Words and photos by Ryan Salm
Despite a few bouts with heavy wind that pulled her terrifyingly into the middle of giant lakes in the Boundary Waters, not to mention the occasional five-mile portage with 80 pounds of gear, everything was going well for Lauren. It was her first major remote SUP expedition--an off-grid, 10-day journey through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness--and to be fully honest, at times she seemed more at ease than me.
When the days got long and hot, Lauren would swim alongside her board while pushing it through lakes of varying hues. Despite the frequent leeches stuck between her toes, she jumped in at every opportunity. Once back on land, she'd pack up her gear and portage.
Photo: Ryan Salm
One night she awoke complaining about a bug bite on her backside, saying she couldn't sleep. I donned a headlight to investigate. A bug bite 'twas not. Through my shock and horror I wasn't sure whether to laugh or console. Her entire ass was raw and chapped.
Turns out those cute running shorts weren't drying properly between swimming and walking. When she put them on I watched her wince in pain as the fabric tore apart her skin and the irritation flared.
So, when entering the backcountry, always pack your powders and lotions (Gold Bond is your friend). And if you're spending your expedition days paddling, portaging and swimming, always dry off properly. It might just save your butt. -Ryan Salm
Four steps to protect yourself from the summer sun.
Pro paddlers’ guide to morning nutrition.
Starboard Team rider Sean Poynter has done it again. The two-time ISA SUP Surfing Gold Medalist (2013 & 2015) won his second consecutive USA Champion Title at the 2018 USA SUP Surfing Championships at Oceanside Harbor, California.
This win also books Sean a spot on the USA SUP Team to represent his country for the seventh consecutive year at 2018 ISA SUP & Prone World Championships in Brazil later this year. Sean recounts his experiences at the 2018 USA SUP Surfing Championships and also shares some deeper motivational thinking with us.
Photo: Kjell Van Sice
"This past Monday (6/11) was a great day. I was able to take out my consecutive USA Championship win, making it 2017 and 2018 USA SUP Surfing Champion. I did it in the final with a heat total of 17.87 and on the Starboard 7'4" and the small Enduro blade.Coming into the event I knew it was going to be big and wasn't exactly sure how the beach break would shake out with the swell. It was pretty much maxed out, making wave selection and surfing execution critical to your final result.I put in time prior to the event understanding the waves, the locations of where the waves were breaking, understanding what type of surfing I could do on each defined wave in the seemingly slop conditions and because of this, I was able to string together a great strategy in my heats.
My strategy going into each heat shifted slightly depending on the tide but in general, there were three peaks amidst the chaos that I would bounce between and a jetty that I would use for assistance to get in and out of the break in the difficult conditions. Each heat I was able to put the strategy into practice and advance through to the final.It wasn't easy, but I was able to find my scoring waves on one of the right-hander peaks connecting with three powerful frontside turns on one wave and two frontside jams on my back up wave. The three turns led to a 9.87, one of my highest career single wave scores and my back up wave was an 8. This left me with the victory and my second consecutive US Championship win and my seventh consecutive USA Team inclusion that will compete at the ISA World Championships.
After flying home with the trophy in hand, I ran into a sports psychology specialist and he reminded me that to succeed in sports and beyond, you must be here and now and associate your thoughts with only things you can control. As he said, bring your mind to your feet and think of all victories, losses or wins, as a dart on a dartboard. You may not hit the bullseye every time, but you are getting points each time you hit the board. Discover the victory even in your losses and be in the moment all the while.I can't tell you how stoked I am on my victory and my excitement in keeping it going."
Interview by Rebecca Parsons
"SUP has made a lot of moves towards equality for men and women in the sport. We have started to take some much needed steps in a positive direction and we must remember that while we are making progress, we cannot stagnate that progress by resting on our laurels and hoping it will get better by itself." -Annabel Anderson
Annabel Anderson is well-known in the world of SUP racing. She's a dominant force on the water and isn't afraid to speak her mind off of it. She believes in equal rights for men and women and thinks everyone should get what they deserve.
Last year, she was at the forefront of a global equality movement that got people's wheels spinning and ignited overdue conversations. We caught up with Anderson to get her thoughts on the progression of our sport, as well as issues that still need to be addressed. -RP
SUP: What are some positive steps the sport has made towards equality?
AA: Some positive steps include allowing females to race on equivalent board lengths where appropriate. The caveat to this is that not all females have access to 14-foot or unlimited length boards that 'fit' their physiological size. It will be up to the industry and manufacturers to cater to these needs as we move forward.
It is becoming increasingly common for the podium positions at major and regional events to recognize males and females equally when it comes to financial reward. There have been some stern conversations for many years as to why this is important and slowly the recognition of the benefits to making the podium equal is filtering through.
Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
SUP: What are some key issues the sport still needs to address?
AA: There is an overarching need for transparency that is not only filtering through business but also through sport. We see this with the conversations around 'pay equity'. This directly relates to key issues that this sport faces--there is a serious lack of transparency when it comes to what boys receive and what girls receive at the professional level. It's 'taboo' territory that no one wants to talk about. Let's be transparent, as it will mean the world for those girls going into negotiations knowing that they are playing on a level playing field.
We also need to look at how we portray females, the opportunities we give them and how we present them in media. If you are to look at the percentage of stories, media profiles, advertising and coverage of professional men versus professional women, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to acknowledge that it is seriously biased in one direction. When the media tone changes, so do the conversations we have around women. It opens up fresh opportunities, brings tangible media value to sponsors and helps individuals build equity in their personal profiles.
There is also a responsibility that then falls back on the women themselves. It's about being proactive and not reactive. It's about asking for the opportunities, backing themselves, saying that they have the skills to live up to the same value that our male contemporaries are worth, to be as professional and to demand transparency and equity where appropriate. If we don't ask, we won't get.
SUP: How do you think female representation and equality in SUP compares to other sports?
AA: Overall, I think our participation is a lot higher than other sports enjoyed by men and women. When we compare it to surfing, for example, it must be taken in a like for like context. Like the girls on the WSL Championship Tour, SUP's top females can inspire through the demonstration of powerful and inspiring athletic performances. Converse to surfing, there is an amount of 'objectivization' of females and how females are presented in media and advertising with a focus on 'tits & arse' as opposed to athleticism.
I'll agree, it can be a fine line between the two but we all know the difference between a butt shot and when a girl is shredding in the tropics laying back a sick lay of the rail and happens to be clad in a fitting bikini bottom. It is something that is getting better as the conversation changes but in the early days of SUP it was most definitely models over athletes.
SUP: What are men receiving that females aren't?
AA: It's not only about the tangibles that these guys are receiving but the opportunities. Would a girl be given the same assistance, freedom to travel, and opportunity to prove themselves with no quantifiable results to their name? The answer is likely no and most likely because as a society we seem to treat our expectations of girls differently than we do boys.
There are always exceptions to the rule and in this sport we have seen the role that Red Bull has played in allowing a level playing field for young female talent which is equitable to boys--but that is leadership that is happening outside of the actual industry. So from opportunities to expectations, financial assistance to attention and media profiling, what guys are receiving is fundamentally different than that of girls.
Look for Part 2 of this interview coming next week!
A deeper look into the #ipaddleforequality movement.
Core commentary with Annabel Anderson.
Words by Rebecca Parsons
At 44 years old, Parker Lake is no stranger to the 9-to-5 grind. He grew up in Los Angeles, spent twelve years working overseas in financial services and another five years in China as an investigator. Competitive by nature, Lake would spend his free time at local gyms, competing against the high scores on the rowing machines and snowboarding in the local mountains. But as life took over and kids came into the picture, Lake and his wife decided it was time to move back to the states. They settled on Miami, Florida.
"We moved here for lifestyle purposes," says Lake. "It's a great place to grow up--you can have an outdoor life quite easily here and it's a pleasant place to live. It's like being on vacation."
Lake quickly landed a job in sales at an IT company in the Magic City. He embraced the Miami lifestyle and began paddling on weekends and then occasionally before work, eventually making it a regular habit. All was well until Lake and his wife split in 2016 and he decided to re-evaluate his life.
He sat down and made a Venn diagram of the things he liked and the things he was good at. He concluded that he missed his old security work and was always happiest on the water. He got in touch with iPaddle, a local paddle shop, and was brought on staff the very next day. After that, everything fell into place.
Lake’s version of traffic on the morning commute. Photo courtesy of @calipsophotography by Pamela Vasquez
Lake secured a small home on the Little River in El Portal. He added a second job in the form of a security position at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach. Fed up with the craze of Miami traffic, he ditched his car and began paddling to work.
"The stress of commuting has gone away completely," says Lake of his newfound mode of transport. "People drive horribly here. When they show up somewhere they tend to be stressed out. I'm exactly the opposite."
The commute to iPaddle takes Lake 30-40 minutes, door to door. Along the way he often spots manatees, dolphins, bull sharks, hammerheads, pelicans and people cruising by in pontoon boats. If he's lucky, he'll paddle under the drawbridge just as it's going up, halting traffic.
"I'll catch the eye of someone sitting in traffic and they probably think I'm on vacation. Or that I retired early," says Lake. "But no, I'm doing the exact same thing that they are but I don't have to search for parking or anything like that."
Living on the Little River makes paddleboard commuting an easy reality. In addition to work, Lake paddles to local bars and restaurants as well as friends' homes. He avoids the chaos of traffic and the only parking he has to deal with is tying his board up at the location's dock. In a lot of ways, Parker is living the dream life, but everything comes at a cost.
Lake changed careers and is now happier than ever. Photo courtesy of @calipsophotography by Pamela Vasquez
Lake took a major pay cut when he made his career switch. He left a high paying corporate job and replaced it with two lower price point jobs. Jobs he enjoys.
"I would highly recommend people make that venn diagram and identify what they're good at and what they do well," says Lake. "Because once you start to do something well and you like it, money does start showing up."
