A Tampa – St Pete Gem: Urban Kai

urbankai2Nestled in a wonderful cluster of palms, mangroves and very cool waterfront dining at The Getaway Is a top-notch, full service, vacation-making SUP destination at Urban Kai. Whether you opt for Tampa or St. Petersburg locations for lessons, tours or yoga, a great experience and fun will be yours!

While the array of paddleboard options to rent or buy is excellent (with one of the best Starboard selections I have seen), the team at Urban Kai makes all the difference. You get a glimpse of the “aloha” culture alive and well on the west coast of Florida the moment you enter the front door. A hand painted sign gently reminds you to “remove your slippahs” before entering. Bare feet on wood floor – step into the retail area and join the Urban Kai ‘ohana. IMG_1577

When I was chatting with Ida, I happened to mention how cool it was that their neighbor restaurant, The Getaway, was using paper straws and compostible utensils. Ida shared,”We are very happy about that, too. We encouraged them to make the change from plastic and they switched over just a few weeks ago.”

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This is the only shark I hope to see in the Gulf while paddling/ Look at that shop!!!

That only added to my stoke – and reinforced the send of BLUE LIFE CONNECTIONS building in the SUP community.

If you plan to visit the Tampa/St Petersburg area, be sure to connect with Urban Kai. They will help you get involved in the popular, low-impact fitness phenomenon of stand up paddle boarding. Whether you’re interested in buying or renting a board, taking a SUP class, or joining them for a paddle boarding adventure, they’ve got the products and services you need for an exhilarating experience out on the water. Their friendly, experienced staff members are a fun bunch of folks dedicated to providing you with personalized service and expert product knowledge.

IMG_1572Contact them here.

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Captain Liz Clark: Swell and Awakening

lc-1Last night (April 13, 2018) the Patagonia store in Bend, Oregon had another of many great events (shop local and talk story). It was kick-off night for the Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge at Mt Bachelor over the weekend. The BIG story was the stellar presentation by sailor, surfer, author – Liz Clark.

Listening to her stories about living life on a sailboat while traveling around the world (although there were many challenging and difficult times) gave me a flashback to the very first sailing adventure hubby Ed and I took – on our honeymoon in 1970.

Liz took on the Pacific Ocean and the world, then wrote her incredible book, SWELL.. We simply took on the amazing and unspoiled Abaco, Bahamas of the 70’s. On a chartered 25′ sloop we were adventurers – in our own minds- living off the land and sea, because we had no money to spare. It was all here in photos (and a journal) to re-live today after hearing Liz.

Liz was introduced by two of the team at Changing Tides Foundation. A powerhouse of talented and dedicated women, Changing Tides has many ways we can be “Better Together” when it comes for taking care of the Ocean. Through mentorship and outreach they are changing lives. My favorite was the become engaged with their mission starting immediately is the Plastic Swear Jar Challenge.

lc3Liz shared so many nuggets of genius and inspiration. Not the least, “Living from the heart makes everything possible.” Her message was not about herself or her incredible accomplishments. It was all about staying awake, being vulnerable and connected while living our own best life with purpose.

Yes, you can get her book and really dive in. (published by Patagonia Books)If you’re like me, her final words really hit home – “Take pride in what you do for Mother Earth – she needs you!”

 

SUP Balance: Body, Mind, Spirit and Ocean

tg3As my Oregon seasons change and it is finally the full on season for paddling lakes, rivers – and the west coast ocean – I am ready to work my way into my best fitness and performance. I’m paddling fast towards my 68th birthday on June 2 and am seeking a good balance of nutrition/wellness. A few Facebook posts in which I inquired, “what works for you” delivered the most passionate and informational replies, more than anything I have ever posted before. (Thank you ALL)

Until I read the book SUPERLIFE (Thanks from the bottom of my heart to Karen Wrenn), I thought the “best me” would be a thinner, leaner me. So I had sworn off beer (Yes, I live in beer-town Bend, Oregon), then I did Weight Watchers (points vs activity), dabbled in Paleo, learned the “SUPERFOODS -Top 14 Foods That Will Change Your Life.” ( an eye-opening book by Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews). I even worked hard on following an “acid-reflux” diet when some disturbing symptoms made me worry. That led to Alejandro Junger’s CLEAN GUT and Dr. William Davis’s WHEAT BELLY.

Who knew that my biggest “crave food,” pizza, was made best with high-gluten flour. I already knew that flour products wreck havoc with my joints where arthritis (yup, inflammation) has set up a home. When I avoid all flour products I have less ache-y and swelling and more energy. That has been a fairly easy habit to maintain for the past 5 years.

