10 Reasons to SUP with a Dog

Chad Brockman and his surf-dog, Red in Arizona

Chad Brockman and his surf-dog, Red in Arizona

We’ve seen the “wow” videos of a dog standup surfing in one remarkable clip after another. Maybe your dog prefers an extra dog biscuit over an extra wave.  If your dog simply likes to fetch a tennis ball or run a trail with you, why would you go to the effort to engage the pup in SUP?

A great photo from a collection you’ll want to explore at Sup Dogs

1. You see the world in a different way by slowing down to the comfort speed for your dog.

2.  A big “woof” enhances a shriek of “cowabunga”

3.  NO one wants to be left in the car with a treat when the real treat is exploring a lake, the birds, the fish and the ducks

4.  Running up and down the board between the human’s legs is the best dog-joke ever. “Hee hee hee, 4-legged balance rocks.”

5. Getting creative with non-slip deck options is good for your mind

6. Getting your dog the best life jacket possible = priceless

7. Scooping poochie out of the surf, with tail wagging after a wipeout = team work!

8.  Wonder, mostly found in great quantity when SUP is shared with a kid – multiples with doggie exuberance. Did you ever wonder what your dog is thinking as the waves lap under the board and the paddle swirls rings among the ripples on a lake?

9.  Friends – you’ll discover plenty who want to stop, chat, take pictures and exclaim over your cool dog – and you can bask in the residual great karma.

10. Fun is so much more fun when shared with your best friend. OK – ready, go hand 20 with your best friend!

Sprocket goes Hawaiian during the Bend Paddle Challenge in 2011. Photo by Ed Shasek

GoPro – No Need to Be a Pro

Chuck Patterson, early GoPro sample of awesome! This is at Teahupoo

Chuck Patterson, early GoPro sample of awesome! This is at Teahupoo

The best thing about the relatively lame minutes of edited footage I have been gathering from our last SUP vacation is that they were just that – relatively lame. Sure, I’d love to produce the absolute awesome-ness that someone like Chuck Patterson shares – but it just ain’t gonna happen in this lifetime. (Follow Chuck on Facebook to stay current on his GoPro Hero 3 projects) No matter!

OLur GoPro Hero 3 captured the fun, for sure! In our minds we were charging sets like maniacs, drenching our senses in incredible sights as we paddled long runs in West Maui and experienced cool wipeouts. Like most “my vacation” videos, the footage left a lot to be desired. So, why are we so jazzed about the GoPro?

The Go Pro Hero 3 came along like an unobtrusive buddy, joining in on all the fun and easily capturing the images. Once home, because we can edit out slices of the footage with ease using the free CineForm Studio software, the fun began. Rather than sequestering myself away in my office, nose to the editing grindstone, editing the GoPro footage is good group fun. (Warning: Be sure you have a thick skin. The great stance you believe you display while catching that thigh high swell may seem absolutely hysterical to your kids).

But that’s the point. Seriously, who wants to see a regular “SUP Joe” riding a wave. You are the only viewer for which that experience is incredible. But that funky stance and maybe a few wipeouts later you could have fodder for a short film friends and family will enjoy – and maybe even share. be bold!

So yesterday I sat with a beer (Deschutes Brewery Jubelale, if you’re wondering) and our daughter, son-in-law and my husband, Ed for an editing session.  I watched them watch the clips I had made with the CineForm Studio software. Yup! They found many things hysterical.  We labeled those clips and added them to the “media bin” in the Sony Movie Studio software I had. That software is not exceptional, I just happened to have it. Many people enjoy using iMovie or even Windows Movie Maker. Premeir is also another choice – we’d love to hear what you use for your final film.

Back to our editing fun. We took one wave that was Ed’s favorite and sliced sections of it to play over and over in 5 second repeats. “Ooooh, cool, ” our editing team replied. Then we took a smooth off the tail wipeout that was relatively nondescript and played it about 6 times in a row. It brought a chuckle every time. The resulting one minute 45 second clip was much cooler than the raw footage. With music added it became even more fun.

The point is- without the ease of the GoPro easily fastened to our chest or to our boards we wouldn’t have had any video at all. Instead, we had a great family gathering creating a video project instead of dozing while watching the full (gotta admit it) boring raw footage. I am pretty lame at music, but my son-in-law, Joe, and daughter are great at remembering pieces that might fit well in our SUP films. They promise to share a playlist. The whole experience is cool – and the learning curve is absolutely part of the fun if you play it that way.