Parker works hard at both his jobs and since being brought on board has slowly worked his way up, earning pay raises along the way. He recently resigned from his security position and now works full-time at iPaddle; spending his spare time training for events.
Always a competitor, Parker believes racing goes hand-in-hand with fun. He races occasionally and is currently signed up for Crossing for a Cure--a 71-mile paddle from Nassau to Danai Beach. The paddle across the Gulf Stream is expected to take 8-10 hours. Parker is equally excited for both the challenge and the thought of hugging his kids at the finish line.
Life is a series of decisions: some good, some bad. Lake is proof that taking a risk in pursuit of something you truly love can pay off. If you happen to see Lake cruising one of Miami's waterways, you'll likely recognize him by his smile.
Standup paddling is all fun and games, until it’s not. The water-whether ocean, river, lake or pond-can be a dangerous place and always deserves respect. That’s why SUP magazine has partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to bring you “Safe SUP Choices,” an ongoing series of safe-paddling reminders.
Of course, we need your full attention and dull safety tutorials don’t always do the trick. Instead, we’ve had a bit of fun with making some very important points. Because, all kidding aside, too many standup paddlers are drowning-and those deaths could be avoided. So take a minute to enjoy, then take a minute to think and then make the right choices next time you hit the water. They can make all the difference.
In this installment, we cover the importance of never getting in over your head and knowing your limits when it comes to standup paddling. Water conditions can change quickly and you need excellent board control, fitness and safety devices before attempting more challenging situations in the water.
Safe SUP Choices: Paddle with a Partner.
Safe SUP Choices: Always Wear Your Leash and PFD.
Safe SUP Choices: Dress for Immersion.
While most people in the standup paddle world have heard the names of star SUP surfers like Zane Schweitzer or Caio Vaz, there are countless other talented SUP athletes that are still relatively unknown. To understand what we’re talking about, just check out this edit from Peruvian charger Sebastian Gomez. Complete with some solid frontside hacks, long barrel rides and even a few nasty spills, he makes a solid case as to why he deserves to be on your radar.
More SUP Surfing Videos
Caribbean dream session in Barbados.
Seeking and Scoring bombs in Sumatra.
Standup for the Cure Announces 3rd Annual Muskegon Event to Support Local Women Needing Breast Health Services
Muskegon, Michigan. - Standup for the Cure (SUFTC), alongside its national sponsor, Boardworks Surf and Barefoot Wine, Title Sponsor Spectrum Health Cancer Center and Presenting Sponsor, Mercy Health, is excited to announce their third Muskegon event. The team, led by Executive Director Dan Van Dyck and local Co-Chairs Shawn Taylor Norden and Dianne Hoofman, will be hosting the event at Harbour Towne Beach on beautiful Muskegon Lake on July 07, 2018. This will be Standup for the Cure's second stop for 2018 as part of a series of nationwide events aimed at raising money to support local health systems that screen for and treat breast cancer. SUFTC's mission is to help women find breast cancer early (when it is most treatable) through education, awareness, screenings and research while building a supportive, compassionate community.
"Standup for the Cure's focus is to introduce non-paddlers to the healthy lifestyle of standup paddling, while building a supportive community bound by the desire to rid the world of breast cancer," stated Executive Director Dan Van Dyck. "Working with the local affiliates of Susan G. Komen, we're able to ensure that every dollar raised is put toward great programs that help women in Muskegon and fund global, leading-edge breast cancer research."
The Standup for the Cure Event features instruction from top local paddleboard experts as well as FREE breast cancer and melanoma screening by Mercy Health, live music and a health and fitness expo. Attendees will also enjoy a great festival with catered lunch, courtesy of KJ Catering, and beverages. Boardworks Surf, Standup for the Cure's national sponsor, leads the visionary family of partners which includes Spectrum Health Cancer Center (Title Sponsor), Mercy Health (Presenting Sponsor), Tom DeVoursney (Presenting Sponsor), Shape Corp, KL Outdoor, Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, and Meijer (Gold Partners) and a number of local supporting partners and vendors.
"We were thrilled with the success of Standup for the Cure and hope to beat last year's attendance of 700+ participants and over $80,000 raised" said Shawn Taylor Norden, event co-chair, Standup for the Cure Board Member and breast cancer survivor. "Accurate and timely screening is vital for identifying breast cancer at an early stage and we know that breast cancer is most treatable when found early. Between the programs we'll fund with the money raised and the exams happening right on site, this event really is a lifesaver!"
Online Registration is now open at https://www.crowdrise.com/MuskegonStandUpfortheCure2018
In support of the fight against breast cancer, participants can sign up as a team or individual through the Crowdrise website at https://www.crowdrise.com/MuskegonStandUpfortheCure2018 More information and event details can be found at: http://suftc.org, via Twitter at @StandUp4TheCure, and on Facebook @StandUpfortheCure.
About Standup for the Cure
Standup for the Cure is a non-profit, 501c3 formed for the express purpose of raising funds and awareness for early breast cancer detection while building a compassionate, supportive community Founded in 2011, Standup for the Cure is fully supported by generous donations from their presenting and title partners and a host of Vendors and Volunteers who take part each year. Standup for the Cure has now raised over $1,100,000 for local affiliates of Susan G. Komen including their most recent donation of $65,000 to the Orange County Affiliate from the Newport Beach, CA SUFTC.
About Susan G. Komen Michigan
Komen Michigan is an independent, local non-profit organization that is dedicated to combating breast cancer. 75 percent of the organization's net proceeds go towards programs and funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education, screenings, diagnostics and survivorship programs for underserved men and women in Michigan.
The remaining 25 percent of net proceeds funds global, leading-edge research focused on the prevention of, and cures for, breast cancer. Komen Michigan's mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all, and energizing science to find the cures. For more information call 616-752-8262 or visit www.komenmichigan.org.
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world's largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy's life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.
Accidents happen. And they can happen unexpectedly to even the most seasoned paddlers, and on any type of water. Sometimes it's better to not look away, but rather, to take a second, closer look at what exactly went wrong. By examining the full situation, and determining the critical decisions involved (and their consequences), we can learn to make the choices that matter most. With that hope of helping paddlers make that next safe choice, we've been working in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard to present our new four-part Paddling Accidents video series. In each episode, we cast the spotlight on a real paddler recounting an everyday experience on the water gone awry that resulted in rescue. Survivors and witnesses alike relive difficult stories in order to share an important lesson.
In this first installment, Pamela Simpson relives her May 2017 experience drowning off the coast of Laguna Beach, California. If not for the swift action of her friend and paddling partner for the day, Jason Mueller, the situation could have turned out much differently for the 42-year-old mother of one, who splits time between medical classes and work as a bartender. Mueller frames the situation, having to frantically search for Simpson, finding her floating face down and without a pulse. After Mueller began administering CPR and transported Simpson to shore, paramedics took over and revived her pulse. For 12 days, she remained sedated in an induced coma, where doctors discovered the meningioma brain tumor that caused her seizure. Hear the full tale of the harrowing rescue and miraculous recovery, all demonstrating the importance of always paddling with a partner -- and always wearing a leash and a life jacket.
-- See more Safe SUP Choices
-- Check out the Safer Paddling Series from our partners at Canoe & Kayak.
-- Read more on SUP paddling safety
Questions and doubt swirled through my head as I stood on the start line of the Maui Jim Ocean Shootout, the multi-discipline watermen event held at Maui's pristine Ka'anapali Beach Hotel.
In a last-minute moment of questionable judgement, I signed up to compete against an esteemed group of world-class watermen. A group that included five-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Aaron Peirsol, multi-discipline paddling legend Travis Grant, SUP stars Zane Schweitzer and Slater Trout, and the undefeated champion of this event, Australian Ironman Jackson Maynard.
Don’t look back. Photo courtesy of 808 Photo/Maui Jim
Here were legendary athletes at the top of their game versus myself, a skinny journalist with zero race experience, who had just polished off a quiche at the breakfast buffet.
Why did I think this was a good idea?
Before I could question myself anymore, the hooter hooted and the race was underway. Minutes later, I crossed the finish line to the cheers of the crowd.
Photo courtesy of 808 Photo/Maui Jim
Don’t be confused, those cheers were not because I'd faced the world's best, David and Goliath-style, and came home as a surprise winner. Instead, those cheers were the equivalent of a participation-trophy for coming in dead last. Despite my poor, but very predictable performance, I still felt good about my effort. I had taken myself out of my comfort zone, which is what Maui Jim Ocean Shootout was all about.
"It is just a shot in the dark to see if we could mix it up and get everybody out of their comfort zones,” said Event Director Matthew Dubrule. “Take a swimmer like Aaron Peirsol who is world-class, and put him next to guys on SUP. He gets to smoke them on the swim and then he turns around and gets smoked. It’s really humbling."
The two-day event, now in its fourth year, consisted of 10 different sprint races and five different disciplines-swim, surfski, SUP, OC-1 and prone paddleboard. The varied disciplines and quick races, with the second day featuring multiple disciplines in each race, forced the athletes to compete not only in crafts they may be unfamiliar with, but against fellow watermen they rarely meet in the competitive arena.
“Everyone here knows each other and becomes friends like the Maui Jim Club,” said Grant, who would claim first place in his age group division. “That’s because the more you compete against each other, the more bond you create and become friends with each other.”
Naturally, these new friendships created inspiration among the athletes. As was the case for SUP champion Candice Appleby, who was competing in her first Maui Jim Shootout and would place fourth overall in the Women’s Open division.
“It’s inspiring for sure to see all the different athletes doing different things,” said Appleby. “It fires me up to train for more events.”
Candice Appleby was the class of the field in the women’s SUP division. Photo courtesy of 808 Photo/Maui Jim
This strategy of putting world-class athletes outside their comfort zone created an atmosphere you don’t often find at big races. As I walked around the event, the camaraderie level between athletes was high and their guard was down, freely sharing information and tips with each other about the different disciplines.
