. | Photo: Duke Brouwer/Surftech SUP
The Bora Bora KXT Ironmana is an event like no other. It’s a competition, yes, and a hard one at that. But it’s also more. Competitors for the overall waterman and waterwoman titles must swim, prone paddle and standup paddle in a multitude of events over four days to become Ironmana champions. Did we mention that this competition is held on Bora Bora, in the islands of French Polynesia, one of the most postcard-worthy places on Earth?
Of the competitors called to suffer in this tropical wonderland—both talented Tahitian locals and international competitors—no one was an expert in everything. Some, like Grace Van Der Byl are world-caliber swimmers but had hardly been on a standup board. Others like Niuhiti Buillard, the eventual winner of the brutal 32 kilometer Ironmana SUP race really struggled with swimming. This multitude of disciplines leveled the playing field and made each and every competitor challenge themselves outside of their realm of expertise. It humbled everyone daily and made for great camaraderie between all the athletes.
Stephan Lambert, the mastermind behind this special brand of torture, is a French expat whose life revolves around the water. Each day Stef would tell us, “Expect nothing, prepare for everything,” which translates roughly to: “You’re going to be punished today but I won’t tell you how until right before.”
Day Two is a good example. All the competitors took a boat to one of the motus, a small island in the lagoon, and we put on our goggles and dove with harmless black tip sharks, rays and an array of reef fish. It was delightful. Then we swam for two kilometers across a bay on the inside of the motu. Not so delightful. After waiting for everyone to come in we motored on and did a shorter swim in gin-clear water against a current. On the way back to the Sofitel Marara Hotel, we were dropped off in the middle of a channel to swim with the wind but against the current to return to our residence on our own. That was all before the 10km SUP race in the afternoon heat.
There were three days of that. And then came the final SUP race. All week we thought we would be paddling around Bora Bora completely but Stef surprised us again and told us that we’d be doing a five-lap course instead. “It will be mental because you will be doing the same thing again and again.” He was right. The 32km race featured sidewind, upwind, flatwater, a few teasing moments of downwind bumps and a tropical squall. It was hot, it was long and finally it was over.
The Tahitians dominated the last race with Buillard—a 22-year old who has only been paddling SUP for a year but has been paddling Tahitian outrigger since he was 13—taking a strong first place with Tamarua Cowan and Atamu Conti rounding out the top three. There is a hotbed of paddling talent here waiting to explode, mostly from years of outrigger experience. These Tahitians told me they are ready and actively trying to bring their paddling skills to the international stage. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
On the women’s side, Olympic Gold medalist (in Kayak Four) Krisztina Fazekas Zur dominated in the SUP race with all-around water-woman Morgan Hoesterey holding down the second spot. Tahitian Hinarii Yiou took third.
After impressive performances all week, Hoesterey took home the Waterwoman title, followed by Fazekas Zur and Graves.
On the men’s side, Cowan took top honors with triathlon pioneer Roch Frey in second and Tahitian Clayton Ellis in third.
Look for a feature on this event in an upcoming issue of SUP magazine.
More Bora Bora KXT Ironmana here.
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Photo: Waterman League
The Standup World Tour kicks off its 2015 season in epic fashion on North Shore Oahu from February 6 to 18, 2015. Oahu’s fabled North Shore will play host to the most complete SUP Surfing spectacle of the year, featuring Men’s and Women’s World Tour opener events, the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge and Clinic, as well as the Tribute to the Legends, honoring the leading figures and pioneers of ocean sports.
The Third Annual Turtle Bay Women’s Pro will bring the world’s best women back to Oahu’s fabled North Shore for a dramatic opening event to kick off the 2015 season. The event will take place from February 6 to 12, 2015.
2014 saw epic conditions at Turtle Bay, as the women’s division stepped up to the plate and embraced the North Shore surf. In the end, it was 2013 World Champion Nicole Pacelli from Brazil who repeated her 2012 victory at Turtle Bay, followed by Candice Appleby from the USA in second and Sophia Tiare Bartlow in third, also from the USA.
Following the 2014 Turtle Bay Pro, 2014 World Champion Izzi Gomez won every event on the 2014 Tour. Will Izzi be able to take the Turtle Bay Pro win over 2013 Champion Nicole Pacelli? Or will it be local talents like Mariko Strickland, Halie Harrison and Vanina Walsh to cause upsets at the opening event of the 2015 season?
Follow all of the upcoming action out of Oahu on SUPtheMag.com.
The Sixth Annual Sunset Beach Pro is one of the jewels of the Standup World Tour, producing some of the most impressive conditions of any event, with high surf Advisories running through four out of the five events, and some of the most immaculate Sunset Beach you could ever hope for.
In 2014, it was a more challenging playing field as wind and stormier surf played into the equation. Athletes had their work cut out to make it through to the elusive finals, and, in the end it was Brazil’s Caio Vaz who made history as the first non-Hawaiian to take the prestigious Sunset Beach Pro Title.
As we look ahead to 2015 after the most competitive year on the Standup World Tour, we see world class talent stepping up from around the globe, as the best paddle surfers will take the first step in the fight for the 2015 World Title.
Na Kama Kai, the non-profit organization that provides ocean sports learning and environmental education opportunities for Hawaii’s youth has been a partner of the Waterman League since its inception. The League has taken this valuable message worldwide with clinics and unique U16 events promoting youth participation in the sport. Previous Champions include Mo Freitas, Poenaiki Raioha, and Benoit Carpentier, while the reigning Champion from last year’s Turtle Bay event is Ridge Lenny, brother of 4x World Champion Kai Lenny.
The Na Kama Kai Special Clinic will be held on February 7, in the cove at Turtle Bay with the support of the attending Legends, the world’s leading athletes and the incredible Na Kama Kai volunteers.