Do we have that sweet 20 minute “my vacation” action film? Nope! But after the first view, who watches them anyway. Go get a GoPro and see how much fun reviewing and editing can be. If your editing team laughs at your “talent,” buck up, get a thick skin and be sure to add that to your final project. That’s part of the audience fun and who knows, you might go viral.

What editing software do you like? What have you posted online? What’s your favorite online platform? Share a link to your best effort GoPro film – we’d love to see it.

Standup Paddle AZ

surfAZ1

Board shaping in AZ – by Chad of StandUp Paddle Arizona

 

Chad Brockman's finished product

Chad Brockman’s finished product

Facebook Page, Standup Paddle Arizona, for a few weeks before I contacted its author, Chad Brockman. I finally caught up with him during his race training season. He was paddling about 7 miles a day for the 10.5 Parker “Another Dam Race”. So many people have enjoyed SUP with man’s best friend, but not so many have surfed a chest high set or two.

When not training, Chad spends his time sharing the sport we all love with paddlers across Arizona. According to Chad, ” I try my best to instruct the proper stroke, giving the newbies a head start. I share insights on how to read the water and be safe in and around water, which has the potential to be the most destructive force on earth. I feel it would be an injustice if I did not share my trials and tribulations of living in and around the water for 51 years. SUP Health not only improves your physical condition, it will gift you with a heathy mental outlook.  I take pride in giving the straight scoop about purchasing SUP equipment that a paddler can grow into, not out of. ” AZ Chad

I asked Chad to fill us in on some of the fun he has had with his dog, Red, and SUP.

Red and the surf. “I took Red to doggy beach first and he ran with his buddies. Then we headed to the cliffs and suited up to hit the surf. Red and I paddled out with the surf chicks oohing and ahhhing.  The guys said howzit as I recorded our surf session with GoPro. I started Red out on the small stuff then paddling out to catch the outside sets. Red first stayed behind me on the small waves and went between my legs to the front of the board on the big waves. Everybody was stoked to see Red surf stand up style. I was having twice the fun! Living the dream : )

Chad Brockman of Standup Paddle AZ and his cool dog, Red.

Chad Brockman of Standup Paddle AZ and his cool dog, Red.

We paddled over to the bigger wave break and caught a decent ride. I fell off and tangled up with Red. He came up grasping for air, climbed over me, coughed a little salt water and gave me the look, ‘Get on the board dad, let’s catch another one!’ Surf On… We paddled out and caught even bigger waves, I was still recording. During a lull, I saw some dolphins. I paddled over as Red looked for them. I knocked my paddle three times on the board to get their curiosity. It worked! They surfaced within a couple of feet next to Red and me. Red saw them and remembered them from our fifty Dolphin paddle in Rocky Point. This time there was just two, a pair of 12 plus footers. What a feeling of being welcome within the ocean society.

Back to the lineup to catch a bunch more waves. Red ruled the nose as I caught waves from  shoulder height to overhead in size. We were loving the performance of my 12 foot SUP,  it surfs with ease, dog and all. I have to brag a bit, Brockfish Boards always work better than you can perform. We caught our last wave and headed into a Sunday family gathering.

Out surfing with my dog keeps my heart pumping warm blood from my head to my toes. Kokua at it’s best in the line up with your dog.”
Aloha, Chad & Red

Naish: Organically Cool Culture

Marti'n grabs all the board sports with gusto

Marti’n grabs all the board sports with gusto

In early December, Ed and I went to the Naish Maui Pro Center to get a couple of SUP surf boards.  We planned to mix up our water fun as we already were loving time on the Naish Glide. We were greeted by a warm smile and limitless expert help from Martin Verrastro. In no time, we felt like old friends as he showed us various boards, inquired about our abilities and where we’d be surfing. By the time we drove happily away with two Naish Mana 9’5″ boards on the roof of the car we’d learned so much about all the cool Naish options. Martin provided one more example of the sort of watermen (and women) who are part of the Naish culture.

Naish team riders come to mind when we think of “the face of Naish,” but it’s the entire Naish team from corporate, to store, to the water that live and share the vision and mission.  I’d like to introduce you to Martin, as an example.

