Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yesterday on Tomales Bay

I won't spoil the beauty of this video by writing a lot about it.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video is worth a thousand pictures.  Flashback to the 80s or footage of a guy getting shot off of a paddleboard?  You must draw your own conclusions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tomales Bay Upwinder Video

I shot this on my new GoPro camera.  I did not use the surfboard mount but instead used the suction cup mount.  I used Video Pad to edit the video.  This was my first try at creating a video with the camera.  It's a continuous shot going upwind into some pretty ugly windchop but wow, was it fun!  I was on the verge of falling the entire time.  I want to make more of these! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Paddling Technique

I'm always on the prowl for new youtube videos on paddling technique.  Olympic sprint kayak veteran and founder of Quickblade paddles does a great job explaining paddle technique here.  This is one of the best videos I've seen on the subject.  There's so much great information packed into this 15 minute clip.  This sport is so new there's really no right or wrong way to paddle a stand up board.  Most of the top guys come from another discipline (kayaking, canoeing, outrigger, etc.) so they apply the same principles to SUP.

Here are few things I took away from the video:

  1. Don't over-reach for the catch phase.
  2. Don't drive the paddle too deep.
  3. During the recovery, your blade is traveling over 3 times faster than the board so feathering the blade is very important.  Feathering the blade means slicing it through the wind.
The most important piece of information is this:  The paddle does not move through water.  The paddle moves the craft.  Check it out...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Surfing at Doran Beach, CA

When I say "surfing", I'm using that word very loosely.  I did manage to ride a couple of nice waves.  The water was only 52 degrees and I fell in a lot.  Luckily, the air temp was really nice, probably close to 60 degrees.  There were quite a few surfers down the beach but didn't see anyone on a SUP.  I tried out my new Werner Nitro paddle.  I really like this paddle, I think it's going to be great for surfing, it's very light and very easy to maintain a high cadence.

Surfing is NOT easy and not for the timid.  I have a huge amount of respect for the people that make it look effortless.  It was a really nice day today, probably waist high sets, not too choppy and very light wind.  I would write more but I'm so tired!  Here are some pictures from today.

Little Naty-Loo Who.

Catching a rail and taking a swim.

Blessed to live so close to the ocean.

Taking another water sample.

Letting Natalie sit on the boad while I controlled the tail with one hand and held her PFD with the other.

My new Werner Nitro.  Love it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How Important is Paddle Weight?

You would think paddle weight is not very important right?  You would think your weight, your board's weight, your technique, and your board's hydrodynamic characteristics are more important than the weight of your paddle.  In cycling (road racing and to a lesser extent time trial and triathlon) people talk about "rotating weight" being more critical than static weight.  That is to say, the weight of your wheels are more important than the weight of your frame.  Think about the weight of your paddle compared to you and your board.  For me, it's less than one percent of the total package weight (rider, board, paddle) but because that weight is being moved forward and across your body many times (40-50?) per minute, the weight of your paddle and the energy required to move it, really starts to add up.

Take a look at this brilliant article by Bill Babcock of Ke Nalu paddles to learn more about this.  If you haven't read his other articles, be sure to check them out, they're fascinating!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holidays are Over, It's 2012...And Danny Ching's DVD

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.