Road trip to Santa Cruz to scope out our new SUP boards

Kipps and I hit the road last week for another “tough day on the job” to demo new stand up paddle boards in Santa Cruz. Our first stop was to the Surf Tech warehouse to pick up all of our new Bark Stand Up Paddle race boards we are adding to our retail and demo fleet.

Surf Tech is the distributor for a bunch of boards that we are adding to our line, including the Barks (fancy race boards, if you have to ask the price you may not have the dough for these puppies at over $2,000), Randy French soft top (retail $999), and Surf Tech Lahui Kai Bamboo ($1399). We now can get any boards in the Surf Tech line including Laird Hamilton, Robert August, Mickey Munoz, Gerry Lopez, Marisa Miller ladies specific SUPs, and Takayama. The guys at Surf Tech were super cool (isn’t everyone in Santa Cruz super cool!?) and helped us gather up our order and strap all those huge boards onto our roof racks.

Our next stop was to visit Bob Miller and the Blue Coil Surf Shop.

Bob is John Miller’s brother, and John and Bob owned and operated the ASD Windsurfing Shop that we took over at Coyote Point Park in San Mateo in 2007.

Bob has continued to shape surf boards and is now shaping stand up paddle boards. It was my first time meeting Bob (I see John all the time as he stops in to hang out and does board repair for our customers). Bob is handsome and super nice (just like John!). He spent time with Kipps and I reviewing their board line up.

We are looking at placing a custom board order with them for stand up paddle boards. They are famous for their shapes (Bob is an awesome board shaper) and their street cred (a.k.a. how cool the boards look) is off the charts. These boards will be priced very competitively and will be gorgeous to stare at (and 90% of most sports is about looking good, right?).

Once we had our Blue Coil SUP in tow, Kipps and I drove over to Santa Cruz harbor to demo both the brand new Bark 12’6″ Competitor race board, and the 11′ Blue Coil SUP. We unpacked the Bark board and just stared at it for a while. It comes with a carbon fin and the deck is so damn pretty that we sat in silence for a moment.

We grabbed our paddles and headed for the boat ramp. Once in the water, I was amazed at how stable the Bark board was. And despite my endless teaching of students to not stare down (look up! look where you are going!), I simply could not keep my eyes off the new beautiful Bark race board. Not only was it super stable and gorgeous, it also glides through the water like a ginsu knife!

Kipps did a good job keeping up on the very different 11′ Blue Coil. This board has great glide as well for it’s size, and has impressive rocker (curve like a surf board) so we know it will handle the waves like a charm.

We paddled out into the harbor and saw lots of cool birds, a sea otter (so cute!), kayakers, and a few other SUPers.

After our tough day, I think we both decided that the Bark board is our new favorite for speed and glide. This is a race board in its’ own class. If you are interested in recreational or competitive racing, this is the board for you! We have demos at both Alameda and San Mateo, and they are offered on a demo to buy for racers or advanced SUP paddlers. Come try one and fall in love!

SUP, Windsurfing and Kiteboarding in November!

After 18 years of living in San Francisco, I still feel extremely grateful for our weather. The picture above was taken this past Saturday, November 14th! What a great day to be in Alameda.
As you may recall, Saturday morning was gloomy! I woke up to cold, dreary skies and rain. My first thought, “The weatherman sure missed the mark.” The forecast was for sun, but I had serious doubts about seeing sun that day. Fortunately, about 1 hour later, blue skies were on the horizon and the next thing I knew, there wasn’t a cloud to be seen!!

I drove to Alameda and set up for our SUP tour/BBQ and windsurfing lessons. Four of us, hit the water for a Balina Isle paddle at 11:30. The conditions were ideal. Amazing flat water, blues skies and lots of pelicans diving for their lunch. The tide was ebbing so the paddle out was also easy.
Once in side the lagoon area, I could feel the wind picking up. Perfect for our two beginner windsurfing students, Ed and Ben. It was also perfect to have tail winds come back around the other side of the Isle.
Ed and Ben were able to sail around as the wind picked up to a steady 8-10mph and stayed there all afternoon. Even Jesse was able to get out kiting on his 19m Flysurfer and Litewave 161 Wing!

At the end of the day, a few of us sat on the lawn chairs and watch the sun start to set. How lucky we are to live in the Bay Area!

Congrats to Susan Barber – SUP Winner!

Congrats to Boardsports SUP Team Rider Susan Barber (seated foreground left) for her stellar finish at the Naish National Championship Race in San Diego yesterday. Susan finished in the top 10, and drove all the way there on Saturday and back on Sunday (8 hrs each way). She even made it onto the local news! You rock Susan!!

Shana Kaplan (SF Series top 3 finisher) also drove down for the event and finished 3rd place! Great job ladies and hope to see you paddling locally very soon. Check out pics and video here.


SUP Race Winners Invited to San Diego Sept 13 for Naish Championship Race

Our final 4th race was held at Crissy this past Saturday. For a change, the weather was hot and gorgeous (no fog, just sunshine and clear skies). The beach was packed with families and dogs.
Heat wave in San Francisco at Crissy Field, watch out for babies everywhere!
The 505 World Championship Sailboat Race was also going on. Here they are entering the water about the same time as our start. Their race did not start until noon, so they didn’t mind all of us SUPpers paddling about while they launched into the bay.

All provided a stellar backdrop for our Naish SUP Recreational Race Finals. We had lots of new attendess…and over 20 racers for our final event!
Jesse prepares the start line.

Ready, Get Set, GO!

This week’s course was 2 counter clockwise laps around Anita Rock and 2 buoys down by the St. Francis Yacht Club. Here are our top 3 Racers coming paddling to the last mark before the finish, Anita Rock.

For the final stretch, there was tension in the air. Jean, Joe, and Darcy were all very close together. They rounded the Anita Rock mark in near unison, then power paddled to the small swell on the inside near shore. When they were almost to shore, Joe had the lead and seemed to have it all wrapped up. But then Joe fell in! He popped up on his board so quickly, we don’t think he even got wet. He madly paddled in, adrenaline pumping to help him sprint to shore.