“It's fun to be able to share a bit of knowledge about a craft you’re an expert in and then go to the same guy in his craft and see if they mind sharing tips with you too,” said Schweitzer. “This event has motivated me to become a better overall waterman.”
Punishing beachbreak led to some tense moments for some competitors. Photo courtesy of 808 Photo/Maui Jim
While Schweitzer is well-known for his abilities on a SUP, it was this event that inspired him to expand his training to other crafts such as a surfski, which he had never paddled before his first Maui Jim Shootout, but now regularly trains on. But Zaniac was not alone with this mindset. For Peirsol, he was all smiles as he discussed getting a chance to branch out and try new crafts and compete against new athletes.
“It's great, I've been smiling all day,” said Peirsol. “I don't have any expectations. If anything, I’m probably going to be learning more than anything else and appreciating everybody's skill.”
In the end, on the top step of the podium was a pair of Aussies, both of whom compete in Australia’s Nutri Grain Ironman Series-which consists of swim, run, prone paddleboard and surf ski races.
Jordan Mercer and Jackson Maynard took home the big paydays. Photo courtesy of 808 Photo/Maui Jim
Jackson Maynard won for the fourth consecutive year in the Men’s Overall, further cementing his dominance at this event. Following the victory, he joined the chorus of athletes praising the unique format of the event.
“It's a sick concept because everybody has their speciality events and we are all made to do stuff that is uncomfortable for us,” said Maynard. “That just kind of loosens the field up and everyone is having fun with it.”
Meanwhile, six-time M2O paddleboard champion and Nutri Grain Iron Woman Series Champion Jordan Mercer dominated on her way to claiming top honors for the ladies. It was her first crack at the Maui Jim Shootout and while she has plenty of experience in other disciplines, this event marked the first time she competed on a SUP and her first time ever paddling an OC-1.
Good luck beating Jordan Mercer on a prone paddleboard. Photo courtesy of 808 Photo/Maui Jim
“It is a humbling experience to be in the water and racing the fittest women in the world,” said Mercer. “To race against that caliber and trying to test yourself against women I have so much respect for is everything I dream of and more as an athlete.”
It was a sentiment that seemed to be shared by all the competitors, from the elite champions to the out-of-shape journalist. The Maui Jim Shootout was much more than your average race, it was an opportunity to come together not as single sport athletes, but as watermen and women who spent a weekend competing, learning and making lasting friendships in Maui paradise.
Photos by Aaron Black-Schmidt
The biggest event of the year for whitewater paddlers just wrapped up at the 2018 GoPro Mountain Games.
The picturesque mountain town of Vail, Colorado once again played host to thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from every spectrum and sport. From mountain bikers and trail runners, to slacklining and fan-favorite canine contests, there’s a little something for everyone.
While we enjoy any sport that allows us to get outdoors, we focused our attention on Gore Creek, the site of the SUP Sprint on Saturday and YETI SUP Cross on Sunday. Both events were popular among competitors and spectators alike, with crowds of people huddled along the shores for a glimpse at the wild whitewater action.
With the local area receiving below-average snowfall this past winter, the creek was running at historically low levels. With small eddies and shallow water, choosing the right line was more important than ever and led to a much more technical race.
The action began on Saturday with a 2.7 mile sprint down the trickling Gore Creek. In the Men’s division, 2016 race winner Mike Tavares returned to the top of the podium after a runner-up finish last year. The Team Badfish paddler posted the top time of 22:28.91 to get the better of his teammate Spencer Lacy who placed second in 22:33.59. While no one was surprised to see those two finish 1-2, the same cannot be said for third-place finisher Rob Prechtl of Breckenridge, who claimed the surprise podium finish in only in his second year of paddling SUP.
As for the ladies, Yuka Sato of Japan continued her breakout year by winning the women's SUP Sprint with a time of 23:02.78. That blistering time was nearly a minute faster than second-place finisher Brittany Parker, who finished at 24:00.62, seven seconds quicker than third place, Ashley Bean.
The action only got more intense on Sunday with a massive field of some 50 competitors duking it out in the YETI SUP Cross. In the Men’s finals, Bradley Hilton was joined by Team Badfish teammates Tavares and Lacy in a hard-charging battle. Tavares led the charge into the first gate, but Hilton snuck past on the inside and found a clean line to the top of the podium. Behind him, Tavares and Lacy tangled on the final gate before Tavares broke free for the silver medal and Lacy was bumped to bronze.
"It feels really good, especially just being in there with my buddies, Mike and Spencer. They're both pioneers of the sport and I respect them a lot. I'm always looking to them for different things to incorporate into my technique," Hilton said after winning his first gold medal in six years. "My number one rule this weekend with all the excitement that the Mountain Games bring is just to keep my mind calm, especially during the race. That's what did the trick."
Also keeping her mind calm was 17-year-old freestyle kayaking specialist Sage Donnelly, who pulled off the upset in the Women’s SUP Cross event. In the race for second, Parker and Sato collided on the final gate but it was Parker who managed to fight her way around the gate to take her second silver in as many days, with the SUP Sprint winner settling for third.
"I thought I wasn't going to make, for sure," said Parker. "The low water can make things a little crazy because the eddies are so small, but I managed to hang on."
That wraps up the action from this year’s GoPro Mountain Games. Congratulations to all the winners and check out the action for yourself with our full photo gallery above.
Highlights from last year’s Games.
Over 70 photos from last year’s Games.
It's a simple concept. One-hundred twenty three teams are set to launch under their own power from Tacoma, Washington on Monday evening, June 11, bound for Port Townsend some 70 miles across Puget Sound. Racers have 48 hours to complete the course on whatever craft they like (provided it's human-powered), using whatever route they'd like. While these waters are highly trafficked by the marine community in the area, this is the first race of its kind and 2018 is its inaugural year. The name too, is simple: Seventy48.
Racers of all stripes have signed up for the event. Local boatbuilders who will be rowing their own crafts, two six-person outrigger canoe teams hutting their way up, a core SUP community that often frequents these waters using their knowledge to pick their way through the complex currents and tides of Puget Sound, and many more. Among them are mothers and fathers, young and old, veteran racers and those who are competing for the first time. Their reasons for doing the race all vary but one seems to override them all: they couldn't say no to the adventure.
When I first heard of Seventy48 I was intrigued. The race will be run by the same folks that run the Race to Alaska, the 750-mile, any-craft-goes journey from Port Townsend to Ketchikan, Alaska that is in its fourth year. R2AK, as it's affectionately has it's own tribe, it's own community--race organizers will pay for a tattoo of the race logo at the pre-race festivities. The vibe of their marketing poses Seventy48 as a dare, as something they don't even necessarily recommend you do, but something that they lay out your feet as a challenge, if you choose to take it.
At least that's how I felt.
After doing Molokai 2 Oahu solo last year, I’d decided that 2018 was going to be an easy year, that I wasn’t going to subject myself to months of training for a physically demanding and logistically challenging race. I was just going to surf and paddle for pleasure. Then two of my buddies talked me into doing M2O on a three-person team (the race is the last weekend in July). “OK, that’s only a little over 10 miles,” I thought. And it would be fun to share the experience with friends who had never done it before.
So I started training. Nothing crazy, but I started. Seventy48 was a kernel nestled in the folds of my brain but I wasn't seriously considering doing it.
Then I talked to one of my childhood friends from southern Oregon, Trevor Smith, who works for Good Story Paddle Boards, a small company founded by Matthew Nienow that specializes in custom wooden SUPs. They're based in Port Townsend and were making a board for a racer. When that person dropped out and they offered to make me a custom-built, wooden SUP just for this race, well, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
That simple decision has turned into all-consuming preparation as the race start speeds closer. I've been training four months, prepping my body to endure some huge days of paddling. I've whittled down my gear to the absolute necessities, while maintaining safety as a top priority and I've studied the winds, currents and tides of the route. My brother, Max, also decided to do the race too, so we've been swapping gear, logistics and training notes.
But I've never paddled on the route itself, and, because the board was made in Washington and I live in California, I haven't paddled it either. So there are definitely some unknowns to face--including paddling at night across well-trafficked patches of the Sound.
To say I'm nervous would be an understatement. More than anything, though, I'm excited. This race has never been done before by anyone. All of us racers will be treading new water. More than anything--the pain, the darkness, the beauty, the doubt, the clarity--it will be an adventure. And that's what we signed up for.
More info on Seventy48.
Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, friendly people, perfect waves and killer coffee. But for whatever reason, you don't hear of many Ticos competing on the world stage. A lack of talent seems unlikely, so what is the reason?
We caught up with Jose Ruiz, who took third place in Costa Rica’s SUP surfing championships and asked him that very question. Here, he tells us about growing up in Nosara, what the SUP scene is like in Costa Rica and the surprising reason why he stopped competing. -RP
Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in a small beach community north of Nosara. The beaches of my hometown are nesting beaches for thousands of sea turtles and when the turtles aren’t nesting, the beaches are open for surfing. As a child, I really enjoyed playing soccer and it wasn’t until I was 12 years old that I became interested in surfing.
My father owned and operated a campsite in town and one day a group of surfers came through. They asked to pay part of their bill with an old beat up surfboard--my father accepted and gifted me the board. I was young and to me the board was amazing. I prone surfed until about three years ago when I came into contact with Nosara Paddlesurf.
Was there anyone that inspired you to compete?
I began SUP surfing with the coaches of Nosara Paddlesurf. One of them in particular, Coco (Bryan Sandoval), used to compete on the national circuit in three categories: longboard, masters and SUP surf. He encouraged me to compete. At the time I didn’t see it as a competition--I saw it as good times with my friends and surfing.
Jose Ruiz proving why he won the Costa Rican SUP surfing championship in 2016. Photo courtesy of Jose Ruiz
What is the SUP scene like in Costa Rica?
SUP surfing has definitely been growing here in Costa Rica. It has been a slow process but it is absolutely noticeable.