First and foremost, Martin is a windsurfer who loves watersports, including Stand Up Paddle boarding, kiteboarding, surfing. Back when he learned to windsurf in Buenos Aires, Argentina, SUP and Kiteboarding didn’t exist. But even back then, according to Martin, “like most of the windsurfers at that time, Robby Naish was our big Hero. I still remember I used to call my windsurfers friends “Robby” to make them feel important and to motivate them when they were trying new tricks using a big long board. I’d say ‘good job Robby’ or ‘Robby, the wind is up, let’s go windsurfing’ when I called them by telephone. It was fun.”

Marti'n with Robby Naish and Dave Barral

Marti’n with Robby Naish and Dave Barral

In May 2009 as a network engineer at an IT company in Orange County,  Martin felt it was time to follow the dream he had when he first began windsurfing – to teach windsurfing and Kiteboarding in USA like he had during summers in Argentina.

martincruisIn May 2009 Hood River Oregon seemed the “perfect place” to start his adventure. There is no mistaking the excited amazement Martin had as he shared the story, “I called Jak Wilberscheid, owner of Hood River Water Play. He offered me the chance to teach during the summer of 2009 for his school. Judy! Let me tell you, when I discovered the beauty of Hood River  while working  at Jak’s school, that experience changed my life.”

I heartily agree with Martin’s  wish that I might meet Jak one day. I have no doubt he’s as an amazing person as Martin described.

The Gorge is where Martin discovered SUPing. Many events take place at Waterfront Park on the Oregon side of the Columbia River.  He used to paddle with his friends from the event site, in the Oregon side to the hatchery in Washington side when the wind was off.

By the end of September along the Columbia River as the weather changes to Fall, wind conditions aren’t so stellar. The changes sent Martin back to California full of great memories and experiences. He set his sights on Hawaii and teaching windsurfing and kiteboarding  for “Action Sports Maui” owned and operated by the training director of IKO “international kiteboarding association” David and Suzie Dorn. At the same time he did fiberglass repairs for Kanaha Kai, a windsurf and SUP, surf shop in the north shore.

Martin explained, “In September 2011, “Coach” Jeff Hughes, manager of Naish Maui Pro Center  offered me the chance to work at the shop. Of course I accepted. Naish has the highest standards and is by far the best company in the world  in windsurfing, kiteboarding and Stand Up Paddle.  As a watersports instructor I’m pleased that most schools around the world are using Naish gear and of course, that is what we use in our school.”

martinteach

Marti’n has the experience, passion and personality to make a windsurfer from a “newbie. martin3

The icing on the cake, Martin says, “Robby Naish is my personal hero. It’s easy and enjoyable to work for someone for whom I have so much respect and admiration.”

Marti’n’s Favorite Naish Products:

Windsurf:

For Beginners, when I’m teaching

Board: Naish Kailua 230L

Sail: Naish Scout 2.5 SE

In Marti’n’s opinion, this gear should be the standard for entry level windsurfing in all the schools around the world because it makes learning windsurfing really easy and enjoyable.

When Marti’n winsurfs he uses:

Board: 80L Koncept

Sail: 5.0 Force

Harness: Moto 2012

Harness Lines: 26”

Boom: CB wave pro 140-190

Kiteboarding:

When I’m teaching Kiteboarding and when I’m riding myself I love the new ride. It is an all-round, entry level kite that offers great low end, effortless water re-launch and has a 2-strut design. Kiteboard: Naish Gun 6′ 2012 (Full Carbon Sandwich Construction) is my favorite.
It’s the perfect board for the Maui gusty winds and waves, it offers outstanding control in strong winds and choppy water with excellent stability.

Stand Up Paddle (SUP)

Board: Mana 10’0 wood sandwich (bamboo)

Paddle: Kaholo 9.0 fixed SDS (full carbon)

I really love the Mana 10’0, for small surf and flat water. It has an exaggerated tail rocker  for great turning performance. It’s wide and easy to maneuver, has 210 Liters, and a single-concave bottom shape.

For a downwinder when I’m doing t the “classic  9 mile Maliko Run, from Maliko Gulch to Kahului Harbor” in the northshore of Maui,  I prefer  the Nalu 11’6.