Joe ran so fast past the finish line, I could not catch his picture. He got his very first first place finish for this 4th and final race of the 4 week series. Congratulations Joe! Here he is below, pictured with Jean. The two of them were the only top 3 finishers to attend every race in the series. These are true waterman. Thanks for the extra devotion, Jean and Joe! They seemed to have some serious fun at these races.

Jean also ran into a 2nd place finish for Saturday to secure his win over Darcy. With such a stellar and consistent performance, Jean finished 1st place overall. Congrats to Jean for wining the series!

Darcy Doyle coming in 3rd for Saturday and for the series. Joe copied his paddle stroke technique, and ended up winning this past Saturday. Thanks for the race tips last week Darcy!
New attendee Vijay took 4th place. Where did this guy come from? He is good! And yes, another Naish paddler on my favorite board, the 11’4. He came in 4th despite having his thruster fins on. Oops!

Jonathan’s first SUP race, and he finished 5th out of over 20 racers. Pretty impressive. He said it was a great workout. I think he’ll be coming back for more.
Group shots at the end of the race.

Thank you cheer leading squad! They helped motivate everyone to really run to the finish line.

Thank you to our Race Committee Chair Jesse Stewart. You rock Jesse!

Jesse (pictured below with me)

The top 3 men and women from our race series are invited to compete in Naish SUP Championships in San Diego on Sept 13. There they will get a chance to win a 14′ Naish Glide and a trip to Maui to compete in another SUP race! There is also an Open Race Class in San Diego, so all SUP paddlers are welcome to compete.

Crissy Naish & Boardsports Recreational Race Series Final Rusults, August 2009

Men’s Division
1st Place – Jean Rathle (pictured below left)
2nd Place – Joe Miller (pictured below right)
3rd Place – Darcy Doyle (pictured below middle)

Women’ Division
1st Place – Karen VanPutten, pictured below with her daughter

2nd Place – Susan Barber (our local SUP champ, go Susan!)

3rd Place – Shana Kaplan (new attendee and makes top 3!)
We also could not help creating a junior race series. Shane Rathle did some serious paddling to win the juniors. Congrats Shane on going the full course on the final day!

We’ll be announcing some more recreational races soon. This was too much fun not to keep it going. Thank you to Naish for promoting the 15 city national race series. Good luck to everyone going to San Diego for the big final!

Boardsports School & Shop

SUP Race Week 2 and 3 Pictures….Final Race this Saturday 10am

Here are some pics from the last 2 weekends of SUP races at Crissy. Our FINAL RACE and BBQ is this Saturday, 8/29 at 10am, Crissy Field. This recreational race is OPEN TO BEGINNERS some come out to paddle, watch, or join the bbq this weekend!! Race results are posted on our website.

WEEK 2 GROUP SHOT with the little kids coming to help chear everyone on!
lots of new faces at the starting line for week 2…and sunny conditions with a 12 mph breeze. Ready, set, go!

Darcy and Jean nailed the start by starting a little west to compensate for the flood on the inside…and the 20 mph winds.Darcy Doyle coming in 1st for the week 2 race…

Joe coming in 2nd right behind Darcy.
Michelle with her new Naish Glide 12′. She decided last minute to join the race, and ended up coming in 2nd place! Must be that super fast new board :)

Daniel on his new Naish 11’4…another beginner SUPper taking it to the races.
Jean’s son Shane joined us…our first junior racer…and he came in 6th place!
Group finish photo. Good fun had by all.
After the race I rigged up my 5.0 and played in the small surf and the 12’6 SUPer SUP (SUP with centerboard). I went out fully clothed, and luckily did not fall in.

WEEK 3 RACE, featuring COLD temps, STRONG WINDS, and a STRONG FLOOD tide. Yikes!
Check out the fog and chilly looking weather.

The flood tide really pushed everyone down the beach at the start. Our 2 rookie paddlers Chris and Jessica (just learned last weekend) looked like they were being swept away to Alcatraz…but both ended up finishing strong once they beat the flood.
Some competition from outriggers at the finish…
Jean looks a little tired after this one…he said it was the toughest race so far…I guess because he kicked some booty and came in first place!
Darcy had to live with second place this week. Rumor had it he was overtaken at the 3rd mark.

Joe comes in 3rd…and also let’s us know it was a tough one!

Jesse kept everyone’s times so they could see how they progressed over the series. Times have been varying from 23 minutes to 43 minutes for the race course.
Fred comes in just in time to get out of the way of this big tanker.
Chris decided to loop Alcatraz (almost) and still came in first for the ladies!

Jessica finished 2nd. We were super proud of the rookies – 2nd time ever paddling and they raced Crissy Field!

It was too chilly for a group photo. Stay tuned for next week’s FINAL RACE!

August Naish SUP Race Series August 8, 15, 22, 29


The race course was a trip to the yellow buoy shy of the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, around Blackaller buoy, around Anita Rock buoy, and back to the beach. We had 10 racers in all, paddling on everything from an 11′ Uli inflatable SUP (Michael came in 4th!) to the Laird 12′ (Jean came in 1st!). The weather was gorgeous – sunshine and warm. No wetsuits needed! See videos and pics below. Race results are noW posted on our Boardsports School & Shop website.

Jesse from the Coast Guard and our beloved staff member, knows racing logistics so he helped plan the event.

Pre-race group shot. Tried to get the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, fog interfering…


The dog definately wanted to join the race…next time!

Jean approaching the beach finish in a time of approximately 25 minutes….riding a Laird 12′ and using a Powerex Sean Ordonex Paddle (visit our gear page to check it out and buy one!)

Jean, leisurely walking across the finish line…he had a significant lead.

Jean is no stranger to wining…check out his US Windsurfing National Championships race results from last week!

Joe was not too far behind…congrats to our Boardsports Team Member for finishing 2nd!! He paddled the Naish 12′ Glide (winner of the final of the race series wins a 14′ Naish Glide and trip to Maui) and the Powerex Sean Ordonez Carbon Paddle. We have both in stock at our retail shops if you want to come demo or purchase them!

Fred and Jesse at the finish.

Congrats to the TOP 3 Finishers…Jean Rathle (Laird 12′), Joe Miller (Naish Glide 12′), Fred Anderson (Jimmy Lewis 11′).