Watch out as the future of SUP steps up to do battle at the 2015 Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge at Turtle Bay Resort from February 7 to 9, 2015.
The Tribute to the Legends is back, as we await to hear who will join our Legends for this unique event taking place on the weekend of the February 6 to 8, 2015 at Turtle Bay Resort.
The event will consist of a Talk Story Special at the infamous Surfer the Bar, a prestigious opening night with current champions and stars of the future, and an on the water showcase like none other.
Stay tuned to SUPtheMag.com for coverage of the 2015 Standup World Tour.
For more information, visit: WatermanLeague.com
Click here for more on the Standup World Tour.
Photo: Will Taylor
Here at SUPtheMag.com, we’re usually trying to help you find time to workout and advising you on how to get more from your exercise routine. But, there are times when your body would be better off taking it easy or taking a complete break. And, while the culture of extreme exercise is increasingly urging us to plow forward through pain, sickness and discomfort, we’re here to tell you to disregard this outdated and often dangerous “no pain, no gain” philosophy, which can lead to injury, illness, and compromised performance. Now let’s jump into the scenarios in which you should limit or stop activity.
Whether you’re paddling, working out in the gym, running, or whatever, your workout should be difficult enough to challenge you. But, fighting through fatigue, lactic acid accumulation and soreness is one thing. Pushing through pain is another. If you get a burning pain, a sudden muscle twinge or experience the surge of a sudden nerve-based lighting bolt, you have to stop. Your body has a set of highly evolved sensors and when your feedback mechanisms tell you there’s something wrong then you need to listen. If your pain receptors are overloaded, it’s because you’ve sustained an injury or are about to, or have compromised your nervous system. Don’t feel like a wimp by stopping—you could potentially do lasting damage.
When Usain Bolt runs 100 meters it takes him less than 10 seconds and if he’s racing over 200 meters, he’s done within 20. But, long before he and his fellow sprinters get to the track, they go through a series of dynamic exercises, low intensity aerobic activities and mobility drills to prepare their bodies for the rigors of intense exercise. Then, they do skill work, practice starts and plyometrics to move their musculoskeletal and nervous systems into high gear before the start gun fires. “But I’m not Usain Bolt!” we hear you say. True, but the same rules apply to weekend warriors as to the pros. There’s a universal rule you should follow: if you don’t have time to warm up and cool down, you don’t have time to workout.
Only have 30 minutes for exercise on your lunch break? Don’t go from zero to 60 with no preparation! Instead, jump rope or do five to 10 minutes of low intensity cardio, followed by these paddling prep exercises from SUPthemag’s Brody Welte or a series of bodyweight exercises (air squats, lunges, pushups, mountain climbers, etc) that force oxygenated blood to your muscles. Then, do an intense 10- to 15-minute circuit or interval circuit, followed by at least five minutes of cooling down and mobility exercises (more is preferable) to flush waste by-products and free tightened soft tissues of restrictions. If you have even less time for activity, consider just taking a walk. The risk of injury is just too high if you can’t commit to at least minimal warm up and cool down before intense exercise.
It’s no surprise that many of us don’t get enough sleep. While hitting the hay for less than seven hours each night can inhibit exercise recovery, increase the risk of contracting a cold and compromise performance, getting no sleep or just a couple of hours is far more serious. Researchers have shown that very low intensity activity—like a low stroke rate paddle, recovery row or walk—can reduce the feeling of sleepiness and better prepare the body for restful sleep. But, trying to exercise with anything above minimal intensity when you’re seriously sleep-compromised is a bad idea.
Even if you’ve eaten well and consumed plenty of fluids, your body won’t be able to process this fuel properly to power you through a race or hard workout. In addition, your muscles and other soft tissues will be seriously underprepared for a full-on session, even if you follow our warm up and cool down rules. Your body is already working hard just to stay awake. You wouldn’t drive a car if you feared falling asleep at the wheel, would you? Nor should you expect your body to handle the stress of all-out physical exertion. Instead, get some rest and vow to push it hard tomorrow.
Pro athletes sometimes seem to wear their extreme workout schedules like badges of courage. You do three hours a day five days a week? Well, I do five hours a day, six days a week! But, just like boasting about working long hours and/or getting little sleep is foolish, overtraining or racing too much is a terrible idea, whether you’re a pro or an amateur. It can lead to niggling or severe injuries, sickness and burnout—just ask Connor Baxter. And remember that your favorite athletes have lots of time to recover, access to professional dietitians, masseurs and more, and can often get far more sleep than most of us—everyone from LeBron James, to Roger Federer to Laird Hamilton claims to get 10 hours or more shuteye a night.
For those of us who don’t have Olympic ambitions, we’re better off reducing our work rate to include just four to five days a week. That’s the only way that we can get adequate recovery to meet our fitness goals, whether that’s winning an SUP race, hitting a new PR in the weight room or smoking that local 5K run. Remember that muscles don’t adapt under load. Sure, we need the stimulus of exercise, but it’s the time that we spend NOT working out that determines how our bodies respond to this stimulus. That’s why it’s usually not wise to “push through” for seven days straight even if we feel okay. Doing some active recovery (think the pace of your usual warm up or cool down) or mobility work is okay, but do your body a favor and take at least one day of rest per week.
Photo: Chris Bishow
We all know those smug people who claim, “I never get sick.” Well, maybe there are a few who can go a few years without illness, but most of us get at least one knock-you-down bout each year. Now, if you have a little congestion or are generally under the weather, go ahead and workout, even if you have to dial back the intensity. But if it’s anything below the neck, you have a fever, and/or it’s something that’s serious enough to make you consider calling into work sick, then stay off your board and out of the gym.
