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, April 25, 2017

How to Hold your SUP Paddle - 3 Hand Positions

It's not uncommon to see paddle boarders holding the paddle in an incorrect way.

What does incorrect mean?  

Standing Position:
- Hands too close together, which reduces power and control
- Hands too far apart. This creates strain on the inner arm and upper back and you'll have less rotation in your stroke.
- Hands not on the handle when standing.  Unless you're doing a short cadence race start, this technique forces you to bend over a bit to paddle, creating less power and control in your stroke.

Kneeling:
Often we see folks holding the handle when kneeling. This increases strain on your arms and shoulders and most likely the paddle shaft will be diagonal thus turning the board on ever stroke (vertical shaft means the board will go straight(er).

Sitting:
Same as above, there's issues with hands being too close together or too far apart.

How to Paddle Correctly - 
I'm always cautious of saying 'proper technique' as folks have different methods of doing things for their own style. But for the most part, the above listed issues do lead to arm and shoulder pain, less power and more work.

Watch this video to learn how to use the Paddler's Box to determine how to hold the paddle when standing, kneeling or sitting. Note when sitting, we use choke up to the blade and use the long end of the shaft for the additional 'blade'.



See more videos and info for holding the paddle, paddling straight and the 3 paddling positions:





Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.


Sea Kayak DIY Conversion to a Sit on Top

Inspired by the open deck surf ski cockpits, I wanted the performance of a sea kayak but as a sit on top. My combat roll was never that solid and I like the freedom of putting my legs over the side, jumping in-out anytime and more recovery options in big water.

Kayak fisherman Todd Switzer did the first part of the project removing the top and installing a test interior. Sean Thomas of Echo Composites finished the job with a surf ski style cockpit with scuppers and venturi's and rail leash plugs to attach the thigh straps to.



My first session in the new boat was a success while surfing 5' wind waves in a 25 kt northerly on Puget Sound. The scuppers worked great, the boat was only a few pounds heavier than the original 37 lbs and it rolled without any differences than the prior version.  The skeg will be converted into a pull up - push down variety off the back deck behind the cockpit since we removed the side slider. The skeg never really worked well as a slider, sometimes breaking (cable got jammed).

Parts used:
Boat: 2009 Sterling Illusion
 Scupper: Home Depot parts
Venturi's - custom molded by Sean (he has a cnc).
Foam: Mixture of EPS 1lb and blue insulation foam
Foot Pegs - out of production model purchased from www.nwoc.com

Contact Sean Thomas of Echo Composites for more tech builders info. He's thinking of creating a plug to more easily place a cockpit in existing boats. Doing so manually was quite a bit of work.
Sean Thomas sean@echosup.com in Issaquah, WA























Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Paddlers Tips for how to Prevent Blisters and Arm/Wrist Pain

Ever get a blister on your finger when paddling? Most likely it's due to either holding the paddle too tight and/or with all your hand at once.  The key is to let go just enough that the paddle doesn't fall out of your hands. You really don't need to hold on that hard to be in full control, even when surfing, paddling rivers and racing.

A looser grip also means reduced or no pain in your wrists, elbow and shoulders. Many who get shoulder issues are holding on too tight.

Letting go also means you'll have more overall flexibility in turns and other core and full body movements on your board.

Watch this video for examples of how to have a loose grip on the paddle shaft and handle

Tight lower grip (see tension in wrist)


Loose grip, fingers only during power phase


Tight 'death' grip


Loose grip, thumb hooked below T-Grip/Handle

Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.