4th place to Mike Acquino on the inflatable Uli 11′In 5th place, Joe’s friend Jesse from out of town…he had paddled just a couple of times before today.

After the race they were going to head up to Bolinas and paddle the waves on their SUP boards.

AJ, way to bring it up from the rear to finish 6th..and you didn’t even fall in! He said that he had only paddled once before today.

Dean on his nice 11’2 Starboard.

Karen from San Diego, on a Naish 12′ Glide…and super cool adjustable telescoping Sawyer paddle.

Looking cool, calm and collect after about a 2 mile race…good job Sam!

And Allen with a big smile…glad to be in to the finish line and ready for the next race.

All in all a great time and lots of fun. Can’t wait for next week!!

Call 415.385.1224 or visit our website to sign up.


Naish Crissy SUP Rec Race Series Saturdays in August, 10am

NAISH 2009 SUP CHAMPIONSHIPS for AUGUST Every Saturday (Aug 8 start) 10am at Crissy Field
(in photo, MJ from Pacific Boardsports (Naish), Rebecca (Boardsports Owner), Nick (Naish)

Naish is pleased to introduce a weekly Recreational Race Series that will be held in 10 to 15 Cities across the US and Canada between now and August 31st. The series will include both men’s and women’s classes, and boards will be restricted to 12’6” and under to provide a level playing field, and keep the event centered around the surf culture. Boardsports School & Shop will be hosting the San Francisco Series every Saturday morning at Crissy Field.

The top 3 men and women from each city will be invited to compete with racers from across North America for the Championship race in San Diego, CA on September 13th, 2009.

The races are designed to be fun for paddlers of all levels, with the goal of increasing the visibility of the sport. The general format is as follows:

Series Length: 4 Weeks total duration, Every Sat (Aug 8 start) in August 10am at Crissy
Course: Course Race around Anita Rock and western buoy
Length: Races will typically last 30 to 45 Minutes
Divisions: Men, Women
Entry Fee: $20 Series, $5 Race
Equipment: Race entrants bring their own SUP boards. Board rentals are available with advance reservation from Boardsports School & Shop.

Contact info below to sign up.


Boardsports School & Shop
Alameda – San Mateo – San Francisco
Voted “Best of the Bay”

Hot Sunny Weather for the Crissy Swap and SUPing at Half Moon Bay

The weather was GORGEOUS on Saturday for this season’s annual SWAP MEET at Crissy Field in San Francisco. The swap meet was packed! Many people commented that it was the busiest swap they had seen in years. Lots of people were buying and selling their used gear. I had fun socializing with everyone and checking out the gear.

Abigail (one of our Crissy team riders) helped me to promote our school and shop by passing out brochures and showing off our new ’09 Naish SUP boards. They got a lot of ooos and aaahs with their irresistibly beautiful wood veneer construction.

I also brought our newly arrived Powerex Sean Ordonez 100% Carbon SUP paddles. Here is what Lightning Bolt Maui said about the SO Powerex carbon paddle on a recent forum post:

“In my eyes, the Powerex paddle is the best built paddle out there. I have been testing them for about 10 months now. I find the paddle to be my favorite paddle to date. I have left all my other paddles for this paddle. The paddle is very light yet very strong. Cort the manufacturer stated on a video if you break this paddle he will buy it back unless there are tire tracks across it. Thats a great warranty. I have been testing the hell out of this paddle, surfing big waves and doing down winders and letting beginners beat it up also. The paddle is stiff but flexes enough for my liking. The blade is bigger then most blades but it is not so big that you feel it right away… fast and powerful. Enters the water and exits well and plenty of torque.”

Watch The Video of Cort Larned’s overview of the new Powerex 100% Carbon Paddle and how strong it is. We have them in stock and they retail for $349.

With hot sunny weather and no wind all weekend, I also got a chance to join Kathryn Martin and her husband Jeff on a surf adventure south of the bay. Our kite instructor Mike joined me on the road trip, and we all headed to Half Moon Bay. The surf break south of Half Moon Bay Harbor is one of the coldest spots on the coast, as the tides are strong and upwell some mightly chilly h20. I am spoiled with some of the warmest water in the bay at Alameda and San Mateo (right now about 63 degrees), but I figured my 4/3 Xcel wetsuit would do the trick. We entered into the 48 degree water unknowingly (and without booties), and our eye balls almost popped out upon the sensation of ice cold water enveloping our vulnerable bare feet. Kathryn (apparently some type of alien in terms of cold water tolerance) was only wearing a 1 mil shortie, and doing just fine! She is my new cold water heroine…her bravery was quite impressive.
Paddling around helped warm me up. Before I new it, I caught a great big (for me as a novice at surfing) 3 foot wave! I shot down the face and was excited to feel the smooth glide of the board under my feet. Closer to shore, I managed to fall into the white water for a cold water full body plunge. By some miracle, the freezing cold water was not as bad as I thought it would be through my warm wetsuit. With the adrenaline rushing through my veins, cold water was no bother to me now, and with wet hair, now I could actually see where I was going.

After about an hour of paddling into the waves, we decided it was “beer thirty”. We drove to the nearby Half Moon Bay Brewing Company to take in the warm glow of the sun and some much needed salty Cazadores margaritas. This is an ideal place to stop for apres surf. They have great food, great drinks, and dogs are allowed on the patio (Zoe was psyched!).

Mike and I decided that the next time we go, we’ll have to hit a warmer spot (any spot is warmer than this one)… perhaps Pacifica, Bolinas, or Maui! Until then, I will savor my big 3 foot wave.


Maui Feb trip testing windsurf and sup gear

Rebecca and I are lucky enough to be able to travel to Maui and call it a “business trip”. This year’s trip was designed for some typical fun in the sun, including trying out a bunch of new stuff from all of our wonderful “dealers”. We are addicted to the wind for all the right reasons!

We arrived into Kahului airport in Maui on February 5th. From SFO, it’s a non-stop flight where you arrive around lunch time…just enough time to make it to the best windsurfing and kiting spot, a short 10 minute drive from the airport. We looked a little funny at the beach in our long blue jean pants, pale skin, and admiring glances. After casing out the wind at the beach (it looked nice), we decided to tour the local shops and visit with our dealers and friends.

