The Eye of the Beholder: Surf Stoke

dune3So it was on one of those gray, foggy days on the Pacific NW coast. Morning dawned semi-cloudy, then on and off the fog rolled in, reminding us  of the proverbial NE “pea soup,” but thicker. The ocean seemed to be taking a Fall reprieve, resting calmly, with glassy rolling waves, but no swell to speak of. With the air temp in the low 60’s and the water about 7 degrees cooler it seemed a good day to hike the dune at Cape Kiwanda and call it good.

But when you’re 67 and you live 4 hours from a coast and winter is breathing hard down your neck – well, you put on the wetsuit and hit the water.

It’s like almost everything else in life, half the win is simply showing up. So, while shivering on the beach I pulled on my 4/3 Rip Curl wetsuit (love its color and style, softness and ZIPPER) and put on my leash. Swell or no swell, I was going out to whatever the break at Pacific City had to give.

bestrighthay1I could not even see the HUGE haystack rock that sits like a crown jewel off the beach because the fog had gobbled it up. Because of that, it was difficult for me to determine my favorite spot to wait for a swell to roll in.

Over time I drifted further and further south. I don’t usually head in that direction but the fog had left me without the usual bearings.

So cool! Swells were rolling in over there. They were chest to head high and glassy beyond all hope.

While the wait between swells was seemingly long, the reward was worth it – also the chat among all of us (prone and SUP). There were dozens of prone longboard riders out in the lineup.

fogturnUsually I hunker over to a shoulder of the swell to keep my standup out of the way of the prone surfers, but on this day the stoke was warm – and that was cool! Very cool.We all bantered about the weird weather and the length between sets. There seemed to be room for all on the waves that came through. Share and respect made the day! fogcenter

As we close every day at Pacific City we wandered down to the beach for a beer and sunset. The  afternoon drizzle didn’t deliver a sunset, but the view was magical just the same. The magic at our favorite beach, our top ten break – all in the eye of the beholder.moon

Enjoy YOUR stoke!

 

 

 

 

 

Pacific Paddle Games 2015: Talk Story with Cyril Burguiere

 KIALOA ‘Elele Cyril Burguiere has a passion for paddling. He’s definitely not limited to rivers and oceans in his pursuit of high end training and speed – this busy guy trains whenever and wherever the path leads.
And then there is the day job.  It’s not easy for anyone to get in shape for the dmands of an ocean SUP event. Cyril shares that he came to the 2015 inaugaral Pacific Paddle Games exhausted from a grueling work week. In his words, “I had been to Toronto Mon-Wed with many customers and late nights getting proposals completed. Then work continued late Thursday and a little into the weekend. I actually brought my laptop to the beach. Not the first time – my Payette Games experience was the same (2014). Week prior was travelling too. When I am on the road I use the Exer-Genie exercise tool in my hotel room to keep my pulling muscles working on business trips

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Maui Magic: Surf and Downwinders

Home sweet home when on Maui - Naish Maui Pro Center

Home sweet home when on Maui – Naish Maui Pro Center

Months of planning and dreaming precede every trip to Hawaii or any of our favorite surfing and paddling destinations. When we head to Maui, it is so relaxing and cool to know exactly where we will rent top quality boards and feel “local” from the moment we walk in the door.

Just minutes from the airport, we usually change from mainland shoes to our Olukai’s at the car rental booth and shoot right on over to grab our boards. Then it is off to the Naish Maui Pro Center.naishimport1

A quick phone call was all we needed to chat with Coach, Jay or any member of the team. We discussed December weather, surf probability – and got our Hokuas and our downwind Naish ONEs for fun all week,

Jay, Coach and the entire Naish Maui ProCenter team is YOUR local connection on Maui

Jay, Coach and the entire Naish Maui ProCenter team is YOUR local connection on Maui

Not only is the shop filled with great kiteboarding gear, apparel and awesome boards – but local knowledge and a casual willingness to share. For instance – the wind was blowing crazy, a Kona wind and we were not familiar with that. Jay let us know (by checking the computer right at the counter) where the protected bays and surf spots might be (Launiupoko not Ka’anapali Beach).

