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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

SUPing The Windglider

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Last year I wrote about the WindGlider -a great multi-use watercraft that can be used as a windsurfer, a sit-on-top kayak, a performance towable, a sailboat, or a motor tender.

One of my ( generous ! ) readers, who happened to come across my blog, generously donated this watercraft to use it to its fullest potential.

Last summer I was extremely disappointed with windsurfing opportunities in/around Seattle area, and after a few attempts gave up and sold my sailboard.

As you might know , recently, I got my first SUP ( stand up paddleboard ), and now I'm absolutely obsessed with it !

When I assembled my WindGlider, I realized that it would work just fine to use it as a SUP as well.

The middle of the WindGlider has pockets to insert two planks that you can stand on, and a 3 section paddle can be used as a SUP paddle as well. Two inserted fins allow to keep the Windlider in straight line, an added strap and multiple D-rings will keep your dry bag and water bottle in place, and it's wide enough for two ( who knows, may be three ? ) people to sit on.

Other advantages ( comparing to SUP or a windsurfer ) - it's very light to carry around, load on and off your car roof rack, or you can just deflate it to transport in your trunk and store in your garage/closet.

Performance wise...well, let's not forget we are still talking about a cheap inflatable. So you definitely wouldn't want to enter a SUP race on it...

But it's so stable and easy to paddle that even a 4 y.o can do it...



My First SUP !

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"A dream is a goal with a deadline"

"Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass."

"What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve"

— Napoleon Hill

I learned a lot about goals and how to achieve them form Napoleon Hill's The Law of Success

When it comes to goals you absolutely MUST know what EXACTLY you want. It was in my 2010 post when I told you that I was going to buy a SUP....

One thing you should know about me...I always achieve my goals...

Finally, paddling my own SUP ! 

I wasn't looking for just any SUP. I knew exactly what I wanted. After having a great time surfing and paddle surfing at Cocoa Beach in Florida, I started looking for a SUP that I could use for paddling, surfing, and windsurfing. Soon enough I found 11'3'' Amundson Aquaglide - extremely versatile all-around board.

Not only did I know what type of board I was looking for, I also knew how much I was willing to pay. With these brand new boards going over $1000 ( and a bag for about $200 ), I paid...$500 for both.

Another reason to buy a SUP was to introduce my 4 y.o to the sport. I have to admit, he wasn't as stoked as  me...




If you've been thinking about buying a SUP, choose wisely

Nowadays, there are a lot to choose from, from cheap plastic boards ( Pelican Flow 106 ) to the top of the line racing boards...


I just hope I won't be one of those people who take their boards out once-twice a year...

Epic SUPing: Paddling Iceland

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Iceland...The Land of Fire and Ice, geo-thermal pools, glaciers, active volcanoes, northern lights in winter and 24 hours of daylight in summer,...and now a popular surfing and SUPing destination...

The crew from Blueline Paddle Surf and talented filmmaker Peter Trow show you epic SUPing deep in the Arctic Circle, surfing’s last frontiers :


Iceland - Stand Up Paddle from Blueline - Santa Barbara on Vimeo.
If you find yourself in Iceland some day ( I know I will ), check out Arctic Surfers, the country’s first surf-tour operator. Their "Surf & Snow" trip is the board riders dream; surf, ride and explore new turf with great guides in spectacular surroundings !

Surfing and Ocean SUPing Cocoa Beach, FL

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Just because it's Florida, you can't automatically assume that one of the most popular outdoor activities here is surfing. Florida's west coast/Gulf of Mexico is never going to be a world class surf-producing machine. The continental shelf saps power and the limited fetch reduces the swell period.

However Florida's Atlantic coastline is home to some quality surf spots, but unfortunately the swells it gets are pretty small and inconsistent.

One of the most epic surf spots here is Cocoa Beach, home to six-time World Champion Kelley Slater and Ron Jons. The latter is the founder of the world famous Ron Jons Surf Shop with their Cocoa Beach location being the largest surfing shop in the world !




That's where I was planning to rent a longboard. But since I've never had a chance to surf a SUP, I went with a 11'6 South Point Dave Kalama Model SUP.

And I didn't regret....

The waves at Cocoa Beach are pretty...mellow...which makes it a good choice for longboarders.... and even better for paddleboaders !

If you've never surfed in your life, make your first time surfing on a SUP instead of a longboard. Highly recommended !

Comparing to a longboard, popping up and keeping your balance on a SUP while riding a wave is extremely easy.



On the downside, paddling while trying to catch a wave was...very frustrating....

It took me a while to realize that you can't surf a wave facing forward. You need to change to a sideways surfing stance. Also, unlike surfers who can catch waves late on their short boards, you need to catch the wave before it breaks.

