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Showing posts with label Stand Up Paddling (SUP). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stand Up Paddling (SUP). Show all posts

Tips On Surfing In Tofino, B.C.

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Surfing in Tofino

If you're a surfer in PNW, "surfing in Tofino" should be on your Bucket List ! While surfing itself is pretty mediocre, just the road trip from Seattle to Tofino is an adventure of its own worth adding to your list !

In this post, I want to share a few tips that will hopefully help you plan your epic road trip.

Surfing China's Tidal Bore

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tidal bore surfing

I already wrote about this unique natural phenomena - tidal bores.
Bores occur in relatively few locations worldwide, and recently surfing/SUPing world was introduced to a few of them: the Turnagain arm of Cook Inlet in Alaska and "The Seven Ghosts" deep in the heart of the Indonesian jungle.

And below is a great video from Silver Dragon Surfing Championships 2011 that took place on the Qiantang River in Haining. The extraordinary tides of the Qiantang River are a world-renowned natural wonder. Millions of tourists from China and overseas are drawn to the city of Haining in Zhejiang province every year to witness one of China's most unusual and spectacular sights - the amazing surging tides of the Qiantang River.

The river features the world's largest tidal bore with waves that travel up to 40 kilometers per hour and up to 9 meters high:

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Frogfish Fin - The Only SUP Fin You'll Ever Need !

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Choosing the right fin for your paddleboard is crucial for your board's performance, and the conditions you paddle in. The design of the fin also affects speed, stability and how easily you can turn your board. But the most important feature of any fin is probably its rugged durability/long livity that will keep you surfing without paying through your nose for a constant stream of replacement fins.

If you're anything like me, chances are, you've broken quite a few paddleboard fins. 

Some of the most common causes for breaking your fin could be :

Snow Paddling With Kahuna Snow Stick

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If you've been following my blog, you know that since recently I've been pretty obsessed with land paddling.

I think it's an awesome, fun and very effective cardio and full body workout. And it wouldn't be possible without Kahuna Big Stick invented by Kahuna Creations, a Hawaiian company famous for its longboards, surfboards, and of course, the Land Paddle.

But recently they came up with a new "invention" - Kahuna Creations Snow Stick

From Kahuna Creations website :
The Kahuna Snow Grip is used for snowboarding, and can be popped on any land paddling Kahuna Stick you already have, making it a functional, interchangeable piece of year-roundequipment. 
When the mountain levels out, snowboarders used to have to hop, jump, or kick off a binding just to get through the flat sections. Kahuna Snow Stick riders easily paddle through the flats and carve it up all over the mountain.
This is amazing for advanced snowboarders that want deeper carves. A Snow Stick also brings a world of entirely new possibilities in terrain parks.
This is another completely original sport by Kahuna Creations, but honestly, we can’t figure out why it hasn’t been done before. We worked with incredible engineers to create the perfect Snow Grip even in the worst snow conditions. Any snowboarder, new or advanced can appreciate the need for a Kahuna Snow Stick. 

Even though we didn't have a chance to try out the Snow Grip, we had tons of fun using our Kahuna Haka with snowskates ! Read our full story here...

Paddleboarding To The Bottom Of Snoqualmie Falls

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Looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences and adventures while visiting Seattle ?

Seattle offers amazing outdoor opportunities for adventure seekers, and outdoor lovers year round ! But fall through spring, they're limited to mostly snow related activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Yet, even most Seattleites don't know that there are outdoor activities, that are normally considered to be "summer watersports", could be done year round.

When it comes to watersports, one can enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding,  kiteboarding, surfing, scuba diving, and sailing 365 days a year.

Freighter Wave Surfing In Seattle

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As I wrote in my previous post, I discovered "surfing" right in the heart of Seattle ! Well, almost...

Shilshole Bay Marina in Ballrad  is only 20 minutes from downtown Seattle. Located on Puget Sound, the marina affords direct access to one of the finest salt-water sailing basins in the world. Shilshole's stunning setting and convenient saltwater location make all types of boating fun !

Shilshole Bay has long been popular among sea and recreational kayakers, windsurfers, and now, paddlebaorders.

But it wasn't until recently, the place has become an alternative destination for local paddle surfers who found it frustrating to drive 3 hours to the coast.

Autumn Paddleboarding At Owen Beach in Tacoma, WA

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Paddleboarding At Owen Beach in Tacoma, WAOwen Beach at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma is a great place year around. Hike along the scenic waterfront promenade to the Boathouse Marina, have a picnic, view ferry boats and fishing craft, or rent a kayak for a few hours of leisure paddling on the sound ( during summer months ).

