Archive for July, 2010

8 Yoga Poses for Ultimate Paddleboard Stability and Balance

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

8 Yoga Poses for Ultimate Paddleboard Stability and Balance

I want to show people how joy, health, fitness and spirituality can be a perfect combination. Making the link between how you feel after yoga and how you feel on the water, fact that you feel balanced/focused (you are out of your head) fit/healthy and ‘alive’ on the ocean is something a lot of people get stoked about. I’m so grateful to the life I’m living. It is a choice to have this lifestyle and I am happy that it gives me a chance to motivate and inspire other people to discover or follow their dreams and passions in life.-(Anne Marie Reichman)

SUP Yoga

8 Yoga Poses for Ultimate Paddleboard Stability and Balance

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

8 Yoga Poses for Ultimate Paddleboard Stability and Balance

I want to show people how joy, health, fitness and spirituality can be a perfect combination. Making the link between how you feel after yoga and how you feel on the water, fact that you feel balanced/focused (you are out of your head) fit/healthy and ‘alive’ on the ocean is something a lot of people get stoked about. I’m so grateful to the life I’m living. It is a choice to have this lifestyle and I am happy that it gives me a chance to motivate and inspire other people to discover or follow their dreams and passions in life.-(Anne Marie Reichman)

SUP Yoga

Dave Kalama – Molokai to Oahu

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

What a doozy that race was. Every year I say to myself ” I’m never doing that race again”. How quickly you forget the pain and mental anguish you go through to finish that race. As I described it at the awards party ”this race is like a candy bar with a rock in it. While you’re eating it, it tastes great. Then you get the rock( Oahu ) and ouch.” Most of this race really is fun and there are ample bumps to keep you moving, but when you get close to Oahu the fun stops and the reality of how hard it really is starts to set in. For some reason Mother Nature decided to put one of her most wicked currents in front of Oahu acting like a night club bouncer protecting the door. Only the hardest core of the paddling elite will be let in for the celebration inside. If you do make it past the muscular current protecting the door, you’re met at the corner of Port Lock Point with your next crushing reality. A wall of wind that will test your mental and physical fortitude to the very core. I have a whole new appreciation for the salmon that swim up stream to get to their instinctual breading grounds. Like the salmon it literally feels as though you are fighting tooth and nail for every foot as you get closer to the finish line. There was a point when a gust hit me and I was giving it everything, which wasn’t much because of how tired I was, and according to my escort boat I wasn’t moving forward. You basically try not to go backwards during the gusts and go like hell when they subside to make as much ground as possible before the next one. You are literally 31.3 of the 32 miles there and you start to wonder if you can make it. It really is one of the most cruel things I do to myself on an annual basis, but as long as you just keep pulling the paddle out of the water and keep reaching it forward you eventually make it.  It starts to soothe the pain a little when the rest of your stand up buddies are all describing the same experience.

Misery loves company.
Photo by Daniel Costigan

For me this race had a lot to do with redemption. I had an extremely tough racing season last year with two very big disappointments. First, at last years Naish Maliko race my rudder fell off by the time I got to Hookipa. I probably had a 100yd. lead by that point and thought it was money in the bank. The next thing I know my rudder isn’t reacting to any of my movements so I jump in the water, turn my board over and there’s nothing there. It was like a bad dream, I couldn’t believe it was happening and it took me a good couple seconds to get my mind around it. My first thought was “I’m screwed”, then I thought no, I’m gonna see how many people I can beat without a rudder. Had I actually gone across the finish line at the end I still would have gotten 9th place, but on that day I wasn’t looking for a 9th place finish, I was just trying to salvage some type of moral victory.

Next was last years Molokai to Oahu. I over trained and ended up getting sick. It really was heart breaking because I had put in an absurd amount of training to prepare for that race. I started with a one hour up wind paddle and kept building till I had gotten to the point of doing a five and a half hour up wind paddle. The downwind part only took an hour fifteen. I ended up doing the race anyway but went through a very tough mental experience that I described in detail in the “Inspiration” post.

The night before this year’s race I had the good fortune of having a meal with Jamie Mitchell. Part of the good fortune being that his fiance Joss cooked one of her fantastic pasta dinners, the rest being that we talked about strategy and line stuff. Even though I’ve been across that channel many more times than Jamie, nobody has won as many times as he has so it’s always good to get his take on the line and strategy. He had mentioned that he might go a bit north and as I saw the following day, boy did he ever. Which in the end I think was a factor in my success, because everyone decided to follow him, even the stand up guys. That left a more direct route wide open for me to exploit. Maybe only one or two guys decided to follow me on the A to B tactic, which was great because the whole race I was left alone to race my race and not be distracted by the press boats and the helicopter flying over head. It was just me and my escort boat to run our line.

At about half way my support crew, Loch, his brother Hunter and Nalu, were telling me I had maybe two miles on the rest of the pack, but because I don’t like to look back, I didn’t really believe them and just kept acting like they were right behind me. My cousin Ekolu is such a strong paddler that no lead is big enough to be safe from him, and that’s just what I was thinking almost the whole way. It wasn’t till I got maybe a couple hundred yards from the finish did I actually believe he wasn’t going to catch up. Like I told his mom earlier in the day,” I don’t care which one of us wins, as long as it’s a Kalama”, she agreed and gave me a big smile.