Back to SUPERLIFE. Who knew that a very real, solid and do-able strategy was a simple as an alkaline body, something above a PH of 7.0. Uh Oh! Just when chemistry seemed like a long-ago thing you had to study. Of all the “diets” and eating plans/rationales I studied, SUPERLIFE made the most sense. Author, Darin Olien, is fully immersed in the work he does – and we can all benefit. Their MISSION:  We provide resources for people to make the simple lifestyle changes needed to live a healthy SuperLife. vegsuper

Balance is something we standup paddlers know alot about. And SUPERLIFE is about a balance of 5 “Life Forces.” These are: nutrition, hydration, oxygenation, alkalization and detoxification. In the most balanced and logical manner Darien took me on a fascinating journey during both the first, and second, reads of his book.

vegAnd so, finally, I discovered the rationale behind something that might seem too simple. Darin explains the five simple fixes that will make you healthy fit and (yes, this) eternally awesome. After my reading, I listed suggested foods that would add to my alkalinity – actually wrote down the ones I could eat regularly, easily.

I then made a list of things that added acidity – just to keep me focused on avoiding them. No, you don’t need to NEVER have those (sugary things, caffeine, alcohol), but you need to be aware that they create an environment in your home. Yes, in your home that is your physical body, that is more acidic. There is not enough room for me to explain the entire philosophy here.

But know this: I have taken the time to read and understand what are the “five life forces” and why they matter. What a big surprise! Hydration is right up there with nutrition, followed by the gift of a cardio workout – oxygenation.  Then along came the “life force” I never even considered: ALKALIZATION. What?

That was the biggest eye opener – and on a very strict eating and workout plan that generated the most alkaline me I discovered an energy and wellness level that I hadn’t felt in a long, long time. By the time I got to the fifth life force, detoxification, I was on the band wagon.

There are so many ways to feed your water athlete self.  If you really want to make a difference (at any age), take a close read of SUPERLIFE.  I would love your comments and the discoveries in wellness that you have made.

I am only this young (what? 67.8 years) once. I am dedicated to making the best of it.

 

 

Standup for the Cure – Positivity

You expect participants in a highly personal, built-for-connection event like Standup for the Cure to be enthusiastic and highly invested in experiencing a positive event. The surprise for me at the November 12 event at Miami Yacht Club was the attitude and absolute commitment of the sponsors. A lot of the praise for that goes to the tireless enthusiasm and work by event director, Dan Van Dyke (shown here leading the prayer circle).

sftcm2Before I go on and on about the weather for the event (absolutely stellar), the course (indescribably beautiful) and the raffle prizes (so many, and all so cool), I will introduce you to some of the many sponsors i enjoyed talking with.

The sun was bright so one of the first people I chatted with was Morgan Parker of Raw Elements, makers of clear and tinted sunscreen made with 100% natural ingredients including zinc oxide. The moisturizer was evident as I applied the clear stick blend to my face. They were at the event because, “It’s a great cause and a natural audience for our mission toward skincare and cancer prevention.”

Speaking of prevention, I experienced the quick and easy breast cancer screening available at no charge to all. In the course of the Standup for the Cure history hundreds upon hundreds of early stage cancers have been detected, with support and followup made available. Each $125 raised by the event is used to support someone in need for screening. With $850,000+ raised so far think of the positive impact the event has had for so many of us across the country. sftcmview

We all love the ocean, surfing and a great cause but we don’t all take action to make a difference. Two local high school students Jacy and Joie started SURF TO THE RESCUE at the end of their 2016 school year. These students donate proceeds to Surfers for Autism, except on Nov 12 all proceeds went to Standup for the Cure. The shirts are top quality and the logos unique – and their hearts are definitely in the right place.

sftcmhatBesides winning a very cool hat at the Ambry Genetics booth (answered questions about breast cancer correctly), I had a fantastic conversation with Jaci Talpash. Few could be more proud of the work done by their company. She shared so much about all Ambry Genetics does and I walked away grateful for all the teams behind the innovations and research.

The team from Cobian Footwear (check out the styles) lives their #everystepmatters message with their participation in causes that resonate.  Grag Tayler shared, “We are national sponsors of Standup for the Cure, so this is not a one time effort for us. They are honored to be part of the effort fighting breast cancer and those working to find a cure.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse fed us well with perfectly grilled burgers on melt in your mouth buns. Kona Brewing Company team froze their hands off reaching into a cooler full of ice to hand us perfectly chilled beer. We all needed it after an active morning. The morning was made more active for many as Andrew Crane representing Starboard  shared Allstar and Freeride boards, paddles, leashes and PFDs to dozens upon dozens of eager paddlers, both novice and super experienced racers. sftcmreeride

The most connected and positive community gathers at every Standup for the Cure event. Smiles were plentiful and awareness buzzed throughout the day. Thanks for inspiring us Shawneen Schweitzer Shelby Kailei Lane Schweitzer Zane Kekoa Schweitzer Matty Schweitzer Judie Vivian Dan Van Dyck and all the enthusiastic and loyal sponsors including
Ambry Genetics West Marine Maui Jim Cobian Kona Brewing Company sftcmona

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Miami Yacht Club

Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter (No single use plastic bottles at the event – tons of awareness instead of tons of plastic).

sftcmsrBe sure to check out the schedule for an upcoming event and be sure to be part of exactly the energy our sport is known for.  Aloha!

