What a fun day seeing everyone and watching Austin race against a talented double in the long course and a men's smoking fast K4 in the short course. Lots of laughs and even a nice day after a slight drizzle in the early morning.
We displayed the new REVO kayaks and have them on sales for $995. These are beautiful fiberglass vacum, brand new skis, BUT REVO has changed many things on their newest designs and so these will not be representative of what you would be ordering in the future..SOOO BLOW OUT SALE. Also we had the new smaller ski the SPLASH from Carbonology ready to roll for the shorter,lighter paddler.
Once again TEAM FENN dominated all categories, winning singles long and short course(overall) Austin Keiffer, Double with Olympian Cliff Meidl and Rich Sprout...and age groupers following up!!
So thankful for all our friends and family that help us load and unload, since my neck surgery the lifting is the hardest part..and the easy up isn't so easy.
Until next time...Lanakila race and then DANA.
oh and look what I won in the raffle...HAHAHAHAHA
I love container day!! So many new and fun surfskis, paddles and neat gear.
New items include....Wave deflector, Wrist paddle leashes, Orka paddles and covers, tail flags, carbon bullets and weed deflectors.
REVO surfskis, Splash by Carbonology..A KIDS surfski can't wait for Danica to give it a go.
AND FENNS, FENNS, FENNS, FENNS.........
Seems I've been gone for awhile so 2017 is the time to reconnect with my sport and my customers and the family I call paddling. Here's whats exciting, old and new for OCEAN PADDLESPORTS in 2017. Surfskis...As always we are the USA and Canadian distributor for FENN Surfskis! Did you know FENN is the largest manufacturer of surfskis in the world with a new factory in East London, South Africa. (not China Yea!!!) With the new S series, FENN rules the world cup circuit with the ELITE S. Watch out this year for USAs favorite paddler, Austin Keiffer to make a podium move on the world stage on his FENN Elite S! We are proud to sponsor him along the way!
Everyone from beginners to experts are chasing wake and having fun on the the MOST popular Swordfish S and Blue Fin S. AND for paddlers like me.....(small in stature or weight) the Elite Spark is the stand out ski for us gals or slightly lighter guys!!
For the Lifeguard racers, the FENN LS is a world champion two years in a row as USA Lifeguard Tim Burdiak won the title in the Netherlands this year..YES, he beat ALL the Aussies and South Africans on the FENN LS.
Carbonology is another brand we have started bringing in from South Africa. This company makes many models, so we try to fit in the shapes that compliment what we don't have in the FENN Brand. Check out the Boost.
VAIKOBI... We are so excited to be North America's number one distributor of Vaikobi PFDs and Ocean Performance clothing. We hit it hard at the Gorge paddling festival in 2016 and we will be there again in full team strength.
Hey Look there's Austin Again!!!
Paddles... We have become the go to company for JANTEX paddles. Jantex is Olympic gold, silver and bronze,so its good enough for you.
Along with ORKA PADDLES from Cape Town and all model FENN paddles to round out your choices,
we have what you are looking for in your budget and ability.
AND FINALLY ACCESORRIES... We have been doing this for over 60 years combined...We are old but wise. From Olympics to marathon, to river and flat water, surfski champions for long distance or sprint lifeguard around the cans..we have done it all, so with that experience we test and use everything we sell. Check out the online store OCEAN PADDLESPORTS ONLINE STORE
and any questions let us know...any orders we try to ship the next day. Watch this space for shorter news items a little more often than every 4 years.
I haven't written in such a long time, but mostly for me, there hasn't been any really exciting news to share until NOW!!! I finally got MY ski from FENN. For years Keith Fenn has heard from me about making a low volume, elite ski..mostly for me (and the other smaller paddlers) in the world that love a fast ski, but lack the bulk and braun to handle the big boats in the ocean, wind and waves.
Here's a quick review of what I think of the Spark, 15km today in the flat ocean.
The fit is fantastic..the seat is snug, but not uncomfortable. I paddled without a seat pad and don't need one to be comfy..I put a Lincke pad in at the end and it works too if you want.