It was 3 years ago at this very place I learned about stand up paddleboarding ( SUPing ).

Last sunny but cold Saturday , I returned for a short "get to know this place better " trip...

3 Best Places To Watch Storms ( And Surf ! ) In Washington State

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MSN.com recently came up with "10 best places to watch storms on the West Coast" list.

Guess what ? 3 beaches in Washington made the list !!!

If you don't want to be just a passive observer, grab a board and go surfing !

 Ocean Shores, La Push, and Long Beach are among the best places in Washington to surf almost all year round !

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Windsurfing Your SUP/Paddleboard

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It's been a while since I went windsurfing. After my windsurfing lessons two years ago, I took my board out maybe two or three more times before realizing that it wasn't for me.

Windsurfing in Washington is a very weather dependent sport . The only place where it blows consistently is the Columbia River Gorge. But even that place has its disadvantages ( 3 hour drive from Seattle, not exactly "beginner friendly"... ).

But about a year ago, I bought an awesome SUP that can be used for stand up paddleboarding, surfing, and even windsurfing !

Paddleboarding With Sharks

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Do you watch "Shark Week" on Discovery Channel ?

One of the episodes called " Great White Invasion " featured Chris Fallows SUPing alongside a 14-foot great white shark.

With that "stunt" Fallows, who is regarded as an expert in shark behavior, wanted to prove that sharks are mostly "curious harmless animals".
Said Fallows: "To prove this point I have free-dived, paddle-boarded, body-boarded and kayaked with them, as well as being dragged on a sled less than 15 feet from a breaching great white. In essence, I have done pretty much everything that a shark is likely to encounter in the form of a human. In virtually all instances the sharks chose to ignore me and it was often a battle to get them to come close."
We all remember the names of other "experts" in wild animals/marine predators ...and what happened to them...

The Aquaglide 270 Multi Sport - A Remarkable Multi-Use Watercraft

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What if you can use your watercraft for more than just one activity ?

Recently, I came across this interesting product:
Aquaglide 270 Multi Sport 2015 is a great multi-use watercraft that can be transformed into a windsurfer, a sit-on-top kayak, a performance towable, a sailboat, or a motor tender! Compact, quick and easy to assemble, the Aquaglide is the perfect addition to your collection of water toys.

I tried windsurfing this summer , and I loved it ! The only downside - loading/unloading, and transporting the rig to the beach can be a hassle.

Don't Choose Paddleboarding Vs. Land Paddling, Cross-Train !

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In my previous post I wrote how much easier, cheaper, and more convenient land paddling comparing to SUP/paddleboarding was. By now means I suggested that one was better than the other. As ExtraHyperActive I love them both !

As a matter of fact, I suggest you combine both of them. It’s amazing how much the two sports parallel each other.

River SUPing/Paddleboarding

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River surfing on standing waves has been documented as far back as the mid 1970s in Munich, Germany and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But I'm pretty sure that it was ( whitewater ) kayakers, just a few years ago, who thought of using stand up paddleboards ( SUP ) in whitewater.

This "new sport " is still in its infancy. But little by little the (R)evolution is happening, there are more people on SUPs in whitewater, and despite of all that mocking from "hardcore kayakers " whitewater surfing, SUPing and riverboarding are here to stay.

Even if you are not ready to "run a river", surfing standing waves looks like a lot of fun:

Who Are PNW Paddlers ?

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The Pacific Northwest paddlers are a tough, and I'd even say, a unique breed of people. Winter is a very special time to paddle here. Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean are the same temperature year round, but the conditions out there in the winter are rougher, wetter and windier. But for a small, but dedicated group of PNW paddlers, winter means less boaters to contend with, more solitude, and surprisingly glassy days in between storms.

Stand Up Paddle Fitness With Nikki Gregg

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Previously, I wrote about the upcoming release of Nikki Gregg's DVD "Stand Up Paddle Fitness with Nikki Gregg"... Below is a short clip from the DVD that shows one of the exercises that will help you transform your body and reap the health benefits of stand up paddling while having fun...

Land Paddling - A Cheaper Alternative To Paddleboarding ( SUP )

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Stand up paddleboarding has exploded in its popularity withing the last 5 years. SUPs have been spotted around the globe, anywhere where there is easy access to safe waters, as well as in the surfing lineups of the world. A 2013 report called it the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants of any in the United States that year.