In most of my races that I do or even in training runs I like to create a mantra and then just keep repeating it to myself, in order to help me focus on whatever I feel is important for that day. For this day it was ” every bump matters, use every single bump no matter how small it is”, and ” do whatever it takes to keep the board moving”. Both are very obvious but when you’re fatigued and your wits aren’t as quick as normal, it’s tremendously helpful to already have those stuck in your head like a bad song you can’t stop singing. What they also do is create a point of focus so you don’t wonder off into la-la land, which is really easy to do if you’re by yourself with no competition. Another really important factor is your escort boat. They really can make it or break it for you. I had a great crew in that they were very positive, very supportive and very motivating when I had no competition around me. They kept checking if I needed liquids, which reminds you to hydrate. At one point I started thinking maybe I should back off to conserve energy and as soon as they could see me letting up Loch said ” keep pushing, go for the record!”. Just that little comment totally fired me up again and it was full steam ahead. Most people don’t put much consideration into their escort boats but I’ve learned my lesson, and I can tell you this. If you’re serious, you better start paying attention to who is on the boat because it can make a huge difference. Ali from Australia found out the hard way what a bad boat driver can do to you. The guy bailed on her just before the finish line, she cramped and there was nobody there to help her. Didn’t even get to cross the line. If it were me, in the mental state anyone would be in after that much exertion, I would have snapped. Full postal. But she handled it with tremendous grace and focused on all the positive things she did accomplish. She is much more evolved than I am.

As hard as this race is, and as much as I like to say I’ll never do it again, there is a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes with just doing this crossing. Whether you’re first or two hundred and first it really doesn’t matter–the race is against the channel. You can see the glow on every participants face that says” I did it”. So simple yet so profound. Because behind that glow of exhaustion, is all the miles of preparation, the days of work to buy the airline tickets, the phone calls to organize your escort, organizing your equipment, the anticipation, making sure you have enough to drink, the hours working on your technique, the sacrifice of being away from friends and family and all the hundreds of other details that must be tended to. You earn that glow, it can’t be fabricated. It only comes from the finishing of that monumental task, and finishing position has nothing to do with. Everyone that does it gets the glow whether they want it or not. When you look a fellow paddler in the eye, you see it, and you smile knowing words can never describe what you both share.

I hope to see you out there next year. I think.

Aloha,

Dave

Visit Dave’s site: A Waterman’s Journal: Dave Kalama

How About a New Paddle Board Yoga Technique this Weekend?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

How About a New Paddle Board Yoga Technique this Weekend?

THIS WEEK’S WEEKEND PRO RIDER INTERVIEW

Anne Marie Reichman’s Paddle Board Yoga

How About a New Paddle Board Yoga Technique this Weekend?

Hello Faithful Reader,

It’s almost the weekend.

You should be making plans to paddleboard.

If you’re not going out this weekend to paddle waves, rivers, and lakes…

Then I’ve got one question for you…

Why the HECK not? ; )

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

That’s me quoting one of our stand up paddle board pro’s, quoting Wayne Gretzky.

When I first took this job I was promised the opportunity to interview some of the most amazing people in the Stand Up Paddle Board Industry and Anne Marie Reichman is the epitome of an amazing rider. I got the chance to interview her the other day at her home in Maui. She is super positive and definitely pushes to ride every wave, even if it is “out of my league.” She said that the first step to becoming a pro rider is…duh…riding waves but also getting some amazing balance and stability through yoga.

That night she gave me a great technique to get 100% more stability and balance on my board (I’ll tell you it in a bit, it’s really good) and she taught me an amazing mental attitude trick for stand up paddle board yoga because 60-80% of Yoga is your mind and the rest is your board it is a non-physical act respecting your bodies limits.

I never knew that mental attitude and the right board mattered so much but by doing what Anne Marie said I got more flex from my Vinyasa paddle board routine than I ever had before and I never forgot this simple technique.

You can see Anne Marie Reichman teach that technique and all the lessons she taught me about waves, yoga, and picking the right board soon on the Official Starboard Stand Up Paddle Board Blog’s Video section along with my upcoming interview with Scott McKercher.

http://star-board-sup.com/blog

Now let me tell you about that mental technique she taught me… : )

THIS WEEK’S WEEKEND PRO RIDER INTERVIEW

Anne Marie Reichman’s Paddle Board Yoga

Tips and Techniques

The technique that Anne Marie taught me that night was a technique originally created by Joseph Pilates, that’s right the guy who invented Pilates. Also who I am sure is not a big fan of getting out of crowded classrooms and spreading out on your portable yoga mat (aka the Whopper) in a free class room.

What you need:

A board with super stability: Anne Marie recommends the 10’0”x 34” Whopper, a board with super stability that you can still ride in the waves.

A good paddle from a reputable shop

A body of water: lake, bath tub, ocean, pool, lake, river, it doesn’t matter with the Starboard Whopper every drop of water just got a lot more stable.

How to do it:

Grab your your paddle- now grab your board: Mr. Pilate’s was a big fan of a few well-designed movements…. and will Anne Marie is and I am, so that makes three. As you approach the patch of water you plan to stake out as your own Yoga temple.

Start by working with balance with the stroke not thinking too much more in the moment; with the current, with the wave, with your timing, with your own endurance.

This sounds super easy right? But it’s a little bit harder than that.

Approaching Zen:

Focus on the approach to the patch of water you will use and being 100% in the moment by the time you reach your destination if you have one.

Make your paddle strokes smooth, as though your paddle is searching for nothing. With one last stroke take the paddle in your hand and glide to your target spot. Take a moment to be inspired by the water around you and it’s fluidity and let that set the tone for your routine.

Play:

“Play with the paddling on the board and try out new yoga poses, it is the next challenge to either develop your balance and stability better by using one of Anne Marie’s Ultimate 8 Yoga Poses for Paddleboarders or you can play completely surrounded by water, ocean, and/or turtles on your board.

A big part of this technique is don’t be afraid to laugh if you can’t chill out on the water and have a good time where can you?

Notes:

Paddleboards no matter how stable they are… even our 2011 Whopper can’t give you balance it takes physical and mental work so don’t bring your mp3 player out for the first couple of times.

If you’re going out with a group remember you don’t have to speak. There are no noise issues.

Doing Yoga on your paddle board is a creative extension of yourself the paddle and the instrument of all things you want to do for your body.