There are 2 great places, both very close to the beach, where you can rent all the windsurfing gear you need. The first is the Naish Maui Pro Center where “Coach” and his crew will take great care of you. They have all the latest and greatest Naish windsurf, kiteboard, and SUP gear for rent and for sale.

The other great place is Kanaha Kai Maui where you can rent all the best Hot Sail Maui sails, as well as Starboard, Tabou, and Realwind boards.

If you are going to kite, bring your gear with you, and/or take lessons with Action Sports Maui in order to use their kite gear.

We were in Maui for 10 days total, and there are 1000 reasons why this is on of our top favorite vacation spots. First off (I won’t list all 1000 reasons here, I promise!), Maui is easy to get to from SF (one non-stop flight on United). Secondly, it’s AMERICA (sung to the tune of Team America World Police please), so we pick up our rental car with ease, have all of the modern conveniences at our finger tips, and find everyone super welcoming and friendly every where we go.

The food is fantastic (sushi and fresh fish to die for, as well as some killer pulled pork), and there are 1 billion things to do on this gorgeous tropical paradise island. If we don’t get wind, no problem. There is great surfing, stand up paddling, snorkeling, boogie boarding, hiking, road biking, mountain biking, sunset watching, mai tai drinking, and did I mention the best ever windsurfing and kiteboarding? Of course you can also sit on a beach and read a book if that floats your boat (never works for me some how).

We taught our friend’s daughter Sasha and her friend Alicia how to windsurf while we were in Maui. Another day at the office while on vacation!

They both picked it up with ease! When the wind died we taught them how to Stand Up Paddle!

The first few days of our trip proved to be ideal for Stand Up Paddling in the waves.

The wind was light and the waves were perfect for us (1-3 feet). We had done plenty of SUPing back home, but had yet to hit the waves, so this was our chance to try it in beautiful warm water with sea turtles poking their heads up to monitor our progress. There are many spots to SUP in Maui, but we chose Kihei, as it’s a great beginner surf spot. SUPing is everywhere in Maui, and all the surf spots we went to seemed to be about 50% regular surfers and 50% stand up surfers. The groups co-exist quite nicely, often separating in to two adjacent areas. We felt welcome as new comers and didn’t feel worried that we would take someone out with our boards. If you do head out into waves for the first time, don’t forget to brush up on surf etiquette so you don’t make any new furious friends.

The crew at the Naish Maui Pro Center in Kahului set us up to try the full line of Naish Stand Up Paddle boards. We got to try the 11’6, the 11’4, the 10’6, and the new smaller 9’6. The 11’6 is a great big boat that will catch any wave with ease, but does not maneuver that well unless you are a big guy. It is a great board for first time SUPers in the waves, or bigger guys over 200 lbs who want to catch any and every small wave to be found. This board does have the best glide in flat water, as we have found in all of our paddling in the calm waters in Alameda and San Mateo back home.

The 11’4 (my favorite board at home) was much more maneuverable on the waves. It still had tons of stability, but was much easier to turn. The 10’6 (Rebecca’s favorite at home) was a dream in the waves and ideal for smaller riders or bigger riders on bigger waves up to 6′. Rebecca’s favorite test board while we were in Maui was the Naish 9’6.

This board is 30 inches wide so it still had stability (for experienced SUPers anyway) but handles really well on waves and is a ton of fun. I preferred th 10’6 and 11’4 as I am bigger than Rebecca, and found the 9’6 to be a little too challenging for where I am at on the waves. We had a blast riding the waves, and especially loved viewing the sea turtles and fishies from the vantage point of the SUPs.

As the week progressed, the wind forecast got better and better. After improving on the waves with the SUP boards, we were ready to get back into harnesses and head out into the wind. When the wind came back, it came back strong.

It blew from the east (side shore and gusty), so we made due with the conditions and were happy to have any wind at all for this time of year. The more consistent wind season in Maui is similar to ours, going from March to October.

With our duty and responsibility to our business holding strong and true, we hooked up with our dealers to try out a bunch of new 2009 windsurf boards and sails. By some small miracle, our Hertz rental car pulled off the task with ease. We were able to fit 4 boards, 4 masts, 3 booms, and 4 sails all inside of the car! If you are looking for a great windsurf gear car that can make it into the snow, we highly recommend the Nissan Murano!

We met up first with Rebecca, who hooked us up with Tabou boards in Matt Pritchard’s absence. He was off teaching a clinic down in Baja, and was so kind to set us with her for our visit to Maui. She met up with us at Kanaha and set us up to test 3 09 Tabou boards: the Pocket 69 and 80 (wave style boards), and the new 76 3S (wave, bump and jump, and freestyle blend).

We had a blast on all 3 Tabou test boards. The Pocket is super turny and really fun to ride in wave conditions. Both the 69 and 80 boards planed up quickly, and were fun to jibe as they turned on a dime. I would recommend the Pockets for anyone hitting the coast back home. Their rocker line and rails are a dream for jibing and wave riding.

The 76 3s (new smaller size for 09 in orange in photo above, and in addition to the 86, 97, and 107) was truly amazing. This board planed up with ease, cut through chop like a knife, and was very lively, fast, and fun to ride. The board felt super stable as it has decent width (hence will work great for freestyle too), but the stability did not compromise the ride through bumpy chop as the rails cut right through it. Overall this was my favorite ride of the 3, and definitely an awesome board for the conditions in the SF Bay Area where we get lots of chop.

Next on the test list was one of our best selling board lines for 08, the Quatro boards. We took the time to go visit the board production room up in Haiku.

Jake Miller at Quatro gave us a full tour, and we met on of the board makers and learned first hand what goes into making a board from start to finish. Quatro makes a ton of custom boards (on Maui) as well as production boards off island.

For the price, the Quatro production boards are truly amazing and feel as close as you can get to a custom board. If you spend the extra money for a custom board, you can adjust the rocker line, rails, or footstrap placement to perfectly match your riding style, size, and local riding conditions.