Why do you think we don’t see many Ticos on the world tour/series?
There is a lot of talent here but the sport has not yet been taken too seriously by the relevant authorities. Hopefully that will soon change. The main reason Costa Ricans aren’t showing up to top events is money. Lack of good sponsors keep most of the talent unrecognized; this obviously delays the growth of the sport in our country.
Do you still compete?
No, I don’t compete anymore. I worked hard in the national circuit and paid my own way because the authorities had said that the top two surfers from each category would represent Costa Rica internationally. After ranking among the top two, I was pre-selected for the international competition.
Truth is, Costa Rica sent a team of SUP surfers who hadn’t even competed in the national circuit. After that, I stopped competing.
Ruiz now works as a SUP surf instructor at Nosara Paddleboards.
What do you do for work?
I work as a SUP surf coach for Nosara Paddlesurf. I also work as a tour guide in my off-time. I enjoy sharing the beauty of my home with tourists and giving them a taste of our day-to-day.
Why do you love standup paddling?
I love SUP because of how versatile it is, plus taking it to the ocean and waves gives me a feeling of being reborn.
Watch: Dreamy SUP surf edit from Costa Rica.
More about Costa Rica’s rich SUP culture.
Ever catch yourself dreaming of dropping everything and taking a surf trip to the Caribbean? Yeah, us too. But while that may not be feasible if you have kids, a job and the general responsibilities of life, you owe it to yourself to at least take a virtual trip to the islands.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right spot for that mind vacation to paradise. Just check out this short SUP surfing edit of a lucky lady scoring some dreamy waves in the pristine waters of Freight’s Bay, Barbados. Enjoy.
More SUP surfing videos.
In this installment, we cover the importance of never paddling impaired. Standup paddling is serious business and you need your full abilities to perform safely. You wouldn’t drink and drive, so never drink and paddle.
Safe SUP Choices Part 1: Paddle with a Partner.
Safe SUP Choices Part 2: Always Wear Your Leash and PFD.
Words by Morgan Mason
Photos by Aaron Black-Schmidt
As we crossed the historic Seven Mile Bridge and arrived on the sandy coral of Big Pine Key, palm leaves swayed in the soft Atlantic breeze, the sweet smell of saltwater in the air.
Big Pine Key was buzzing but not with stress--even time lays back here. It looked like it was time to relax and find the best place to launch a paddling adventure.
Cody Presny leads the way through the mangrove tunnel into the depths of No Name Key.
Our first stop was Big Pine Kayak Adventures. The gravel crunched as we pulled in alongside a small camper van plastered with stickers from paddling points across the country. Without saying a word to Aaron, my photographer wingman for the weekend, we both recognized the type of fellow itinerant traveler and knew that we'd found our first guide to the island.
As if on queue, a big grin on a colorful character swung around the little white van. "You guys ready for a day in the mangroves!?" Cody Presny exclaimed, greeting us with an extended hand. Soon, with paddles in hand, Presny led our small group of kayaks into salty waters off the outfitter's launch point on the east side of Big Pine Key, gliding across the short span to No Name Key.
Cody stood up in his kayak, masterfully paddling and spotting small barracudas and snappers. With a grin, his eyes focused on a small opening in the mangroves: "The tide is low," he called out, "But let's go!" The channel he was referring to was barely wide enough to fit a kayak. Yet with his encouragement we broke down paddles into separate pieces and grabbed onto the woven roots to pull ourselves through.
Cody Presny in guide mode. / Jellyfish, Horseshoe and Spider Crabs.
Moving through the tight tunnel was more other-worldly caving than paddling. Small green leaves and branches cut the sun as the roots braided, reaching deep into the water below. Tiny mangrove crabs clicked-and-clacked as they danced around root structures, shy and wary of the plastic vessels. Tiny jellyfish dance in rhythmic motions in the water below as we weaved through the single-track waterway through the roots.
Paddling back on the open water to Big Pine, my mind went back to the hurricane, and the exposure for the endangered Key Deer. Big Pine Key, home to the National Key Deer Refuge, is one of the few islands where the species live, and where these wild little creatures faced the brunt of the storm.
Within minutes of hydrating back on shore, we heard the sounds of crunching leaves and twigs. A quick glance over the shoulder revealed small hooves. A young Key Deer leisurely walked out of the surrounding forest. My hands instinctively went for my buried camera. This little survivor (locals told us later that the vast majority lived through the hurricane) slowly crossed the parking lot to fresh grass afternoon snacking. The soft click of a camera shutter didn't scare it off. I smiled as it passed, taking the encounter as a good omen.
An afternoon side-trip to neighboring Bahia de Honda Key led us to explore the ruins of a railroad bridge. This historic span of steel was built in 1912 and saw use until being destroyed by a hurricane 23 years later. It reopened as a highway in 1938. After a new bridge was opened in the ’70s, it was left a scenic overview for tourists, minus two truss spans to accommodate boat traffic.
Captain Bill Keough gave us valuable beta on where to paddle around Big Pine Key. Keough is the owner of Big Pine Kayak Adventures.
The luck didn't last as the weather shifted. With any island location, winds can be your friend or foe. An adventurous mind, however, can help recast the wind as your friend. It points out the direction to look for a paddling destination. Screaming whitecaps on one side of the island means pockets and coves aching to be explored on the opposite side. Or a downwind paddle. Game on.
The mid-day winds told us exactly what we needed to hear. With a mind hungry for adventure and a stomach ready for lunch, a downwind SUP run straight west from Big Pine Key to Little Torch Key was perfection. Winds blew at our back over the mile stretch and had us pulling our boards onto the beach in no time--right at Kiki's Sandbar Bar and Grille. It wasn't long before we were refueling on fresh hogfish and shrimp tacos washed down with toasted coconut-topped mango coladas.
Feeling full, and pleased with our wind-directed game planning, the next morning started with a new wind check, another map review, and a strong breakfast: Key lime pie and coffee.
Morgan getting a taste for the downwind possibilities in the Florida Keys.
Paddle up to the bar, my friend. Kiki’s Sandbar welcomes both the aquatic and road-bound traveler.
It's no secret that the Keys are a hot destination for fishing. The chance to chase tarpon, bonefish, permit, barracuda, dorado, and snapper is enough to lure any saltwater angler. To gauge our best chances, we headed to the resource-rich Lower Keys Tackle. Packed with gear, maps, bait and a crew of employees eager to chat, the shop had us juggling a whole new set of options.
"Wait, this is your first fishing trip to the keys?!" asked shop staffer Ryan O'Sullivan, giving us the wild eye and laughing with excitement. "Come check this map out with me." Within a matter of minutes, O'Sullivan, who guides and outfits kayak fishing trips through Show N Tail Charters, had scribbled all over the map and helped us hatch a new plan. His enthusiasm for the potential of what lay ahead was infectious.
"If you're going out on a kayak or paddleboard in the flats off Big Pine Key, you might find yourself latched on a 150-pound tarpon rolling around you, a feisty bonefish or potentially hooking into a shark and getting a tour of the area as it drags you around," O'Sullivan said. "You will always catch something, but with it being a changing ocean you never know what you're going to pull up."
Ryan O'Sullivan, of Lower Keys Tackle, provided all the local fishing knowledge we’d ever need.
With O'Sullivan's guidance, we kayaked back to No Name Key. Baitfish moved in and out with the changing tides, as did, we hoped, the large predatory fish worth casting for. The bridge between the Big Pine and No Name is known for holding large tarpon, and it's no surprise to see fishing lines dangling while you're casting underneath looking for that bite.
Morgan chatting with a local fisherman in the channel of water between Big Pine and No Name Key.
While we never got that tarpon-ride-of-a-lifetime-catch, we did shift down into the time zone of paddling and fishing in Big Pine Key. We dove into the the community, explored the wildlife and opened our eyes to life on the Lower Keys. Finding adventures when the wind wasn't blowing in our favor and turning us a new direction, making sundown discoveries on the water that we'd never expected.
Paddlers will find an eclectic mix of fun paddling opportunities in Big Pine Key.
Is there any better way to start your day than by getting in the ocean? Maybe. Going for a little early morning flight above it like father and son duo Jarrod and Dean Snow might just take the cake.
Have you tried SUP foiling? Let us know what your experience was like (or why you haven’t) in the comments.
More SUP foiling.
Read our take on foiling.
Here at SUP, we’re firm believers in the benefits of traveling the world, from learning about yourself, to helping others, to living an adventurous life. And rarely is travel so rewarding as when there’s a board beneath your feet and a paddle in your hand. In that spirit, we reached out to our top contributors and asked them to share some tales from the road. We hope you enjoy them–and that they inspire you to book your next trip.
It comes to me in a bad dream. I'm alone, standing on the shores of a calm lake, surrounded by pine trees. In the distance, a granite shard juts out of the mirrored water, a few trees stand against the elements atop the lonely island. I go to grab my board and paddle but they're not there. I cannot explore the island of my dreams. I wake up feeling lost and disappointed, like I've missed out on something important.
It's a terrible feeling to not paddle when you want to--even if it is just a dream. And you know what makes it super easy to always have a board with you? An inflatable SUP. The SUP staff has taken them to races in the South Pacific, to lochs in the United Kingdom and to sailboats in the Caribbean. On trips when it would just be too complicated to bring a hard board or to find one at a remote location, an inflatable SUP is the perfect solution.
And they're not just good for travel. If you live in New York City you don't have room to store a SUP. Go inflatable. If you drive a Mini Cooper, stuff in that inflatable. Want to paddle on a lake that you can only access by hiking? Inflatable, baby!
And they just keep getting better, too. From improving stringer technology, to multiple chamber rigidity, to rail stiffeners, the performance gaps between hard boards and inflatables continue to narrow.
Don't let the logistics get in the way of a good paddling session, no matter where you are. Inflatables allow us to bring standup paddling anywhere, turning any bad dream into a good one.