Remember even if you can’t do a head stand on your paddle board the first trip out that Yoga is in its roots unifying the mind, body, and breath. Being still is the hardest mediation.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Let me know how it works out!

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Send me an email on Monday and tell me how this technique worked for you. With your feedback we can probably make this e-mail/blog even better.

-Benton Kerchner

P.S. If you want to get more Paddleboard Tips and

Techniques and a Subscription to Starboards Paddle Board E-Mail

post a comment or e-mail me and I’ll add you to the list.

How About a New Paddle Board Yoga Technique this Weekend?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

THIS WEEK’S WEEKEND PRO RIDER INTERVIEW

Anne Marie Reichman’s Paddle Board Yoga

How About a New Paddle Board Yoga Technique this Weekend?

Hello Faithful Reader,

It’s almost the weekend.

You should be making plans to paddleboard.

If you’re not going out this weekend to paddle waves, rivers, and lakes…

Then I’ve got one question for you…

Why the HECK not? ; )

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

That’s me quoting one of our stand up paddle board pro’s, quoting Wayne Gretzky.

When I first took this job I was promised the opportunity to interview some of the most amazing people in the Stand Up Paddle Board Industry and Anne Marie Reichman is the epitome of an amazing rider. I got the chance to interview her the other day at her home in Maui. She is super positive and definitely pushes to ride every wave, even if it is “out of my league.” She said that the first step to becoming a pro rider is…duh…riding waves but also getting some amazing balance and stability through yoga.

That night she gave me a great technique to get 100% more stability and balance on my board (I’ll tell you it in a bit, it’s really good) and she taught me an amazing mental attitude trick for stand up paddle board yoga because 60-80% of Yoga is your mind and the rest is your board it is a non-physical act respecting your bodies limits.

I never knew that mental attitude and the right board mattered so much but by doing what Anne Marie said I got more flex from my Vinyasa paddle board routine than I ever had before and I never forgot this simple technique.

You can see Anne Marie Reichman teach that technique and all the lessons she taught me about waves, yoga, and picking the right board soon on the Official Starboard Stand Up Paddle Board Blog’s Video section along with my upcoming interview with Scott McKercher.

http://star-board-sup.com/blog

Now let me tell you about that mental technique she taught me… : )

THIS WEEK’S WEEKEND PRO RIDER INTERVIEW

Anne Marie Reichman’s Paddle Board Yoga

Tips and Techniques

The technique that Anne Marie taught me that night was a technique originally created by Joseph Pilates, that’s right the guy who invented Pilates. Also who I am sure is not a big fan of getting out of crowded classrooms and spreading out on your portable yoga mat (aka the Whopper) in a free class room.

What you need:

A board with super stability: Anne Marie recommends the 10’0”x 34” Whopper, a board with super stability that you can still ride in the waves.

A good paddle from a reputable shop

A body of water: lake, bath tub, ocean, pool, lake, river, it doesn’t matter with the Starboard Whopper every drop of water just got a lot more stable.

How to do it:

Grab your your paddle- now grab your board: Mr. Pilate’s was a big fan of a few well-designed movements…. and will Anne Marie is and I am, so that makes three. As you approach the patch of water you plan to stake out as your own Yoga temple.

Start by working with balance with the stroke not thinking too much more in the moment; with the current, with the wave, with your timing, with your own endurance.

This sounds super easy right? But it’s a little bit harder than that.

Approaching Zen:

Focus on the approach to the patch of water you will use and being 100% in the moment by the time you reach your destination if you have one.

Make your paddle strokes smooth, as though your paddle is searching for nothing. With one last stroke take the paddle in your hand and glide to your target spot. Take a moment to be inspired by the water around you and it’s fluidity and let that set the tone for your routine.

Play:

“Play with the paddling on the board and try out new yoga poses, it is the next challenge to either develop your balance and stability better by using one of Anne Marie’s Ultimate 8 Yoga Poses for Paddleboarders or you can play completely surrounded by water, ocean, and/or turtles on your board.

A big part of this technique is don’t be afraid to laugh if you can’t chill out on the water and have a good time where can you?

Notes:

Paddleboards no matter how stable they are… even our 2011 Whopper can’t give you balance it takes physical and mental work so don’t bring your mp3 player out for the first couple of times.

If you’re going out with a group remember you don’t have to speak. There are no noise issues.

Doing Yoga on your paddle board is a creative extension of yourself the paddle and the instrument of all things you want to do for your body.

Remember even if you can’t do a head stand on your paddle board the first trip out that Yoga is in its roots unifying the mind, body, and breath. Being still is the hardest mediation.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Let me know how it works out!

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Send me an email on Monday and tell me how this technique worked for you. With your feedback we can probably make this e-mail/blog even better.

-Benton Kerchner

P.S. If you want to get more Paddleboard Tips and

Techniques and a Subscription to Starboards Paddle Board E-Mail

post a comment or e-mail me and I’ll add you to the list.

Connor Baxter’s Story of Paddling the Molokai to Oahu Stand Up Paddleboard Race

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Connor Baxter claims 1st place in SOLO Stand Up Paddleboard Marathon Men’s 29 and under. Zane Schweitzer finished 3rd. This win took place only weeks after his 1st place win at the Mormaii 27 Mile Express. We gave you the lowdown on Connor’s winning paddleboard marathon strategy last week.

Here is the 15 year old pro rider Connor Baxter’s story;

Molokai to Oahu – 32 mile Crossing across the Ka’iwi Channel. Before this race I felt so prepared because that week I ate super good, drank lots of water and rested. My mom and I went over to Molokai Friday night on the Ferry to Kaunakakai.

Then headed over to the west side and stayed at the condos right where the event was. I slept in on Saturday and then went for a swim – I basically had a super relaxing day. Around 5:00 the stand up paddle board race meeting started and then I had a huge dinner and went back to the room – and went right to bed to get a good night sleep.