We couldn’t keep the boards in stock last year, as people would buy them the minute they tried them!

We got to ride 2 Quatro boards while in Maui, the Freestyle Wave 75 and the Wave 72.

The FSW 75 was very lively to ride, cut through chop with ease, and popped up off the swell like popcorn! This is a fantastic bump and jump board, well suited for both chop and swell (great for Crissy Field or the coast). It planed up super fast, jibed easily, and felt super light under my feet. The 09 board is slightly more compact, which may add stability in freestyle moves on the waves. It is also faster than the 08, making it fun to blast around and pop off jumps. The Wave 72 is an ideal pure wave board, but also kept up wind with ease. It would be great for the coast or for rippin’ days at Crissy on an ebb tide. The 72 was more turny than the FSW, but also super fast! We can see why Quatro boards have been so popular in our shop, and the 09s will be even more popular!

Next on our test schedule was the new Naish Global Wave 70.

This board is best described as a Porsche and Cadillac rolled into one. It was smooth like a Cadillac, but fast and sporty like a Porsche. The board planed up like a rocket, but cut through chop and was extremely smooth to ride. The rails felt tight and stable, so the board goes up wind with ease but takes a little more skill to jibe. Overall the Global Wave 70 is an ideal board for the bay area as it will go fast, get you up wind, and cut through the chop.

For sails we tested the new 09 Hot Sails and Naish Sails. Our favorite sails were the Hot Sails Superfreak, the new Hot Sails DD (replaces the Hot Diva), the Naish Session, and the Naish All Terrain. They are all great for different riding conditions. The Hot Superfreak is ideal for strong, gusty conditions as the smooth quiet feel absorbs the wind.

The Hot Diva is great for lighter riders looking for the lightest sail on the market wtih both low end and top end range. The Naish Sessions were full of power and very maneuverable, great bump and jump sails with early planing power.

The Naish All Terrain is a great all around sail that can be used for bump and jump, freestyle, or wave riding. It offers plenty of power and ease of handling.

Testing all of this gear was a total blast. We came home and ordered all of the above mentioned gear for our shop. We will have all of these boards and sails in our demo fleet so come try them for yourselves!

Our last night on Maui was Valentine’s Day, so we rewarded ourselves with a Mai Tai at Mama’s Fish House on the north shore.

We bumped into Whit Poor who is working at Mama’s! Windsurfers are everywhere on Maui…we also bumped into our instructor Jack in Paia. He never left Maui after going there for a month long vacation a few years ago.

After taking in the sunset at Mama’s, we headed back to Kahului to try out a highly recommended local’s favorite restaurant, “Da Kitchen” (the best pork on Maui according to the lady at the Xcel Wetsuit shop in Lahaina). We sat down for dinner and realized they didn’t serve booze (how could we not drink on Valentine’s Day?). I ran out to get a bottle of wine while Rebecca chatted with our table neighbors. I was back in a flash with a nice California Cabernet, just in time for our pulled pork dinner to arrive. We ordered th Kalua Pork dinner which is slow cooked pork “shredded from da bone”. It was so much yummy pork that we had to take some home and eat it the next day. Our Da Kitchen dinner was a great way to end our trip, and allowed us to revel in the sunshine and wind fests that we were able to gobble up during our 10 day visit. Aloha Maui, we’ll be back next year!

Jane and the boys! SUPper Club Tour 1/17/09

Jane and the boys – Brad, Tony, John, Derick, Jane, and Peter. Kurt joined in too…and he and Peter were the only two that had gone stand up paddling before yesterday’s tour. Our paddle spanned 5 miles to and fro the southern end of Crown Beach and the Elsie Roemer Bird Santuary.
We turned around at the Bay Farm Island Bridge, the longest drawbridge in the country.
The weather was ideal with temperatures in the 70s and clear blue sunny skies. With the warm weather, all the first time SUPpers went sans wetsuit, and they were glad they did as they all had to take their shirts off to stay cool!
We spotted 2 leopard sharks on the tour. They are harmless and gorgeous as they swim along in the shallow water. Brad said the one he spotted was nearly 6 feet long. Yikes!

More SUPper Club tours to come…be sure to join our SUPper Club on Facebook.

Perfect Conditions for our 1st SUPper Club Tour

Our 1st “SUPper Club” Tour was a total blast this past Saturday in Alameda! We had perfect weather…clear blue skies and temps in the mid 60s.

Here are some of the highlights>

The day started out with a private lesson for Sabastian and his dad George. They were going to join the tour, but his dad wanted to try stand up paddling before making a commitment to paddle for the tour route of 2 1/2 miles. Since George has taught downhill skiing, he was being quite modest as he picked stand up paddling up quickly and kept his hair dry! We paddled down to Crab Cove and back and they both got a great workout. Good job George! I think Sabastian is hooked too – he really liked the vantage point of standing up on the board so he could view the gorgeous beach, the East Bay hills, and see deeper into the water.
We then pulled out all of our stand up paddle (a.k.a. SUP) boards to prepare for the crew departing at 12:30. This was our co-ed crew and included 12 of us in total. Mike and Sally joined in on their own SUP boards, and we had a few join by kayak as well. Jesse brought along his GPS so he tracked our paddle tour at 2.3 miles. The tide was ebbing so we got a nice pull through the canal…then had to paddle against the wind and tide to make it back to the beach. That was the section that kicked in the core workout! My arms and legs felt it that night!!
Group photo opp before we depart….many in the group were first time SUPpers so we included an intro lesson on paddle stroke technique and body stance. Despite a bunch of newbie rookies, the group stayed dry the entire way!
Crab Cove in the backdrop. Crab Cove was a major beach amusement area from the 1880s through the 1930s (called Neptune Beach and thought of as the Coney Island of the west). It included a roller coaster, salt water spa baths, baseball competitions, and the invention of the snow cone! Once WWII rolled around, the military took over the land for training purposes (the current Crab Cove visitor’s center was the infirmary). After being turned into a state beach in the 60s, it’s now a marine sanctuary and there is some fine bird watching. Two of our tour paddlers, Bob and Mike, were able to point out some Grebes, Buffleheads, Sandpipers, and Oyster Diggers. The Oyster Digger is my favorite – please dig some oysters up for us!
Oyster Digger
Very adorable! I wish I could take this little one home! Is my bathtub big enough?