This story was originally published in SUP's Winter 2017 Travel Issue as part of SUP's package feature on unexpected lessons learned from traveling to SUP. Grab a copy for more SUP travel tips!
Kai Bates and Shakira Westdorp are two of Australia’s top SUP surfing pros, able to adapt their game to whatever conditions throw at him. Watch them take their respective male and female victories at the 2018 Stand Up Surf Shop Rottnest Classic in a variety of conditions on Western Australia’s Rottnest Island in the video above.
More SUP Surfing action.
Introducing YETI Tundra® Haul™, Silo™ 6G, Panga™ Submersible Backpack 28, and more
Austin, Texas (May 31, 2018) -- YETI®, a leading premium outdoor brand, announces new, over-engineered products to join its line-up. Today, the Austin, Texas-based company proudly reveals new models of its staple hard cooler series, as well as an expansion of its ultra-durable submersible gear bags. The YETI Tundra® Haul™ is the first-ever YETI cooler on wheels--built with the brand's signature toughness and unmatched insulation power. The Silo™ 6G is what a water cooler should be--legendary cold-holding power and a uniquely crafted handle and spigot system won't let you down. The Panga™ Submersible Backpack 28 is a durable airtight fortress with a tried-and-true backpack design.
"YETI is constantly striving to improve existing products and expand our line of premium goods," says YETI CEO, Matt Reintjes. "We spend countless hours working through ideas, designs, and various iterations before they hit the market. From the overall concept to the finest details, our team works relentlessly to provide products that enhance our consumers' outdoor experience, no matter the pursuit."
Like its Tundra predecessors, Haul is armored with YETI's nearly indestructible rotomolded construction, promising optimal resilience and maximum ice retention for every adventure. The Tundra Haul's StrongArm™ Handle is engineered with a T-Bar design that allows its user to pull the cooler alongside, not behind, keeping heels in the clear. Haul's NeverFlat™ Wheels never need to be inflated, and its smooth tread pattern leaves no room for gravel to get caught in its grooves. Simply put, Tundra Haul is built to go the extra mile.
The Silo 6G water cooler is a remarkably insulated, quick-to-pour, easy-to-clean behemoth of a water cooler. With a six-gallon capacity, Silo seals in the cold from sunup to sundown thanks to its PermaFrost™ Insulation, FatWall™ Design, and InterLock™ Lid System. The SurePour™ Spigot allows for a fast flow rate, and the SteadySteel™ Handle protects from knocks or drops. Whether at base camp or after a long day's work, the Silo 6G will keep the crew hydrated.
Immune to dunks and downpours, the Panga Submersible Backpack 28 is made from the same waterproof, ultra-durable, and easy-to-clean material as the Panga Submersible Duffel. Its DryHaul™ Straps and QuickGrab™ Lash Points offer ultimate carrying comfort, while a removable chest strap and waist belt provide added stability. Engineered with the same high-density, puncture- and abrasion-resistant ThickSkin™ Shell and HydroLok Zipper, Panga Backpack won't bat an eye at Mother Nature's heaviest rainfalls or strongest currents. Additionally, an interior sleeve and mesh stowaway pocket allow for easy access and organization. This pack inspires exploration of the far-flung, water-based corners of the wild.
The Tundra Haul will be available on yeti.com and through authorized dealers starting this Summer for $399.99 in Charcoal and White. The Silo 6G and Panga Submersible Backpack 28 will be available on yeti.com and through authorized dealers starting this Summer for $299.99 each. The Silo 6G will be available in White. The Panga Submersible Backpack 28 will be available in Storm Gray.
Additional new products for Summer 2018 include: Colster™ Slim Gasket, Wine Tumbler 2-Packs, a new Charcoal colorway for Roadie®, Tundra and Rambler® products, and Duracoat™ Color options for YETI Half Gallon and One Gallon Rambler Jugs. Details on all new Summer 2018 products are available on yeti.com.
Founded in Austin, Texas in 2006, YETI is a leading premium outdoor brand. The world's top hunters, anglers, outdoor adventurers, BBQ pitmasters, and ranch and rodeo professionals trust YETI to stand up to the world's harshest conditions. For more on the company and its full line of products and accessories, visit yeti.com.
Mo Freitas is one of the most naturally gifted athletes in our sport, whether it’s in a race or on a wave. But even the best paddlers--some might say especially the best paddlers--have to protect their bodies from injury. One important way to do that is stroke technique.
In this video, Freitas gives you a single simple tip: drop the wrist of your top paddle hand toward the paddle shaft when entering the power phase of your stroke. This pointer will not only prevent you from over-gripping your paddle but also engage the correct, larger muscles in you core to help you paddle stronger for longer. This engagement has the added benefit of also protecting your shoulders and back from wear and tear. Simple and powerful, just the way a stroke should be.
We met Mary Jaramillo at this year’s Standup for the Cure event in Newport Beach, where she was joining other breast cancer survivors in paddling, remembering loved ones and encouraging others to get tested. But it was what she had overcome in her life that caught our attention.
Mary was born in Germany, grew up in California and married young. All was well until 1977, when Mary's world was turned upside down.
Photo: Jerry Jaramillo
At just 49 years old, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After fighting a hard battle, she passed away a few years later. Around the same time, Mary also split from her husband, realizing he wasn't the man she'd fallen in love with at 18. So she packed up her things and began working as a hair stylist as a way to make a living. Seven years passed before Mary met her current husband, Jerry Jaramillo.
Due to her family history, Mary regularly went in for mammograms to ensure she too would not lose her life to breast cancer. In 2011, one of those mammograms came back with a spot of concern.
After closer examination, doctors found a lump in the milk duct. Luckily, the cancer was listed as DCIS or stage zero cancer, the best case scenario. Due to her family history and the threat of another scare in the future, Mary opted for a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Everything went according to plan and Mary, it seemed, was in the clear with no further treatment necessary.
A year went by, with Mary returning to business as usual, when she noticed some unusual bleeding and went in for a colonoscopy. This time she was not so lucky--she was diagnosed stage two anal cancer.
"It's a shocking thing and you're sort of going through a cloud because you're trying to figure out what you're supposed to do," says Mary. "It's the unknown."
With little other choice, Mary braved the unknown and began radiation and chemotherapy treatment. She underwent a six-week course of radiation, in addition to two one-week chemotherapy sessions. The treatment proved effective and asides from a thinner head of hair and blotchy skin, Mary began to feel like herself again.
At the time of Mary's diagnosis, her friend and pastor Blaine "Sumo" Sato was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. The two went through treatment together, offering moral and emotional support to one another. Sumo did not fare as well as Mary and lost his fight to cancer at age 55, leaving behind a family and his congregation.
"I do have survivor's guilt because he did so much for so many: here, in Hawaii, all over the world," says Mary. "But I also see it as he did so much and God said, 'Come on home, you've done enough.'"
For Mary, her journey through life is not complete. So at last year's Stand Up for the Cure, she was encouraged to get back on a board.
With weaker muscles, she mounted her paddleboard and surprising herself by completing the entire loop around the Newport Dunes course. She paddled for herself, for Sumo, and for friends and strangers whose lives have been touched by cancer.
This year, Mary begins her 60th lap around the sun. She's been through a lot but maintains a positive attitude. She's been healthy for a year and a half now and through regular check-ups is hoping to reach the five-year "cancer-free" mark. She's styling hair again, accompanying her husband to surf and SUP events to take photographers, dog sitting, playing tennis and occasionally going for easy paddles.
"We're getting to a point where cancer hopefully won't be a big deal and it won't be a death sentence," says Mary. "I just want to really shout out early diagnosis, regardless of how old you are or if you have it in your family. Get tested."
Faces and stories of those at the Standup for the Cure.
Recap of the 7th annual Standup for the Cure.
Standup paddling is all fun and games, until it's not. The water-whether ocean, river, lake or pond-can be a dangerous place and always deserves respect. That's why SUP magazine has partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to bring you "Safe SUP Choices," an ongoing series of safe-paddling reminders.
Of course, we need your full attention and dull safety tutorials don't always do the trick. Instead, we've had a bit of fun with making some very important points. Because, all kidding aside, too many standup paddlers are drowning-and those deaths could be avoided. So take a minute to enjoy, then take a minute to think and then make the right choices next time you hit the water. They can make all the difference.
In this installment, we cover the importance of always dressing for immersion. Because it doesn’t pay off to be a fashionista on the water.
If there’s a barrier to be broken, you can bet Colorado’s Spencer Lacy is willing to take the first swing. From being the first to clear harrowing Class IV rapids in Chile, self-supported whitewater runs through the Grand Canyon or just cruising around in his old mini-van he bought for a buck, Lacy is a man on a mission to push the envelope and have fun doing it.
So when he recently took a trip up to Alaska, simply stroking past giant icebergs was not enough thrill for this whitewater hellman. So he managed to find a glacier with a natural slide carved into it, climbed to the top and dropped in for one of the coolest SUP rides we’ve ever seen. But no reason to keep reading about it, check out this incredible footage for yourself.
Get a look at Spencer Lacy’s $1 van.
Spencer Lacy charging class IV rapids in Chile.
You may have heard the rumors about a new race in 2018. A race where people start in the evening and have 48 hours to cover 70 miles in a congested, complicated waterway past Seattle, one of the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest. This race is the Seventy48.
Seventy48 starts in Tacoma, Washington at 5:30 on the evening of June 11. A motley crew of racers (anything human powered, including rowers, prone paddlers, standup paddlers, peddlers, canoeists and more) have 48 hours to make it 70 miles to Port Townsend, Washington, near the edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Yes, that means there is at least one night involved. Some racers will try and do the whole thing non-stop. Others will camp for two nights, while others hope to do it somewhere in between.
