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My world of racing

Name     Chuck Patterson
Home     Dana Point, CA
Height & Weight    6’2   ,   220 lbs
Equipment:       Hobie 12’6 Elite Carbon Race, 14′ Elite Carbon Race, 18′ Unlimited Elite carbon Race
Paddle:           Kialoa, Nalu & Shaka Pu’u paddle blades with custom 86″ stiff shaft.
Additional:       Rainbow Fin co.  CWP Race weed fin 10″-12″, OnIt racing speed polish, Watermans sunscreen, Hobie sunglasses, H2O Audio waterproof Ipod music case & headphones, pre & post race nutrition by Nutrition Zone.
I enjoy training in rough, windy conditions on a shorter board then what I would use on race day. Long & short distances, sprints & down winders; I love challenging myself in everything.

Mark Johnson shaping my Hobie 18' unlimited race board

Race training and for what kind of race?       I like to train in the most challenging conditions, paddling a couple miles longer then the length of the race that I’m training for. I have found that training on a shorter, slower board before the race really helps me with conditioning, endurance and strength for those long races. I like to work in some sprint training and focus on getting into a good rhythm while under pressure because it’s good to be able to push yourself into 5th gear the last quarter of the race and be able to take some guys out and finish strong.
Stroke technique and for what kind of race?       I’m not very technical, but I have learned a lot about smooth and clean power strokes from paddling outrigger with Team California. I think it is important to have full extension with a clean entree and exit with every stroke of the paddle blade while delivering maximum power going forward. it also helps to have a couple different stroke speeds that you can use while racing; for example – a quick and short paddle stroke really helps keep the board speed up especially during the start of a race. Then, a good strong efficient power stroke that you can get a good rhythm with in the middle of the race and then finish strong with the quick & short stroke to the finish. Changing it up also helps me keep my muscles from cramping and sometimes even helps stretch it out with a longer stroke. Always remember when going hard on your strokes, to dip the blade deep before you deliver the power to your stroke, otherwise your wasting valuable energy and power.
Cross training?         Anything in the water; surfing, SUP surfing, prone paddling, swimming, running stairs, mountain biking, and beach workouts along with a good gym routine and a lot of stretching and balance ball workouts. Keep it exciting so you never get bored and you are always challenging yourself so you are always ready for anything.
Pre-Race planing and course management?       I always make sure my training routine fits for what the race calls for. Make sure you always understand the course, possible changing conditions and what divisions or board class’s the race is offering to race in. I always make sure, my race boards and fins are race ready and that I have all my pre & post race nutrition and hydration packed for consumption and that my Ipod is charged and ready with good energetic music to race with.
Knowing the conditions- weather, winds, tides- thoughts?         I always look online to see what the wind, wave, tide and weather conditions are doing before and on race day. It can really help if you study the tide currents ebb & flow if the race course is inside a canal, harbor, river, inlet or bay because like in a river, there are always areas that flow slower etc. and in racing every bit of information can help in choosing the right line to the finish. Conditions also play a big part in choosing the right equipment on race day. The better you prepare yourself for every condition; the more energy you save for the race which makes for happy paddling warrior.
Preference in blades, paddle shaft, carbon vs. fiberglass vs. wood?           I have been working closely with Kialoa paddles doing constant R&D on many different paddle blade & sizes that we keep evolving as the sport continues to grow. I have found, when paddling shorter race boards like the 12’6, that I like using the smaller narrower “Shaka Pu’u” blade which works great with the quick, short stroke rate and when paddling my 14′ or 18′ unlimited boards, I use the larger, wider “Nalu” blade, that works well in maintaining the board’s speed and glide in long distance paddling. When racing I always use a longer carbon paddle (86″) then when SUP surfing (82″) because you can get a better reach and the race boards are thicker, making you stand higher out of the water. When paddling into rough and windy conditions I will always use a shorter carbon paddle because your body position is more bent over to cut through the wind making it easier to stroke with a shorter paddle. I have used wooden, fiberglass and carbon paddle shafts and really like how much stronger and stiffer the carbon paddles feel, especially under full power whether racing, training or SUP surfing.

My Kialoa paddle blades that I use for SUP racing. the Nalu and the Shaka Pu'u

Hydration- how do you hydrate for under 5, 10 ., over 10, over 30 miles?            I hydrate several times during the day and night before the race and again in the morning of till just before the race starts. I have conditioned my body to go with out water for 10 miles, but anything longer, I bring a Dakine hydration pack filled with a mix of coconut milk and a couple endurance carb nutrition powders that really help in keeping my body fully hydrated and energized for long distances. Remember everyone’s body works differently, so when testing something new, make sure you do it a couple weeks before, so if your body doesn’t work well with it, you can still go back to what worked well in the past. Always remember, treat your body like a well oiled race car and you will go a long way…. Happy racing…

Powder one day, fun swell the next.

going on a mission, might as well take it all......