You know you are getting old when bird watching starts to get really appealing!
Here is a site for identifying some of the birds you can spot in and around Crab Cove.

Making our way into Ballena Isle Marina…sun is shining, the weather is sweet!!
The boats and houses along the canal are pretty lux. How about walking out your back door and jumping onto your SUP board…or better yet your 30 ft sailboat! Check out this condo for sale…one of the homes we passed on our paddle.

At high tide, we have to duck under this bridge to make it through. The tide has a 10 foot range…going from a negative 2 ft low tide up to a postitive 8 ft high tide.
We had the ebb tide pulling us out of the canal…making for an easy glide…we didn’t even need to paddle through this part!
San Francisco in the backdrop…and Tim as our tour SAG (support and gear) paddling in a kayak at the rear to make sure everyone was safe and sound!Thanks again Tim! He was even giving out paddle tips when needed :)

Will and Aliza pausing for a photo opp…is this January in California?

We’re rounding the bend and paddling back to the shack, against the tide….just before the wind kicked up and gave us a run for our money! That is where most of our calories were earned! Good thing we had the bbq to return to…I was ready for that cheeseburger in paradise!

Our 2pm tour was SOLD OUT and turned out to be all LADIES! Are those bikinis?

Jesse helps all of the ladies launch their boards. Rebecca (far left) guided the ladie’s tour. Aparently this group was not really into the bird watching…they were all a bit younger!
Hey, which way is the canal?
Carrying the board is really easy alone, but effortless with an inchworm troop!
Rebecca and Susan basking in the sun at dusk….returning just in time for our summer in January BBQ complete with burgers, dogs, veggie burgers, and chicken. We can’t wait til our next SUP tour…stay tuned for dates and times.

Join our “SUPper Club” on facebook


SUPper Club Launch Tour & BBQ – Ballena Isle

We are launching our “SUPper Club” with a tour of Ballena Isle in Alameda this Saturday, January 10th. Our paddle tour will depart from our “Shack” on Crown Beach in Alameda. This is a great first time paddle adventure as it’s only about 1 1/2 miles and takes about 45 minutes to complete. We will pass by Crab Cove, a nice sanctuary offering many differnt species of pretty birds. Will make our way into the marina and pass through the canal up through to the north side of Ballena Isle and back around to the beach.

We will have 2 tour departures, one at 12:30 and one at 2pm. Sign ups required so send us an email or call to sign up. The cost is $29 which includes SUP rental and bbq. If you have your own board, the tour is free and you can join the optional bbq for $10.
We hope you can join us!
Jane & Rebecca

Join our new Stand Up Paddle a.k.a. “SUPper” Club

We have set up a new “SUPper” Club on Facebook to connect SF Bay Area Stand Up Paddle enthusiasts. Local SUP members can post their favorite paddle sites, their unique paddle stories, or plan group SUP events. Stay tuned on Facebook for our upcoming Stand Up Paddle tours (you can bring your own board or rent one from us) or simply join to keep current on a fun and rapidly growing new sport!

Jane & Rebecca

Winter Stand Up Paddling at Pt Reyes

Rebecca and I got a big treat last week – we headed up to Pt Reyes (25 miles north of SF) for a gettaway before the rainy season finally kicked in. We rented a great secluded cottage with a hot tub and fireplace in Inverness. In addition to some great r&r, we got out to enjoy gorgeous Pt Reyes National Seashore. We were lucky with the weather. It was sunny every day and the temps were in the mid 60s. We couldn’t believe we got to enjoy summer like weather on our little December break!
Pt Reyes is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. There is gorgeous, diverse terrain, beautiful sea scapes, and wildlife everywhere. We brought the stand up paddle boards to take in the scenery from the water. I had just seen a Bay Area Backroads episode featuring paddling on Drakes Estero. Drakes is the 2nd largest body of inland water (2nd to Tomales Bay), and leads out to Drake’s beach (where Sir Frances Drake was rumored to have landed in 1579 on his worldwind tour). We started our paddle at the Drake’s Bay Oyster Company near the closed inland end of the estero.

We paddled out from there…taking a platypus backpack with water and food, ready to be out for hours and hoping to make it all the way to the mouth of the estero.
Rebecca paddled out on the Naish 10’6″ and I was on my new Naish 11’4″. These boards are so light – it makes it so easy to get them on and off the car!

The scenery was truly awesome. Soon after the start of our paddle, we were gliding over lots of eel grass, and I saw lots of sleek leopard sharks. They are about 2-3 feet long, and harmless. It’s nice to see sharks knowing they won’t hurt you.

The color of the water was a beautiful emerald green, and you could see to the bottom every where. The depth ranged from a few inches to a few feet for most of our paddle.
We saw lots of clam shells, starfish, leopard sharks, birds, ducks, harbor seals, and…..
what appeared to be a great white shark…
It turned out to be just a buoy covered with eel grass…not a great white with a seaweed covered dorsal fin. Doesn’t it look like it’s swimming? That’s the illusion of a strong tide…it fooled us!
I guess we watch too many movies and have active imaginations. Drakes beach is great white territory so we had to have some fear and optical illusions. I am guessing (and hoping) they don’t come into the estero as it’s too shallow.

Due to the nice strong tide, we made it out to the mouth of the estero in 1 1/2 hours.
We took a break out at the tidal flats at Drake’s beach. We got to see lots of white pelicans basking in the sun.
After a brief break, we paddled against a strong tide to return to our starting point. The tide was so strong at one point, we had to go onto the flats and walk our boards for a while! The harbor seals that were napping on the sand bars joined us in the water and started to follow us. There were about 20 of them who joined our paddle journey back into the estero. Drake’s estero is one of the main breeding grounds for harbor seals and paddling is forbidden there from March – June.
The highlight of our return paddle was checking out the oyster farming at low tide. Oysters take about 18 months to raise. First they grow the oyster from a seed to a “spat” that attaches onto something. Then they hang the oysters on racks for them to mature in the waters of Drake’s Bay. We got back after the oyster company had closed…but if you make it back there before 4pm, you can buy oysters right at the beach and eat them fresh. We had to wait til that evening to order them at the local oyster bar.
All in all, it was easily the best paddling session we have enjoyed to date. Perfect weather, incredible scenery, and awesome flat water conditions for SUP touring. Zoe had to wait back at the oyster company for our return, so we took her to the beach to make sure she got her fix of the beauty of Pt Reyes too!