There is a culture that oozes from Naish Maui Pro Center. Naish is a company that builds awesome boards for every water sport – wind, kite, surf and downwind. Beyond the top quality manufacturing we expect from Naish, how often do you think of the culture behind the brand. Seriously – Robby Naish has soared past his 50th birthday and continues to seek adventure and challenges, records and fun on the water. (More here). That is the creative energy driving the company.

Team Naish includes gracious, community-building and off the charts phenomenal water athletes like Suzie Cooney (training), Kai Lenny, Kody Kerbox, Casper Steinfath, Riggs Napoleon, Manca Notar and more. When you walk out of the shop with your Naish boards, paddle and maybe a sweet Naish rash guard you simply feel, COOL.

We will be back for the Olukai Ho’olaule’a in May and the fun race the last Saturday in April. If you want gear for that week – Reserve now! Whenever you head to Maui – be local, be a part of the ALOHA that is Naish Maui Pro Center. Whether we are surfing or downwinding (YES, the Naish ONE rocks) we find what we need at Naish Maui Pro Center (and can trade out as wind and weather dictate).naish4

 

Naish ‘Ohana: Hokua Love Part 2

ed-hokua2Is there any way you can stand before the ocean with the newly designed 2015 Naish Hokua and not feel like an absolute rock star? The moment I pulled my 9’5″ Hokua from its box and bubble wrap, I was IN LOVE!

Seriously, the graphics on the bottom are stellar. It’s light, and almost leaps into waves on its own. Well, now I am just babbling. But seriously, I have never (in 65 years) executed a sharp bottom turn on a head-high wave with absolute confidence and ease – until my sweet Hokua came along.  It was early morning and cold on the Oregon coast in late September. betterbottomturn

The waves had been chaotic and huge for the Long Board Classic the day before.  Sunday found us with a nice swell and the wind was resting (before cranking in hard about 10 am). It was delicious fun!

As wonderful as it is to hit the beach in Pacific City, Oregon wearing a 4-5 ML wetsuit and praying for some sort of order in the waves – surfing Maui is a dream.  In mid-December, just as the shoulder season of rain-sleet-snow-rain is settling into Central Oregon, we will fly off for a sweet week on Maui.  Rather than go through the trouble of shipping our boards or releasing their well-being to airline luggage crew, we choose to “Go Local!~”

Naish Maui Pro Center rocks! Simply, if you want the newest and best rental equipment for your SUP surfing on Maui along with local knowledge of where to surf for your abilities and current conditions – check them out.  Ask for Jay, or Coach – or basically any team member.

Kai Lenny scoring some sweet Maui waves and riding Naish all the way

Kai Lenny scoring some sweet Maui waves and riding Naish all the way

If you are like me, you follow the Naish team riders all race and surf season long.  Their podium finishes are matched only by their absolute love of their sport. It seems that the core stoke and aloha of Robbie Naish permeates not only the corporate structure, but every person involved in the “family.”

riggswaterhunting2

Riggs Napoleon shredding at Huntington Beach

We were fortunate to catch the Positively Kai clinic for groms at the 2014 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge.  All day long Chuck Patterson was in the water, Kai was connecting with the kids on land and on the water. Noa Ginella, Riggs Napoleon and Kody Kerbox never rested for the entire afternoon. (more story here)

This chick is on top of the world with my new Naish  2015 Holua

This chick is on top of the world with my new Naish 2015 Holua

The shape of the Hokua, the awesome graphics, the quality built into every aspect – all good. But there is something else when you step onto a Naish board – the feeling that you are connected. You are part of the Naish ‘ohana. It is no small thing.

