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, July 29, 2013

SUP Instructor Tips, Summer 2013

Even though I've been guiding and instructing paddlesports for years we all learn new things every time we go out - or you should be!  Here's a few tips I've learned in recent months..

- Always make sure you can paddle every board you bring on the water.  I'm 6-5, 230lbs.  If I have a student who is 5-1, 110lbs and decides they don't like the board I matched them with, I want to be able to paddle their board the rest of the lesson without sinking or falling in.

- Bring your medications.  I get migraines and had quite a few this year.  Three times early this summer I got a migraine during classes.  I finished one and cancelled another before we got on the water.  In the one I cancelled, I forgot my medicine at home. Taking it, the migraine goes away within 30min thus allowing me to continue, or at least have a better lesson if already on the water. I store my medicine in my car, a dry bag which goes on my board, at home and in my kayak.

- Take pictures of your lessons.  I recently moved up to a smart phone last Spring.  My iPhone goes in a LifeProof waterproof case then I slip it into a floating case which is attached by a string to my vest style PFD.  It's great for taking pics of my students and the sights while on water. I send them the photos after the class free or charge which has been a hit!

- Always bring a tow system.  Many think bringing any sort of safety gear on the water is ridiculous since 'it's so easy, nothing will ever happen.'  Guess what, sh.. happens and be ready for it.  I've had to two fatigued and sea sick students back to shore. And you may come across others on the water who are not SUPs who need assistance - capsized kayakers and fishermen (been there done that), swimmers who can't get back to shore, etc.  I recommend a system such as the Salamander Guide Bag has 70' of line to tow anything or anybody. Store it on your board if you don't want it around your waist.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

SeasonFive Clothing for Paddling

A friend recommended me to SeasonFive last fall when I was seeking a neoprene top layer for those non full wetsuit days.  Better than neoprene, founder Mike Fischer's products are very light weight, comfortable and equally as warm as many of the skin tight neoprene garmets available.  The Barrier products are waterproof and windproof and can be folded small to fit into a fanny pack or deck bag when not in use.

A few years ago, I was seeking a layer to go under my (at the time) cheap wetsuit arms to add additional warmth.  I ended up using bicycling arm sleeves. SeasonFive actually has leg and arm sleeves made from their weather proof Barrier material.  Each sleeve can act as a compression sleeve of sorts as well.  Cool stuff.  In winter I wear Barrier shorts under my 5/4/3 suit when doing full immersion activities such as surfing (in 25-35F).

I tend to get cold easily so am a big fan of innovative clothing which keeps me warm without added bulk or weight.  This summer on cooler days or when I know I'm going for a swim (or rather fall off my board), I've been using the Barrier long sleeve shirt.  Unlike my Reed ChillCheater shirt it doesn't stink like a dead skunk after each use.  I've noticed a few outrigger and surf ski paddlers using these as well.

Check it out..