After a great day of deep powder, storm skiing, I joined the boys for an early morning wave hunting mission up to Central coast in hopes of getting some good waves on the tail end of the big storm. The rain had finally passed and the storm swell was starting to clean up as it slowly dropped over the weekend. When we got to the harbor, we packed a variety of boards (tow boards and a couple mini SUP guns) ready for a full day of fun. The harbor entrance was closing out completely, so we had to zig zagged our way through a couple set waves to open ocean.

sets were closing out the harbor entrance.

We worked our way up the coast to our favorite deep water slab and noticed that the waves were totally washed out with a heavy bump from the storm. We sat and watched several set waves totally close out and explode into the shelf; making it look unridable, but we decided to give it a go anyway. There was too much water moving as the set wave hit the reef and it was impossible to find the tube, let alone get a clean wave with a good ride.

The one that got away.

no where to go

looks are deceiving....

I caught a hand full of undesirable rides with a couple heavy punishing beatings, trying to find the barrel. After one of the Saemen brothers hit the reef with his back, we decided that it was not worth pushing ourselves to where someone might go to the hospital and we called it a day. With a quick jet ski ride back to the harbor, we were back on the road down the coast hoping to score some better waves before dark. Two and half hours later, we found ourselves perched on the rocks at little Rincon watching double overhead waves break through the pier with only 3 guys out. We all rushed to get our suits on and made the mad dash for the beach. The paddle out was a bit challenging trying to time the sets for a long flat spell; but a good 10 minute grind through some good close outs got the heart pumping again.

what a fun line up

fun juice for my 8'6 SUP

banking off the top

We all managed to get some really fun long waves and every now and then one of us got stuck on the inside battling the close out section for a while. It was a good session to see how far i could push my little 8’6 SUP in some solid juice. The board paddled a little slower then my bigger boards, but when you got into the wave, it really lit up like a short board, drawing nice sharp turns and handling speed with ease. Just before sunset, I caught  a really nice set wave that wrapped all the way down the point and on my last turn, decided to kick out to catch one more and got steam rolled by the next wave, snapping my leash. “I got greedy and paid the price with a nice long swim in.” ha ha…

alway fun to kick out with some speed.

As luck would have it, a surfer grabbed my board before it hit the rocks and all was good. We packed up once again and watched another beautiful sunset on the ride back home. I may have made the wrong call to go up the coast, but in the end we scored a perfect point break with only a couple guys out and that’s what a good adventure is all about.

“Sometimes a trip may not go as planned, but if you just go with the flow, you always will have a good time.”

Another epic sunset to cap off a great wave hunting mission...

The Day After (swell chasing)

I was still buzzing from my Cortes Banks Dream trip and could not even think about sleep, so I zipped home, switched out a couple SUP boards for smaller surf, checked the buoys and decided to continue my SUP mission with a 2 hour road trip up North……..

offshore and empty....

I called my good friend, renowned surf photographer Dave Puu as I was driving into Ventura around 5:45 am . He never misses a sunrise with a swell in the water. We met up at one of the local beach breaks to check the conditions of the surf and 5 minutes later had a game plan and hit the road. When shooting with Dave, your always searching for artistic perfection and when the conditions don’t seem to be all time, you  still hit the water knowing that Dave’s keen eye always finds the magic.

from Cortes Banks to freight train heaven.....

home sweet home...

So many tubes, i still can't sleep... ha ha

We checked a couple more spots and finally settled on what I call “the studio”. Surf was a couple feet over head with a bone chilling 15 mph offshore breeze. I suited up and grabbed my 8’6 Hobie SUP board and hit the water. We worked a dredging Right handed sand bar that offered up a couple long draining spitting tubes with it’s fair share of close out beatings. Three hours later we were ordering breakfast at The Cajon Cafe exchanging stories of the morning goods and setting up for the afternoon plan of attack.

With the tide dropping and the swell slowly on the decline; we took a gamble and headed South towards Malibu. The boys shared a local low tide sand spit that throws a backwash wave into the in coming set creating a super steep, square , grinding, wedge of a tube that peels right down a rocky point. Dave suited up and swam out with his water camera to get a different view of the action. We managed to beat the crowd and score a couple really fun back wash bowls before the welcoming comity swarmed the peak.

setting up for the take off was super challenging, but well worth the rewards..