Just like if you get less or minimal sleep, when you’re sick your system is working double time to keep you functioning. The human body isn’t designed to shuttle antibodies and all its other illness-fighting properties to take on infection while also fueling optimal physical output. At best, you’ll have a crappy workout, and at worst, you can exaggerate your systems and get really sick. So, fight that temptation to push through and that fear that you’ll be losing ground, and instead spend your time guzzling green tea with honey, extra fruit and veggies and zinc-rich foods that can get you back to normal quickly.
Click here for more Paddle Healthy.
Welcome to our new feature, The Weekly Insta, a collection of the week’s best Instagram photos from all corners of the standup world. There’s a story in every nook of social media, and none tell it better than Instagram as athletes, coaches, events and shops use it to contribute their proverbial 1000-words. So here, we curate the best of the best so you don’t have to.
Photo: Lori Griffith, ChasinADreamPhotography.com
Entering into her first SUP race after only paddling a few weeks, 38-year-old Kim Barnes of Florida took third place among elite racers, stirring a passion inside that would propel her to the ranks of top female SUP racers.
“After that first race, I knew I wanted this to be my new sport and would have to train hard to get to the top,” Barnes says. But, with a husband who travels a lot, two small children and a full-time job, figuring it out would be my biggest challenge.”
An elite gymnast in high school, Barnes’ goal at that time was to attend college out of state on an athletic scholarship. However, after breaking her leg three times in the same spot from dismounts and pounding, that goal didn’t seem attainable. Not one to ever say ‘never,’ Barnes left gymnastics and turned to springboard diving, “which is like gymnastics, only landing on my head,” Barnes says. Quickly excelling in this new sport, Barnes received an athletic scholarship to University of Austin, competing all four years and receiving Honorable Mention at Nationals.
After college, while working on boats, Barnes met her husband Stephen, a boat captain. The couple worked and traveled together until the time of their son’s birth, when Barnes returned to a teaching profession. One year later, the couple welcomed a daughter into the world.
Living near the water, the family spends their free time skateboarding, surfing and kitesurfing. It wasn’t until a year ago that a friend introduced Barnes to standup paddling. “I thought geez I love this.”
After the third place finish in her first race, Barnes entered into the Orange Bowl Paddle Championships—one of the biggest races of the winter season—but split her ribs training, which took three months to heal. Setting her sights on the next big race, the Key West Classic, she joined a local race league and began training earnestly. Enlisting the help of elite paddler Ryan Helm, Barnes worked to improve her technique.
“I needed to spend more time on the ocean, learning how to ride waves, connect waves, get a stroke rhythm on any type of water, and to learn how to strategically have my strokes be more efficient and less strenuous,” Barnes says.
After training and focusing on improving technique, Barnes not only completed the grueling 12-mile course, which traverses the ocean, bay, channels and strong currents, but she also placed fourth among an impressive competitive field. Following that, Barnes has continued to make the podium in nearly every race she’s entered.
As a busy mother of two, Barnes’ training involves focusing on skills and technique during the week (which includes practicing buoy turns, starts, learning how to walk on the board) with a group of novice racers. When she can’t get on the water, Barnes will run, although, she tries to paddle three times a week. The biggest challenge is finding the time:
“The only time I have to practice is right after work. Stephen and I corral a couple of neighbors to help out [with the kids] or I bring them with me and I just race,” Barnes says. “The way I can handle it all is my desire to want to do this so bad. I’ll train with the kids on the board; they love it and love being on the water with me. I work on technique and they look for manatees, dolphins and birds.”
Barnes denies being competitive by nature, only wanting to beat her own times and do well for herself. “I set my own personal goals, so if I don’t win I’m bummed, but I’m not totally mortified. I’m ok if someone beats me,” she says. To prepare for races, she mentally visualizes the course and practices it repeatedly. “Inevitably, on race day, the conditions are different than what I practiced, but that’s the beauty of SUP racing.”
And, according to Barnes, SUP is, “the best workout of your life. It’s better than being in an air-conditioned gym, pumping with the radio blaring and a hundred people around. It’s a total body workout where you use all of your muscles. When I get fatigued and my arms are done, I channel a different muscle area, like my core.”
As an almost 40-year-old working mother, Barnes is understandably proud of what she is accomplishing. “I had to realize I still had myself. I wasn’t just ‘Mom’ or ‘Stephen’s wife’—I am me, and I wanted to be the best mentally and physically,” Barnes says. “I want to train but I also have the perspective of my kids. I train, train, train, then come home, and one of the kids will have the flu. So, I take a deep breath, change modes, cradle and love them. I’ll stay up all night and then go to work or stay home if needed.
“I’m exhausted a lot, but that’s the way it goes. I spend many times alternating nights, but at 5:30 am, I get up and go to work, then train. I really look forward to when Steve is home, but we’ve got it down.”
The key is finding balance among the chaos. —Lori Griffith
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Photo: Jennifer Gulizia
Located at the base of Mount Hood and the confluence of the Hood and Columbia Rivers lies Hood River, Oregon, a locale prone to more gravity-fueled adventure sports than any other place I’ve been. From year-round, world-class paddling of all types to snowboarding and mountain biking, Hood River is an extremely tough place to work. Every day features epic conditions for some kind of play and most of the people who choose to live in the “Gorge” understand that gear storage space easily trumps living space.
The paddling scene is part of the reason I moved to Hood River back in 2000. Between the kiteboard sessions and epic whitewater kayaking I knew I’d found home. It wasn’t until 2007 that I discovered standup paddling and found myself paddling everyday on the ideal conditions that the Columbia River offered. Since the wind is usually blowing in the Gorge, I started downwinding. We’d do laps on the Hatch and Viento runs—two separate put-ins on the Columbia—which had us screaming down the face of head-high river swells, dodging windsurfers, kiteboarders and barges.