I'm 5'9", 150lbs. The foot pedals are right in the middle of the track for my size. It fits my friends at 6'2" and 5'....
The hump is finally a non issue. I can get full leg drive and proper rotation. My feet, size 10, fit perfectly in the footwell and the foot strap can adjust tight against them.
My favorite part about this ski is the narrow catch. It feels like a K1 to me....I didn't hit the side of the ski once. And when you carry it, it feels like a K1 on your shoulder or it's skinny enough to wrap your arm around it and when your hands grab the rails,its narrow,not rounded, so you can grip it tight..good for windy days!!
Ok, speed and stablity...this part is so subjective, but I really found it to be quite a bit more stable than my elite...it's not swordfish stable, but more than one person the other day thought it was. I did not get any wind or waves, but rode some wake, went in the ocean up and around the jetty, in through the surf and had some swirly boat stuff. It's gift that its doesn't bob and weave like the elite does when you don't sink it enough. I can only imagine that it will be easier to control in high wind and big swells.
The ski gets up to sprint (run catching speed) in a few strokes and Rich Sprout got it to 20km/hour the other day in a quick sprint. It moves along well for me at about 12km/hour for an 80% piece...I can't judge the speed compared to my elite just yet, but its not dragging along..its spirited and feels lively and light..the swordfish is a Cadillac, the SPARK is a Ferrari. (hey Glickman, like my analogies...?)
I'd like to update this information as soon as I take the ski downwind, because really thats what we all want anyway.. but if the ski fits, you are on the right track.
By the way..Hybrid $2900 and it weighs 24.5lbs.
Carbon vacum $3900 and its weighs 21.5 lbs.
Oh and we sold them all already and have ordered another container..Hurry FENN, USA champs is Aug 3-4.
Its been awhile since 'Ive written anything...lots of personal stuff going on...lots of paddlings stuff too. Patrick and Sean had a fun, if uneventful Molokai race in the double...I opted to give up Patrick to Sean and let them race together..as it turned out, no wind again for the channel crossing, so I was happy with that decision. The older I get the more wind I need....seems true for us all.
Usa champs was an incredible event and as I watched from the shoreline, I had mixed emotions about not racing...But with the cold weather, and lack of windy conditons(unusual for SF) I once again was happy with my decision. Wavechaser did a remarkable job running the event and pulled off the best race ever...10 years and the champs have become what Patrick and I only dreamed it would be when we started this race in 2002. Hats off to Dawid Mocke again...he continues to show the paddling world why he is number one, but even more than that, why he is such a genuine and kind person. A few stand out accomplishments from some people who aren't in the limelight. First of all ,kudos to Kim Hayashi who weekend after weekend races up and down the coast in every water craft there is... braved the conditions (cold....she's itty bitty) and finished strong in the short course. Then there is Duane Stosaker, a highly respected sea kayaker, racing the long course and finishing well after only a year of surfski paddling...talk about setting a goal and making it happen..this man is an example of what you can do if you set your mind to it...plus he has serious skills!!
There are lots of stories within the big story....but I want to thank Patrick for all his support, not only to me (high maintanence wife), or for all the work he does to get skis and stuff to everyone with a good attitude...driving that loaded trailer on I-5 is something else....but his parental support as now he's on a plane with our son Hayden to the lifeguard nationals on the East Coast....Good luck boys and Huntington State Beach!!!!
Its been ages since I've written in my blog and re entry into California after 3 weeks in Africa wasn't easy. After paddling Millers Run with Dawid Mocke, racing around the lighthouse up and back in shark alley, grinding 50KM around Cape Point and relaxing at a game reserve 20 feet from lions,I was lazy to get on the computer.
But some paddling thoughts now that I'm back to the grind in Newport Harbor in the flat bay...
Day 2 in Cape Town, I got my very first Millers Run 12 km of downwind from Millers Point to Fish Hoek.
This day was mild for there, ok for me, not my mild, but awesome.. if you can stop thinking about the sharks.