When I woke up I had oatmeal and put on my headphones and blasted some music to get pumped up. We had the blessing at 6:30am and then it was hurry up and get all the gear to the boat and get out to the start line. The lay down paddlers went first at 7:30am and now my heart is racing. I paddled over to the start line and I knew what I had to do. We started at 8:00am and we were off to a fast pace.

The conditions were super good – the winds were up and there were good swells. In the beginning, it was more flat water so the stronger guys with muscles took off.

But once we got into the swells I started to catch up to Livio Menelau and Ekolu Kalama. Dave Kalama and Scott Gamble went south so I did not see much of them. I finally caught and passed Livio, but I just could not catch up to Ekolu. So I put my head down and paddled my hardest. When I looked up about 45 min later I had closed the gap and was right behide Ekolu but once he noticed I was right by him he turned on his after burners and just took off on his paddleboard.

So now I was in 2nd place so I just kept paddling. When I looked over to my left (south), I noticed another stand up paddler and it was Scott Gamble. He was coming from the south and I was now trying to pick up my pace to stay up with him. He was super far to the south so I thought I still had a chance, but his course was a lot better and he pulled into 2nd and put me in third.

When I finally rounded the outside point to come into the harbor, my jaw drop to the paddleboard because the wind was blowing about 10 knots offshore and I had to paddle 2 more miles into it.

It’s like running a 32 mile marathon and putting the last 2 miles up a steep hill.

When the tip of my paddleboard finally crossed the finish line and got into shore, I was so happy because I made it and got third place. BUT, then someone told me that Dave Kalama was already in and he got 1st place, not Ekolu. Dave was so far in front that I did not even see him (I don’t think anyone did!!). So at the end I got 4th overall for Solo Stand Up Paddling and I got 7th overall out of all the lay down paddlers and SUP paddlers, both team and solo. So I am super stoked on my results and hope to do better next time.

Connor Baxter’s Finish Time 5:12:43

1st Place SOLO SUP Men’s 29 and under
4th Place Overall SOLO SUP
7th Place Overall SUP, Paddleboards, Solo and Team – out of 139 Entries
SUP Results:
1st = Dave Kalama  4:54:15
2nd = Ekolu Kalama  5:03:13
3rd = Scott Gamble   5:06:15
4th = Connor Baxter  5:12:43

I want to thank all my sponsors for their help and support – Starboard Paddleboards, Nike 6.0, SIC, Dakine, Sunrite Maui, Waterman’s Sunscreen, and Ion Wetsuits. Also, my newest sponsors Kaenon Sunglasses and EFX Performance USA!!!

Also, a BIG Mahalo to Mark Raaphorst, Livio Menelau, Scott Trudon, Bart de Schwart for all the time and support they have devoted to training with me!!!!!!!!!  Also, Scott Sanchez (MPG) for his wisdom on fitness and training!!


Aloha –

Connor Baxter

http://connorbaxter.com

Photos:  Karen Baxter

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Huge Accomplishment for Connor Baxter at 15 – 4th place finish at Molokai!

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Connor Baxter Molokai 2 Oahu

Karen Baxter is a very proud Mom! Way to go Connor Baxter!

Molokai to Oahu  27 July, 2010 32 mile Crossing across the Ka’iwi Channel. Before this race I felt so prepared because that week I ate super good, drank lots of water and rested. My mom and I went over to Molokai Friday night on the Ferry to Kaunakakai. Then headed over to the west side and stayed at the condos right where the event was. I slept in on Saturday and then went for a swim – I basically had a super relaxing day. Around 5:00 the race meeting started and then I had a huge dinner and went back to the room – and went right to bed to get a good night sleep. When I woke up I had oatmeal and put on my headphones and blasted some music to get pumped up. We had the blessing at 6:30am and then it was hurry up and get all the gear to the boat and get out to the start line. The lay down paddlers went first at 7:30am and now my heart is racing. I paddled over to the start line and I knew what I had to do. We started at 8:00am and we were off to a fast pace. The conditions were super good – the winds were up and there were good swells. In the beginning, it was more flat water so the stronger guys with muscles took off. But once we got into the swells I started to catch up to Livio Menelau and Ekolu Kalama. Dave Kalama and Scott Gamble went south so I did not see much of them. I finally caught and passed Livio, but I just could not catch up to Ekolu. So I put my head down and paddled my hardest. When I looked up about 45 min later I had closed the gap and was right behide Ekolu but once he notice I was right by him he turned on his after burners and just took off. So now I was in 2nd place so I just kept paddling. When I looked over to my left (south), I noticed another SUP paddler and it was Scott Gamble. He was coming from the south and I was now trying to pick up my pace to stay up with him. He was super far to the south so I thought I still had a chance, but his course was a lot better and he pulled into 2nd and put me in third. When I finally rounded the outside point to come into the harbor, my jaw drop to the board because the wind was blowing about 10 knots offshore and I had to paddle 2 more miles into it. It’s like running a 32 mile marathon and putting the last 2 miles up a steep hill. When I finally crossed the finish line and got into shore, I was so happy because I made it and got third place. BUT, then someone told me that Dave Kalama was already in and he got 1st place, not Ekolu. Dave was so far in front that I did not even see him (I don’t think anyone did!!). So at the end I got 4th overall for Solo Stand Up paddling and I got 7th overall out of all the lay down paddlers and SUP paddlers, both team and solo. So I am super stoked on my results and hope to do better next time.

My Finish Time 5:12:43.
1st Place SOLO SUP Men’s 29 and under
4th Place Overall SOLO SUP
7th Place Overall SUP, Paddleboards, Solo and Team – out of 139 Entries

SUP Results:
1st = Dave Kalama 4:54:15
2nd = Ekolu Kalama 5:03:13
3rd = Scott Gamble 5:06:15
4th = Connor Baxter 5:12:43

I want to thank all my sponsors for their help and support – Starboard, Nike 6.0, SIC, Dakine, Sunrite Maui, Waterman’s Sunscreen, and Ion Wetsuits. Also, my newest sponsors Kaenon Sunglasses and EFX Performance USA!!!