We dried off and headed South once again checking several points on the way and finally stopped shortly before sunset at a small point beach break. Nothing really enticing to motivate the crew, so they called it a day as Dave and I contemplated one more go out in hopes of capturing some of the mystical sunset that lit up the inside section of the point. I quickly raced down the rocky cliff and paddled out catching wave after wave as the sun slowly set behind the dark ominous clouds. I rode my last wave in  with the biggest smile on my face, knowing we had scored once again finishing the day with another epic sunset. There’s nothing more satisfying then hearing Dave say “that we really killed it today”. “What a great way to end my 48 hour wave crazed treasure hunt.” I packed up my truck, said my goodbyes and started my long journey home.

still going...

epic shore break closeouts.

what a great way to end the sleepless wave marathon....

Home at last; my wife, my dog, a hot shower and dinner and the rest is history……

Stay tuned to another wave filled adventure coming soon…..

Christmas Ride

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy holidays on another great Southern California Day in paradise……..

Having grown up celebrating Christmas with the family up in Lake Tahoe; I sure miss the White Christmas living in Southern California, but the alternatives are endless…

Mountain biking is one of the best ways to really push your training up a notch especially after  eating all the cookies, chocolates and Christmas goodies. I went for a great Christmas ride with good friend and Team California outrigger paddler, Thomas Shahinian. A perfect crisp, clear day with a light breeze, making for awesome riding conditions in the back hills of San Clemente. I love riding back here because all the single tracks are maintained by the riders and there are several bridges, great climbs and fun tight down hill runs.

Thomas hoping it doesn't break.... ha ha

Some bridges where long and super sketchy...

great riding all over this place..

I have learned that you always check yourself for ticks after every ride; you don't want the sickness....

should i stay or should i go??

Woke up early to the sound of wind chimes going crazy and my cell phone ringing off the hook. The word was out that the wind was blowing 30 and the swell was still well over head making it a promising day for a good long downwinder kiteboarding down the coast. I got a quick work out in, finished a couple errands and then met a friend to drop a car off in San Clemente and then continued up to Laguna beach, where we started our 10 mile downwinder.

“There’s nothing better then living in a place where you can do it all; it’s no Hawaii, but for my lifestyle, it’s perfect”. “Every sport helps me train for the other”..

We worked our way down the coast, hitting waves all the way to the Dana Point harbor and then again just before the San Clemente pier. We only get a weeks worth of cranking clearing winds with good surf, so you have to take advantage of it when it’s on. we finished the run with an hour of riding pounding shore break before our hands went numb. Ha ha

We hustled and got a quick bite to eat and made plans to hit up Trestles for an afternoon kite sesh, after a little work. We rallied kind of late as the wind was already starting to die down.

should I stay or should i go????

What do you do; rig a bigger kite, decide to call it because the morning session was all time, or just waist time talking about it on the beach as the wind gets even lighter??? I fall victim to the peanut gallery in the parking lot and rig up my bigger kite, with short lines and work my way up wind to Trestles. Sure enough most of the kiters are on there way in, but at this point, I’m wet and just powered enough to get a couple waves. I get a couple good long set waves through the inside where the wind shadow starts and quickly kick out before getting too underpowered. The wind keeps getting lighter, but I’m greedy; just one more wave, that’ all I want. Sure enough, my greed gets the best of me as I ride my last wave through the inside and on my last turn, my kite drops out of the sky right into the shore break. What an idiot… I can’t remember the last time I did that.

GoPro (POV) kite boarding

I quickly swim in and run down the beach and grab my kite and board before I risk trashing my kite. “I knew I should have just went with my gut feeling and called it a day when the wind started dropping off, but Nooo, I had to have the double session and get one more wave”…… too funny…

looking on the bright side, I got off easy... ha ha..

Days end…

The best thing about the day was watching the sunset on the way back to the truck.  “my lesson for the day; listen to your gut feeling and be thankful for what you already have because greed only gets you into trouble”……

Last Minute Slab Hunting

With “El Nino Winter” in full effect, we have had a great run of solid swell over the past 2 months and it keeps on coming. Not even back a week from chasing XXL swell in Hawaii and I’m off again for a quick 1 day road trip up the coast with friends. When dealing with chasing swells, your always making plans last minute making it super exciting because it’s always a gamble and you never know what your going to get.

We made the call last night at around 10:30 pm and were on the road 2 hours later with 2 skis, SUP boards, tow boards and paddle boards. We arrive at the harbor just before light; it’s 4o degrees out with a 20 mph smoking offshore wind and a building West swell. We suit up and do a quick 30 minute jet ski ride up the coast to a fun slab of a wave that breaks over a shallow swiss cheese reef shelf.

Early morning buzz, gearing up for an epic day with all the toys.

Early morning gold....

Your chariot awaits.....

As the sun pops over the mountain range, the first sign of the swell pulses a couple gaping A-frame tubes over the shelf that spit like a fire breathing dragon. “It’s on”, with a quick scramble to tie off all the extra boards to an anchor, we race to the outside to pick off a couple sets. “This is what it’s all about; I feel like a kid at Christmas time”…….