Standup paddling local whitewater was the next step for me. I figured if people were learning to kayak on the Upper Klikitat River in Washington (just across the Columbia), I could try on a standup. It was a lot of falling, swimming and learning, but I loved it. I was like a kid learning to ride a bike. Paddling through roadside rapids makes the Klikitat perfect for any SUP whitewater newbie. And when it’s high, it has some awesome surf waves. Once you feel comfortable on the Klikitat thereare all kinds of rivers to step up to from the Lower and Middle White Salmon Rivers to Hood River, featuring Class III and IV whitewater that drops you right into town. And capping a perfect day with a beer is easy at breweries like Double Mountain, Full Sail, Everybodys or Volcanic.
Want more awesomeness? The coast is two-and-a-half hours away, making a weekend getaway to Cape Kiwanda or Newport a no-brainer when you see long period northwest swell lining up. Plus, Portland is on the way if you long for city entertainment or just want to get your “weird” on. Yeah, this place rules. –Dan Gavere was an instrumental fixture in the development of whitewater standup.
Photo: Aaron Schmidt
It’s time for holiday shopping and we have some great options for paddlers here, in our SUP Gift Guide. From SUP accessories to paddles and apparel, there’s something for every type of paddler. This holiday season, give the gift of SUP.
Surfing legend Tom Carroll and Storm Surfers Dean Cropp recently came out with this video to highlight Carroll’s new range of SUP boards—part of the TC Paddle Surf line. We can’t speak for everyone, but we’re pretty distracted from checking out the boards because we’re enthralled in Carroll’s smooth wave-riding skills. Here’s Carroll in his element.
For more info, visit: SurfIndustries.com.au
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Back in August, the non-profit organization, We Are Ocean, held its first camp in Southern California. The charity, benefitting cancer patients and survivors, took 21 participants on a five-day trip from Newport Beach, Calif. to Catalina Island, where the group was immersed in the ocean and watersports, and followed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Richard Yelland, who captured the experience on film for his upcoming documentary, “Between Two Harbors.”
Photo: Richard Yelland
We Are Ocean participants—many of whom were fearful of the ocean or water— were taken outside of their comfort zones to try snorkeling, standup paddling, sailing, surfing, and kayaking. We Are Ocean founder Jack Marshall-Shimko—a cancer survivor himself—started the charity not only to introduce the healing effects of the ocean to cancer patients and survivors, but to also spread awareness of the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle while fighting cancer and beyond. Yelland’s “Between Two Harbors” highlights the life-changing effects We Are Ocean’s programs have on cancer patients and survivors, but needs your help fundraising.
With funding, “Between Two Harbors” will be made into a short documentary, as well as a 30-minute TV special that will be distributed via national and global broadcast networks, film festivals, and select digital channels. Beyond funding and completing the film, the goal of “Between Two Harbors” and We Are Ocean is to help improve the lives of those touched by cancer and shed light on the healing powers of the ocean.
For more information, visit: WeAreOcean.org
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In early September, paddlers from more than 16 countries came together for the second annual Naish One N1SCO World Championships. Held at Lake Chiemsee in Germany, the three-day event featured sprints, intermediate and long distance racing on the Naish One inflatable board, with big wins by Manca Notar of Slovenia and Daniel Reinhart of Switzerland. With more than 100 paddlers racing, the Naish One N1SCO World Championships became the largest German SUP race to-date.
The 2015 Wetsuit and Paddle Wear Guide is part of SUP magazine’s winter issue, on newsstands this week. As part of the guide, we’re adding video reviews to enhance the guide online. Here, we go over Zhik’s Superwarm with a fine-tooth comb.
More gear here.
The Standup World Tour wrapped up the 2014 season with its Location X paddle surfing exhibition in mid-November. Held in Morocco, the event featured the top 20 athletes on the Men’s Standup World Tour and four wildcards, as well as a smaller women’s exhibition with World Champion Izzi Gomez and Standup World Tour competitor Sophia Tiare Bartlow. After an impressive showing throughout the event, Southern California’s Sean Poynter took the win—and $10,000 prize purse. Check out the highlights above and stay tuned to SUPtheMag.com for the release of the 2015 Standup World Tour schedule.
Photo: Rob Casey
When I asked a few Seattle paddlers what they liked about living here, most commented that, yeah, they appreciate the rivers, lakes, surf and downwind runs—but they love the strong community most.
“For me the best thing is truly feeling like the stoke is for everyone,” says Troy Nebecker, founder of Monster & Sea, a SUP-inspired clothing brand that donates a percentage of it’s proceeds to cancer research each year. “From 27 people showing up in January for a downwind run from a single Facebook post—to year-round races where everyone is all smiles.”
Local paddler Boe Zinter agrees.
“The weeknight races are some of the best I’ve heard about,” Zinter says. “While other regions have bigger races, we have so many good afternoon gatherings (all year).”
In the summer there are races Monday through Thursday evenings supported by various local businesses. Despite rain and freezing temperatures, racers come out, rain or shine: “The Puget Sound is a place where you can hone your skill as a waterman all year,” says Kaliko Kahoonei.
Despite the PNW’s reputation for grey weather, it rarely snows in Seattle. Epic downwinders in winter and spring with winds up to 45 knots on both the Puget Sound and Lake Washington can bring out two dozen paddlers to a single location.
“It’s not Hawaii but it beats the midwest and northeast for winter training,” Ian McKerlich says.
Over a decade ago a few of us noticed large surf-able waves in Seattle from freighters and tugboats. A fast freighter matched with the right tides in the right location equals waist- to chest-high waves peeling for an hour, with rides longer than two minutes.