Catching waves on a SUP will take a few sessions and a lot of wipeouts to get the hang of, and a lifetime to truly master, but wave-riding is one of the best experiences you can have on your SUP.

It is hard to explain why catching a wave on a 10-11' board is such a buzz and the only way to find out is to do it! Though, the swell here is no better than at our local Westport, still, there is something about surfing/paddling in Florida - they don't call it the Sunshine State for nothing!

Try SUP/paddleboarding In Florida For FREE !

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Stand up paddleboarding is probably one the most beginner friendly water sports out there. Not only is it easy to learn, it's also cheap or even free to try.

Last summer I had a proper introduction to SUP, and had a great chance to try different boards during a free SUP on-the-water demo day at Magnuson Park organized by Seattle REI.

This summer, while in Tampa,Florida, I attended another free SUP demo , this time organized by a local outfitter Watersports West locataed in Largo, FL

One thing that I was looking forward to the most was a chance to paddle in the Gulf of Mexico...Unfortunately, the demo took place at a local marina, thus taking a bit of fun out of paddling. What I loved about it was a chance for me to try out a couple new boards.

Specifically designed for women paddlers, Tahoe SUP’s Zephyr and Bliss were a bast to paddle, and are the most beautiful boards I have seen. The finishing, graphics, and colors make these boards stand out from the crowd.

But what really caught my attention was Pelican Flow 106 Stand Up Paddle Board


I've tried " hybrid" boards ( sit-on-top kayak/stand up paddleboard ) like Nalu or Emotion boards before, and it was a big disappointment. Heavy and slow, the boards were hard to paddle.

No doubt, they are big, stable, and very durable. But unlike other plastic SUPs, Pelican was amazingly light and fast !


One thing that all these plastic stand up paddleboards have in common is the price. I've already seen a few Nalu SUPs on Craigslist for $300-350, and brand new ones on Amazon go for $ 350-550.

So, if this summer you decide to give SUPing a try, there is no better ( and cheaper ! ) way than attending a free demo. This way you will be able to see if stand up paddleboarding is for you, and also, decide which board to buy in the future.

SUP : Celebrities do it too

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Celebrity tested; celebrity endorsed.

( Don't ask me how ) I came across TMZ' photo gallery of dozens of celebrities on SUPs

It seems like just about every Hollywood celeb is into SUPing nowadays. And we all know that once the celebs start doing it, it’s likely on the way of becoming a trend.

So if you want to be "trendy", grab a board, and who knows, you might just paddle into one of your favorite celebrities out in the water!

Tidal bore surfing in Indonesia ( the Seven Ghosts )

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I already wrote about tidal bore SUP surfing in Alaska. This unique phenomenon only occurs in a small number of rivers around the world. Alaska's Cook Inlet is just one of them.

These tsunami-like waves are surfing's new frontier. They can travel for up to 20 miles an hour and can get even stronger as the river gets narrow and shallower, reaching recorded heights of up to 30 feet, offering riders opportunities that can't be found in the ocean.

But not every river has a bore. In fact, tidal bores only occur in an estimated 100 rivers in the world and only during extreme tidal ranges.


Recently, one of such rivers has been discovered ( and ridden ) by Rip Curl's pro surfing team in Indonesia. Hidden deep in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, the river is known to locals as "The Seven Ghosts". Normally, the waves on this river don't get more than head-high. The Rip Curl boys struck gold:

Buying your first SUP

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I've been hooked on SUP ever since I tried it for the first time two years ago. This summer I'm thinking about buying my first SUP ( stand up paddleboard ).

With the sport growing in popularity, there are a lot of companies, brands, types/shapes of boards to choose from. For somebody who has never done any board sports before, one might get a bit frustrated and overwhelmed with all these choices ( just like it was for me to choose my first snowboard ).

In short, choosing a SUP depends on just two major factors: your body type ( weight/height) and what you want to do with your SUP ( fitness/recreation; cruising/exploring; surfing; racing ).

Personally for me, the most important factor is the price. Thanks to the abundance of choices the prices for " general use SUP's" are slowly going down. It's common to see a SUP for sale on Craigslist for $500-700.

Many folks ( including me ) use old windsurfers for SUPing ( which honestly didn't work out well for me). Because many SUP's are huge and take a lot of space to store, some people opt for popular ( and cheap ! $300+ ) inflatable SUP's or hybrid stand-up-sit-on-top paddleboards like Nalu ( $549 ) or Emotion Kayak Traverse Paddle Board ( $371 ).

If you are a brand new beginner, my advice - try it before buying. Many shops during summer time offer free demos.

Here is Brian Szymanksi, a lifelong shaper and waterman, gives his thoughts about picking the right SUP for you:



And in cace you missed it, here is the expert's advice from REI to read more on the subject and watch a cool beginner's video.