Also, a BIG Mahalo to Mark Raaphorst, Livio Menelau, Scott Trudon, Bart de Schwart for all the time and support they have devoted to training with me!!!!!!!!! Also, Scott Sanchez (MPG) for his wisdom on fitness and training!!

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Photos: Karen Baxter

Molokai 2010 results: Jamie Mitchell Wins 9th Molokai to Oahu Paddle Race

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

The unofficial news is that Jamie Mitchell has won his 9th Molokai to Oahu World Championship Paddleboard Race..we’ll keep you posted!

Result Updates:

First Place: Jamie Mitchell 4:52:45 UNLIMITED PADDLEBOARD

Second Place: Dave Kalama  4:54:15 SUP UNLIMITED

Third Place: Ekolu Kalama  5:03:13 SUP UNLIMITED

Fourth Place: Scott Gamble 5:06:15 SUP UNLIMITED

Fifth Place: Jackson English 5:07:54 UNLIMITED PADDLEBOARD

Full unofficial results

PaddleAthletes.com own Brian Szymanski’s Team NCP and Pete Stirling killed it ..great job guys!!

Australian Jamie Mitchell, 33, claimed an unprecedented ninth Molokai-2-Oahu World Paddleboard title in Hawaii today, completing the 32-mile distance just four minutes outside of his own record in a time of 4 hours, 52 minutes and 45 seconds. His record of 4:48:23, set in 2007, stands for another year. Mitchell attributed today’s convincing win to experience in Hawaiian waters that allowed him to overcome an uncooperative ocean of disorganized  swells. And if Mitchell is the ‘King of Paddleboard’, then Hawaii’s Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin, 34, is the ‘Queen’, claiming her 8th Molokai-2-Oahu title in a time of 6:02:45 – less than 10 minutes shy of the record she set in 2004.

In the men’s division, it was 1-2-3 for Australia with Jackson English, (5:07:54) in second, and Joel Mason (5:15:42) in third. Fourth-placed Mikey Cote was the top placing Hawaii paddler (5:15:42). Beyond the finish line, Mitchell and English were paddling today to raise funds for SurfAid International. Their impressive 1-2 finish will likely see them surpass their $10,000 target.

“You had to really work for everything you got out there,” said Mitchell. “The wind seemed a little more out of the north, meaning a lot of of disorganization out there so you had to really work through the bumps.

“There was no real current, but the wind and the swell just made it hard. It was definitely not the hardest one I’ve done, but it wasn’t the best one, either, maybe 6 out of 10.”

Duncan-Seraphin was perhaps a little more forgiving: “It was  a fairly fast course, but it was technical. The bumps were very close together and you really had to stay focused. I love this race and this was my 10th (year doing it). I’m just stoked to finish. I felt like I had a great race today. This was one of my top 3 performances.”

Victory in the stand-up paddle (SUP) men’s and women’s divisions went to Maui’s Dave Kalama (4:54:15) and Andrea Moller (6:00:00), both setting records for their  respective divisions. Stand-up paddlers can be faster across the channel than the traditional paddleboarders, as standing upright with the wind at your back, and using a paddle can be of assistance. Kalama was roughly two minutes behind Mitchell, and Moller was two minutes faster than Duncan-Seraphin. Today’s rough surface conditions were a particular test of balance for the SUP contestants.

“There are a lots of really good sprinters, but I’m not one of them, so the windy races are what I train for and that’s what I’m built for,” said Kalama. “I’m really happy I won. Last year was really frustrating and to comeback and win it means everything.”

Renowned as one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world, the Molokai Channel upheld its reputation today dishing out either high times or heartbreak. One hundred and fifty paddlers started out today, eight did not officially finish. Among the eight were 2009 runner-up Brian Rocheleau (Hawaii), who was forced to withdraw part-way through the race due to severe illness. Mark Matheson (Hawaii), the only paraplegic to ever undertake the famous Molokai Channel crossing, found himself on a sure course to finish today, but lost his mandatory escort boat to engine failure with 10 miles remaining and was forced to call it a day. Kauai’s Ann Hettinger, 52 and the oldest woman to SUP solo across the channel, had to withdraw after 11 miles when the steering rudder on her paddleboard failed.

But like every channel swell, every trough has a peak, and it was high times for many paddlers who accomplished personal bests today. Among them were 12-year-old Riggs Napoleon (Hawaii, 7:10:30), the youngest person to ever cross the Molokai channel on any unmotorized watercraft; and Jeff Denholm (California, 7:49:10), an inspirational athlete who designs his own prosthetics and then puts them to the ultimate stress tests in a variety of sports. Denholm, 43, lost an arm to an accident on a fishing boat off the coast of Alaska more than a decade ago, but never allowed it to undermine his athletically driven lifestyle. He crossed the Molokai Channel last year in spite of his prosthetic glue giving out on him. Today he posted a personal best of 7:49:10 and vowed to return even faster in 2011.

“I jumped up to an 18-footer today and I wrestled it the whole way and had a hard time, but the arm was a bomber!” said Denholm. “So just one more piece of the puzzle: if I can figure out a board that matches what I can do then I’ll be faster. It was humbling as usual. My arm worked great, the crew was strong, but I just got on a board that I couldn’t handle. I was paddling sideways the whole time.  I was more sideways then I was straight! But I’ll be back.”

Molokai Race is On!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

HAWAII KAI, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) – For the first time in it’s history the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championship has sold out. A record number of women will be competing this year too.
They take off this Sunday from Kaluakoi on Molokai and end up in Hawaii kai 32 miles later. The first finishers should arrive around noon. The top athletes will complete the 32-mile channel crossing in just over five hours.