These tug waves are usually followed by a pub crawl, where we enjoy the many craft beers Seattle is known for. And celebrate in our tight-knit paddling community.
—Rob Casey writes about, photographs and participates in Seattle’s SUP scene.
A slight tropic disturbance had been antagonizing the North Atoll region of the Maldives for several days. The ocean is gray and tattered. A million-dollar catamaran, The Explorer, swings on its anchor chain. Onboard, Tom Carroll, a knotted ball of muscle, enjoys the passing fits of sunshine. Relaxed on a yoga mat, notebook and camera nearby, whatever he’d been studying escapes him. Wind swell steadily marches past the hull and Tom’s gaze grows long and deep before eventually breaking. Shouting over his shoulder to nobody in particular, he hollers, “Downwinders for days, mate!” Atmospheric turbulence or not, for the 51-year-old two-time ASP World Surfing Champion, there’s opportunity and enjoyment to be found in all oceanic conditions. For the past ten years, though, this iconic surfer’s kink has been directed at standup paddling, a sport that has played a major role in his recovery from one of the darkest periods of his life.
The day passes. The clouds blow through. Back on the island of Kuda Huraa, Tom sits at the resort watering hole, orders a lomi lomi and settles in. “This time last decade, to think that I would be walking around with paddles and big boards and all this shit in my garage, I would have been like, ‘Come on, you’re killing me!’ No way,” he says, nodding at his early reluctance to embrace the sport. “There was no way you could have convinced me that I’m going to be out there with a frickin’ bloody paddle in my hand. I would have never imagined it,” he continues. “But I like the way it’s given me another option.”
The passage of time does funny things to a man’s mindset. Tom, while as fit a Baby Boomer as you’re going to find, hasn’t been kind to his body over the years. A wipeout at Waimea Bay in 2009 destroyed his ankle. Reconstructive surgery ensued, keeping him out of the water for over a year. Prior to that his list of injuries already ran deep enough to make a tough man wince. His battle wounds include, but are not limited to, a surfboard rupturing his stomach, a knee injury in ’78 that should have ended his career, a concussion, shredded ligaments and tendons in his ankles and, most notoriously, the surfboard-to-sphincter he suffered during a 1988 surf contest in Japan. There are the injuries. Then there’s his most serious impairment—a dismal plunge into self-abuse that ended the marriage to his first wife, Lisa, and affected his relationship with his three daughters, a relationship he’s since put serious time in repairing. Last fall, in a stirring interview that ran on “60-Minutes Australia,” he admitted to years of methamphetamine addiction. So unlike a lot of people his age, Tom doesn’t see his 10-year dive into standup paddling as a source of physical rejuvenation. He sees it as a lifesaver. Literally. “I went into recovery in December of 2006,” Tom says. “Standup was a large part of that recovery.”
Prior to that, Tom had lost his way, turning to drugs, namely meth, to stimulate his overactive zest for living. He and his brother, surf journalist Nick Carroll, have delved into Tom’s plight in a new biography, TC: Tom Carroll. In a particularly telling excerpt, Tom writes, “I started taking it orally. I’d get a little bit, thinking, ‘I’ll just take that.’ But because it was so insidious, because it fit in so perfectly with my pathology, I was gone. I was a goner. Everything was set up in place, in my nature and what had been developing over the years and—boom!—it ignited a very strong addiction. “In the beginning it seemed like it helped me. It seemed like it backed me up with everything. I was there for people, I was getting stuff done, I was engaging. But then you need it to do things. And then it wears off, and you’re left with yourself. “I’d use fairly regularly, but I wasn’t using too much. I was a functional user. It was the kind of drug where I couldn’t use huge amounts. I was on a downhill spiral though, slowly going deeper and deeper. I became more and more covert, more underground. And eventually you end up wanting to inject it, because the effects start to back off and you have to use more. “Then I began studying the drug I was taking, started reading the horror stories and started seeing it all going on for myself. It was scary. Really scary. Another level of fear that you can’t express to anybody. But I kept going because I had set up that compulsive obsession with the drug. When it wasn’t around, maybe one-eighth of me would be thinking about what was in front of me, and the rest was consumed thinking about it: ‘How am I gonna get it? Gotta get on the phone.’ I already had the covert behavior pattern in operation.”
Clean and sober now, he reflects, “The hardest part was coming to terms with the ego. It fought me. It battled me. A large part of my rehab process was reckoning with it.”
According to his brother Nick, a former editor with Surfing magazine, Tom’s fall was extremely difficult on the family, tearing relationships apart while putting everyone in positions they could have done without (in an act of desperation, Nick once physically threatened one of Tom’s California dealers to try and save his brother). But despite the heartbreak, Nick says it was also cathartic for the Carroll clan. “It’s really been a time of healing for us all,” he says.
Nick and Tom’s mother died when they were very young, 9 and 7 respectively. All they knew was that it was a prolonged illness. “Tracing the routes of Tom’s problem, we found out that our mother (who died from pancreatic cancer and anorexia) had an amphetamine problem,” Nick says. “It’s really helped us understand something that happened many years before, and affected us later. It was tremendously painful.” After he did a stint in rehab and was clean, Tom began looking for something to occupy his time and energy. Enter standup.“It was a challenge physically, mentally and even spiritually. I immersed myself in it,” he says. “I had paddled a little before, but I began to really study technique and hull design. I could workout until every muscle from my scalp to my toes was sore. And then you get out there in the ocean and you start to see things differently, from a different perspective. It rekindled my relationship with the ocean.”
Life is much improved today. He’s healthy, fit and more in tune with what’s important in life.
