Sunday Funday Winging!

It’s a roll of the dice to make the one hour drive from my house to one of three lakes where wind and wing come to play. Of the three I choose the one with the most fluky wind because the lake is just so absolutely pristine clean and beautiful at Elk Lake Resort and Marina. I usually start down in a bay in the southwest corner.

On August 14, the conditions did not disappoint!

Starboard 4 in 1

This 4 in 1 inflatable board by Starboard has delivered immeasurable fun to me since I got it just 4 months ago. This picture is very misleading because the bay where I put in and took out was dead calm (hence the paddle to bring me out to the windy area of the lake. But just beyond the calm bay the wind was a fairly steady 8-9 mph with wonderful, frequent gusts of 20-22 mph.

An array of various sailboats from Hobie Cats to 23 foot sloops were zooming on every tack – and I was right there with them with my 5m Freewing AIR V2. For the first time I had the “feel” for tacking – getting my board around like never before. Everything I learned from Jonathan at Cascade Kiteboarding was becoming more natural. When the wing was nearly pulling me off the board, for the first time I locked my feet in the foot straps and sped across the water like never before.

Oh yeah! I am hooked. I can’t help but dream about the Starboard 169L Air Foil Inflatable Wing Board!

The Yin and Yang of SUP

About 10 days ago I saw the movie Where the Crawdads Sing. I think the film brought out my inner “marsh girl” and inspired a paddle far different than my usual SUP time when I head out for training, distance, intervals or speed. A week ago that sort of paddling time paid off during 5-mile upwind race across beautiful Odell Lake during the 41st Pioneer cup. (Yup, someone had to be the oldest person out on the water lol. I was also the oldest in 2013 – STORY HERE)

Two days after I paddled hard, fast and furious at the Odell Pioneer Cup (pic to the left) the day dawned wind-less and absolutely perfect for a paddle. The section of river in town would be crowded with paddlers and floaters so i drove deep into the Deschutes National Forest and put in at a section of river I love. At 7 am no one was there but me.

I didn’t hear the crawdads sing but I was treated to watching the beavers play. My usual journey is about 2 miles upriver to the base of a tumbling falls and return. About a mile into the paddle for some reason I ventured off the main river and meandered into a slough (pronounced “slew”). It’s a body of water along a river’s edge that formed from an old channel of the river. While much of this slough is 1-3 feet deep, there are some ancient water filled lava tubes that dive into bottomless depths. Something about the day slowed my agenda and I savored a rich and rare experience of solitude amidst the beauty.

This was a day that my Starboard 4 in 1 board was not driven by the wind – my sails and wings stayed home. I love the versatility of my inflatable – it easily transitions from sport to sport.