“As a watersports Instructor, I know that when I  ride a Naish, I am not only riding the best, I am riding with the best. Naish No Ka Oi. Aloha!”

Gotta Get a Glide (Go Naish)

The Journey to Maliko Gulch continues. We have been posting numerous articles since October 2012 documenting the on land training routine two 63 year-olds are following in order to be physically ready for the demands of the Olukai Ho’olaule’a race from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha. No matter how much land training we do,  water time with the right equipment is crucial.

Right now we own three standup surfboards (an 11’6″, a 10’6″ and an 11’3″). With winter closing in on our home town, water time on the snow-closed lakes is over. We can still paddle the quick-moving Deschutes River in temps above 35. Below that, ice on the deck pad (not to mention in the river) makes a SUP run less than desirable.

Fortunately, we managed to save for a trip to Maui the first week of December (Happy Birthday, Ed and Merry Christmas to us both!). Our plan was to get some time doing down wind and some glide-training using the Naish 14′ Glide GS and the Glide 14’0 GX.

Both of the 14’0″ Glides feature a low rocker displacement bow and a flat rocker bottom shape to increase acceleration with each paddle stroke. I am not the strongest paddler in any mix so when I get my technique as right as possible I want maximum ZOOM from the effort.  Reading about increased acceleration with each stroke in one thing, putting together 10-20 paddle strokes that seem easier and more power-producing with each return – now that’s ZOOM!

Happy times in Maui with Naish Glide 14'0 GS and GX

Happy times in Maui with Naish Glide 14’0 GS and GX

Maui is one windy place. Between the swells and the wind chop, I had some trepidation about going a long ocean distance on a race board with 27 1/4″ width.  Standing still in wind chop did require a nice deep flex of the legs and a paddle in the water for stability. But once I got a rhythm going I was jazzed by how stable the Glide was.  According to the description page on the Naish website, “The recessed deck provides a lower center of effort for stability to increase paddle power and gliding distance.” I’m glad the Naish designers got it right.  The result is a ton of fun and very confidence-building.

The Glide 14’0 GX features a carbon construction with wood reinforcement in the stance area. My experience and ability to perceive nuances between the Glide GS and the Glide GX is minimal.  The carbon construction of the Glide GX really became dear to my heart when I lifted it for a carry up the beach or to load onto the roof racks. That GX is well-balanced and light. the hand-hold grip in the deck is set off center. I tried carrying with the grip high and then with it toward the low side. The low side worked well for my arm length – and the board carried so easily.

The easy-to-manage feature of the Glide GX is just one reason to give the board a try.  We all look at our budget and price during the decision-making process when it comes to adding boards to our quiver. The more I try and the more I learn, the “big picture” of function-fun-value has become the primary decision-driver.

Okay, now for the high point of the first day on the Glide 14’0.  At the halfway point of our 8 mile paddle, we were at a break called Rainbows off West Maui. The wind was relatively low and a swell of glassy, waist-high waves was charging toward a shelf reef at mid tide. It was a brilliantly clear mix of sea, sky and surf. I turned the Glide toward shore and waited for the second wave of the set. Paddling hard, I felt the Glide engage in the wave and before I knew it I was surfing sweetly toward shore. Stable as anything, I rode that small wall to the right until it began to fold into more turbulent foam. Uh oh, I was not on a surfboard and no amount of wishing was going to give me a bottom turn to the left. I bailed out far enough from the reef to be safe.

Exhilaration! I know that when I’m on a down-winder with the Glide 14 I’ll be able to do what its name suggests: catch and connect the glides.  And that’s what its all about!

View from the nose - first wave caught on the Naish Glide GX 14'

View from the nose – first wave caught on the Naish Glide GX 14′

For a short video via GoPro: Disclaimer, it was my first day filming and first try at editing. Fun but not for prime time!

56 Years – Coolest Board Shaper

Raft riding in Hollywood, FL circa 1955

Raft riding in Hollywood, FL circa 1955

60 years ago in 1962, when I was 13 years old and living in Hollywood, Florida I was bitten by the surf-bug. None of my friends surfed, we had mush for waves at our beach, so I’m not quite sure what got me so obsessed. It was probably from the millions of waves my dad set me riding using a hard canvass raft that I loved from age 5.  I could never get enough of the beach, of waves or water.  It does follow that by the early 1960’s if I saw someone riding a wave while standing on a surfboard I’d want to give it a try.