 

Inspire Clean Rivers: Youth Video Voice

Got video camera, phone or GoPro? Want to go to the Jack Johnson concert in Bend, OR on August 24? Well here’s a contest that get you in the running for TWO FREE TICKETS!

If you love the water – oceans, bays, lakes and rivers – you want to do what you can to keep them clean and healthy. Your 1-2 minute video can show us all how YOU’D keep the Deschutes River clean and clear of beer bottles, flip flops, cans, and any sort of trash.  Many groups have organized around the goal of keeping rivers and streams healthy.  In Central Oregon we are exceptionally fortunate. We have had incredible river restoration, monitoring and youth education driven and inspired by the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council (UDWC). Now the UDWC has a contest that let’s YOU be part of the solution.

How would YOU inspire others to keep the Deschutes River clean - video ideas? Jack Johnson tickets? Yeah!

How would YOU inspire others to keep the Deschutes River clean – video ideas? Jack Johnson tickets? Yeah!

Hosmer Lake Shasek

The annual impact of their educational programs is beyond measure in terms on connecting youth to the environment, culture and sense of place our local waters provide. “The staff and volunteers continuously create programs and youth opportunities that celebrate every aspect of learning about our rivers and streams from writing to science to the arts.

Now for the FUN PART! Here are links to the UDWC “Keep the Deschutes River Clean” video contest. Be serious, funny, cute and clever in a 1-2 minute video, submit before August 1 and you have a chance to win 2 tickets to the Jack Johnson concert. PARENTS – you know you want to go to this sold out concert as much as your video-savvy kids do – so light a creative fire in them, take then to the river and hand them your iPhone – it’s gonna be fun.

The contest is open to all ages, read the rules and start filming, singing, dancing, cleaning the river, floating, paddling, fishing and making a great story.

Video Contest Submission Form and Rules
Video Contest Flyer 3

“Times Like These” by Jack Johnson
(We can change “what will be” by inspiring a clean river!)

In times like these
In times like those
What will be will be
And so it goes
And it always goes on and on…
On and on it goes

Clean Water for Years: For Pennies

No matter how advanced the water treatment systems in most cities might be, as we travel we often come across water that just tastes -ugh! But for the most part, we can be confident that the water is safe to drink.

db2Today 6,500 people will die because they lack clean water. 4,100 of them are children. While we may not be able to help them all, it makes a HUGE difference in the lives of the ones we are able to help. One group actively seeking and delivering solutions helping people with life’s most basis need. WATERisLIFE!  – See more 

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db1Far from the third world countries plagued by lack of clean water, WATERisLIFE collaborated with scientists at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia to seek technology that could make a dramatic impact. The result is a revolutionary Drinkable Book, created by Dr. Theresa Dankovich. One book can provide a person clean drinking water for 4 years! Check out this short video demonstrating how the Drinkable Book  will have great impact in the developing world. (Full video below)

db4Important highlights about the book:

  • costs only cents to make
  • each filter can sustain a person for 30 days
  • each book contains enough filters to sustain a person for 4 years
  • bacteria count reduced by 99%, making previously contaminated water of equivalent quality to U.S. tap water
  • filters and kills waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid and E. coli.

Power to Inspire with Malama

The reality is that by choosing to move ourselves across, over and through the magnificent waters of our world via a board and a paddle we have chosen to be self-powered.  That sets the stage for a number of metaphors. Does it inspire you to share your story? Share why you chose SUP or any other power-related tale- we’re interested.

We have one section of this site dedicated to SUP Muses.  We define SUP Muses as a category of SUP influencers whose stories inspire! Do you know a SUP Muse like Candice ApplebyKaren WrennSuzie CooneyHeather Relyea Baus or Brit Oliphant – let us meet them.

dave8SUP Ambassador:  I live in Oregon, home of the paddle family of Meg and Dave Chun and their KIALOA paddles.  I came by my first Kialoa paddle by borrowing those owned by friends.  Over time I have come to admire the technology, feel, strength and lightness of my KIALOA paddle design, but my first connection and commitment to the Kialoa company came from their attitude and traditions. (Design video chat here)

This next piece is from their website: Born on the Island of Oahu in 1991, KIALOA Paddles grew out of Dave Chun’s love for the sport of outrigger canoe racing.   Driven by the desire to build the best paddles in the world, Dave started crafting wood paddles on his parents’ lanai.  Shortly thereafter, he met Meg, a mid-westerner transplanted to Hawaii.  It was a marriage of west and east, island heritage and mainland progressiveness.  The Chuns moved the company to Bend, Oregon in 1992, bringing the Aloha spirit with them.

Against all odds, they started an outrigger club in the High Desert. Nowadays KIALOA makes a full line of stand up, outrigger and dragon boat paddles.  As a KIALOA Paddles E’lele (ambassador) I take my role with a grain of fun and plenty of listening – to all of you!boc1

I believe that as a global water loving “family” we can accomplish our mission to preserve our planet’s waters and help move them to be even more healthy.  One of the cornerstones of the Kialoa vision is Malama: Stewardship.