SUP yourself in the best shape of your life

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A recent post on Stand Up Paddle Flatwater blog gives you 10 reasons "why stand up paddling (SUP) is a fantastic choice" to achieve your fitness goals ( remember your "every year New Year resolutions " - loose weight, get in shape ?...).

As a personal trainer I'll give you this advice - don't rush to REI to dump $1000+ on a new board. I could give you 10 reasons why, but then it would be a waste of time. The main two are :

1 - doing the same routine every day ( paddling your SUP ) sooner or later you will hit fitness plateau . As your body adapts to your workouts, it becomes more efficient at it and, therefore, doesn't expend as many calories doing it.

2 - eventually you will get bored doing the same stuff

Personally, I love SUPing ( especially in beautiful sunny weather ! even if it's winter time ), but can't see myself doing it every day.

Last year, I found out about these great workouts that you can do...on a stand up board !

There are quite a few personal trainers who do this, but for some reason :) Nikki Gregg caught me personal attention. Here is a quick preview of her future DVD ( I am not sure if it has been released or not yet ):



I have a feeling we'll see these fun SUP classes being offer in Seattle this summer.

Boretide SUP Surfing In Alaska

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I have a strong feeling that Alaska might be the next surfing and stand up paddling destination in US. If not, surfing and SUPing in Alaska will be another great outdoor activity/adventure along with sea kayaking, heli-skiing, mountaineering and general cruising everybody should try.

As I wrote in my previous post, surfing in Alaska can bring a sense of nirvana that few boarders ever get a chance to experience in places like Hawaii and California.

The Cook Inlet on Alaska's south coast is one of three places in North America where tidal bores have been observed. The bores that vary in sizes from just six inches to six feet high, allow surfers to ride from 20 seconds to a few minutes.

But the size of the Turnagain Arm, a 43 mile long and 1000 feet deep channel of water, gave surfers a unique opportunity to ride the roaring waves for up to half-an-hour.

If you haven't had a chance to visit SurfAlaska.net, I strongly recommend. Even if you are not into surfing or any other board/extreme sports, just looking at these amazing pictures makes you realize that there is still some wild frontier left in the world.

You might also like "Extreme Glacier Surfing In Alaska Video"

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Surfing and SUPing In Alaska

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When you think of surfing/SUPing , immediately a beautiful picture comes to your mind : crystal clear blue sky, lot's of sunshine, sandy beach...You imagine yourself somewhere in Hawaii, Florida, California, Alaska...Wait, what ? It doesn’t sound quite right does it?

Well, for some people the idea of surfing in Alaska doesn't seem crazy at all...
With something like 47,000 tidal shoreline miles in Alaska, and with ample swell activity pumping through the North Pacific year round, there’s certainly no shortage of good waves. According to local surfers, the potential is absolutely mind-blowing.
Riding a 10 minute tanker wave in the heat of Texas is one thing, but catching a mile long tidal bore wave in the mid-40s to mid-50s water is different.

Cold weather does not need to mean the end of surfing for 6 months. Just take some precautions and enjoy the challenge !

For more amazing pictures and videos, visit SurfAlaska.net

If the idea of surfing in Alaska is not extreme enough for you, may be Surfing in the Arctic Circle will give you goosebumps.

SUPing/Paddleboarding With Seattle REI

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Many people tell me that they would like to try activities like sea kayaking, climbing, mountaineering, or even skiing/snowboarding. The only thing that stops them is finances.

Remember, that you don't have to invest tons of money into gear just to try out an outdoor activity. The cheapest way to get a taste and see if something like kayaking, mountaineering or skiing is for you is to take a class. Usually, the outfitter provides all the necessary gear, basic training and makes sure that you'll be safe.

Even cheaper ( or to be exact - free ) is to attend a free demo presentation.

The past couple years , a few outfitters have been offering free SUP demos in the summer.

Last Saturday, I attended a free SUP on-the-water demo day at Magnuson Park organized by Seattle REI.

Paul "ExtraHyperActive" FrolovI've been on the fence about this sport. Should I spend $ 800-1000 on a board and a paddle, just so I could go paddling a few times during the summer ? Which board should I go with ? Is it really that much fun ( I did it last year a few times, but needed to reassure myself ) ?

After that demo...I think...I am going to buy one of those boards !

First, I realized that buying a cheap inflatable board ( like Solstice Stand-Up Inflatable Paddleboard ) is not worth saving the money.


Solstice by Swimline Bali Stand-Up Paddleboard


Second, The Ocean Kayak Nalu paddle board is not really an ocean kayak...or a paddle board.