Passing through these idyllic Indian Ocean atolls Tom is enjoying a brief break in his hard-charging schedule. Along with his lifelong mate Ross Clake-Jones, he’s the co-star in the new 3D film Storm Surfers, which documents the duo’s big-wave chasing antics. The worldwide series of junkets has given him plenty to do this year. After his reprieve on Kuda Huraa he’ll head to Germany for a premiere (he’s huge in Germany). Then it’s on to France before he lands in Hawaii this winter. He’s also promoting the new book.
“What standup did for me was challenge every view I held of surfing, and that’s just what I needed when it came into my life,” he says. “It challenged me with how I stood up and looked at the ocean. It challenged me because now I had this frickin’ thing in my hand that I had to figure out what to do with.”
As Nick concedes, “Surfing wasn’t that good for Tom,” referencing the rough lifestyle that went along with the sport during Tom’s time as a pro. “Watching him with the sport, it was a new start and he was able to completely reinvigorate his relationship with the water.”
Beside the surfing aspect of the sport, Tom isn’t against dropping the hammer on himself and those around him when the opportunity arises. “The only time I look at it as a workout is when I’ll go train with my brother and his crew,” he says. “My (second) wife Mary is a prone paddler and we’ll go do some sprint stuff too. I did a few workouts with Jamie Mitchell and those guys are doing full-on Olympic workouts. Ten-time Molokai champ? I love being around it.”
In many ways Tom’s relationship with standup paddling parallels the evolution of the sport. In the winter of 2004 he spent time in Hawaii with the iconic and reclusive surfboard designer Dave Parmenter, who was ensconced on Oahu’s West Side. With canoe and outrigger racing already an integral part of the community, standup paddling caught on easily there. Like a lot of other standup paddlers, Tom picked up a paddle at Parmenter’s suggestion. Returning home after the surf season on the North Shore, he was intrigued enough to pursue it further. “There weren’t any standup boards back then, so I had to find the biggest board I could,” remembers Tom. “So I found this 12-foot Mickey Muñoz. It was a bitch. All I had for a paddle was an aluminum dinghy paddle with a plastic blade and no handle on top. Standup was a completely new beginning. I felt like a kook.” Crude equipment was hardly the only hurdle to clear. The resident surf population in Tom’s home of Newport, Australia, wasn’t initially keen on his craft. Already boasting a reputation for overindulgence in the lineup, the sight of his 5’6” frame on a 12-foot tanker was met with skepticism. “I remember this guy was surfing at my local home break, and there I am falling off and kooking all over the place, and he just looks at me like, ‘What are you doing?’ And he gave me such a stink eye,” he laughs. “It was small, he was on a shortboard and having a bitch of a time. I was having a bitch of a time too, but kind of enjoying it. And I thought to myself, ‘Maybe he’s right.’ But then there I was trying something new and different and kind of having an OK time. He woke me up.”
From struggling on his Muñoz, he soon graduated to Surftech’s 12’1″ x 31″ Laird Hamilton model. Advancements and innovations entered the picture as the sport began to flourish. On a trip to Hawaii in 2007, Tom again linked up with Parmenter, who by that time had teamed with Todd Bradley, Brian Keaulana and the C4 Waterman program. The crew had made Makaha their own, experimenting with shapes and paddles on the West Side’s big waves. It was during that trip that Tom would also meet shaper and designer Blane Chambers of Paddle Surf Hawaii and strike up a friendship. When he returned the following year they connected, and as Tom reckons, “an entirely new world opened up for me in Hawaii … he turned me around and had a profound impact on my life both in and out of the water.” Even with three Pipeline Masters titles—and one of the most memorable, and critical, turns in event history (1991)— there were still places around Oahu he’d never seen, and they began exploring seldom-surfed, out-of-the-way reefs. Both men also have a well-articulated sense of what makes a board work, and over the next couple of years, as Tom got a handle on his personal life, their conversations about design and functionality carried the relationship. “He does some amazing stuff, and he’s so left of center,” says Tom. “His designs are different from everybody else’s. Right now we’re working on some new hull design stuff that’s really exciting. Because they’re such big boards there’s a lot of surface area, so it makes the hull design really important. We’re focusing on contours and how the water is coming in and out. It’s not just an oversized surfboard like when we started all this.”
While Tom’s enthusiasm for the sport is admirable, in the big picture, it’s just as important for a young sport like SUP to have an endorsement from an absolute legend who has such influence in mainstream surfing circles. Influence and, perhaps most important, respect from the sport’s iconic figures.”You don’t want to look around too much at what the other guys are doing (when you’re competing against them), you want to try and stay in your own space, but what Tom was doing was inescapable,” says former rival Tom Curren, a three-time world champion and star in his own right. “He had such a presence. When we were competing against each other it was kind of like the height of power surfing, and he was easily one of the most powerful. I was just trying to keep up.” And a decade later, Carroll still seems genuinely fascinated by the sea, and this still-new form of interacting with it. “I think paddling becomes addictive,” he smiles. “For a while I lost my surfing. It’s like, ‘Why would I want to lie down? I can’t see shit and I can’t get around the lineup. And I can’t go surf a little wave down there or over there.’ I was bored, you know.” But for Tom Carroll, whether he’s lounging in the Maldives, winning world titles, slapping fives at a Storm Surfers premiere, or downwinding ten miles off the Aussie coast with his brother Nick, it’s all surfing. Growing up in the ultra-competitive lineups of Narrabeen in the ’70s, then battling it out for 14 years on the World Tour taught Tom a lot, but more than anything he’s learned to appreciate life in a new way.
“Standup came to me at a time when I really needed change,” says Tom. “It reconnected me with being human again. It rekindled my relationship with the ocean. It saved my life.”
