Archive for February, 2011

Before there was Chuck Patterson, Mr. SUP/Wave-Ski/Shark Video Guy…

Friday, February 25th, 2011

… there was Hucks Splatterson, professional extreme skier (Chuck held the record for both cliff jumping and speed at one point).

As told by Jeff Denholm:  Chuck might not have been the most technical skier, but he was so strong and fearless… he would just throw himself off of anything.  A group of us would be looking off the cornice and checking things out… Chuck would just come flying by at full speed… whoosh!  I remember one time he landed a drop and just impacted into the powder like a cannon ball… everyone started shouting to see if he was OK and then we just saw a hand a pole rise out of the snow.  Chuck landed so hard he split his skis!  But that was just Chuck… he was going.

Expect to see more examples of Chuck’s diversity in the near future.  One thing is for sure, SUP, Shark Videos and Wave skis are only the tip of the iceberg that is Mr. Patterson. After a recent trip rekindled the love, Chuck shot some footage for the new Warren Miller film out this fall.  See below for more photos.

Rob Rojas – Commitment.

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Picture Pete Stirling Watermans Applied Science
It’s an hour after dark, and there’s only one car left in the lot. It’s the same car that will be the last one in the lot 9 times out of 10.
I’ll admit, it’s not the best photo ever, but it gets the point across: Rob Rojas is a bad ass.

This is a 90 second exposure, and I popped the flash as Rojas walked by.
-Bishow

Dave Kalama – Costa Rica Vista Guapa Surf Camp

Monday, February 21st, 2011


Costa Rica here we come. In just about two months the Kalama Kamp crew and I will be hosting our first camp in Costa Rica. I’ve been to Costa Rica a few times myself, but I have a feeling this will be the best one because we will have one of the best surfers in Costa Rica, Alvaro, to help make sure we end up in the right places at the right times, thus taking full advantage of local knowledge. I’ve already started to brush up on my spanish, most of it focused on three sayings that seem to get you pretty far. Donde esta la playa ( where’s the beach), un cervesa por farvor( a beer please) and another important one, donde esta el bano ( where’s the bathroom ). I’ve even changed John’s name to Juan for the camp and Brody is El Mono( The Monkey ). I hope you’ll consider joining us, even I’m tired at the end of our Kalama Kamp weeks, from doing so much and having so much fun. Below is some more info that Brody put together on how to sign up and general info. Hope to see you in Costa Rica. Pura Vida, Dave

Kalama Kamp is coming to Vista Guapa Surf Camp (www.vistaguapa.com) from Saturday, April 9th thro ugh Saturday, April 16th 2011.  Spend time with renowned waterman and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) pioneer Dave Kalama.  Kalama Kamp Costa Rica is a weeklong SUP adventure retreat featuring private instruction, daily SUP activities and nightly social gatherings.  The all-inclusive (excluding airfare) Kalama Kamp offers the unique opportunity for SUP enthusiasts to explore one of the world’s most coveted surfing destinations while receiving personalized instruction from top SUP industry experts.

“We are thrilled to host Kalama Kamp at Vista Guapa,” explained Alvaro Solaro, co-founder of Vista Guapa.  “We guarantee that it will be the SUP/Surf experience of a lifetime in beautiful Jaco Beach with instruction from some of the industry’s best watermen and top surfers in the world.”

Kalama Kamp Costa Rica will include one-on-one instruction from Kalama, the Hawaiian Big Wave Surfer and Windsurfer who is considered one of the driving forces behind the reemergence of stand up paddling into the watersports arena.  Additional instructors include Solano, Stand Up Fitness founder Brody Welte and John Denney of Jupiter Paddleboarding.  Kalama Kamp is limited to 12 spaces assuring the most intimate, personalized SUP experience possible.

“We are stoked to be bringing Kalama Kamp to Costa Rica, one of the most beloved surfing spots in the world,” added Welte, founder of Stand Up Fitness.  “Kalama Kamp Costa Rica is the perfect opportunity for anyone, regardless of skill level, who wants to take their paddleboarding experience to a completely new level and meet like-minded individuals. Kalama Kamp Costa Rica is ready to embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle!”

Nestled on five beautiful acres of hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Vista Guapa is an upscale surf and stand up paddleboard camp offering a first class surfing vacation for water lovers of any skill level.  Run by Solano, the camp is located in the well-known surfing destination of Jaco Beach and conveniently located with easy access to some of the best surf breaks on the Costa Rican Pacific coast.  In addition to surfing and stand up paddleboarding, Vista Guapa guests enjoy a range of outdoor activities including yoga, canopy tours, mountain biking, fishing trips and kayaking in partnership with local tour companies.

Kalama Kamp Costa Rica is currently accepting registrants for this exclusive opportunity.  Rates are $3499 per person and are all-inclusive excluding airfare.  To reserve space in Kalama Kamp Costa Rica, please call 727-902-4294 or email brody@standupfitnessinc.com.

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

WPA Interview with Karen Wrenn

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Karen Wrenn, one of the top female SUP racers just completed crossing the entire Channel Islands in Northern California this last week that is roughly 160 miles depending on conditions.  This is not small feat and Karen is believed to be the first person male or female to accomplish this feat.

Read WPA INTERVIEW

Save your shoulders with Dr. Scott

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

By Scott Neubauer, DC, CSCS

If you surf, paddle or swim, the weight of your world rests squarely on the health of your shoulders.

