Rob Casey is the owner of SUP school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle, co-founder for the PSUPA and is the author of two paddling guides.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Laird's Coming to Town (Seattle)..

My neighbor Chuck, who owns the Sunset Hill Green Market in Ballard (Seattle) just told me that the man, Laird Hamilton is coming to town again soon. Here's the details. I saw him at 3rd Place Books in the fall. Guys brought boards to sign, pretty cool.

Laird Hamilton
Seattle REI
8/19 7pm
Presented by Surftech


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Driftwood Beach Shacks

I was recently got hooked on driftwood beach shacks after seeing a few in Lloyd Kahn's 'Builders of the West Coast' book, an amazing book of funky homes from Cali to BC. Most of the homes have some or a lot of driftwood built in. This reminded me there were two driftwood shacks on North Beach of Seattle's West Point in Discovery Park. I had seen them all winter and spring, and set out to take pics of them. Of course, as soon as I got there a few weeks ago, both were flattened. Yesterday at Ft Flagler on Marrowstone Island, I found two more, one quite large, and an interesting Andy Goldsworthy style driftwood sculpture. I'm on the search for more. Might be a possible book project.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Freighter Waves in Seattle...

Two freighters passed today off Shilshole Bay which threw off about 30 minutes of continuous 2-3' faces. Not the biggest stuff, but always fun nonetheless. I was testing the NSP 11' board from Cheka Looka.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Upcoming Seattle area SUP races and events..

I heard today that Seattle's Urban Surf is holding a weekly sup race on Lake Union every Thursday afternoon. Contact the shop for more info,

Also in Seattle, Cheka Looka will be doing a sup race on 10:00AM Sunday, August 16th, call them for more info, 206.726.7878.

Tacoma's Backpackers Supply had a sup social for folks to demo boards and learn about the new sport. It was July 22, but keep them on the radar for future such events. Contact them at 253.472.4402 for more info.

Also check out Ken Campbell's incredible blog about sup'ing around the region and other cool stuff. Ken is a local kayak and sup guide and instructor at Backpacker's Supply:

My Review of Surftech Laird 12.1 Softop Stand Up Paddleboard

I tested this board today at on Lake Union in Seattle. For my 6'-5" 220lb frame, the board was fast, easy to turn, very stable, and surfed small boat wakes well. Standing, I paddled upwind in approx 10 knots of wind and had no problems. It was quick to accelerate when I was surfing boat wakes where I try to match the boat speed to get the best waves. When I test boards, I do kayak maneuvers on them by trying to sink my rails as far as possible without falling over. I was able to dip nearly half the board in the water without falling off. I was equally stable while surfing while standing towards the tail. It was easy to carry with the grab handle and also easy to shoulder as well. I haven't taken it to ocean surf yet, and would also like try it on a higher wind day. As a note, I posted this same review on the site.

Update on the Laird 12'-1" board, (10/12/09):
I ended up purchasing this board from REI (of all places) and still love it. It continues to be fast, and does surf well. While I'm not that strong in the stand up surfing thing (as I come from surf kayaking), but I've surfed up to 4' faces and have had some sweet rides.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Paddling Magazine: Paddle World

A year ago, I thought about starting a magazine that included all types of paddling. Paddle World Magazine just saved me the effort! A well produced and printed publication, Paddle World covers stand up paddling, kayaking and other paddling sports quite well. The current issue has a great article on how to stand up paddle.Check it out:

New SUP from Imagine Surfboards..

Corran Addison was an Olympic kayaker and the designer for two successful sea and whitewater kayaking companies, Riot and Dagarossi. For the past few years, he's been making surf and river boards, and is now also doing stand up paddle boards. Much like his kayaks, his designs are innovative and unlike most of what's available for the sup market.

His new Stand Up 12 is a stable plastic board that has a hatch for extra gear, bungis to strap stuff down, a mini wheel for hauling, and an attachable kayak seat for sit down paddling (great for upwind!). You can also purchase his innovative paddle that can be a single or double bladed paddle for stand up or sit down paddling. An additional second hatch can be added for more gear. It retails for $780, comes in several colors, and is stackable in case you buy a few or are running a rental operation. More info:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tribal Journeys 2009

Slightly off topic, check out Tribal Journeys 2009. This event started several years back to bring west coast USA native peoples together by having all the coastal tribes paddle annually to one destination using traditional carved canoes. Tribal Journeys has grown to several hundred paddlers, some paddling hundreds of miles, often in open ocean to a specified location that changes every year. Each tribe paddles to the next tribe's location picking up canoes and then paddling on to pick up more canoes at the next town or reservation. I remember in 2007 seeing hundreds of canoes crossing the 4 mile wide Puget Sound, nearly linking each other the entire distance, pretty impressive. This year's destination is Suquamish, which is directly across from Seattle on Puget Sound. A huge potlatch is held to celebrate the success of the paddle. For more info:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shaping a 11' Stand Up Paddle Board

Today I was invited by Seattle surf shop owner Jeff Abandonato to watch him shape a 11' stand up paddle board. These are a few of the images and video I shot of the process. I'll join him again tomorrow for more shots.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

SUP Rental Locations for the Seattle Area & WA State

Urban Surf on the north end of Lake Union across from Gas Works Park. My students get a discount for gear here. Brands include Amundsen, Bark, Ohana, Starboard, HookedSUP, Werner, QuickBlade. They also offer a weekly SUP race on Wednesdays at 7pm in summer.

- Northwest Outdoor Center, on Westlake by China Harbor. This shop on Lake Union owned by brothers John and Herbie Meyer have been teaching, selling, and renting sea kayaks for years. They've entered the sup arena and offer rentals and sales boards and paddles.

- Alki Kayak Tours -  This busy shop at the Seacrest Boathouse by Salty's has a great selection of surf style and racing SUPs. Monday evening is Ladies Night. Tues is a SUP demo, then a spring race at 7pm.  Also owners of Mountains to Sound in West Seattle.

- Surf Ballard - In Ballard on Seaview Avenue.  Closed 7pm and in Winter.

- Salmon Bay Paddle - This is my business.  I only do instruction, no rentals. My students get free use of my gear for lessons and tours. Open all year.

- NW Paddle Surfers have various locations during summer in Seattle and Juanita Beach Park.

- Perfect Wave has several Kirkland SUP summer rentals such as Houghton Beach.

Dolan Board Sports - Located at Owens Beach.  Also has summer Saturday SUP races.

West Bay Paddle Boards

Gig Harbor:
Lee's SUP - by Janisch Park.

Leavenworth - Learn River SUP:
Leavenworth Mountain Sports - Flat water or whitewater, these guys will take care of you and teach you how to paddle standing waves on the Wenatchee River.  Definitely worth a visit.  

- Gone SUP'n - Moses Lake.

Port Angeles:
Adventures Through Kayaking on Highway 101 west of PA.

Port Townsend:
PT Outdoors - Now located during summer only at Fort Worden State Park.

Bellingham Kite and Surf

Online Sales:

Stokeharvester, A NW based online surf shop.

**Note SUP shops are opening regularly, check online for other options is these don't work for you.