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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

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

rainbow sandals “Molokai crossing” hawaii

After the Outdoor retailer trade show in salt Lake city; I flew out to Maui to train and get ready for the Molokai Crossing. I always stay with my adopted family, “the Baxters” who have 2 super talented waterman kids that compete windsurfing, SUP racing, surfing, and tow surfing; you name it they do it.

I trained for a couple days on a couple race boards on loan from Dave Kalama and Naish. The day before the race, we drove a boat over to Molokai from Maui with all of our race boards and gear.

full story coming soon.

on the boat to Molokai with the Baxter family

my team partner, Mike Fields, Jenny Kalmbok and Thiebert Lucia before the start.

my little brother, Connor Baxter, ready to be the first 14 year old solo paddler to ever cross the Molokai channel

Prone paddlers started before the SUP paddlers.

Mike Fields grinding it out in the channel.

Mike getting some good rides.

You can just start to see Oahu off in the distance.

After I rounded Portlock Point, The wind turned into a 25 mph head wind, making it a super brutal finish.

I'm almost there, but still grinding.

Mike and I enjoying a great tasting beer after a great day of paddling.

Connor coming in and still smiling, what a super stud....

 

Got to love coming from California and finishing 8th overall.

What an awesome event, hanging with great friends, thanks Sparky!!

 

 

 

Outdoor retailer tradeshow, Utah

I went with the Hobie team to Salt Lake city, Utah for the Outdoor retailer trade show . The day before the show, there was an on water demo at a lake near Powder mountain where the public could demo SUP boards and kayaks and ask questions etc. After the demo was over, the Hobie team decided to do a river run on the way back to Salt Lake city.

Story coming soon.

The Hobie team ready to paddle the river after a long day doing demos.

 

cruising down the mellow part of the river.

Just cruising with the boys, about to hit the rapids..

Tree tube on the way down.

Hitting the rapids and feeling like a beginner again. ha ha...

 

The river SUP pros ready to get rolled..

cool light box at the Hobie booth at OR

 

 

 

 

Hobie Hennesseys US Paddleboard Championships 09

The Hobie Hennesseys US Paddleboard Championships were held in sunny, warm Redondo beach. There was a great crowd of prone paddlers and SUP paddlers which continues to grow like wild fire. This was a tough race to get ready for because I was fighting a pinched nerve in my back from a bad wipeout in Tahiti a couple weeks before. I went to Dr. “G”, Gary Arthur, founder of Health in Balance in Laguna beach, who is a highly respected Chiropractic Kinesiologist that works with several professional athletes in keeping them in peak performance for competition. He helped educate me about my body mechanics and put me through physical therapy and damage control and taught me how to stretch and listen to my body as I train. As an athlete; you are always going hard and sometimes you forget and have to really stop and slow down and listen to your body so you can keep charging at a high level. None the less, I still had a race to do and went for it anyway.

I paddled my Hobie 18′ unlimited race board and a new custom Kialoa race paddle (86″) long. The race started out with the usual rolling start where everybody gets so excited and keeps paddling past the start and then the horn goes and your off. I held the lead for a short while and good old Danny Ching starts grinding next to me and finally passes and I’m playing follow the leader.

After we round the first buoy, my shoulder starts to go numb and shortly after, then my hand. I struggle with getting a good grip on the paddle as i stroke on the Right side, but I am determined to keep going because that is what your stubborn mind tells you to do. I round the 2nd buoy and really start to notice a lack in board speed as Thomas starts to get closer. I give it all I have just to keep my sanity and start to have problems feeling the paddle every time I switch to my right side. I round the 3rd buoy with one more lap to go and I decide to pull out of the race. This was one of my hardest decisions to make, because you know you can do it yet your body is telling you otherwise and you think about your sponsors and fans and even yourself; how you let everyone down and you failed. This was a very humbling decision that I will never forget, but it was the right decision and I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to stay on top of my game plan and keep myself healthy to fight another day.

All of us go through this type of thing in different ways every day and it’s a healthy and exciting learning process that makes life such a great challenge to be the best you can at anything you choose.

Event site, in Redondo beach

My new Rainbow "Race Weed" racing fin.