Ocean Kayak SUP Nalu 12.5 Stand Up Paddleboard


Third, boards with thick traction pads ( stomp pads) that cover the majority of your board makes SUPing a much more enjoyable mission.

And finally, YES, it was a lot of fun ( OK, I admit, the hot weather was a huge part of that decision ) !





Looking for more outdoor activities, and Bucket List adventures in Washington state ?
Read more here...

How to Get Started Paddleboarding

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Summer is just around the corner in Washington state ( yeah, right, it's June 4th, and it's been raining hard for the past two weeks ), which means we'll have limited time to enjoy nice, sunny weather. If you haven't had a chance to try SUPing ( Stand Up Paddleboarding ) last summer, give it a shot this year.

It's fun, easy to learn, and you don't have to be " a surfing dude " to learn this relatively new ( at least to our state ) water sport. As a matter of fact, I haven't met too many young kids with paddleboards. My theory is that this sport is not exactly for " young and dangerous ". An average board cost about $ 800 +, plus $ 100 for a paddle.

The cheapest alternative I've found so far is Hydro-Force Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
for under $ 200 (!).

If you are still not sure whether SUP ( stand up paddling ) is for you, watch this short introduction video from REI and get expert advice from the article below:



SUPing at Shilshole Bay in Seattle.

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Stand Up Paddling is taking NW by storm. I personally found out about this "sport" just this summer and immediately fell in love. Not being able to go surfing regularly, I found SUP to be a great alternative. The biggest advantage of SUP? You don't have to travel to the coast to have a great time!

Washington is surrounded by water. Water is everywhere- Lake Washington, Commecement Bay, Hood Canal, Ballingham Bay,Elliot Bay- are just a few places you can go SUPing.
Another great thing about SUP in Seattle ? Sometimes a surf shop is just minutes away from the beach.

Just like Cheka-Looka surf shop, located in the beautiful Ballard area minutes away from The Ballard Locks and Golden Garden Park. Stop by the shop, grab a board, go across the street ,and Shilshole Bay is right there.

This Sunday the Cheka Looka shop held its next SUP race. About 20 plus people took part in that competition, followed by BBQ, music, dancing, and a beach clean-up. Winners in man and woman divisions were rewarded with a handsome prize provided by Patagonia.



I already wrote about how easy it is to get started with SUP. Any age, any fitness level, men, women, kids! suitable for this sport. Take advantage of the last weeks of worm weather and try SUP for yourself. Bring your friends and family, because SUP is really a social sport.

SUPing/Paddleboarding at Owen Beach At Point Defiance In Tacoma.

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On Wensday 22, Backpackers Supply hosted its third Standup Paddleboard ( SUP ) Social, at Owen Beach in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. What is SUP ?

According to Wiki:



Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he'e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. It can be traced back to the early days of Polynesia. The sport is an ancient form of surfing, and began as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of learner surfers, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint, increasing visibility of what was going on around them - such as incoming swell. In the early 1960s, the Beach Boys of Waikiki would SUP to stay in shape when there were no big waves. SUP'ing is popular at warm coastal climates and resorts, and is gaining in popularity as celebrities are sampling the sport, and cross-over athletes are training with SUP. 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.


May be the Pacific NW is not Hawaii and our climate is far away from "warm coastal", but SUP is making its way in our state. More and more folks began SUP surfing because of its own merits: since you have a paddle and aren't reliant on waves, you can paddle surf in lakes, rivers and on relatively flat water such as Puget Sound; you can travel great distances; it's relatively easy to learn, it's a great workout and it's a LOT OF FUN.



Learning how to SUP is as easy as 1-2-3 :
1- start on your knees, use your paddle on both ends
2- lean forward on the board
3- pop up and paddle

This Wednesday, there were about a dozen people giving SUP a try : men, women and even kids ! SUP is truly a family sport.

If learning SUP is relatively easy, getting into this water sport is not that cheap. In general, stand-up paddle surfboards cost between $1,000 and $1,700 + specially designed SUP paddles that go for $ 200 -300.

If you are not ready to make a commitment, the best way to sample this outdoor adventure is to rent a SUP board and see for yourself if it's something you could call a passion.

Like I've mentioned before, SUP is gaining popularity in our state and nowadays there are quite a few shops that have SUP for rent.

"Wave Hounds" in Seattle rents out epoxy SUP at $ 40 per day.

At "Perfect Waves " in Kirkland, you can rent SUP and get a quick 1 hour introduction lesson ( one hour should be all you need to get started and feeling comfortable on the water on your own) for just $ 30 ( great deal !: board + lesson). Also, if you decide to purchase a SUP board, they will give you your lesson fee ( $30) credit towards the purchase of a board, if the purchase is within the same month.

Here is a short video featuring the owner of "Perfect Waves" in action.