Molokai Champion Jamie Mitchell

Unlike short- and middle-distance races, the 32-mile Molokai 2 Oahu World Championship is the ultimate extreme test of a paddlers endurance and athletic ability. With a depth of 2,300 feet, the Ka’iwi (aka Molokai) Channel is infamous for its heavy seas, debilitating heat, and nightmarish currents.

Race rules mandate that every single entry must have their own escort boat accompaniment, support, and be qualified to compete in the race. Including official race boats, there will be a flotilla of over 200 craft crossing the Molokai Channel on July 25.

This year you can help the paddlers paddle for a good cause. 32::32 is a new initiative where you can donate one dollar per mile. You will receive a limited edition t-shirt and hat as a thank you. Proceeds benefit Molokai 2 Oahu race non-profit partners: The Molokai Community Service Council, Na Kama Kai, Malama Maunalua, and The Rell Sunn Eductional Fund.

Click HERE for a link to the official race website.

Dan Gavere and Nikki Gregg Featured in Skiing Magazine Article

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Dan gavere & Nicki Gregg Rocky Mountain Surf festival

Dan Gavere and Nikki Gregg have been featured in a Skiing Magazine article about whitewater stand up paddling. Here’s the link.  Check it out!
http://www.skinet.com/skiing/fondue-party/athletes/2010/07/whitewater-stand-up-paddling

 

Connor and Dave – Maui to Molokai

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

paddleathlete.com

Finding the fun in races is sometimes an exercise in perspective. In the Maui to Molokai I was worried that my flight from Seattle the night before was going to be a factor in my performance, but at the two hour mark I felt good. My plan was to get to the Kamalo buoy first and then surf my way home because that run can be so good, and for a few miles it was, but it did not live up to it’s reputation.

Once I got to Kamalo Conner caught up and passed me by a little bit. I knew that I couldn’t panic if I wanted to have a chance at getting back in the race. So I collected my thoughts, took a couple of sips on my drink and refocused. Within a couple of minutes I was back in the race with a few good glides and had passed Conner back. Even if you can’t win, these are the moments that make it fun. The exchange we had for the next fifteen or twenty minutes actually made the race for me. These are the times where you feel like you’re truly racing. Totally in the moment and giving each other your best, completely lost in the battle. For me that’s what racing is all about. I know we all race to win or at least do the very best we each individually can, but races within the race are the golden gems that pop up unexpectedly, and separate the most memorable moments from the general blur of delirious exhaustion.

In any case Conner dropped me eventually and did a great job of holding off a serious press by my cousin Ekolu. Later there was a moment after Conner got about a hundred yards on me that I thought I’d better make a move or it was

over for good. So I really went to work and, in my opinion, really started to fly. Getting monster glide after monster glide, I started to gain some ground back, but just not enough, so that’s when I conceded and realized that this kid can really glide. I also realized that my concern about not having enough fluids at the start of the race was valid, and my early attempt to conserve fluids by not consuming all I wanted was costing me–I started to cramp. I

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popped electrolyte pills like they were candy but I was too far gone and they had little or no effect.

Life’s Little Lessons
As I’ve stated before, hydration is huge, and just because I know it doesn’t mean I’m immune to failing to heed my own advice. In fact many of the tips I share serve a second purpose in reminding myself of what’s important. Let’s face it, there are so many little things to remember for a long distance race like: Reach, twist, breath, use your peripheral vision, hydrate, relax, stay focused, electrolyte pills, gu, music, don’t drop the top hand, pace yourself, push yourself but not to hard, focus on the line, connect the bumps, etc., etc.. And then you start the check list over to make sure you manage them. One thing missed may or may not take you out of the race but forget two or three and you’re done.

A new little lesson is in false economies. I thought I would try to save money and not have an escort boat for this race but in the end it probably cost me more to not have one, as both of my main competitors had boats and I’m sure the support they received was very helpful. I’m not saying that I could have beaten Connor and Ekolu that day if I had had a boat, but I can’t help thinking I might have saved a hundred bucks and lost $4000.

So once Conner was clearly beyond on my reach I just kept paddling and repeating to myself “anything can happen, be prepared to pounce in case he makes a mistake”. It’s my philosophy that you always keep pressing because you never know what’s going to happen and if it doesn’t at least you gave it all you had. I don’t like to look back to see what’s going on behind me because I find that if I react to what’s behind me it breaks my rhythm. I like to just look forward and hammer, but on this occasion about a three quarters of a mile from the finish I peeked back just in case somebody was sneaking up on me. Sure enough, Livio was coming up my six o’clock and fast. I had to do something drastic or I was going to lose third. At this point in the race the wind had pretty much died but there was still small bumps running with us. It was time for a gut check. So after a few big deep breaths I put the hammer down looking for anything that would buy me a few feet that Livio might not get. Bingo! I got a small one that turned into about a twenty five yard glide. I worked so hard to get it that had I not, it could have been the end of me. Just that one little glide bought me some valuable real estate and some much needed confidence that motivated me to get another one which clinched third for me. Once we turned the channel marker buoy to head into the finish I didn’t realize how long two hundred yards could be. Nevertheless, the minute I crossed the line everything on me locked up. If I had fallen off my board I might have drowned. Lucky for me there were plenty of ice cold liquid muscle relaxants around.

Dave Kalama and paddleathlete.com

Once again I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Conner for such a strong race. As I told him later, he really earned it.

Aloha,

Dave

Visit Dave’s site: A Waterman’s Journal: Dave Kalama

Connor Baxter Gives You The Low Down On Winning The Mormaii 27 Mile Paillo Express

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Connor Baxter Gives You The Low Down On Winning The Mormaii 27 Mile Paillo Express

The humble fifteen year old Men’s marathon stand up paddler Connor Baxter gives us the low down on his winning strategy for the Men’s Mormaii 27 Mile Paillo Express.