Those unfamiliar with Puget Sound may think it is a benign waterway since it is protected from the open ferocity of the Pacific Ocean. They would be mistaken. The Puget Sound is a complex body of water highly susceptible to tides, localized winds and wild currents. And then there’s the traffic. Ferry, powerboats, tugs and sailboats all criss-cross the Sound’s waterways at all times of day. Racers will have to have multiple plans for myriad scenarios based on all of the above.
Seventy miles will feel just like this looks. Surely. Photo courtesy: Seventy48
There are 123 teams signed up to participate in Seventy48. The majority of the teams are solo affairs, a few are two-person (canoes, rowboats) and two are six (six-man outrigger canoe). When each team entered, they added $100 to a kitty. The team who crosses the finish line first will get the whole $12,300 cash purse.
This race is considered a “sprint” compared to its big brother Race to Alaska (R2AK), which begins the morning after this race ends in Port Townsend, Washington and runs 750 miles to Ketchikan, Alaska. Karl Kruger, the man who was the first person to ever finish R2AK on a SUP, will be on the start line for Seventy48. Both races are organized by the same masochists.
Why do people sign up for races like this? It’s a good question that I’ve been thinking a lot about over the past few months as I started training for this race, signed up for it and am now less than two weeks from standing on the starting line. One of the reasons is that my friends over at Good Story Paddle Boards generously offered to whip up a custom 17-foot, hand-crafted wooden SUP for me to race on. The rest of the reason is a little more complicated.
That will have to wait for another post early next week.
More about Seventy48.
For those of us who have been paddling for a while, we often forget the plight of the first-timers. The folks that decided to fork out 30 bucks on vacation to rent a SUP but after taking their first few strokes (paddle backwards, of course), their knees start to wobble, their weight shifts to their heels and they’re stumbling backwards off the board and into the drink. Naturally, the internet finds these “fails” to be hilarious, so somebody put together a three-minute edit called, “People vs. Paddleboards.”
We admit, watching these bloopers is pretty entertaining, but it also underscores the importance of wearing the proper safety equipment. Beginners can easily become separated from their board during a fall, which can and does lead to tragedies. So have a good laugh, but let this video also serve as a reminder about the dangers of standup paddling and why safety should always come first.
Women at Camp Crystal Kai relax near one of the area’s signature destinations, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Photo: Charli Kerns
In a sport where many camps are designed to take experienced paddlers to the next level, Camp Crystal Kai is about helping female participants of all experiences define what adventure means to them.
"To me, what really makes the spirit of the camp is our ‘come as you are’ philosophy. We are committed to making stand up paddleboarding accessible and fun to women of all shapes, sizes, ages and skill level," Anna Levesque, camp co-organizer and leader, said.
Camp Crystal Kai is the collaborative brainchild of Levesque and outdoor fitness specialist Casi Rynkowski. Rynkowski had worked at the Crystal Coast several years ago and decided the location was perfect for an all-women's camp. After connecting with Levesque at Camp Samata (another female-focused experience) in Hawaii three years ago, their bond over inspiring women on the water prompted them to start more women's paddling retreats. Between Rynkowski's knowledge of and connections with the Crystal Coast and Levesque's experience with running/teaching paddling trips for women, Camp Crystal Kai was born.
The camp brands itself as a health and wellness standup paddling retreat for women to come together and learn different aspects of the sport, from the basics, to more advanced moves, to racing. The camp is set along North Carolina's beautiful, 85-mile Crystal Coast, home to azure water so clear you can easily see the leatherback turtles gliding by your board. It is also home to the Shackleford horses.
DNA tests trace the lineage of the 150 wild horses that live along the Shackleford Banks to the horses of the Spanish Conquistadors from over 300 years ago. The horses have enjoyed the protections afforded by Cape Lookout National Seashore in cooperation with the Foundation for Shackleford horses dedicated to maintaining the animals' way of life. One of the best ways to get to their island is by private boat or ferry running from Harkers Island, Beaufort and Morehead City. Captain. George Aswald of Island Express Ferry Service will give you a quick rundown and history of the horses on the way.
Slowly paddling up to the Shackleford horses. Photo credit: Charli Kers
The horses were about as uninterested in us on our boards off the shore as we were fascinated by them roaming the island. And that was just one of many stops along our paddle excursion that day. The Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters, a.k.a. “The Diamond Lady," was built in the mid-1800 's to warn passing ships of the deceivingly shallow coastal waters. It stands 163 feet tall and is painted with a unique black and white diamond pattern to distinguish the directions north and south from east and west. The lighthouse usually opens in May and runs through September.
Paddling from to beach to beach was not as easy as it looked. Many of the women had spent the full week at the camp, which can be split into half weeks as well, and felt more than ready with the support of each other. According to one participant, Sarah Mak, that was part of the point with the camp.
"Anna and Casi create a space where you feel you can achieve and learn whatever your skill level," Mak said. The participants had the opportunity to paddle in conditions that were not necessarily the calm, glassy rivers that you see in online posts or magazines. Like that day of beach hopping, the women faced the wind, waves, currents, rain, and a race. Mak concluded, "They [Levesque and Rynkowski] never doubted us, so we didn't doubt ourselves. By the end of the week, we had all grown in ability and confidence, and we had grown together."
Casi Rynkowski teaching stroke technique. Photo: Charli Kerns
The whole package at Camp Crystal Kai is not only about paddling on the water but also about developing a healthy lifestyle with it. Participants spent almost as much time off the water learning about and doing other activities such as sharing meals and talking nutrition, practicing yoga and seeing some of the unique and exciting features at the Crystal Coast. The retreat ended with a supportive group paddling during the fourth annual Crystal Kai Sup Cup.
The spirit of the camp also extended beyond even the sport itself. It was also about building community and celebrating the adventurous spirit in each other.
Lead by Anna Levesque
Lead by Casi Rynkowski
Carlsbad, CA (May 24, 2018) - Rogue Built by Boardworks, an authentic core performance SUP and surf brand, is proud to announce its title sponsorship of the 2018 SUP EuroTour, a stand up paddleboard series that unifies Europe's biggest summer races. Now in its fourth year, the EuroTour is one of the largest stand up paddle race series supporting the growth of the European stand up paddling community.
Throughout the past ten years, Rogue has been a part of the European SUP race scene. Now established, the brand's sponsorship of the SUP EuroTour solidifies its commitment to grow the competitive side of SUP and bring new and innovative product to the European market.
"Rogue is thrilled to be the title sponsor for Europe's largest stand up paddling tour," said Andrew Mencinsky, Brand Manager at Boardworks. "Boardworks has a robust arsenal of brands, and Rogue's performance driven roots, high-end offerings, and global presence made the brand a natural fit to represent the EuroTour. Rogue sees the sponsorship as an opportunity to continue supporting the growth of competitive stand up paddleboarding on a global scale, while simultaneously expanding the brand's reach within Europe."
As a part of the sponsorship, Rogue sponsored paddle athlete and 2017 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Technical Race Champion, Mo Freitas, will compete in select SUP EuroTour events. The 2018 SUP EuroTour has ten events scheduled throughout the summer, with stops in eight countries including Belgium, Euskadi, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, and Spain.
Rogue's full lineup of products are available online at boardworkssurf.com, along with retail locations nationwide. For more information, visit boardworkssurf.com, follow the brand on Instagram at @boardworkssurfsup, @roguesup and Facebook at @boardworkssurf.
@boardworkssurfsup @roguesup @eurotoursup #welivewater
Based in Carlsbad, C.A., Boardworks is a leader in the surf and standup paddle industries offering innovative and award-winning surfboards, standup paddle (SUP) boards, paddles, and accessories. Boardworks commitment to building user-friendly performance products, that make your time on the water more enjoyable, is based on an understanding that there are many types of waterways in this world and many different ways to enjoy surfing and stand up paddling. This design approach ensures that you have the perfect board for your next surf or SUP adventure. Boardworks, part of the Confluence Outdoor family, also designs, manufactures and distributes surfboards and SUP boards for some of the world's premier brands including Rogue, CRNT and Froth using our proprietary construction technologies. www.boardworkssurf.com
For standup paddlers around the country, there is cause for celebration.
Memorial Day weekend is finally upon us and that means summer (and paddling season) has unofficially started. Of course, long summer days spent on the water can also mean getting those dreaded sunburns. But just brushing off sunburns as the not-so-fun part of summer is a recipe for much bigger health problems down the road.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the US and 1 in 5 Americans will develop it during their lifetime. And this impacts young people too, melanoma affects about 90,000 people in the US each year and is one of the most lethal cancers for people under 40.
Protect your skin this summer. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
So does this mean you should sell your paddleboard and cower inside all day? Of course not! Skin cancer is one of the few preventable cancers as 65% of melanomas and 90% of non-melanomas can be attributed to UV exposure.
So to help you understand the best ways to limit your UV exposure, we summoned the help Dr. Rebecca Shpall, dermatologist and creator of the Waterhoody, to come up with four strategies to protect your skin on the water this summer.
Slathering on a quick layer of SPF 15 may help reassure your mind that you’re making an effort, but your skin would probably disagree.
Wear high SPF sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
“Most people do not use enough sunscreen to achieve the SPF on the bottle (about 1 shot glass full of sunscreen is required to achieve listed SPF),” said Dr. Shpall. “In order to optimize benefit from sunscreen, either use an SPF 65 or greater or put on two layers of sunscreen each time you apply.”
It’s also important to use broad spectrum sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB, preferably ones that include the ingredients zinc and avobenzone. And if you’re spending all day on the water, it’s critical that you reapply after two hours. Sunscreens lose the efficacy after being exposed to sunlight and water, so don’t be shy about lathering up between paddle sessions.
While putting on sunscreen is great, if you really want to prevent sun damage, wearing clothing with a UPF 50+ will provide the best protection from the sun.
Water-resistant clothes are great for blocking UV rays. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
The spots at the highest risk for melanoma include the back, scalp, neck and ears. Wearing some type of water-resistant clothing, like Dr. Shpall’s Waterhoody which covers all of those at-risk areas, is the best way to safely paddle beneath the summer sun.
