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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Learn how to forage for NW seafood with author Jenny Hahn

Pacific NW author Jenny Hahn has written many books on foraging NW beaches for seafood for Seattle based Mountaineers Books. Her book, 'Spirited Waters' describes her journey by sea kayak down the Inside Passage from Alaska to Bellingham, WA.

Here's a list of upcoming speaking events and classes by Jenny for 2011:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Check out SUP'er and Mavericks Surfer Wade Lawson (Interviewed in my book)

Tomahawk Team surfer Wade Lawson is known for dropping into the 30' bombs at Mavericks in Northern California. A former finance guy in NYC, Wade not only surfs, he also teaches SUP and traditional surfing. Check out his new site with info on hiring him for instruction from a real pro. That's Tomahawk team paddler Fletcher Burton on his wave ski in the foreground. Fletcher was standing on his ski a decade ago long before the modern verion of SUP became popular.

Tomahawk Surf Team page.

Tip for paddling upwind - Tacking

Paddling a SUP upwind in greater than 20kts can be a pain, unless you're doing it intentially to train for fitness or a race. If you're unwilling or physically can't sit and paddle your board like a canoe, then the most effecient method is a sailing technique called Tacking.

Tacking is essentially padding upwind in a zig zag pattern going diagonal to the wind. Tacking takes longer but prevents your body from acting like a sail trying to go upwind. By paddling diagonal, your body is going sideways reducing windage. You can do intentional diagonal angles or just let the board turn itself after paddling on one side after a few strokes, then switch hands to the other side.

While doing so, feather your blade when returning it to the catch. When you remove the blade from the water after a stroke, rotate your wrists forward which flattens the blade face so it returns to the nose parallel to the water's surface cutting through the wind. Always twist your torso for your forward stroke to increase power and reduce fatigue.

Another method to reduce wind shear is to stand in a quasi surfer's stance where your body faces upwind in a 45 degree angle while paddling straight or tacking. Always use your leash in wind above 20kts to prevent from losing the board in case of a fall.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Story of Rescued Kayaker in WA State -

The following is an account of a kayaker in Washington State who in January found himself in conditions above his skill level, and after a capsize didn't have the skills to get out of the 48 degree water. Read More...

Lessons Learned and Tips for Paddling in Rough Water:

- While he dressed for immersion with a drysuit, it leaked. Make sure your gear is 100%. Your booties should not come off easily!
- Stay within your skill level. Looks sketchy? Turn around or don't get on the water.
- Have a backup for your backup. For kayakers - learn 2 types of rolls, several re-entry techniques, and practice often in flat was well as rough water.
- Study marine charts and get local knowledge before going out. Find experienced local paddlers to join you before you go solo.
- If paddling in coastal waters, consider taking hand held flares and a VHF radio. Use the radio to call in help and flares to mark your position. Make sure both are in waterproof containers.
- If you want to paddle in rough water, learn to surf (kayakers too!), learn whitewater (take a class!), and paddle with clubs or experienced paddlers that can take you in rough water but provide support to you if needed.
- Make a Float Plan prior to going out. This is telling others where you're going, when & how long.
- Check the weather prior to your departure. NOAA has great info for coastal areas. Local webcams are useful in giving you an idea in real time of what is going on.
- For SUPS, wear a leash, PFD (really!), and full wet or drysuit in areas of heavy wind, strong current, and or extreme cold temperatures.

Need more info on gear choices (both sup and kayak), rough water paddling, etc? Give me a holler, I'm glad to help.

SUP’s not “Vessels” in Surf Zone - from the Distressed Mullett

New udpate from the contoversy on when and where SUPs are required to wear lifejackets (PFDs) from the Distressed Mullett blog:

NO MORE BANS – SUP’s not “Vessels” in Surf Zone – The Human Powered Watercraft Association has received a letter of clarification from the United States Coast Guard stating “If a paddleboard is used within a designated swimming, surfing or bathing area, the Coast Guard does not consider it to be a vessel.” Read More...

Note: This ruling doesn't include open waterways, harbors, lakes, etc, just surf zones and designated swimming areas.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Adaptive Paddling for SUP

Seeking freedom from gravity and want to experience surfing? There's a few options available to allow you to get on the water. Surfboard shaper and owner of Infinity Surf, Steve Boehne, has been building wave skis for disabled folks for years. An innovator, he rigs his boards to safely carry disabled paddlers. Check out his site and examples of his efforts here: Infinity Surf.

Check out filmmaker Sean Mullens moving documentary about 'Michael' a disabled Californian surfer who rips on a wave ski near his home. The film shows Michael doing his daily routine of getting to the beach solo and going surfing - finding freedom from gravity. Epic film. Watch it HERE.

Other Links of Interest:

Ryan Levinson (SUP'er with MD)

More about Ryan on the Shelby Stranger blog,Here.

Kayak Zak's offers Adaptive Paddling north of Arcata, CA.

Life Rolls on Foundation

Disabled Surfers Association

Amp Surf - Association of Amputee Surfers

Adaptive Surfing,

Team River Running - Great programs for wounded vets.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Learn Paddle Boarding in the Pacific NW

Give me a holler if you want to learn how to paddle board (SUP) in the Pacific NW. Based in Seattle, I have taught lessons on the Olympic Peninsula and in other parts of Washington State. I'm also available to help you find the right board, paddle, and gear whether you're an individual or company.

This year, I'm offering a few new classes:

- Learn how to Paddle your SUP in Rivers and Tidal Rapids.
We travel to the beautiful Deception Pass State Park where you'll learn how to read moving water, and negotiate whirlpools, boils, eddylines, and fast moving current. We'll teach you to peel in and out of eddies, ferry across current, and paddle safely in current. You'll learn how to appreciate moving water and how to take advantage of it when travlling on the water in the region.

- Surf Kayaking
Learn how to surf a surf kayak or wave ski in waves on the Washington Coast. We'll cover understanding waves, hazards in surf, surf etiquette, knowing your limits, catching a wave, control while surfing, and gear options.

Pre-order my SUP book on Amazon! Available in April, the book covers how to paddle board (SUP) in rivers, tidal rapids, flat water, in surf, racing, fitness and cross training, and gear options. Check it out!