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…….
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….
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!!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.