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 31, 2012

Finless Surfing

Surf kayakers and wave skiers have been surfing finless for years, but they have the advantage of a two bladed paddle which can be used as a rudder (or skeg/fin).  Surfing kayaks since the late 1990's, I didn't use fins until I started to SUP in 2007.  Check out Jeff Burlingham surfing Skook and Steamer Lane,

A year ago I came across a video of Aussie Derek Hynd surfing a custom surfboard finless, doing some sweet 360's.  Pretty epic seeing him dance on the triple overhead faces sliding and spinning with ease,  video here:

A few years ago we saw an explosion of finless surfing with Tom Wegener's re-introduction of the Alaia and other finless wood boards.  Here's one of Tom surfing a finless 16' Toothpick,

This week I came across a great video of SUP surfer Ryan Helm, working it finless in Mexico - some fun stuff.

Here's Arnaud Frennet ripping it on a Naish..

Monday, July 23, 2012

Naish Nalu 10'10" SUP Review

The Naish Nalu 10' 10" is my 'go to' board for instruction. If paddlers are feeling unstable on my other boards, I switch them to the 10' 10" and they immediately feel relaxed.  Even for folks over 6'-5" or 220lbs, the board provides great stabilty.

The board has a multi-concave hull which not only helps with tracking but it also creates suction thus making the board more stable than other boards with its width, volume, and length. The Nalu 10'-10" is light to carry and has four outfitting screw holes on the top deck to add cargo netting or bungies.

I've taken the board in seas up to 4 feet, winds to 25 knots and have surfed it several times in waist to chest high waves.  It handled well in all conditions and has nice forward speed for it's length.

It's also a very stable board in river and tidal rapids.  I took it on a few rapids on the Wenatchee River in Washington State (Class 2+)a nd have taught a few classes at Deception Pass State Park in tidal rapids where it crossed eddylines with ease and was fun to squirt the tail in the current.

The Alana 10'-10" board is the same as the Nalu version. The Alana is designed as a women's board. The only difference is the Hawaiian style deck pattern.  The Nalu comes in AST (white textered forward deck) and with the wood deck finish.  The board has a single fin set-up.

Watch this video from the Naish site to view the board's multi-concave hull.. Video.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Forward Stroke by Beau Whitehead

Here's a great article about the forward stroke by NW resident Beau Whitehead.  One of our fastest paddlers, Beau continues to win races regularly despite many new paddlers entering the scene.

Story Here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012 Summer SUP Races in the Seattle Area -

NW SUP Race Season is in Full Gear!  Check out local races..
Every week throughout the summer, SUP races are taking place throughout our region.  Anyone can attend from any skill level.  If you want to race, attending these are a great way to get prepped for larger epic events such as the Round the Rock.

Short List of Weekly Pacific NW Summer Races..
Tues - Alki Kayaks 1.5 mile sprint from the shop to Duwamish Head and back.  Gear rentals available from
Wed - Urban Surf's races are always on Lake Union, but every week the course changes.  Approx 3 miles and the best attended local race.
Thurs - Perfect Wave in Kirkland host a race starting at Houghton Beach.
Fri - Lk Sammamish St Park races from Tibbits Beach, (not weekly)


Get in touch with Corey at for his weekly Saturday morning races!
Saturdays  South Sound Stand Up Paddle Race Series; 8:30 AM
jack hyde park on ruston : Start/ Finish at Jack Hyde Park on Ruston Way (at Old Town).
Apprx. 3 miles/ lap.  Click here to say you're going

Bill Walker of Ruby Creek Boathouse puts on several races including the Deception Pass Dash, Da Fuca Downwinder, Tall in the Saddle, and the Hobuck Hoedown.  Visit his "More Races" link for a an extensive list of other NW races. - This group's races are for all types of watercraft and have the most extensive racing schedule in the NW.  More info..

Stroke the Slough - Sammamish River/Slough - Redmond to Kenmore.

Deep Cove's Tuesday night races "North America's Largest Weekly Paddlesports Race."  Distance varies; On the Indian Arm, Vancouver BC.

Aug 18 & 19th, Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, Waterfront Park, Hood River.