Gliding in to set up for the pit. "what a rush".....

This is what it's all about and well worth the stress and last minute circus getting there.

it’s like a studio out here, with a couple photographers shooting off the ski and another swimming in the pit; it doesn’t get any better…. We all trade wave after wave, sometimes getting our clocks cleaned and sometimes getting shot out of the tube like a cannon. “It’s the best way to train because we all push each other to go deeper and in doing so, sometimes you cash in the fun tickets for a quick ride down the elevator shaft to the basement of the kelp forest”…. After a solid beating like that, you really feel alive and that is all part of the rush that keeps you going back for more….

Do you feel it???

40 spitting hallways and a dozen punishing car wrecks and I take a break and swim in the pit to shoot a couple water shots of the boys doing their thing. “It’s the best seat in the house”..It’s such a cool feeling to watch your friends charging and driving in the tube right next to you..

Another freight train......

Pato, gliding into a bender..

A good hour of swimming in the pit, fired me up to sling into a couple more bombs as the tide slowly dropped out. 4 skis in the water with no shortage of waves, kept the moral peaking all day. By mid afternoon, the low tide created huge staircases to launch off in the tube, making for some unbelievable entertaining rodeo rides. With 8 hours of fun under the sun; hunger and exhaustion set in and we called it a day.

The Saemen brothers, home bound..

The day ended with a huge feast at a local pub as we all reflected on the days treasure, exchanging stories of wipe outs and stand out tube rides. It’s amazing what punishment you can put your body through and still have a smile on your face. Another great successful stealth mission in the books and a big thanks to my friends who shared this epic day and to photographers Fred Pompermyer and Mike Jones

The crew, (from L-R) Bella, Pato, Mike Jones, Bryce Saemen, Eric Akiskalian, TJ Saemen, Ed Guzman and yours truly, Chuck P

Hobie Hennesseys International Paddle board Championships, San Francisco

 

The Hennesseys International Paddle Board Championships were held in San Francisco at the Aquatic park on a beautiful warm sunny 80 degree day. Team Hobie drove up a few days early to train and enjoy the city life with friends.

 

Full story and photos soon…….

 

The Golden Gate bridge in all it's glory.

 

The event site at Aquatic park, SF

 

 

 

SUP World Tour boat trip

With the sport of SUP racing growing so fast, the SUP surfing is sure to follow in it’s footsteps with a world tour..

Tristen of Waterman’s League, decided to put together a small contenders boat trip in Tahiti to test out the idea.

12 SUP athletes; 4 from Tahiti, 4 from Hawaii and 4 on the International team.

Full story and photos soon….

Tahiti sunset

All the athletes enjoying the boat trip

 

 

 

Testing my hobie 7’11” SUP in the surf

I always like doing R&D and exploring how much smaller of a board I can ride and still paddle efficiently in the surf. Today I tested a 7’11” and it was a fun challenge. I feel I need a little more length to help glide into waves and make paddling easier and a little more thin and sharper rails to help control the board during sharp turns etc. All in all, it was a fun ride….

My little toy.

almost like riding my surfboard

this board was a little more challenging going backside because of the thicker rails.

 

 

Tahoe-Nalu SUP race

I spent much of my life living in Tahoe when I was competing in skiing and snowboarding. All of my family lives up here, so it’s always great to come and visit and get away from Southern Cal and relax in the mountains. I always stay at my Mothers hotel “Holiday House” which is right on the lake in Tahoe Vista and is a great place to take your dog.

For the past 3 years there has been a really great SUP race on the lake and SUP paddlers from all over the West coast come to compete and enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe.

This years race was one of the biggest with about 150 paddlers and a cool set up on the beach where SUP industry companies had demo boards and paddles for all to try.

This years 7.5 mile race was kind of challenging because of the South East winds and boat wakes that made paddling and balancing on your race board a major chore. Competition this year was solid as I battled it out with my Team California outrigger team mate Thomas Shahinian the entire time. We traded places the whole time and then I managed to keep him behind me to the finish. Great race!!

 

Drove up at 1 am with my dog "Wade" and my road soda that kept me buzzing till day light.

Home sweet home at my mom's beautiful hotel "Holiday House".

"Wade" was in the water all day long living in dog paradise.

"Wade" loves to swim forever.

The event site in Kings beach, Lake Tahoe

The finish line at the beach.

Hanging with Thomas Shahinian and Jimmy Terrel.

Team Hobie killed it in every category.

Holding the lead in bumpy, choppy conditions around the point.

!st place overall on a new Hobie 18' unlimited SUP race board

 

 

 

 

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