Well, it's 2012 now and the weather in the North Bay has been fantastic. Warm during the day and sunny skies which is great for now but I hear this has been one of the driest Decembers on record. I hope we can make up for it in January and February or we're going to have drought conditions this summer. The good news is that the weather is perfect for getting out on the water! Unfortunately for me, I had a little stomach virus during Thanksgiving and then for Christmas I got a nice upper-respiratory infection and cough (I hear it's been going around) so I've been out of commission for a few weeks now. I feel better today though and I'm finally back at work.
Since I have a little free time now I need to do some product reviews. I was lucky enough to get a new adjustable Werner Fuse paddle for Christmas. This thing is very long. In it's shortest setting it's as long as my Sawyer fully extended! I can't wait to try out a longer paddle. Also, the blade shape is quite different from my Sawyer Quickdraw and it is bit lighter. I will try to do a full comparison later.
Also, I watched Danny Ching's paddling technique video (a few times): Mastering Standup Paddle Technique with Danny Ching. You can see a clip of it here on Youtube:
Instead of the DVD, I purchased the streaming video through The Surf Network that I subscribe to on my Roku. The purchase price was only $14.99 and although the video is very short (only 30 minutes) there's a lot of useful information in there from one of the best stand up paddlers in the game. Danny spends most of the time talking about developing a strong forward stroke. He also spends a little time talking about surfing. I wish the video would have been a little longer and allowed him to show more strokes and talk about racing techniques and strategy but considering the video is so short, there are good tips here. I really enjoyed the closing credits and footage where Danny is showing off some really nice tricks and just looks like he's having a blast. This proves how much fun this sport can be. He's been paddling his whole life and he's still learning and still having fun.