While wearing a hat is a popular way for paddlers to get some shade from the sun, Dr. Shpall warns that the sun’s rays also reflect off the water and can cause burns to the face and neck. This underscores the importance of applying sunscreen to your face and neck, even if you are wearing a hat and shirt.
Remember, it’s not just about protecting your skin. Your eyes can suffer damage from the sun as well.
In fact, paddlers are at a higher risk of suffering eye damage because according to Dr. Shpall, the greatest risk comes when there is increased reflective light, which happens when the sunlight bounces off the water.
Sunglasses are a must on the water. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
Of course this can be easily avoided by simply wearing a decent pair of sunglasses. And no, that does not include the five-dollar pair you got at the mall. Instead, opt for one that has a sticker or tag indicating that they block 100% of UV rays.
It’s important to note that this is different from polarized lens, which reduce the reflective glare coming off the water, but doesn’t offer additional protection from the sun.
If there was a time we’d suggest holding off on that paddle session, the middle of the day would be it.
This four-hour period is when the sun’s rays are most intense and can do the most damage. In fact, 60% of the sunburn rays (UVB) are produced during those hours.
If this is the only time you can paddle, then it is especially important that you follow the prior steps to avoid a nasty burn. But if possible, hitting the water around sunset or sunrise will not only be more pleasant and scenic, but your skin will thank you too.
Five steps to restore saltwater damaged hair.
More about sunblock safety.
San Ignacio is every oasis that has ever been dreamt of. The Jesuit mission town is located only 80 miles south of the 28th parallel that divides Baja Norte and Baja Sur.
The way there is a road of the damned, however, where even the yucca and cardón cactus keep their distance. To the east: roan cinder cones of the extinct Tres Virgenes volcanoes mark desert cicatrix. The sun burns but has no color, leeching away every shade not sandy or tan. Then suddenly, like driving off a cliff, you drop into a wide arroyo and a miraculous pool of green--a forest on the moon--San Ignacio's date palms. An underground river rises in this canyon, forming a tranquil spring, sustaining life. In the center of San Ignacio, as much a fruit of the spring as the dates, lies its 18th-century mission. Begun by intrepid Jesuits in 1733, the church was finished by the Dominicans in 1786, with a columned façade carved from lava stone, four-cornered steeple and magnificent dome. Across the road, dense, hoary ficus shade a wide plaza, framed by tiendas and restaurantes. Nearby, hillside caves house prehistoric art--long-gone animals and strange human shapes--whose origins are still unknown.
To arrive at San Ignacio from out of the Desierto Vizcàino is the essence of travel. I think of the time, not so long ago, driving home from an epic week at Scorpion Bay with my brothers Matt, Michael and our friend China from Cape Town. Four- to six-foot at Third Point and uncharacteristically empty; the experience of surfing perfect waves in the desert, bridging the littoral that separates the arid land from the vibrant sea, is one of surfing's most rewarding paradoxes. On the journey home, smug in our sense of attainment as we rolled into San Ignacio from the south, we discovered that the Rio de Ignacio had flooded the road just outside town. We approached the flood as the late afternoon sun softened its blaze, and ribbons of golden light haloed the fronds and cast thick, dark shadows across the water. A gang of kids splashed and swam in the makeshift water park where we joined them for a swim in the desert.
Then a skinny six-year-old jumped onto my back from behind. His little hands wrapped around my face, his little finger, like a gouge, caught my left eye socket. The harder I struggled the tighter he gripped, compressing the eyeball, scooping it like an avocado pit. The pain was, well, blinding. I submerged, forcing him off, then staggered back to the car with the heel of my palm pressed to my face. Laying in the back of the van, I took the hand away: nothing. Blank. Blind. Shit.
"Playing with kids," I'd say, explaining the pirate patch and the prosaic manner in which I lost my eye. Two hours later I started to see light; by ten o'clock, blurry figures. At midnight we stopped to pee and I looked up to see the stars through a bloodshot eye and wanted to kiss somebody.
Now when I drive through San Ignacio I see it with both eyes and think, "Almost." -Sam George
More cautionary tales from our Path Less Paddled, originally appearing in our Winter 2018 print issue:
KIDNAPPED IN ECUADOR
There’s few places in the world that send a jolt of excitement down our spines quite like Indonesia. The island nation is awash in waves that could be best described as big, burly and beautiful.
Recently, SUP surfers Wes Fry, Iballa Moreno, Shakira Westdorp and videographer Scott Mckercher traveled to the Indonesian island of Sumatra for a trip out of our dreams. Their mission was to hunt for bombs and as Mckercher’s edit proves, it was mission they accomplished.
Watch: Dreamy SUP surfing in Costa Rica
Full collection of the most recent SUP surfing videos.
Women are the main focus of the Crystal Kai SUP Cup. Photo: Charli Kerns
The Crystal Kai Sup Cup may not be as big as North Carolina's signature race, the Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup. But with a mission to empower people, specifically women, to get on the water and push themselves, the fourth annual event may have proved to be as big in spirit.
"Most races have a higher purse for men, and I didn’t like it," David "DA" Avery, race producer, said. So, he collaborated with the Crystal Coast, North Carolina, community to create a female-branded, WPA-sanctioned event. Though grassroots and young, the Crystal Kai Sup Cup is beginning to command a presence in the sports scene, with this year boasting a total purse of $20,000. The $1,750 top prize, for both elite women and men, was enough to entice some bigger names to this year's event.
April Zilg placed top in the women’s 12’6″ long course event. Photo: Charli Kerns
But the prize money wasn’t the only reason pro racer April Zilg, currently ranked 11 in the world, came to the the Crystal Kai Sup Cup. Zilg dominated the elite women's 12'6" long course (7-mile) race, with her only competitor seeming to be coastal North Carolina's trademark climate.
"I was still working pretty hard with the heat, and that humidity just killed me," she laughed.
According to Zilg, getting the word out and bringing awareness to the community-sponsored event is key to helping the sport grow. It was one of the reasons she taught a paddling mechanics session during the full day of free clinics held the Friday before the race. Zilg's was a sentiment 14-foot long course men’s winner Garrett Fletcher shared.
"The community is invested, and that makes me invested," Fletcher said. "We don’t have a lot of that, and that’s what we've got to do to grow the sport."
Eri Tenorio and Garrett Fletcher go head to head during the 7-mile long course race. Photo: Charli Kerns
That said, Fletcher's win did not come easy. He earned first place after an epic battle against Brazil’s Eri Tenorio, ranked 32 in the world, for the entire long course. Tenorio had beaten Fletcher in two previous races.
After a back-and-forth, and a moment where Tenorio took the lead rounding the buoy, Fletcher managed to get out ahead nearing the finish line.
"At the end, I made a break, and then I was half a board length once we split. I guess I just had more in the tank," Fletcher said.
All of the top finishers in the 2018 Crystal Kai Sup Cup gathered for a photo with their earnings. Photo: Charli Kerns
While Zilg and Fletcher earned top prize, the Crystal Kai was more than just another event for glory. Multiple scholarships were awarded to local Groms to help support their training. The Crystal Kai Sup Cup has also expanded to include Camp Crystal Kai, an all women's week-long program that just wrapped up its second year. According to Zilg, the future of the Crystal Kai Sup Cup looks promising.
"I want the number of women and girls participating in the sport to grow here, and this event has the structure and backbone to grow," Zilg said.
Look for a story on Camp Crystal Kai soon.
More SUP women.
Costa Sunglasses, the leader in world-class performance sunglasses and the initiator of the growing Kick Plastic campaign, is helping to bring positive solutions to the growing issue of ocean plastic pollution through its
new Untangled Collection--a collection of frames made entirely from recycled fishing nets.
The brand is partnering with Bureo, the pioneer in recycled fishnet products, to turn discarded fishing nets into quality sunglass frames. Identified as the most harmful form of ocean plastic, discarded fishing nets and gear account for ten percent of ocean plastic pollution, which grows by an estimated 640,000 tons every year. The new collection will be available at retailers nationwide and online in late May.
"Healthy oceans have always been a crucial part of our core mission at Costa," said Holly Rush, CEO, Costa Sunglasses. "The Untangled Collection is helping to raise awareness and provide a solution to keep discarded fishing nets from being lost in our oceans each year. Through this important program, we will also help Bureo scale and replicate its net collection program to a growing number of fishing communities."
The collection will include four new frame styles made from 100 percent recycled fishing nets, each featuring mineral glass polarized lenses, recycled aluminum Costa logos, PLUSfoam recyclable temple and nose pads, and a unique tumbled finish. The Untangled Collection includes two male/unisex styles, Pescador and Baffin; and two female styles, Victoria and Caldera. All styles feature Costa's patented 580 Lightwave® Glass lenses, providing 100 percent UV protection and polarization to offer the clearest lenses on the planet. The Costa 580® color- enhancing lens technology selectively filters out harsh yellow light for superior contrast and definition and absorbs high-energy blue light to cut haze and enhance sharpness. In addition, Costa's lens technology reduces glare and eye fatigue.
"Aligning with partners that really want to support us and expand our mission is how we've grown over the past five years," said David Stover, CEO and co-founder of Bureo. "Working with Costa to develop the Untangled Collection is another step in the right direction--not only for us, but for the replication of solutions to secure a healthy future for our ocean and its ecosystems."
Bureo's Net+Positiva recycling program is working to prevent fishing net pollution by partnering directly with fishermen to collect back discarded nets at their end of life and providing funds to local communities for every pound of fishing net collected. This in turn creates value in the discarded material, to generate a net positive impact for this once harmful material. Costa's Untangled Collection supports Bureo's ongoing efforts where they have collected more than 220,000 pounds of discarded fishing nets to date.
Once collected, the discarded fishing nets are washed and prepared for a mechanical recycling process. Within this process, they are shredded and fed through a pelletizer where they are melted and cut into small recycled pellets. These pellets are then injected into steel molds to form products, which most recently includes Costa's Untangled Collection.
