As temperatures rise we slap on the sunscreen and savor summer SUP fun. As the paddles get longer, as your skills drive the quest for more adventures, more exploring, more down-wind wildness there’s another key item to consider – performance paddling gear. It’s not just a cozy layer to keep the chill off – the right gear makes all the difference as we push our endurance, challenge our muscles and work our joints.
The first thing we did was to check out the Naish 14′ Glides we’d be using all weekend. Steve Gates and Jason at Big Winds took great care of us. Hood River (Oregon) looks like Naish Central whether it’s SUP, windsurfing or kite-boarding.
We enjoyed a clinic by Jeremy Riggs of Maui as part of the fun provided by Big Winds in Hood River, Oregon. On Saturday the wind was a rare serene breeze allowing us to do a glassy down current run from Mosier back to the Hood River event center. Sunday roared in with steady 25 mph winds cranking up the Columbia River Gorge spiced with gusts of 30 mph or more. The river provided sweet glides, a good bit of chaos with side chop and sets that encouraged us to try connecting glides and soaring. It was epic for all 25 of us!
Hauling my drippy self onto my board again and again was an effort. Instead of being chilly, as the wind quickly dried my Sweet Waterwear performance top I warmed up easily. After the race while we chatted and enjoyed a local “cold beverage” my legs felt hugged and cared for in my Pro Elite Performance Tights.
We love to look toward our favorite elite water athletes for tips on gear and training – it just makes good sense to notice what they’re wearing for enhanced performance. In the video below the silver arms of my performance top is just the half of the cool fuschia I love!
Sunday: Epic Columbia River Downwind