But hold on, back up to Day 1..probably blowing harder..and as we sat in the Golden Spur(hamburgers at their best) overlooking Fish Hoek beach, we saw Dawid come in on a doubleski....then later that day as we walked around the beach in Jet lag delirum, we saw Dawid come in with some gals on singles...after chatting with him later, he mentioned he had done 3 Millers runs actually and grinning from ear to ear..not bad for a day job. He takes these "clients" for the run and I believe he is booked solid when the wind is blowing.
On the weekend there was the Peter Creese Lighthouse race...out around and back about 12km. maybe 150 paddlers, I think 6 or 7 girls and a super fun day. You start on the beach, in the surf ready go and hammer the whole way. Wake riding tactics and just a blast for a "little" local race.
Ok,the big race,Cape Point. We were fitter than last time we did it and really wanted to claim the mixed doubles. Another crew of Matt Bowman and his girl friend (sorry not sure of her name) were the stiff competition.
They batch or seed the groups so that on the grind to the point you are with crews your speed. All mixed doubles were batch together. Well we wanted to be batched with the fastest mens crews. In 2006,we were 4th overall in the doubles so know we can hang with most average mens doubles
read more here...
All smiles the day before the grueling 4 hour paddle. We love Natchez and the race organizers Keith and Melissa do an incredible job of making everyone welcome and stoked on the race. We had a great race plan to start easy this year and build into it saving something for hour number 4 and finish strong, record or not. This year there was another competitive double with Joe Glickman and Eric Mims. My greatest worry was Philippe was racing single and he would kill us in the beginning and then out sprint us at the end. Not that it matters when he is in single and we are double and different catagories, but anyone that is competitive never wants to come second..to a single or not. So Pat and I planned to let him go out fast and we would start easy, not die as much and then be strong at the end. We never even considered that the other double would take off at a flat sprint and so when they did we cracked up, sure they would stop sprinting after 10 minutes...so we just let them go. PB stayed with us. He didn't sprint off either.
After hour 1 the other double was about 500 meters ahead..lets go..No lets still go 70%. Ok hour 2, 1000 meters ahead, lets go, no Pat says, they will die, we will pass them easy.
Hour 3, they aren't slowing we aren't gaining and I'm pretty sure its too late. What about me blowing? Well not really, but not enough in the tank to play hammer down and catch up..not at hour 3, not me. The only good thing about starting slow and building into it is that we didn't feel quite so crappy when we finished and packed up to go home.....but heck, I'd take feeling really terrible for first place...anyday.
I want to say great job to Joe and Eric. They raced smart, hung on to the lead, extended it and finished first. congratulations.
I hate to lose, it sucks. We were out paddled and out stratigized. Love it, please come back next year..come Joe, please.
Fun weekend catching up to paddling friends and seeing new things. This is a race everyone should try....its unique, its challenging, it's Phatwater.
Dawid Mocke makes is look easy..cruising to his 5th title. We all have a story to tell and this one is mine.
Patrick and Reece spent the whole week in San Fran..goofing around with kites and downwind runs. I flew in on Thursday with Danica our 4 year old and Eva, the best Swedish Nanny:), and friend you could ask for..if not for her help driving and watching the kidlets, this weekend would not have been possible...from the Demo day starting at 10 till 5, then the dinner and then more sales till well after 10pm the night before the race..all great business but not great race prep.
Race day the wind was blowing..not very hard, but some. The outgoing current was supposed to be mild and we were all set for the race. Prep was good not perfect, lots of days off after Molokai with illness and then tendonitis that I couldn't shake off. .The best in the world ski paddler gal type, Michele Eray, was racing and you have to believe you have a chance, but even Patrick was hoping she wouldn't beat him. Ha, makes me think I don't really have a chance. Ok, the race is off..not sure if there was a good spot to grab as everyone scratched for position.
The race into the wind out to Point Bonita was uneventful. I was alone, not on the wake, for about 10 minutes until Kenny Howell and John Dye came along on the inside and I was thankful to sneak in behind them for a pull into the wind to the bouy. The potato patch was nothing. I needed big messes for my swordfish to take off, but the water was very mild there..similar to Newport Harbor on a small day..darn. Ok, turned the mark and headed for the runs..no runs..just a serious grind back to the golden gate bridge..not a bump or a boat wake or much to do but paddle hard.