Hollywood Beach and baby waves

Hollywood Beach and baby waves

There were no surf shops at the time, but my dad was a general contractor, a wood-worker to the core. I dragged him to my junior high school shop and together we begged for a spot in the January 1963 semester shop class so that I could build myself a surfboard. “Absolutely not!” was the reply. Girls took Home Ec and boys took Shop (Seriously???? My reaction was an entirely different story, but we won’t go there right now).

There was also no Internet in those days so we couldn’t just Google a set of plans. So, on a large sheet of butcher paper my dad drew a “sorts” shape of a surfboard and proceeded to load me into his truck so we could head off to Mack Lumber Company to buy some marine plywood. Many weeks of cutting, sanding, gluing and painting later I saw my first surfboard come to life. Never having seen or touched a “real” surfboard I found no fault in either the design (absolutely flat bottom, no rocker) or the weight (a good 45 lbs – dry).

A nice frame for my first surfboard

A nice frame for my first surfboard

Dad had provided the infrastructure to keep the board solid and hollow.  In spite of side seams sealed with a nice band of duct tape and marine paint (navy blue) the surfboard had a habit of filling with water after every ride. It was pretty hilarious to see a bunch of skinny-legged 13 year-olds dragging that beast ashore, pulling out the cork drain plug and draining sea water after every ride. We didn’t care, we were SURFING!!!!!

A few years later a small Greg Noll surf shop opened at Hollywood Beach.  It was 1965 and I had just started dating Ed.

Judy and Ed in 1967

Judy and Ed in 1967

The big blue wooden surfboard was beginning to show some wear and Christmas was approaching. Did I beg for one of the used fiberglass boards (ever aware of limited gift-budgets)? Oh YES!!!! Well, Mom was not so excited about my surfing obsession and she generously gifted me with holiday dresses, a record player and a small transistor radio.  Mmmmmm, what’s a kid to do? Work and earn the $35 needed to get my surfboard asap!

judycoolwave

By February I had my 8’6″ Atlantic surfboard and Ed had saved enough for his Dewey Weber (wow! was it beautiful) and we surfed our way through high school.  College loomed ahead, budgets were tight. By the end of Summer 1967 both boards were sold as we headed north for school. Our surfing days seemed over.

Thank goodness for standup surfing and the surf culture in land-locked Bend, OR. By 2007 we rode our first waves in 40 years.

Happy Father's Day Dad! here's to plenty more water fun days

Happy Father’s Day Dad! here’s to plenty more water fun days

Now, almost 56 years to the day that my dad took on the surfboard project our water fun is boating on the Deschutes and Elk Lake. He (in that photo age 92)  loves to hear every detail about every surf adventure Ed and I enjoy. He watched YouTube videos of every sort of surf and paddle story he can find. I know that he always secretly wished he could stand on a board some how. My goal – on a warm  day at Elk Lake this summer I would have loved to get Dad on a board, even if just for a few minutes. He’s my favorite board shaper and I’d love to see the grin!

Right Name – Excellent Initials

Sometimes fate seems to send a subtle message in ordinary observations. This time it came from a name and the resulting initials – Suzie Cooney, SC.

Ed and I are in week 8 of our “Eddie Will Go on the Olukai Ho’olaule’a” race – comeback from extensive shoulder surgery. Week 8 is the best one yet. We are actually in Maui and are SUP surfing and doing sweet down-winders every day on our Naish 14′ Glide GX. Last night we had dinner with our trainer-from-a-distance, Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui. IMGP0149

There’s nothing like a face-to-face conversation over ono burgers at the Fish Market Restaurant in Paia, especially after all the support we’ve gained from Suzie over the past months. How did two 63 year olds from Oregon come to be trained by Suzie Cooney on Maui? That’s quite a story.