We’ll be planning some more fun winter paddling escapades…stay tuned.
Jane & Rebecca

No wind? No problem!

What a great way to end November. It was in the 70s at Alameda this afternoon, and we opened for a day of Stand Up Paddle boarding and kayaking. After the Stand Up Paddle Boarding class, we pulled out the boat and decided to go wakeboarding.

Since not everyone had wakeboard/ski experience, we thought, “Let’s see what we can do with a stand up paddle board. Susan started off knee surfing and quickly got the hang of it.

Jessie and Jane were next on the boards. They did discover that it definitely necessary to start off standing :-) They also moved down in size to a Naish 10’6” board.

Of course some people just preferred to Stand Up Paddle and others just enjoyed another glorious day at the beach.

Full Moon Stand Up Paddle at Crissy Field

Weather conditions were absolutely perfect for our full moon paddle and bbq at Crissy last night. We arrived at the beach around 5pm to clear blue skies, calm winds, and warm temperatures in the high 60s. I tested my new waterproof, shockproof, tiny little Olympus camera out by taking a quick panoramic shot of the beach. A picture perfect evening indeed!
We debated taking 2 cars to get the boards down to the beach, but in the end we went for the 5 boards on 1 car challenge. Since we are only a 5 minute drive away from Crissy Field, we decided to go for it and got the boards on the car and down to the beach, no problema! Larry greeted us at Crissy and was envious of our crazy pile of SUP boards.

Abigail inspired the plans for the full moon evening. She had wanted to do her annual full moon hike, but with the popularity of (and our recent addiction to) stand up paddling a.k.a. SUP, we ended up hijacking her event. Thanks to Abigail for the full moon inspiration!

Abigail, Rebecca, and Jamie commenced the paddle right around 6:15. They were just in time to paddle towards the bridge and watch the sunset from the water. Kirsten arrived from work and quickly joined them, while I diligently worked on more important things, like cooking the yummy chicken on the bbq.

Once Susan arrived and took over on the bbq, I went down to catch the crew coming in off the water. They had paddled up and along the beach towards the Golden Gate bridge. All the windsurfers and kiters had come back before sunset…with the wind abating for good.

The serenity of flat water stand up paddling with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop, a tough to beat bay outing indeed.

Here a classic view of a moon framed by 2 Naish stand up paddle boards…with Rebecca and Kirsten both beaming in step with the full moon.

The outrigger paddlers were out enjoying the full moon as well.
I waited to head out once the moon had risen and the water was shimmering with bright light. Jamie and I paddled over to the St. Francis Yacht Club. With the stability of the 12′ Starboard, I was able to paddle fully clothed in blue jeans and a jacket!
We hung out by the charcoal bonfire till dark…then headed home after a perfect evening. Thanks to all who joined us for what I hope will become a regular outing!

Stand Up Paddle Clinics now available in SF, Alameda, and San Mateo

After observing many new renters try the fun new sport of Stand Up Paddle boarding, Rebecca and I saw the need for an intro clinic to help accelerate everyone’s learning curve. Although SUPing is quite easy to pick up, there are some helpful instructional tips that assist with better stance and balance, more efficient paddling strokes, and techniques for steering and turning.

We launched our first SUP clinic at Crissy Field this past Friday. We had a fun group of 5 participants which included a very fit surfer named Andre, and 4 active ladies. They all had tons of fun, and with the local heat wave, conditions were ideal. Thanks to Pam, Susan, Martha, Helene, and Andre for coming out to join us!!
Here is a picture tour of our clinic>

First we went over the different types of boards, paddles, and accessories for Stand Up Paddling. Our SF clinics feature all 2009 Naish SUP boards in sizes 11’6″, 11’4″, and 10’6″. Naish makes the lightest boards we’ve tested (the 10’6″ is a mere 17 lbs, ideal for transporting with a carry handle… and feather light!). Everyone gave “oooohs” and “ahhhs” at the Sawyer wood/carbon paddle we brought out.

Next we showed everyone how to carry the boards down to the beach. The ladies were especially pleased at how light the boards were. We made Andre carry the biggest one, but still the 11’6″ AST only weighs in at around 27 lbs, so that was easy for him!
We then had everyone learn how to get on the board (kneel first) and start paddling while kneeling.The group was ready to STAND UP! Paddling techniques were demonstrated…including how not to ding up your board with the paddle, how to keep going in a straight line, how to steer, and how to turn around.

Rebecca and I got into the water to give everyone a quick demonstration on how to get on the board, stand up , and paddle away! The water at Crissy was warm enough not to need a wetsuit. We provided wetsuits for the lesson, but once you get the hang of SUPing, no wetsuits are required.
Our group did really well…everyone got going in no time. There was enough small swell to challenge everyone’s balance (especially when Andre challenged himself on the 10’6″). All the ladies did exceptionally well (women have the advantage of having a lower center of gravity, hence easier balance on the water).

Go Andre go! Helene cheers her classmate on for his first foray into SUPing.
I kept getting Pam and Susan mixed up as they were wearing the same hat!

Rebecca was wondering if our students were going to escape to Alcatraz!
After class, Rebecca and I got to play in the small waves at Crissy. SUPing is much easier on the waves as the paddle gets you into the wave so much faster. Riding waves is very similar to surfing…you switch your feet to a surf stance once you are on the wave. I could not believe how much fun I had in tiny mushy waves.

Thanks to Gail and Sue Ann for coming to cheer us on for our first SF clinic and for taking all of the great pictures!

We can’t wait for our next clinic…this SUP thing is addicting!

