Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Imagine Connector Review

I walked into 101 Surf Sports yesterday to get some new fins for "previously loved" SIC Recon surf SUP and got to talk to David Wells a little bit about quad fins and also about new downwind boards showing up on the market.  In addition to the new rough water board from Focus (the Bluefin) we also talked about new Imagine Connectors which are beautifully strung to the ceiling of the shop away from sweaty hands of people like me.  If you are in the market for a new 14' DW board you have to check this one out.  Since the beginning of time, SIC has owned the downwind board market but you have to stop and take notice of this one from Dave Kalama and Imagine.  For one thing, it looks fantastic.  The new models are full carbon and come in two different widths.  Imagine could have taken the lazy way out and copied a SIC Bullet template but they didn't.  They created something entirely different (take a look at the rocker on this thing).

I have not yet had the pleasure of paddling one but if I do, I will be sure to write about it on this blog.  Here's is a nice blog post from the Joel Yang and the Village of Stoke about this board.  Sure sounds like a winner to me.

Picture from the Village of Stoke blog showing the rocker of the (previous model) board and needle nose.

Monday, April 20, 2015

SUP Downwinders on Tomales Bay

Tomales Bay is a great place to enjoy the thrill of downwind SUP.  Spring winds generally come from the NW which will generate some nice bumps down the length of Tomales Bay.  Beautiful landscape, warm(ish) water, abundant wildlife, absence of boat traffic and other hazards, make Tomales Bay an ideal location to surf whitecaps.  If you have never gotten your board to plane then you are really missing out!  Downwinding combines the best elements of surfing, racing, and touring. If you want to try it, go to Tomales Bay.  It's always best to go with some experienced people.  You can find them by joining the DownFrienders group on Facebook.

In the meantime, take a look at the map showing some important locations on Tomales Bay.  Enjoy all that Tomales Bay has to offer but please be smart!  Check the forecasts, go with small group, match the conditions to your experience and fitness level, and always wear a leash and PFD.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Northern California Downwinder Season!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's here.  The wind.  The wind is here for real (the Tomales Bay buoy showed 28 mph at around 4:25 pm).  Today I'm sitting in my home office working, and there is a contractor here cleaning lint from my dryer.  I'm constantly checking facebook to see who is doing what today and where they are doing it.  Some are doing a "Windy Wednesday" with the Barbary Ghost, some are on Tomales Bay, some are just surfing little bumps on the river.  Me?  Just working.  A little sad that I'm missing out for sure but I know this is just the beginning.  There are many "SUP Safari" adventures aboard the Ghost, the Davenport race, and Tomales Bay runs with my DownFrienders. My friend Matt Palmariello and I are even running a three day downwinder camp on Tomales Bay in about three weeks.

Let the downwind season begin!  I can be patient.  I know there are plenty of bumps for everyone. Surfing for miles at a time with no line-up, no waiting, and no problems.  Not a care in the world.