 

Saving the Best ’til (Almost) Last

Peggy King in the M2M (Photo by 808Photo.me)

Peggy King in the M2M (Photo by 808Photo.me)

Over the past month we featured SUP athlete (and pianist, and much more) Peggy King as she prepared for the 2014 Maui 2 Molokai race. While she  finished 2nd to last with a time of 4:50, that was a 40+ min. Improvement over last year’s 5:34. Peggy was the oldest competitor- and was recognized for that by Rodney Kilborn at the event.

This is not a story about age, rather a recap of the respect and camaraderie the field of competitors at the M2M have for each other. In Peggy’s words, “I was grateful that all paddlers acknowledged me and were friendly- no one told me ‘You don’t belong.'”

Friends, camaraderie and a love of down winders

Friends, camaraderie and a love of down winders

And “belong” Peggy did. She put in the time, got solid coaching from Jeremy Riggs and Dave Kalama, so she was ready. Those who know the Pailolo channel know how it when it is somewhat side shore. That can be  a bit difficult. For Peggy, it wasn’t  that bad.

She explains, “My Garmin read outs were slow and a I fell a few times. That had me thinking to myself that the boat captain would probably think I’m a kook. With the falls at first I even thought, ‘I ain’t gonna make any time requirement at this rate.'”

But things got better as Peggy shares, “As I turned the corner to Molokai, the wind picked up and things really improved. Paddle-paddle-surf-glide- and soon I was getting good Garmin readings and no falls!”

The musician in Peggy sang out, “It was like a good piece of music I didn’t want to end! As the J Mac race committee boat approached me I told them that I was enjoying myself. As the harbor shed approached I had to tell myself not to get too excited. But I was thinking to myself, ‘Oh boy,my time is favorable. OK, don’t fall or blow it!'”

Go Peggy! (Photo by 808Photo,me)

Go Peggy! (Photo by 808Photo,me)

Then the time came for Peggy King to finish and she did it in a legal time. Happy, happy person! ) She said, “I felt strong, my nutrition worked, and I had the  energy to do the M4M race the next day. I even got a finish line photo from 808Photo.me photographer !”

Peggy did M4M the next day and knocked 1/2 + hours off her time for that one too! According to Peggy, “It was the most fun SUP weekend experience,ever for me!

As far as Future Goals for Peggy King? “I hope I can stay healthy and fit to do this one again! I’d like to do M2O as a 3 person team- time will tell!”

Special thanks to Rod White, Garfield King and Lindsey Taylor who helped out on the boat and drove me to start line. Props to Jeremy Riggs and Dave Kalama for the coaching.

SUP Lessons from Seat 5

I am tired, sun-burnt and pretty darn happy.

  • Feeling grateful for the chance to be on Oahu for the week before my second Olukai Ho’olaule’a.
  • Feeling jazzed that flying from Oregon to Honolulu with our Naish ONEs in a duffel with some clothes and a KIALOA paddle bag with 4 paddles was a breeze!
  • Feeling strong and comfortable on a 12’6″ Naish ONE in 20+ mph side winds and a confused small swell even though I have paddled SUP just 4 times since October (thank you Oregon Winter)

meg-ocNow, to the title premise, “SUP Lessons from Seat 5.”

A few weeks ago I had my 4th Bend Oregon Outrigger Canoe Club practice. On this cold, rainy, windy (typical April) evening I was assigned seat 5 just ahead of the steersman, in seat 6, Meg Chun. Lucky (but tentative) me.  I have been standup paddling for 6+ years and have had some success – which Meg was aware of – and now I would be paddling for 90 minutes right under her watchful (and quite expert) eye.megoc4

Meg has been coaching novice and experienced outrigger paddlers in Bend for more than two decades.  She spices the learning with a cool passion, always a sense of fun and patient expertise.

It was WONDERFUL being the closest person for Meg’s critique and observation. No, really! (LOL) After about 45 minutes of me doing my best effort at reach-catch-return with a wonderful rotation of my core I heard Meg say, “Judy, you need to rotate your body.”

Me, (to myself) “WHAT?????”

Meg: You are turning, mostly your head and shoulders, but you need to show your back to the opposite shore, then dig for the catch. Engage your core and really move the boat forward with the rotation of your hips coming back to center. That’s it, you are never coming back to center before your next stroke. Try that.”