Connor Baxter and Eluko at Moramaii 27

Hey Connor, how’s the weather over there today?

“Well, it’s been alright today, for Maui. I’ve been getting out paddling non-stop and enjoying it.”

Not many teenagers are winning men’s Paddle Board Marathon’s, what was your strategy for the Mormaii Paillo Express?

“Train and have the right mindset you have to know that you are going to make it and once you get out there and its making to… paddle once or twice a day and every Tuesday and Thursday at the gym. Working the core muscles for this sport; chest, arms, legs they are what is making it happen.”

“It’s also about having the right people in your support boat. They are with you the whole time they are the inspiration to not slow down and to keep paddling. You have to have perfect people in the boat it keeps your mind off of how soar you are after three and a half hours.”

Winning the Mormaii-Paillo Paddle Board Express must’ve been a great feeling. Take the readers through what it feels like to be crossing the finish line:

“I crossed the finish line with no one in front of me and I had done it. After crossing the line I just jumped in the water and begin cooling down. I found a place to sit down and drink plenty of water and Hammer Recoverite Gel.”

Here’s a gallery of the Mormaii 27 Mile Paillo Express Stand Up Paddleboard Marathon.


Connor Baxter Bw Photo Stand up paddle board race
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Connor Baxter and Eluko at Moramaii 27
Connor Baxter Young Champion

Congratulations are definitely in order for our 15 year old Starboard  paddleboard pro Connor Baxter’s first place finish in the Mormaii 27 Mile Pialolo Express, Stand Up Paddle Board Marathon.

Head over to our main site and check out the write up on his win here. Also you’ll find all the information for paddleboard results posted over at Pacific Sport Events & Timing.

First days at Starboard’s International Headquarters

Monday, July 19th, 2010

First days at Starboard's International Headquarters

When you’re young you have a lot of first days, from the first day of school to your first day on a paddle board. As I’ve gotten on in years there have been less and less first days and more and more “I do this because I love it” days.

I’ve recently been picked up by Starboard’s SUP division to report back to you on all things Starboard, Stand Up Paddling (SUP), and the latest Stand Up Paddle Board News.

I genuinely enjoy the first day of work the whole adventure of it is alluring.  The energy of the room as you churn from desk to desk doing introductions is an awesome feeling.  Most importantly it’s a chance to start fresh; my inbox is comfortably empty, my to do list is still a series of unfilled lines, and everything is calm.

There has been a lot of first day experiences since I got here check it out:

First Day on Lake Taco
First Day of Wakeboarding on Lake Taco
First Day at Starboards International Office
First Day of Views of Lake Taco
First Day Staying at The Starboard Lake House
First of Real Thai Food

Congratulations are definitely in order for our 15 year old Starboard  paddleboard pro Connor Baxter’s first place finish in the Mormaii 27 Mile Pialolo Express, Stand Up Paddle Board Marathon.  Head over to our main site and check out the write up on his win here. Also you’ll find all the information for paddleboard results posted over at Pacific Sport Events & Timing.

Cheers,

Benton Kerchner

Event – San Clemente Ocean Festival

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

San Clemente Ocean Festival is a volunteer organization, dedicated to the promotion and support of ocean safety , the environment and community by providing a quality athletic venue and an enjoyable family event. T continue the success of the “Greatest Show On Surf” by attracting world class athletes, local residents and visitors to participate in a family oriented beach experience while maintaining a strong network of volunteers and sponsors, ensuring the long term viability of the San Clemente Ocean Festival.

aturday, the top California lifesavers and watermen and women compete in stand-up paddleboard, 1.5K sprint paddleboard, surf ski championship, ocean ironman races, and the ever-popular thrills and spills of the dory competition. San Clemente Ocean Festival is excited to announce the return of beach flags and the addition of SUP relay to this year’s competitions.

Sunday, the Waterman & Waterwoman event offers exciting and fun filled 5K Beach Run/Walk, ocean swims and run-swim-run races for everyone. The premiere event is the One Mile Ocean Swim in which over 250 swimmers participated last summer.

Dave on Jamie Mitchell

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

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When you think of domination you think of Lance (7), Kelly Slater (9), Michael Jordan (6), Tiger Woods (although perhaps not lately), Kobe Bryant (5) but you probably don’t think of Jamie Mitchell. Well you should. Once he won his first solo Molokai paddle board race in 2002, he never let anyone else hold that trophy.  Quite selfishly, he has dominated that race while only really being challenged  three times of his eight championships. His dominance in that race, considered the Tour de France of paddle boarding, is so thorough that when his competitors line up next to him at the start they honestly believe Jamie’s not even in the race because they have already conceded first. They know they are only competing for second.

The best part of his whole act and perhaps the part I admire most is his humility. I’m from the old school where you let your actions do your speaking and keep your mouth closed except for eating and maybe a cold one. Besides being king of his domain he’s not one dimensional, he is a waterman in the true classic sense of the word. Canoe, stand up, long board, big waves ( paddle and tow), swimming, body surf, foil board and lifeguard just to name a few of his consistent activities. He’s very much a throwback to the surfers of the fifties and sixties, where the ocean was your everything. Your gym, your playground, your church, your school and your frige. When what you rode was much less important than how you rode it. Skill and bravado trumped style and equipment every time and a brutal wipeout sometimes carried more clout amongst the tribe than a pretty make. He reads and attacks the bumps on down winders like a white shark reads and attacks a baby seal, with no mercy for anything that doesn’t keep him moving forward. His dedication to preparation is unparalleled by any in his sport and yet his appreciation for those who show up to give it a go is classic Hawaiian style, full of aloha and encouragement.

During his latest trip to Maui I had the chance to talk story with Jamie about the up coming races and shoot the breeze about a couple other things. I think you’ll find it amusing.

DK- Next years Naish, Stand up or paddle board?