Jane & Rebecca

Trip to Oregon to test Kite, Wind, and SUP Gear

Rebecca and I spent last week up in Oregon to test out some ’09 gear and have some fun on the river and at the coast. We had a blast of a week – and got very lucky with the conditions. Here is a bit about our trip…

Friday, August 8 – fly to Portland from SFO and drive 1 1/2 hrs to Hood River, OR
We drove straight to Pacific Boardsports (north american distributors for Naish) to meet up with Charlie, Nick and MJ. The crew was unloading a container of ’09 goodies, but had time to stoke us out with windsurf and kite gear, and got us on our way to get a session on the river.
Rebecca and I dropped by Big Winds to say hi and get the scoop on the forecast. They pointed us slightly east for the best wind, so we hit Doug’s Beach and they were spot on! The wind was pretty gusty and in the high 20s, but it was a perfect warm up session for sailing in the gorge. I was on a 75 ltr Naish Pro Wave and 4.2 Force and Rebecca was on a 65 ltr Naish Pro Wave and 3.7 Session. The gear was sweet and we got it dialed in for the weekend.
Saturday Aug 9 – get up and go sailing!
Saturday the forecast dictated we hit the road for Roosevelt (the delta of the gorge – 1 1/2 hrs drive east of Hood River). The drive along the Columbia River was gorgeous. As we got further east, we saw the wind continue to build. By the time we got there, it was gusting into the low 40s and we were wondering if we were going to be able to hang on to our 4.2/3.7 sails. We rigged up, hit the water, and lasted about 45 minutes. It was too windy and super gusty. That day got chalked up to a nice drive along the river. Here is a video clip of the conditions (notice the inside is light so winds were NW and GUSTY at Roosevelt). The little 4 year old had no trouble with his fast tack!!

Sunday, Aug 10, get up late and go sailing!
We slept in Sunday and had a big breakfast in our awesome Skamania Lodge room. We once again hit the road and headed to our new gorge favorite spot, Doug’s Beach. Although the launch can be a bit of work (you have to drop your gear at an opening/crossing in the rail tracks, carry it down a hill, walk back up and then go move your car). The sailing spot is sweet and worth the effort with great wind, nice ramps for jumping, and some of the smoothest swell around.
Once we dropped off and walked down our gear, we went back to move the car and change into our wetsuits. The string of parked cars went back about 20 cars, so we pulled in and gave ourselves several car lengths of space so we could get half naked and change into our suits without being right next to our parked neighbor (who was also changing). While I was half exposed and in the process of pulling on my wetsuit, I started to hear a train approaching behind us (we were in between the road and the rail tracks). With the train approaching and the tracks just adjacent to my half naked state, I was about to be exposed to the driver. I screamed to Rebecca to quickly pass me a towel. I avoided a full flash, but the driver could not resist blowing the horn “whuuuuhhhh wooooooo”. I did not know train horns could do that. Ah, the efforts and adventures we go through to windsurf!
Here is Rebecca enjoying our favorite session of the trip – 3 hours of solid sailing on Sunday afternoon in 28mph winds that were relatively steady.
Monday, Aug 11, get a quick ride on the ’09 Naish Cult, then head to the coast
Monday the forecast was for light winds, so we decided to test out the ’09 Naish Cult and then head to the Coast for our Starboard dealer meeting. We went to the Event Site and rigged up a 10.5m and a 12m. Kiting at the Gorge is a bit intimidating, especially with the crowds and the normally gusty high winds. The Event Site proved to be quite welcoming and friendly, and due to the light winds, we managed to enjoy a nice session before heading out. The new kites turned super fast and are even easier to water relaunch, so we know the “Cult” will continue to be an easy kite to love.
We picked up Kipps, one of our windsurfing instructors, at the Portland airport Monday evening, and headed west of Portland 1 1/2 hrs. to the little town of Netart’s Bay. After a gorgeous drive, we arrived in time to catch sunset and dinner at the local Schooner Restaurant.

Tuesday, Aug 12 thur Friday Aug 15 Staboard Dealer Meeting and Product DemosThe rest of the week was made up product meetings and demos. The crew at Trident Sports hosted a top notch week of fun and our hosts included Declan and Tracy (organizers extrodornaire), Scott Mckercher (2004 World Wavesailing Champion), Svein Rasmussen (owner of Starboard),

Ekolu Kalama (3x champion of Molokai to Oahu SUP race),

and Jim Drake (inventor of windsurfing).

We all stayed in a cozy little cabins and condos at the Edgewater Inn, complete with a wood burning fireplaces and views of the breathtakingly beautiful Oregon coast. We didn’t have to get in the car all week so we got much needed respite from the trappings of city life.

The most exciting stuff we heard at the meetings was about Stand Up Paddle boarding’s new explosive growth around the world. The SUP growth is bringing many of our memories back to the early days of windsurfing… when everyone was getting into it and you could see it everywhere (1 in 3 Europeans owned a windsurfer in the 80s). The promise of this new craze is to bring lots of newbies into a very easy to access sport. SUP has many cool features including a built-in awesome core workout, super easy for anyone to learn, tons of fun to cruise/tour on flat water/lakes/bays/open ocean, and easier to catch waves than regular surfing as you have that nice big paddle to help out.

The new ’09 12’6″ Starboard SUP (“The Cruiser and fastest, nicest one to take out with a windsurf sail) features an optional retractable centerboard – so we can help beginner windsurfers easily make the crossover….as well as easliy get SUP entrants into windsurfing.

Netart’s Bay was a perfect setting for for testing all the Starboard SUPs. I woke up early one morning, and caught a nice paddle all through the bay, complete with views of bright orange starfish and sensational bird watching (oh golly, I am getting old!).

The best part of our coastal stint was catching up with other schools and shops around the country and sharing ideas for promoting windsurfing and SUP. We had a lot of fun hanging with Mark from “East of Maui” in Annapolis, MD, Mark & Steve from Big Winds, Captain Kirk from LA and Baja, Jim Ballantyne from Sailworld Cape Cod, Randy & Angela from Worldwinds Corpus Christi, TX, Simon from Toronto, Wardog from Santa Barbara/surfingsports, Pete DeKay from Windport Mag….and many others!

Thanks to Naish and Starboard for such an awesome week! We’ll be back next year :)