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SUP magazine’s winter issue features the 2015 Wetsuit and Paddle Wear Guide. We’ve added video to the guide to highlight some of the features of the suits. In this iteration we look at Patagonia’s R2 Yulex/Nexkin Front-Zip Full, an upgrade to the R2 line while furthering the company’s enviro-ethos.
Our winter issue features our 2015 Wetsuit and Paddle Wear Guide and to kick off the Holiday Season, we’re reviewing several of the suits featured in our Guide. In this edition, we look at the Quiksilver Ignite 3/2 Full. Look for more wetsuit reviews this week.
Cliché as it may sound, Corran Addison has gone full circle. Addison started Riot Kayaks in the late 1990s and helped establish it as one of the leading kayak brands in the whitewater world. Ten years after leaving Riot, and several new brands later (including Imagine and Corran SUP), Addison is back with Riot and parent company Kayak Distribution out of Montreal, Quebec.
We caught up with Addison for a quick industry Q&A on the new acquisition.
SUP mag: So first obvious question, what does this do for Corran and Riot?
CA: Well first off, Riot and KD needed a SUP line for their dealers. We have a really good line of SUPs, diverse, simple to sell, but as a company we didn’t have the financial means to paly with the big boys. This partnership gives us the financial backing that we need to really be aggressive with dealers and distribution. KD has its own manufacturing so we don’t have a third party doing that so it will definitely bring our prices down. And I can concentrate on design and marketing, which I love, versus the back end.
SUP mag: How will the transition work?
CA: For 2015, I’ll be concentrating on getting Corran SUP online and up to speed with the company. Then in 2016, I’ll be able to concentrate more on the kayak line. Riot and KD have developed some really interesting new manufacturing techniques that they haven’t brought to market and haven’t had a designer that would make that manufacturing come to life.
SUP mag: So will you stay in San Clemente, California?
CA: Yes, we’ll stay based in San Clemente but I’ll be traveling more to Quebec. No plans to move back to Quebec, though, and no real point. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything in Quebec that I couldn’t do here. Being a SUP brand, we’re here in the heart of where the industry is happening. If you’re not in Maui, you need to be in San Clemente.
SUP mag: So you’ve created—and then sold or left—several higher-profile brands in both kayaking and standup paddling. This brand bears your name though. How’s this situation different?
CA: One of the relationships I had that was extremely successful was Draggo Rossi Kayaks. The company did much better in Europe than the US, but I wasn’t involved with the back end—in the manufacturing and distribution. Things that you don’t enjoy you’re not going to be good at. You can learn how to do it, but frankly, I’m not that great at (the business side). With Draggo, that was a very efficient relationship. I did what I loved. With Imagine, I was directly involved with manufacturing, shipping, product warranty, etc., I burnt out on that stuff. But we have an amazing business opportunity here. I won’t be involved with the business side but I will have a vested interest so I won’t just be an employee. We have the right product and the right people involved.
Below is the official press release from Corran SUP and Kayak Distribution
(San Clemente, Calif.) — In a move that seems somehow reminiscent of Steve Jobs returning to Apple, so Corran Addison returns to Riot kayaks. Riot, the company he co-founded in 1997, is now owned by Kayak Distribution, which also has brands like Boreal Design, Seaward, and Trapper in its varied offerings. During Corran’s time at Riot, he was one of the industry leaders, spearheading both the design revolution, and how kayaks were marketed and paddled.
“It’s been 10 years since Corran left Riot,” said Marc Pelland, Kayak Distributions president, “and everywhere I go people come up to me to reminisce about those golden years. The footprint Corran left on people minds during those key years is amazing.”
Corran left Riot in 2004 and to start his paddleboarding business Imagine Eco, which he in turn sold in 2012 to the Hong Kong based Pryde group. By the end of 2012 he’d started his latest venture Corran paddleboards, which has grown in just a few short years into an industry leader, offering one of the most diverse and innovative lineups in the industry; take-apart boards, two-in-one boards, flip up skegs and more.
“We were at a point with Corran SUP where we needed to make a significant business decision,” Corran mused. “ Stay small and fiddle around with cool paddleboard projects, or take this to the next level. To do that we needed to partner up with someone who had the means to take our potential to its fulfillment.”
That someone was Kayak Distribution. The deal was brokered by Kayak Distributions director of sales, Mark Hall, who worked with Corran at Riot in early 2000. Kayak Distribution was in need of a SUP offering for its diverse global customer network, and Corran SUP needed the kind of manufacturing and back end infrastructure that Kayak Distribution had.
“I am excited as Corran brings years of experience and measurable achievements both on the water and in designing products,” Marc Pelland continued, “which will help us create more exiting products and brands”.
With Kayak Distribution in-house manufacturing, the Corran SUP brand is entering the 2015 with a revised lineup of boards which is simple, diverse, innovative and the most aggressively priced on the market.
“If we’re not the most important SUP brand in the industry by the end of 2015, we’ll be the biggest threat to the most important brands.” Mark Hall stated categorically. “We’ve created a line of boards and a dealer program which makes it impossible for any dealer who wants to really make some money to ignore us.”
“Mark Hall is going to be focused on dealer support, while the head office handles manufacturing and the back end,” Corran pointed out. “This frees me up to do what I’m really good at: design and marketing. Our boards for 2015 are really amazing. I can’t wait to get these into peoples hands.”
While Corran will be focused on bringing the SUP line to the forefront in 2015, he has said that he will be directly involved with the rejuvenation of the Riot whitewater kayak line once the immediate task is completed. That’s good news for a whole generation of whitewater paddlers who grew up paddling when Riot was an icon.