So try that I did – and it ROCKED. The areas of my shoulder and upper arms that usually limited my endurance by pure muscle fatigue were not feeling a thing. It was a core and lats experience.

OK, back to SUP. Today on my Naish ONE I used the very technique that I have been practicing at outrigger practice. The gnarly offshore wind and the confused swell did its best to intimidate ad toss me off balance.

megoc2

Thanks for sharing your expertise with me and my beginner outrigger paddling skills

Never happened. What a fantastic 5 mile “into the wind” paddle to Diamond Head and beyond. What a cool late afternoon surf session at Pops on the Naish ONEs.

Olukai Ho’olaule’a, I can hardly wait. Thank you Bend Oregon Outrigger Canoe Club! Thank you, Meg Chun!

 

No Waves – No Problem

Kai Lenny scoring some sweet Maui waves and riding Naish all the way

Kai Lenny scoring some sweet Maui waves and riding Naish all the way

When we put time, money and our vacation dreams into planning a surf vacation, we want waves! Sometimes the weather gods just don’t hear us and deliver calm seas. This was the situation recently as we arrived with great anticipation on Maui this past December. Our first stop was the Naish Maui Pro Center right near the airport in Kahului. We picked up our reserved Hokuas along with lots of great local insights and some talk-story time with the crew of Coach, Jay, Martin and Sam.

It wasn’t all calm seas. On our first full day we had the great opportunity to witness huge swells rolling in at Jaws and enjoyed hours of fun up on Pe’ahi Bluff. Unbelievable rides by many local water athletes riding both prone and standup were documented by photographers and can be found online. Check out the Facebook and Instagram pages of Chuck Patterson, Connor Baxter, Kody Kerbox,  Kai Lenny, Matt Meola and Zane Schweitzer, just to name a few.

The waves of the north shore are absolutely out of our talent-zone. We look forward to riding west side waves at Launiupoko, S-Turns, Rainbows and such. In that part of the island we had a day or two of little ankle biters and knee high fun waves. The rest of the time a mix of Kona winds and the usual trade winds greeted us with sunshine each morning – but flat seas.

btnaishNo sad faces on us! We had traveled with the handy backpack filled with our Naish ONE 12’6″ inflatable boards. At 30″ wide they are as stable as they are fast. Talk about an easy way to enjoy our daily down wind runs on crystal clear, flat seas! With some local advisement from the team at Naish Maui Pro Center, we checked tide tables and local maps in order plan our adventures.

One day we parked our car at Napili Bay and down-winded to the Hyatt at Kaanapali – about 5 miles. Later in the day we walked back to the car – along a terrific walking path and some quiet streets to Napili. Another day we drove to Lahaina and took the local bus ($2) back to Kaanapali. By noon we were on the water doing another down wind run of about 4 miles. The whales were active that week. We wished we were closer to Lanai where they splashed and played, but their spouts and breeching were still a cool sight to see even from a distance.

whale2Mid week we took a few hours to paddle from Napili Bay in and out of various bays heading north past Kapalua toward Honolua Bay and back. Turtles and clear views of the reef were with us 100% of the time. Inspired by that, we hiked the light weight Naish ONEs into the beach at Honolua Bay with snorkels and masks.  After paddling out to the point (wishing the swells would provide a chance to watch the local talent ride) we circled back and spent a few hours observing tropical fish of all kinds.2013-12-16 10.20.33

Our final day delivered! Thigh to waist high glassy goodness at Launiupoko where we surfed our sweet Hokua’s until the tide went so far out we knew it was wise to take a break.

alexsurfTake-away idea: If SUP surfing is your goal and the seas are delivering a steady breeze and calm seas, think down wind fun. If you rented your board you may be able to trade out your shorter SUP surfboard for a longer board better for down wind paddling. Your balance and conditioning will improve and you won’t miss a single day of great ocean fun on your vacation.