Not many people had heard of stand-up paddleboarding until 10 years ago, when surfing star Laird Hamilton started catching gigantic waves standing on an oversized surfboard that he propelled with a long outrigger kayak paddle. But SUP, as it's known, didn't become today's hottest aquatic sport until average folks started doing it out of the surf zone.

SUP's sudden popularity is no surprise: it takes no great skills, its relatively low-key ( even your grandmother can do it ), safer than surfing, it offers a great workout, and it can be done anywhere there is a body of water.

But despite of its popularity, stand up paddleboading still remains a very niche sport for a very tight group of like-minded people.

The disadvantages of stand up paddleboarding are usually associated with, first of all, a relevantly high price of essential gear. High quality boards range from $800 to $2000. And paddle average between $100 ( for cheaper aluminum paddles ) to $300 for high tech carbon fiber ones.

Other major cons of paddleboarding include storing and transporting your board. With most boards averaging 10' feet and longer, it takes a lot of space to keep them in a garage or an apartment. Also, the weight of a board ( about 30-50 lbs ) makes it hard and time consuming to load/unload the board on your car's roof rack.

Stand up paddleboarding tends to be more popular in warmer climates like Hawaii, California, Florida, but in places like Pacific Northwest, where "summer time" is about 2.5 months long, paddleboarding is a seasonal sport.

Land paddling on the other hand can be done anywhere anytime in any weather !

Considered to be a popular spin-off of stand up paddleboarding, land paddle boarding, or land stand up paddle boarding is as easy as SUP, more affordable, and provides the same fun and exciting land paddling workout !

The paddling action almost exactly simulates Stand Up Paddle Boarding, only your able to do it on land. The combination of the longboard skateboards and land paddles give you an increased feeling of stability making it accessible to a wide range of people, young and old !

Land Paddling offers a great upper body workout and intense core training combined with the thrill of riding a longboard. On the flats and gentle uphills, the force necessary to propel the board comes from your shoulders, chest, back and abs. Over time, your upper body and your core plus your legs, feet and ankles gain strength and something called proprioception (your body awareness) improves.  These changes in your muscles and your mind, carry over to everyday balance and confidence of footing.  This is a huge benefit.

Also, one of the main advantages is that it is so accessible. You can keep a land paddle and board in your car boot so wherever you are you can have a paddle, whether it’s for a couple of minutes, a full on workout or just a relaxed cruise to chill out after a hard day. Pretty much everyone has access to an area of tarmac or concrete.

As for the coast, a popular cool longboard ( like Sector 9, Arbor, or Bombora ) will cost between $150-200, and an adjustable Kahuna Big Stick from the inventor of land paddling Kahuna Creations is $78.99

Over the last couple of years, the community of land paddlers has grown, and you'll see more people on local bike trails paddling their longboards, cruising the boardwalks, or bombing down local hills.

If you've ever daydreamed about stand up paddle surfing to work, the store, around campus, or on the boardwalk, pick up a board and a paddle, and enjoy a smooth ride while getting a great workout !

Learn more about land paddling here - "Land Paddling USA"

Surfing Freighter Waves In Seattle

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I love surfing. But sometimes, 2.5- 3 hour drive from Seattle to the coast makes it hard ( if not impossible ) to catch a wave.  Even if you make it to the coast, there is no guarantee you'll have a stoked surf session. Like any surf, the Olympic Peninsula  can be flat, blown out or too big which is a bummer after a long drive. When ocean waves are a distant dream, some surfers will go to great lengths to improvise worthy rides.

I've already posted about tanker surfing in Texas.

Here in Washington, a small but dedicated group of die-hard surfers/paddlers started surfing freighter and tug waves on stand up paddleboards ( SUP ) on the Salish Sea in the Shilshole Bay.

The Salish Sea is an overlay which includes and unites the established and familiar names of the various water and land bodies (the Strait of Georgia, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, etc.). The Salish Sea is connected to the Pacific Ocean primarily via the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The shorelines along both the Canadian and US side of the Strait have been popular surfing spots for years. But not many surfers know that you can catch  decent size waves right here in  Seattle !

Unlike regular surfing or SUP surfing, freighter wave surfing requires a lot of planning, and extensive knowledge of local beaches, wind, tides, and marine charts to determine where the main flow of shipping is.

Waves can be created by everything from small power craft, yachts, the occasional tugboat and even container ships.  But it's the tugboats and freighters that put out primo waves. They ride deep in the water, and have massive twin engines that each put out 2,500 horsepower. All of that combines to make nice, big waves of about 4 or 6 feet.