JM- 95% certain it will be paddle board (Dk- I’m not buying it) .

Dk- Why?

JM- Because if I’m going to do Molokai (paddle board) next year, which I am, the Naish is a good warm up for that race.

DK- If you had to flog somebody for the BP disaster, who would it be?

JM- I don’t know to much about it, but I would have started with BP then go on to Obama for not taking more action sooner. Similar to how Bush handled the New Orleans disaster I believe that Obama could have taken more decisive and substantial action sooner.

Dk- After a perfect day on the water do you end with a) beers with your mates till you need a taxi. b) A glass of wine and watch the sunset. Or c) A couple of beers with the boys then go see the misses.

JM)-Old days it would have been a) but now times have changed, I choose d) beers with the boys and bring the little lady along with me till we both need a taxi.

Dk- You’ve been absolutely dominant in paddle boarding for so long, are you finding it harder to find the motivation to prepare for the races as time goes by?

JM- Each year is getting harder to get going but once I get past the first month of training I’m good to go. It’s hard for us downunder to just keep training month after month with only a few small races knowing that it’s all just for the races in Hawaii. Especially as the weather gets colder in our winter and there’s no where to put all the training to use.

DK- What do you have to say to all the stand up guys that bag on paddle boarding?

JM- I would say remember who the new kid on the block is and that the majority of the really good stand up guys all started on paddle boards. And that the paddle board races were the ones that included sup originally, so SUP owes a lot of it’s growth to the those first races.

DK- Surftech has a Jamie Mitchell stand up model, what percentage of your total surfing does stand up represent?

JM-80%. I just went to G-land with three short boards and a stand up and spent about 90% of the time on my stand up.

DK- You seem pretty keen to keep up on other sports. What and who is your favorite and why?

JM- Rugby league, and my team is Parramatta.

Dk- Who’s your favorite NBA team?

JM- Lakers. (DK- good answer YEAH!!!!) I also enjoy watching MMA.

DK- Congratulations on your recent engagement. How many kids?

JM- (Awful big pause then) One boy and one girl.

DK- If paddle boarding hadn’t come into your life, what would have taken it’s place?

JM- Probably rugby. When I was a kid I was doing both sports when I got an injury and my father told me if I wanted to be successful at one of them I would have to choose one or the other. I chose paddle boarding so if paddle boarding wasn’t there it would be rugby.

Dk- If you could start a business, what would it be?

JM- The Jamie Mitchell foundation to benefit abused or underprivileged  kids.

Dk- Give me a couple of bucket list items.

JM- Own my own house and go for a fighter jet ride.

Dk- Preparation is a huge part of your success. Do you have any tips your willing to share?

JM- In the last three years I’ve put a lot of focus on nutrition and recovery supplements. Do all the hard yards a month before the race so you can taper and not over train. Two weeks out you can’t get any faster but you can slow your self down by over training.

DK- Last question. Who’s helped you the most to get you where you are?

JM- My family. Because of all their support no matter what I did and encouraged me no matter what my dream was.

DK- Thanks Jamie. It’s been fun and good luck with all the races.

Aloha, Dave

Visit Dave’s site: A Waterman’s Journal: Dave Kalama

Review of Starboard 12’6″ Surf Race

Saturday, July 17th, 2010
Starboard Surf Race 12'6"

The Surf Race  is really designed for going in and out through the surf, with a flatter deck for easy foot movement and pivot turns.

It has an optimum foot spread for stability and comfort and sports the NEW’s racing rocker for speed and glide, working well in a large variety of conditions.
The shallow single concave bottom increases speed when surfing bumps and swells.

This board was used by Nikki Gregg to win the Women’s Open race at the 09 Battle of the Paddle. Compared to the NEW, the Surf Race is a more versatile and stable shape.

Race courses through open ocean including a ten mile distance contest-round trip from Dana Point to San Clemente and back-a multi-lap circuit through the breakers, around buoys, back to the beach. With divisions for all ages and abilities and a prize purse of over $25,000, this year’s contest drew a huge field of competitors to Doheny State Beach from the East Coast and as far away as Australia, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The international lineup in no way prevented local athletes from making a great showing and coming away with some of the best results of the weekend.

In the Distance SUP Brandi Baksic finished in the number one spot among the women with a time of 01:55:12. The Open Age Group race drew a huge field of 297 making for some difficult moments maneuvering through the surf with so many paddlers vying for the win.

The venue, complete with music, food, entertainment and a SUP Expo along with beautiful weather made for a perfect backdrop for the second installment of the Battle of the Paddle. The large crowd of spectators-and huge field of competitors-drawn by the event were testament to the growing popularity of the sport of SUP and-thanks to Rainbow Sandals-the proceeds raised will go on to benefit the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association.

Results:
1st place -Open Age Group Race overall female Nikki Gregg
1st place -Open Age Group Race overall stock Zane Schweitzer
1st place -Open Age Group Race M 40-49 stock Brian Szysmanski (2nd overall)
3rd place -Elite Race overall female Brandi Baksic
1st place -Distance Race SUP overall female Brandi Baksic
1st place -Distance Race SUP overall stock male EJ Johnson
1st place -Distance Race SUP 14ft Mens under 18 Zane Schweitzer
2nd place -Distance Race SUP-14ft Mens Under 18 Connor Baxter
1st place -Distance Race SUP-Mens Stock 30-39 John Hibbard
3rd place -Distance Race SUP-Men’s Stock 40-49 Brian Szysmanski

SPORTING-SAILS – SUP Sail & Downwind Surf Sailing

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

http://www.sporting-sails.com – How to use the SPORTING-SAIL like an auxiliary hand held spinnaker in a downwind scenario on a surfboard or SUP – Just sailing with friends having a good time. Paddle + Sail + SUP + Surfboard + Wind = FUN!

FOIL STAND UP PADDLE

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Bruno ANDRE on a stand Up Paddle Foil session.