Peggy KIng inspires me and her adventures fuel the stoke.
Innocently, you join friends and fellow competitors for your first down wind SUP adventure. River, lake or open ocean – when the wind and the bumps cooperate the experience is incredible. My first downwinder was on Odell lake in Oregon on a cold, blustery late October day on a NOT-made-for-downwind board in 2007. Farmer john wetsuit and more than a few dozen wipeouts in 6 miles – but I was hooked!
There’s so much to think about – paddle stroke, wind and wave direction, safety around rocks, channels, tankers or current and your own stamina and ability. Whether your first run was 3 miles and easy or a kick-your-butt challenge, it’s likely you emerged from the adventure a different person. Perhaps, like so many of us, all you can think about is doing it AGAIN! Yup, you’re hooked.
In between opportunities to do down winders, it’s incredible to spend time learning from the masters of down wind, including Dave Kalama. We had a chance to meet him a few years back at the Naish Colombia Gorge Paddle Challenge where he hosted a Kalama Kamp. Google Dave for training tips he shares in 1-2 minute videos. A collection of those videos can be found here.
Recent down wind fun on Odell Lake
Another year at Hood River we were fortunate to take a clinic with Jeremy Riggs of Paddle with Riggs. It was amazing what can be learned when Jeremy paddles beside as bumps come and go – on the spot coaching led to some of the most connected glides ever! A bonus from that clinic was having Steve Gates of Big Winds out on the water with us. Pure stoke and a grin that could power a city – Steve would get to every one of us along the 8-mile run from Viento to Hood River. Somehow he telegraphed that energy so I could really dig deep when it was time to connect bumps and then balance for the glide.
Some take-away tips from the video (see below) of Jeremy Riggs training Justin Gordon include:
- The key thing keeping up your momentum. Shorter rapid paddle strokes keep momentum going – keep speed up
- Don’t go right up the back of the wave in front of you – that will slow you down and you paddle UP.
- Look for the place to keep the momentum going, a place to guide the board into the trough where you can catch the next bump – and have tons more FUN!
We often get questions about what equipment is needed for Power of Presence SUP (P2SUP). Once you download a collection of our guided meditations for paddling you are just about ready to go.
While people are used to looking for a very stable – wide and with high volume – boards for SUP Yoga, any board will be fine for p2SUP. Since you will simply be paddling while listenbing to the recorded meditations for your mindful and present experience, no solid base for balance poses will be needed.
We love Sweet Waterwear and our KIALOA paddles and boards
We use the KIALOA Aloha (board and paddle package) so that we can demo a high value / low expenditure option. No one has been disappointed! Ideal for beginners and sharing with family and friends, the Aloha is a perfect way to get started with the sport of stand up paddling. The 31” wide board provides great stability and makes for easy paddling. The soft top is impact resistant and provides a safe and comfortable way to enjoy the sport. An offset handle makes it easy to transport to and from the water. The four point tie down system is perfect for caring your water bottle or flip flops. Includes 10’ leash for safety and a 10” fin for good tracking. The tail bumper adds durability and is ideal for vertical storage. The package includes the family friendly Aloha Adjustable paddle.
If storage is an issue – or if you would love to check a bag (that includes your SUP board) we also use the KIALOA Napali inflatable. We can’t count the number of times people have come back from a backpack trip (with their KIALOA Napali board and an MP3 loaded with P2SUP meditations) all stoked and excited by the experience.
Whatever your needs, make your decision about what board will be best, grab your paddle and MP3 player (or waterproof case protected phone) and get out on the water. You will love the experience.
You might wonder about our super-cool model. She is Cynthia LaRoche, the soul and spirit behind the meditations you will enjoy at P2SUP. If you want to learn more about all she can offer in the realm of superb yoga instruction and experience, check out Cynthia LaRoche Yoga.
We like to wear performance paddling attire that feels amazing on the skin, moves as we move, dries quickly and looks great. Our “go-to” gear comes from Sweet Waterwear. Some of the stellar characteristics are:
- PERFECT for cooler weather paddling or just to cover up.
- UPF 50+ Outstanding rating in UVA & UVB sun protection
- Silky Soft Comfort– Our special tricot knit is soft & satin smooth, no chafing
- 4-Way Stretch – Premium Nylon/Spandex blend stretches to move with you
- Breathes – Cool touch Tricot knit breathes to keep you cooler & not overheat
- Quick Dry – Thin performance fabric holds less water & Dries Fast
- Mesh Underarm Panels – Cool your core
- No Underarm Seams – Eliminates underarm chafing
- Relaxed Loose Fem Crew Neck – for comfort & easy on / off
- Fab & Fun Colorways
- Raglan Seams
- Flatlock Stitching
- Customizable – Blank front for your club, team or store name &/or Logo
- Multisport / Cross Training – extra versatility, great for any sports activity
- “Made in the USA”
My friend, Pam, and I coined the word “Boardpacking” a few years ago to describe the absolutely cool sport of tossing everything you need for a backpacking trip onto a standup board. There are so many places to explore and enjoy for more than a day paddle. We recently got a story from Paul Kendrick, author of the blog SUP Paul.
Paul and his buddy, Darcy, went on a 4-day boardpacking trip to Raft Cove- a remote and beautiful place on the west coast of Vancouver Island. He has shared detailed directions to the put in – a place that doesn’t seem the gateway to the adventure and beauty that unfolded during the trip.
Take a look at Paul’s post. We love that area of Vancouver Island I am sure we will be checking the trip off our bucket list very soon.