With the right combination of a proper tide, weather conditions, and certain fast moving boats freighter/tug surfing on Puget Sound makes it all worthwhile. The waves are just as clean and well formed as the best coastal surfing spots, and freighters can, at low tides, offer up to 6' faces and very long rides !

Catching freighter/tug boat waves is a pretty good alternative to a long trek to the ocean.  If you're tired of those long day trips to Westport or Neah Bay, give paddle-surfing a try !

If you are interested in trying out freighter/tug surfing, subscribe to our email or join our Facebook page for upcoming classes !

Tips On Visiting Yosemite National Park

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Last summer I had an amazing opportunity to go on a road trip around Southwest. I had a privilege to visit Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. One of the goals of that road trip was to visit as many National Parks as possible.

Tip - If you're planning to visit multiple National Parks during your road trip, buy America the Beautiful National Parks Pass from REI.com ($80). It will save you money and time.

At one point, I was hesitating to  visit  Yosemite National Park, but stunning pictures like the one below changed my mind...

Also, it was quite convenient for me. Driving from Nevada/Arizona side, HWY 120 took me right through the heart of the park !

Tip - If you decide to drive to/around the park, choose off-peak hours ( before 9am, and after 7pm ). One line HWY is notorious for its traffic jams and slow driving.

Summer time is THE busiest! Quite often its hard to find an available camping spot. So, make your reservations ahead of time.

Tip - If you're ExtraHyperActive/dirtbag like me, you can pitch your tent anywhere you want, and in the morning, will be rewarded with the most amazing views !

Camping/Paddleboarding Tenaya Lake

Yosemite National Park offers an abundance of activities and sightseeing destinations. Among the most popular are : rock climbing and hiking.

Have you heard of solo climbing ? Solo climbing represents the ultimate extreme in rock-climbing. Solo climbing (or soloing) is a style of climbing in which the climber climbs alone, without somebody belaying him. What if he falls down, you ask ? He dies-- no two ways about it.

Alex Honnold has made Yosemite popular by scaling the two most popular Yosemite big walls — Half Dome and El Capitan.

Tip - I wouldn't recommend to sacrifice your life for a ( breath-taking, once in a life time ) shot like this, and would suggest to hire a guide. There is a popular wall just minutes away from Camp 4/ Yosemite Village.


Yes, you can definitely opt for hiking Half Dome, but... can you really call it hiking ?

Tip -  If you have limited time for just one hike, make it Upper Yosemite Falls/Eagle Peak ! Why ?
Fewer crowds, and stunning view of Yosemite valley, and Half Dome !

Upper Yosemite Falls

On Top Of Eagle Peak

Fun fact : The setting sun illuminates one of the park’s lesser-known waterfalls so precisely that it resembles molten lava as it flows over the sheer granite face of the imposing El Capitan. A mid-February phenomenon!

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Is Mark Zuckerberg ExtraHyperActive ?

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Hypomania (literally, "below mania") is a mood state characterized by persistent and pervasive elevated (euphoric) or irritable mood, as well as thoughts and behaviors that are consistent with such a mood state. It is most often associated with the bipolar spectrum. Many who are in a hypomanic state are extremely energetic, talkative, confident, and assertive.

In his book  The Hypomanic Edge,psychologist John Gartner claims notable people including Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnegie, and Louis B. Mayer owe their innovation and drive, as well as their eccentricities, to hypomanic temperaments. Gartner suggests that the constructive behaviors associated with hypomania may contribute to bipolar disorder's evolutionary survival.

Among modern  people with hypomania are Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Charlie Sheen,and Mark Zuckerberg. Not sure about others, but it does look like Mark Zuckerberg fits the description...

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Kayaking Amongst Kalapana Lava Flows In Hawaii

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You know how you set one goal/dream, and then, on your way to reach it, you realize it's not grand enough ?

I've never been to Hawaii, and while planning my tip, among "must do things" like surfing in Oahu, or scuba diving in Maui, I also wanted to see the famous Kilauea Volcano.

KÄ«lauea, being the only volcano in the world that is simultaneously active enough to be interesting, docile enough to be harmless, and carefully monitored enough to be approachable, is a major part of the island's tourist draw.

All I wanted was to hike to the top, and snap a few pictures, very harmless, totally touristy thing to do...

Then I saw this photo and watched this video...

I mean, how awesome is it to be as close to erupting volcano as this ?!!!

Would you put it on your Bucket List ?

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