For more information about Kayak Distribution, contact Mark Hall email@example.com and Corran Addison firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professional ocean athletes Talia and Nakoa Decoite join the Riviera Paddlesurf Team. | Photo courtesy of BeyondtheWater.org
Riviera Paddlesurf welcomes the addition of Maui’s Talia and Nakoa Decoite to their team. Talia is a top SUP racer and downwind paddler, winning the 2012 Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard Championships at the age of 19, among other notable accolades, including being voted as one of the top three women at the 2011 and 2012 SUP Awards presented by Body Glove. Nakoa is also an accomplished waterman who’s known for big wave surfing, including four nominations at the Billabong XXL Awards, as well as his training in SUP, health and fitness.
“We are excited to officially welcome Talia to the Team, as she is an incredible athlete and ambassador for the sport, and we’re honored to have her representing our brand,” Riviera’s Taylor Rambo said. “Nakoa is also a great addition to the team. He is an accomplished big wave surfer and trainer. He and Talia will be traveling the world in 2015 sharing their passion for the water, health, and fitness.”
Together, Talia and Nakoa run Beyond the Water, a training program that focuses on elevating paddlers’ skills and overall performance through comprehensive nutritional and physical plans. Look for the couple’s upcoming clinics by following them at Beyondthewater.org.
For more information, visit: RivieraPaddlesurf.com
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The holidays are just about here, and with them comes a season of excess for many people, which often lasts through the New Year. The trouble is, that this means too much food, alcohol and sitting around—both on long journeys and watching college football—while the exercise and healthy eating routines cultivated all year long come to a halt. The results? Weight gain, losing paddling and workout progress, as well as a lack of motivation heading into 2015.
Luckily, there’s a way to navigate through the minefield of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, holiday parties and football snack fests without throwing away all your hard work. Here are five tips that will not only help you avoid holiday pitfalls, but also enable you to finish the year strong and (hopefully) healthy.
We know that pumpkin pie isn’t exactly health food, at least if you’re talking Grandma’s 800-calories-a-slice recipe. But if you make your own version without the lard and less sugar (replace the former with coconut oil or grass-fed butter for a slow, ketonic energy source, and cut the latter by at least half), it’s actually not so bad. In fact, pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin A, which studies show boost your immune system. That’s the same reason you can also dig into sweet potatoes over the holidays—as long as they’re not loaded down with a bunch of not-so-healthy toppings (marshmallows aren’t a food group). Going back to pumpkin, the seeds also pack a nutritional punch for paddlers like Kip Hoffman, who eats them for protein and zinc, which can reduce the likelihood and duration of colds.
Cranberries are another seasonal favorite that you shouldn’t shy away from in the next few weeks. These tart red berries not only prevent infections, but are also believed to help prevent lung, prostate, colon and other cancers. In addition, cranberries are thought to improve cardiovascular function by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. The little red superstars are also rich sources of disease-fighting antioxidants. Make your own cranberry salad with omega-3 rich walnuts and oranges, which are chock-full of vitamin C and zinc, and are (surprisingly, given their sweet taste) a low-glycemic food that won’t spike your blood sugar.
Far be it from us to tell you not to drink a few beers or glasses of wine over the holidays. But if you are going to have a few nights with more than one drink, it will be difficult to stay hydrated. Dr. Stacy Sims from Osmo Nutrition has found that in situations where we think we’ll be dehydrated, we often drink too much water, leading to flushing out electrolytes. For endurance exercise, she recommends adding a pinch of sea salt to your water to maintain sodium levels, and the same theory holds when counteracting the effects of alcohol. And, if you aren’t going to be consuming alcohol, you should still remember that the travel and stress of this busy season can deplete hydration levels, so you too need to make sure you’re getting enough fluids.
Do you want to lose all your fitness gains you made this year? That’s exactly what can happen if you let your workouts slide over the next six weeks. If you’re unable to keep up your regular paddling, running, lifting or whatever your chosen activities are, then at least commit to three quick exercise sessions per week.
After warming up for at least five minutes with easy cardio and dynamic movements such as lunges, hip circles and jumping rope, you can easily do one of the following:
1. Go for a 20-minute paddle, run, or rowing machine session, or, try for a moderate distance goal such as a 5K.
2. Choose three to five compound exercises, such as deadlifts, squats, dips, pullups and push presses, then perform a circuit of each. Vary the reps and rest periods to dial in a challenging level of intensity.
3. Go weights-free and do bodyweight exercises such as burpees, pushups, lunges, box jumps and mountain climbers. You can get creative here by choosing the same number of reps for each exercise (20-20-20-20, etc.) or following the CrossFit approach and setting a time limit and then doing an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) before the end.
Even if you’re pushed for time, always finish with a five-minute cool down and some mobility exercises (see examples for the upper body here, and the lower body here) to help your body flush out lactic acid and other byproducts, and ensure your soft tissues don’t lock up.
From long road trips, to cramped plane flights, to holiday movie marathons (“You’ll shoot your eye out!), the holidays keep us sitting more than ever. While it can be relaxing to take a load off, too much chair time can be profoundly damaging to our health in many ways. Sitting creates a lot of body angles that standing or lying down does not, at the ankles, knees, hips, etc. This can cause us to tighten up all over (think about how hard it is to get out of that La-Z-Boy at halftime), leading to impingements that limit daily movement and exercise performance.
Sitting for long periods also minimizes calorie burning (to just one calorie per minute, which isn’t going to make a dent in that Thanksgiving buffet!) and shuts down the lymphatic system, which flushes out waste, and transports nutrients and oxygenated blood around the body. The worst thing about staying on the couch? It can dramatically increase the risk of heart disease and other life-threatening conditions. Thankfully there’s a simple remedy: keep moving throughout each day, stand when possible and if you’ve been sitting for a long time, take a walk or fit in that workout from the third holiday tip (above) to minimize the damage.
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