Aug 24 - 26th, Oregon Open Ocean Classic, Newport.

Take My SUP Race Class - I teach a SUP Race class which is also a great way to perfect your forward stroke.  Tired of switching hands so often? Give me a holler.  Click Here for more info.

Note: There's several other races in the area, and we're working on a larger list to include here soon. Updated 7/18/12.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mon & Thurs Evening SUP 101 Meet Up & Lessons

Interested in learning how to SUP or looking to brush up on your skills?  I'm now offering a two part Meet Up on Monday and Thursday evenings on Shilshole Bay and other locations in Seattle..

6pm - Basic Lesson for Beginners - Learn how to stand up and turn using a super stable paddle board. $40 class fee; $20 for board, paddle and/or clothing rentals.

7pm - Skills Clinic for those with some experience - Work on your skills and meet others with a similar skill level.  Beginners from the 6pm slot are welcome to join the 7pm folks for an additional hour at no
charge. $10 class fee; $20 for board, paddle and/or clothing rentals.

To join, go to Stand Up Paddle Seattle, and sign up. Give me a holler for more info.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oregon Scientific ATC9K Waterproof Camera Review

A friend recently loaned me the Oregon Scientific ATC9K waterproof camera to try out for paddling. After using a GoPro for a few years I began to really enjoy the AT's slim aerodynamic shape, light weight, and easy usability.  Best of all, it floats!  I've managed to lose two GoPros while surfing. Adding floats didn't always work out.  I already managed to drop the AT while hand holding it from my kayak. Luckily it floated to live another day.  The bright yellow bands around the camera also help locate it if left behind.

Instead of pushing buttons endlessly hoping to land on the right feature, the AT has a single button for each feature on the exterior of the camera. It's viewing screen on the rear helped me set up shots, especially while mounting it on my SUP for surfing. The top of the camera has two buttons, one for Motion and one for Stills.  While the camera does have a great remote control device, I was able to use the end of my kayak paddle to switch between Motion and Stills while sitting in my kayak.  Video quality is quite good as are the stills.

The AT has several mounting options such as a sturdy suction cup, helmet attachment, handlebar/paddle attachment, and flat board mount.  I used all and they worked well in rough water and in saltwater.  I also stash the camera in my PFD and use it handheld often.  I've mounted the camera on my SUP decks, helmet, and the bow of a sea kayak.

Product Site, HERE.

More Specs.. 

  • 1080p = 1920x1080 pixels (16:9),
    30 fps, ~12 Mbit/s data rate

  • 720p = 1280x720 pixels (16:9),
    60 fps, ~12 Mbit/s data rate

  • 720p = 1280x720 pixels (16:9),
    30 fps, ~8 Mbit/s data rate

  • WVGA = 848x480 pixels (16:9),
    60 fps, ~8Mbit/s data rate

  • Sensor Type: 1/3.2“ 5M pixels CMOS

  • Light Sensitivity: Low-light sensitivity (>1.3V/lux-sec)

  • Video Format: H.264 in Quicktime format (.mov) for Windows and Mac OS

  • Exposure Control: Support one exposure control mode with auto exposure with calculating the scene average

  • White Balance : Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent

  • Selectable recording modes: Vivid, Negative, B&W, Sepia, Art modes
    • Resolution: Supports 3 megapixel and 5 megapixel

    • Photo Burst Capture: Continuously 3 photo and 5 photo bursts

    • Capture Modes: Single Shot, Countdown Timer: 5s and 10s settings
    • Night Mode and White Balance adjustments

Dan & Nikki Surf Skook

Last week Nikki Gregg and Dan Gavere hoofed it to Egmont BC, a few hours north of Vancouver to surf the epic tidal rapid - Skookumchuck, or 'Skook' on Sechelt Inlet.  Here's a few pics from their trip, as well as Nikki's blog posting HERE about the trip.

As Nikki states in her blog - this is for experienced paddlers only. ie: can you survive a 2 mile gnarly mostly underwater ride through gigantic sucking whirlpools, boils, eddylines, and other weird water effects?  If not, enjoy the view from the shore.