We were casually playing at down-wind riding while on vacation in Maui in May 2011. Hearing that the Olukai Ho’olaule’a offered a “fun race” of just 4 miles we grabbed our rental surfboards and registered. The day of the race we were all butterflies and doubt.  Ed was having shoulder surgery 4 days later and we were second-guessing everything. Then the announcer gathered us all for a pre-race warm-up, and we met Suzie.

suzierace_00001With a warm smile and ultimate encouragement she talked and moved the nervous group through breathing, stretching and a warm-up. Surprisingly, by the time we were done the group had a relaxed and solidified feel. Then we were off for one of the most exhilarating fun-runs ever. We decided that when Ed was able to train after his surgery, just seven weeks ago, we would start training with Suzie. We set a goal to do the 8-mile run from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha. Suzie’s regimine has been just what Ed needed.

Meeting up with Suzie last night confirmed it, she has the absolute best initials for her spirit and talent:

  1. SC – Sincere compassion: Ed is coming back from an injury and Suzie’s compassion for the struggle is obvious. It takes quite a bit of digging to gain the information that might attribute to that. Suzie is no stranger to injury, rehab, set-backs and the value of dedication and solid training. She has walked the talk, and then some.
  2. SC – Social commitment: Much like Olukai, the sponsor of the Ho’olaule’a, Suzie has always had a strong commitment to her community and sharing her expertise and talent. We love that and it sets the same tone that we go for at Elder SUP
  3. SC – Strategic communication: Suzie is about the busiest person I know. There is no place for the luxury of time wasted. When we use SKYPE or e-mail to gain insights and training strategies Suzie is always ready to communicate, but to the point and with disciplined replies.  It is a great way to allow her expertise from Paia, Maui to reach out to wherever clients are.
  4. SC – Solid collaboration: Suzie spends time with a diverse group of peers from both the fitness and surf/SUP/paddling disciplines. She’s an avid listener and seems to have an uncanny ability to tweak out information and then share-collaborate easily. These skills are obvious if you cruise her website, see the photos, read the articles, and watch the well-edited videos.
  5. SC – Sea Connection: Suzie is a waterwoman and is undeniably connected to the sea. Her stories, grins, and passionate dedication to sharing this connection is a gift. We are better at our SUP dreams because of her inspiration. Better yet, we are determined to return home and make the most of the next 5 months before we launch into the sea from Maliko Gulch.

Please share your training, come back and dream-event stories with us.

Crush on a Hero (GoPro)

There was a time when golf was not a televised sport. Logic had it that watching a bunch of golfers whack a little white ball around a golf course, no matter how beautiful the course, would not be entertaining. Millions of rabid viewers later, the power of a great story woven into well shot images made all the difference.  We engage with diverse characters (pros) developed across their careers whether we play or not. Watching golf is adventure and drama when the story and filming is exceptional.

With the amazing digital and video tools available we have a chance to “film life.” We can see the images and become engaged in stories of all types created by pros-and people just like us. As in golf, some are going to gain a huge audience – others, not so much. For example, put the best set of golf clubs in my hands and bring the best video team on site to film my round of 18 holes, no one would care to watch. There’s no way I could deliver the shots or drama viewers need.

Similarly, I actually do own “the best” in equipment – the GoPro. Based on my skills and needs I selected the HERO3 Silver Edition. Armed with chest mount and surfboard mount I set off to document an 8 mile flatwater paddle down the incredibly beautiful coast of west Maui for my first Go Pro experience.  Ed and I took off, taking turns paddling the Naish Glide GS 14 where we’d mounted the GoPro surfboard mount.

The best equipment can’t counter boring footage and inexperience. We had a chest strap to mount the GoPro – but didn’t use it. The surfboard mount can be turned to face the surfer – we didn’t do that. We aimed the GoPro forward and simply let it run for 90 straight minutes of mostly downwind paddling.  The Go Pro Cineform Studio software is easily learned, even by a techno-phobe like me.  Thanks to lots of YouTube and online experts sharing insights every question that came to mind had an easy to access answer. All of that couldn’t make up for my relatively boring footage and lame editing skills.

View from the nose - first wave caught on the Naish Glide GX 14'

View from the nose – first wave caught on the Naish Glide GX 14′

Do I mind? Not really. No matter what, I have documentation of that very first, massively exhilarating ride I got on a chest high glassy wave on the Naish 14′ Glide GX in the few seconds before I bailed out. It was nearly dead low tide and a reef loomed too close to the surface. Editing that first set of Go Pro footage is the start of a cool new hobby. Priceless – and day one on my learning curve.