At this point I'm getting tired...come under the bridge for a blast of cold gusting wind. Had to grip hard to not blow away..heres the Fenn Hot spot...ready for runs..where are they?
read more here...
With much excitement I lined up to race Sunday in "my" new ski the Fenn Swordfish. I say my ski because as much as I love the XT and train in flat Newport in the Elite.....I,along with many other paddlers, have been begging for something in between. So my hope was that it lived up to the billilng it was getting in South Africa. My opinion is just that, and I love Fenn skis so take what I say knowing that and I am also a Fenn dealer. Totally biased...and totally blown away by the performance of this ski. It is comfortable with the lowered hump under the knee..not a deep seat like the Elilte, and not the roomy seat like the XT, but something, well..in between. The speed in the flat is no where as sluggish as the XT..and not the effortless glide of the elite, but rather again, in between. I find it rides the wake surprisingly well..lifts you right up from the tail and puts the nose right smack down and your on....makes for splendid into the wind behind a big strong guy..that was you Austin I was bumping ever so gentle on Sunday...nice pull out to the turn around..thanks.
And the surfing..well all I can say is I forgot to paddle cause I was always on a wave...surfing left and right and then when I wanted to go more...boom, boom 2 strokes and up and over to the next one...with the elite its the same,but sometimes my stoke is interupted by a wiggle in my hips and a little unbalance on the top of the wave. Never, not once did this happen with the Fish...The XT is similar that way, but the Fish glides faster..speedier in the trough so less effort to pick the next go...
Never spun out, never flooded, never shouted a cus word out loud..But to be fair it was pretty mild on Sunday and it gets way bigger and windier and the potato patch is something else..but I can say with confidence that this ski will handle it all for those of us who want the security of a ski we can control....25 years of experience or not..I know what I can handle....and I am lucky to have the Swordfish.
Did a solo downwind from Huntington Beach (Hayden at Junior lifeguards) to Newport coast guard beach. Awesome...wind was about 11 knots and the swell small and the water 68...so warm. Max speed 19km/hour and average for the 1 hour was 13km with first 5 km heading side on the wind to get the better angle...all alone woo hooing.
Now that I have had 9 hours of sleep after the 4 hour grind in Hawaii, after loading the trailer, after flying the red eye home..time to reflect and re live what was by far the hardest Molokai.
I have done 4 channel crossings, Sunday made 5, the 3rd one in double. I thought I had it down, even giving advice to new comer and training partner Sean. Do this,don't do that..escort boat wash messes you up, the wall is a defining moment, the water changes, and blah blah blah. Well here is my story....I don't have any advice anymore except I guess you have to do this race to understand....and even then you don't get it and you come back again and again.
Ok, all smiles the day before the race.
We prepared well, had the right juice mixed, the water chilling in the tripper, the hammer gell in squeeze bottles. Wind was prediced at 6 knots on wind guru. Patrick and I kept looking at other web sites and news broadcasts to find the prediction we wanted more. 15-20 knots. We (I) was convinced that if the wind was blowing we would beat Carter and Robin in the other double. There were 2 other double crews..both from Italy that we knew would be fast, probably not skilled in the waves.
Race morning was uneventful until the Island Air flight starting leaking fluid and instead of flying toward Molokai we were in the airport wondering if the next flight would leave us just on the beach as the race went without us. I should learn to handle adversity like late flights better..but intead I paced the airport in my bright orange paddling shirt and lycra shorts (all our stuff was on Noahs escort boat..on Molokai). Since there is no cell phone reception on Molokai we never knew that race organizer Shelley Oates-Wilding was going to hold the race for us.... Sean Lupton-Smith, Kala Judd, Bill Mehula and a few other escort crews. So anxious and pacing, using precious engery that I most defintely needed later, we made it with time to spare..wheeew.
read more here...
Patricks been hammering hard in the wind after his Urban Search and Rescue class...I kinda tweeked my back so rested up over the weekend, but sometimes this is a good thing and had a great workout this am with Sean and PB. Time not to get injured or sick..and lots of talking to the winds gods....blow blow blow on May 15...East!