A recent post on the Kialoa Paddles Facebook page caught my imagination (and made me really want a new paddle!) Their 2012 line reflects technology and tradition with a SUPer dose of awesome design.
That collage of color reminded me of a shot we took back in the summer of 2009 when the Central Oregon sport of “sarong sailing” was (maybe) invented on Hosmer Lake. Local artist, Cristina Acosta, had created exuberant designs on silk. It was a sunny day and we had a few of her sarongs with us as we headed out for a paddle/picnic day. As we entered the widest part of the lake, coming into view of Mt. Bachelor we were chatting excitedly about how the snow melt we were paddling on had been sweet spring snow under our skis just a few months before – when suddenly the wind picked up! Ed, the most dedicated sailor among us, wished out loud, “Too bad we don’t have sails to harness this breeze!”
Coming at us from the side it was perfect for a broad reach. Without a moment’s hesitation, Cristina whipped out a few of her sarongs, which immediately caught the breeze and shot us forward in a blaze of color and design. Greens, blues and yellows filled the sky – along with giggles and woohooos.
During our lunch in the middle of Hosmer Lake we had a chance to hear about the silk-screen process Cristina used to create her variety of silk sarongs. We debated the pros and cons of possibly refining methods for attaching the sarong for more technical “sailing.” That idea quickly went out the door by the end of the afternoon. The pure casual ability to take a sarong from around our waist and hoist it into the wind for a few minutes of “wind-surfing” won out. Ed crusied toward his favorite ski mountain while Cristina and Judy tried the “catamaran” method.
Not long after our day at Hosmer, we took a SUP along the Deschutes River at Sunriver and paddled into Spring River, a cold and clear finger of exploration opportunities. The day was sunny again but as afternoon approached the wind turned brisk. Of course we had our sarongs.