My mind is always full of butterfly's at race time and all i want to do is get it over with as fast as possible.

questioning my decision as I quit early and paddle in.

I'm super lucky, to have such great support from all my sponsors and friends.

This sports specialist gave me a great deep tissue and tension release massage that brought my hand and shoulder back to life.

Thomas Shahinian 2nd, Danny Ching 1st and Tom Gallager 3rd; great competition.

Hobie team rider, Byron Kurt 1st place 12'6 stock SUP class.

Tyler, 1st prone paddle finisher, interviewed by Tim Ritter.

always a pleasure to meet the young guns like Slater Trout from Hawaii.

"Dr. G" Gary Arthur; Founder of Health In Balance and one of the best that continues to help me work through my injuries. HIBTherapy.com

First Tahiti swell of Spring 09

I have been to Tahiti several times chasing big Southern hemi swells, tow surfing and paddle surfing and I have always dreamed of stand up paddling Teahupoo. So this trip was all about SUP and exploring the other islands and meeting new friends.

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Making the drop at Teahupoo is always critical.

This was my first cover-up and a breakthrough in what I knew I could do.

This was my first cover-up and a breakthrough in what I knew I could do.

This was one of the bombs I got this day which ended as one of the best tube rides I got and as one of the best beatings.

This was one of the bombs I got this day which ended as one of the best tube rides I got and as one of the best beatings.

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Go Pro self portrait as I enter the tube.

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Another angle as I enter the inside bowl.

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Go Pro self portrait as I get locked deep in the tube.

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This is what I dream about and finally a reality.

You always pay a price when you push it, but that is half the fun.

You always pay a price when you push it, but that is half the fun.

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this is the view after a solid beating, when you come up for air and have to dive deep again until you get washed into the safety of the lagoon.

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looking out at Teahupoo after a good lunch.

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this was a cool shot from a hotel we stayed at before going to Morea.

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I borrowed a kite board from a friend and a had a blast this day on Morea.

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I always travel with kite gear just incase it gets windy. "Gotta do it all".

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Tim Ditty getting friendly with the rays on Morea.

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a lifestyle shot for the sponsors.

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always great to do some exploring.

Watermans Surfaid paddle

Watermans sunscreen put together a great 6 mile SUP race in Dana Point off Doheney state beach. Conditions were smooth with a slight South swell and Southerly breeze.

I decided to paddle a new 14′ Hobie Carbon race board to see how I would fare against the 18′ unlimited guys. Unfortunately each board class started a 2 minutes apart, but I managed to catch up deep into the middle of the unlimited class before finishing 1st in my 14′ ft division.

The race was well run, with a good crowd and all for a good cause.

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Race finish

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There was some fun South swell at the finish

 

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No matter how tired I am, I always like to finish strong.

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Micky Munoz and Sparky of Rainbow sandals; these gentlemen keep me inspired.

 

 

 

Winter swell road trip

When you don’t get the big waves at home, you have to go find them. Anytime the buoys are showing 15′ ft or bigger with light to offshore winds, I’m out the door on a mission.

my phone is ringing off the hook and I’m glued to my laptop studying weather and wave models on the internet to make sure I know where to go to get the best conditions and the best waves. Sometimes it’s a gamble, but that’s what makes it an adventure.

On this particular swell, we had a ton of wind and rain moving down the coast, but there was a small window showing a break in the weather with promising conditions. My partner in crime, Eric from Towsurfer.com and photographer Fred Pompermyer.

We left at 3 am in poring rain and wind all the way up the coast and about an hour from our final destination the weather broke and everything got super calm. We had our sights on a mini slab that always gets super good with a West swell.

We got to the boat ramp, set up the skis with rescue sleds and packed our tow boards and my SUP surf board and paddle, suited up and off we went. Conditions were so perfect, we couldn’t believe it. We got to the off shore slab wave and I will let the pictures show the rest of the adventure and yes, I took a good couple beatings this day; making it that much better.

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Off shore slab doing it's thing.

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on the way out to the slab in between storm fronts.

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this is what it's all about, Adventure!!

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The diamond in the rough; life is good....

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The sun even graced us during my SUP session.

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Sunset, ending an epic day of surf.