"Nets lost at sea are four times more harmful than all other forms of ocean plastic pollution combined," added Rush. "This new collection is a positive step towards untangling our oceans and creating awareness for the dangers our oceans are facing."
The Untangled Collection retails from $199 to $269. For more information on the new frames and Costa's full line of sunglasses, visit www.costadelmar.com/untangleouroceans.
Interviews by Rebecca Parsons
Being a competitive athlete is time consuming. Between finding time to paddle, cross-train and traveling to events, it's basically a full-time job. And if you're part of the under-eighteen crowd, you have to find time to get your schoolwork done too. We caught up with six of the top groms in the sport and asked them how they balance school with standup paddling.–RP
Jade Howson. Photo courtesy of Mike Muir
Laguna Beach, CA; 15
It is difficult but it gets done. School comes before paddling, so if my grades drop that means no paddling trips. This helps me stay motivated to study and get good grades!
Tyler Bashor. Photo courtesy of Chad Bashor
Dana Point, CA; 16
Balancing school and training has always been a bit of a challenge, especially through high school. I have to find time to do my schoolwork in between practices and thankfully my school allows me to use standup paddling as my PE, allowing me time for more training and completing homework. My biggest help with balancing the two would definitely be my coach, Mike Eisert with the Paddle Academy, helping me set up a training schedule and practices. And my parents with their support throughout the years.
Scarlett Schremmer. Photo courtesy Patty Schremmer
Honolulu, Hawaii; 11
I balance school and training with a lot of help from my teacher, Ms. Talley. She always takes time to give me the work I need to complete when I am traveling for contests and can't be at school. Also, the staff in the office are very encouraging and excited for me to compete so they are willing to help me. I like school and math is my favorite subject. My mom is really good at teaching me and we practice a lot of math and vocabulary when I am traveling.
Paia, Hawaii; 14
I do online school which makes it a lot easier to go SUP whenever the conditions are good and to travel to SUP competitions. I try to do an equal amount of standup paddling and school but sometimes, if the waves are really good, I might be in the water all day and have to catch up on my work when the waves aren't so good.
Elijah Schoenig. Photo courtesy of Georgia Schofield
San Clemente, CA; 16
I am able to balance SUP and school because I am enrolled in Independent P.E at San Clemente High School (IPE). This program allows me to leave school one period early to go paddle and allows me to miss a few days of school and make up the work I missed without any penalty.
Annie Reickert. Photo courtesy of Annie Reickert
Pukalani, Maui, Hawaii; 16
I homeschool, which allows me to create my own schedule and take my school on the road when I travel. If the surf is up and conditions look good, I start my day in the water. Usually, I do school work from 9-2 and then head back to the water in the afternoon for a downwinder, training or more surf. I've been doing this for a few years and have found a rhythm that really works.
Meet the eight-year-old who took on 20-foot waves at the Olukai Ho’o.
More SUP groms.
Costa Rica is one of those places that always seems to find its way high atop SUP surfers’ bucket list of dream trips. And this is for good reason too, the country is an absolute gold mine for waves.
For proof, just check out this latest edit from SUP charger Fisher Grant. He recently got to put his talents to good use on the pristine waves of Costa Rica and it has us drooling. Check out the footage for yourself, but beware, the travel bug may jump out and bite you.
Watch: 30 minutes of the most progressive SUP surfing you’ve ever seen.
More about SUP in Costa Rica.
Paddlers fall into two gear camps: Those that obsess over every item, seeking golden bits of information to gain any sliver of performance on the water or an extra year of longevity in the garage; and those that could care less and just want to paddle that board now, factory fins and all. Wherever you fall on the gear-geek spectrum, understanding the basics of optimizing and maintaining your hard-earned equipment will take you a long way. We reached out to our top contributors and athletes to gather some hacks, tips and tricks to maximize both the performance and the lifespan of your gear.
This article is part of a series of tips and tricks for picking the right gear and maintaining it for the long haul, originally published in our 2018 Gear Guide, available in digital and print here!
Even your favorite wetsuit is eventually bound to spring a leak. Luckily, with a little gumption and a slather of wetsuit cement you can prolong its life and put off investing a ton of dough in another. Here's how.
1. Rinse the pee from your suit (don't lie) in freshwater and then dry it out completely.
2. While it dries, venture down to your local surf shop and pick up some wetsuit cement or adhesive--Aquaseal works well for us--and a small applicator, like a paintbrush.
3. For a fix that's going to last, cut a piece of neoprene from an old wetsuit and make sure it's big enough to cover the entire lesion with an inch to spare on all sides. If you don't have an old suit to cut up, neoprene tape will suffice. You can find it at your local shop for a few bucks.
4. Clean the ripped area with rubbing alcohol, and once it's dry, apply your wetsuit cement generously at the seam and around the edges on the exterior of the wetsuit. If it's a big hole, paint the area around it out to one inch.
5. Wait for the glue to feel tacky and then firmly bring the two sides of the tear together. Lay the piece of neoprene over the damaged area and press it firmly and evenly onto the adhesive.
6. Let dry overnight.
7. Once dry, carefully cut the patch's excess neoprene so its edges end with the dried adhesive.
8. You're done! Don your suit, grab your SUP and go shred.
Note: Before you go through the effort to repair your suit, make sure to check its warranty. If your rubber's still covered (usually for a year), send it back to the manufacturer and they'll fix it for free. -MM
How to transport a big board with a little car.
Finding the right fins.
Choosing the right leash.
The case for repairing your SUP gear.
In this installment, we cover the importance of checking the weather forecast before you paddle. Because getting caught in a storm while on the water could lead to deadly consequences. Remember, always be prepared.
Interview by Rebecca Parsons / Photos courtesy of Georgia Schofield
Yuka Sato hails from Kanagawa, Japan and while she's been paddling for four years now, it was only recently that she made her name known internationally. She secured a victory at the 12 Towers Ocean Race in March and has been no stranger to the podium since then. Sato trains hard and is fiercely competitive but her good attitude and positivity are infectious both on and off the water. We caught up with Sato to learn more about her training routine, what Japan’s SUP scene is like and a must-try food if you visit the Land of the Rising Sun. –RP
Tell us about your background.
I grew up in Tokyo playing basketball and I studied Sport Science at university. I was always surrounded by nature with mountains and rivers, so I decided to follow my passion for the water. I taught diving for three years in Saipan before moving into standup paddling.
How did you first get into standup paddling?
While on [vacation] in Hawaii four years ago, I tried paddling for the first time at Waikiki Beach on a big board and no waves! After Hawaii, I went home to Japan and borrowed a demo board from Starboard. I entered a local fun race two weeks later and finished fourth.
What is the SUP scene like in Japan?
We have lots of different conditions: flatwater, downwind and surfing. Standup paddling is still small in Japan but is growing. There is lots of cruising, surfing and a growing race scene. We have a growing number of paddlers in Japan but racing is small, we only have two people traveling to international races, Kenny Kaneko and myself. It would be nice to see more next year.
Where is your favorite place to paddle in Japan? In the world?
Chiba, great surfing on the east coast near my home.
Western Australia and Maui. I enjoy the strong winds and swells! I want to come back to Hawaii later this year to train and surf some bigger waves.
A friend to the entire SUP community.
What does a typical week of training look like for you?
In the offseason I train six days a week on the water–this includes interval training, distance paddling and technical skills-including buoy turns and practicing in the surf. I also surf, canoe, ski, run and do anything outdoors because I do not like the gym!
During the main season it is important to rest because we have a race almost every weekend and also lots of travel through many time zones. I train three days during the week on the water and run when possible. I try to get enough rest so that I am ready for the weekend.
You're often described as a happy person with good energy. Why do you think it is so important to stay positive and have fun?
SUP is a small sport and we are all one big family–we need to work together and promote health, fitness and fun on the water. There is lots of stress in life and I try to keep smiling because that makes you paddle faster!
Which race are you most proud of?
12 Towers, this was my first international win so it was very special. It was also a Paddle League race ever so it was nice to be #1 for a while!
Winning at 12 Towers was Sato’s career highlight thus far.
What are your goals for the next year?
I want to be ISA World Champion!
What is one thing everyone should do if they visit Japan?
The temples in Kyoto, they are very old and beautiful. The best time is when the cherry blossom flowers are on the trees in March.
What is one Japanese food everyone should try?
Find out how Sato won her first race at 12 Towers.
More SUP Women.
Have you ever watched Castaway and thought to yourself: If only Tom Hanks had a SUP instead of a volleyball? Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch but it would certainly make for quite the plot twist. Apparently, the fine folks living in the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos — a town located on the Greek island of Crete — had the same notion.
But this wasn’t just a harebrained idea, they actually used this castaway-finds-SUP scenario to promote tourism in their picturesque seaside town. And naturally, it’s totally worth watching. Five minutes of pure ridiculousness but the type of madness that you just can’t help but laugh at. But there’s no use in trying to describe this Oscar-worthy performance, you just need to see it for yourself.
Making Safety Fun: Why Paddlers Should Always Wear a Leash.
Baja California is the land of dreams for adventure-minded folks. At 800 miles long, the peninsula is blessed with sweeping desert vistas, remote coastlines and virgin landscapes that have yet to be spoiled by the development of the modern world. Naturally, stroking through these pristine waters can elicit those rare feelings of escape from the modern-day grind and harmony with the natural world.
At least, that was the case for paddlers Morgan Mason and Whitney Hassett. The duo spent time surfing, spearfishing, paddling and exploring this dreamscape coastline. Tagging along was videographer Aaron Colossi, who tracked their aquatic adventures to capture the true essence of a Baja adventure.
From the Mag: SUP Spearfishing Adventure in Baja.
Watch: Sean Poynter shreds in Baja.
In this second installment, we cover the importance of always wearing a leash and PFD when you paddle.
More on SUP Safety.