Most of us are drawn to surfing, paddling, and rowing because we love being outside on the open water. While paddling and rowing are great strength activities, the most common reason a waterman/woman comes to my clinic is due to a strength imbalance. When one muscle is too weak relative to a neighboring muscle, it can lead to pain anywhere around the shoulder complex.

With a healthy, symptom-free shoulder, I recommend big strength movements: pushups, rows, dips, pullups, clean and jerk, medicine ball tosses, ring workouts, heavy bag, etc. But for a shoulder that aches after a long session in the water or a shoulder that doesn’t move the way it should, I prescribe specific strengthening exercises to the stabilizers of the shoulder. Here are videos of the most common strength exercises I recommend to my paddling patients:

Shoulder external rotations: this is a great basic exercise to strengthen the infraspinatus, one of the four rotator cuff muscles.

Shoulder internal rotations: this strengthens the subscapularis, an often neglected rotator cuff muscle.

Lateral raise: this variation of a lateral raise emphasizes supraspinatus strength, the most commonly torn rotator cuff muscle.

Scapular retractions: to strengthen the rhomboids, the large stabilizing muscles between the shoulder blades.

Pushup with a plus: to strengthen serratus anterior, a very small and thin muscle that prevents “winging” of the scapulae.

Ts, Ys and Ws: a great series of exercises that strengthen the rotator cuff, middle trapezius and lower trapezius muscles.

What’s great about all of these exercises is they can be performed year-round without fatiguing you so much that you can’t paddle. Typically I recommend performing these exercises three to five times per week during the off season and one to two times per week during race season. Of course, if you’re in pain, seek advice from a health care professional….preferably, one who spends more time in the water than on the land!

Dr Scott Neubauer is a running, paddling, surfing chiropractor who practices in Lake Forest, California. He can be reached at (949)933-7789 or through his website at: www.coastalhealthandfitness.com

——————————————————

Scott Neubauer, DC, CSCS

Active Release Technique® Provider / RockTape® PowerTaping Certified

Certified Kinesio® Taping Practitioner

USA Track & Field Level 1 Coach

www.coastalhealthandfitness.com

(949) 933-7789

***

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Wavechaser Double Header – Feb 19-20, 2011

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Day 1 of the Wavechaser Double Header

Compete both days for overall OC1, Surfski and Waterman/Waterwoman honors (the Water Award goes to the fastest combined time for racing OC1 on one day and surfski the other)

Short Course:  Jack London Square to the mouth of the estuary and return

Long Course:  Jack London Square to the Bay Bridge west of Yerba Buena Island (i.e. Treasure Island)

Courses are subject to change on race day depending on the weather

Day 2 of the Wavechaser Double Header.

View Map for Day 2

Compete both days for overall OC1, Surfski and Waterman/Waterwoman honors (the Water Award goes to the fastest combined time for racing OC1 on one day and surfski the other)

Short Course:  Loop course between Alcatraz and Fort Point in front of Crissy Field

Long Course:  Out and back course goes under the Golden Gate Bridge to Mile Rocks

General course descriptions

Courses are subject to change on race day depending on the weather

Race Website

Zane Schweitzer Interview

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Here is an interview with Zane Schweitzer from the Waterman League sent to us by Margareta, Starboard’s marketing manager.

Zane Schweitzer Finalist Sunset Beach World Tour 2011

Congratulations 17 year old Zane Schweitzer. Last year you won the Jr class. This year is the first time you actually enter the Pro class and you end up with only 3 athletes in the world finishing in front of you. There is no doubt you have great talents and a bright future in SUP surfing.

1. What’s your overall impression from the event? It was such an amazing event right on the North Shore of Oahu on one of the best surf breaks in the world. Tristan did a great job organizing the competition, the judges were really good and the announcers were very on top of it too. Having this event televised was awesome because I had friends watching the event from all over the world, so between the live feed and the television show it should bring much more attention to big wave sup surfing. The waves were pretty good most of the event and you always feel so lucky anytime you can be surfing big waves with only three other people in the water.

2. When did you realize you made it to the finals and what went through your mind at that stage? I thought I heard the announcers in the semi’s about a minute before the heat saying that one of the competitors had gotten their wave count and that I was still in 2nd, when nobody got anymore waves so I just kind of hoped that was right. But when I came in people just came rushing up to me congratulating me on making it. Then the TV crew confirmed it when they were interviewing me and I was so stoked knowing that I was realizing my dream of making it into the finals!

3. How do you prepare yourself for an event like this? I am always surfing, whether it is on my shortboard or my SUP. I am always in the water. I think it helps that I windsurf too because I am used to throwing around a big board in the water, but my shortboard surfing techniques really made me feel confidant today.

4. What equipment did you use? When the waves were big (10 – 20 feet) I used my new 9′3″ Custom Duane Ignacio Starboard Gun that I helped design since I am only 135 pounds my boards can be a bit smaller right now. But today for most of my heats I used my 2011 stock Starboard Tiki Pro. I love it, it handles great, and I really feel comfortable on it!

5. What are you looking for in a board that must be able to perform on this level? I like a very narrow board, with sharp rails, and a loose board, that can easily move on the wave. Today my board’s speed really helped me too in the heat before the quarters I caught a big barrell and was trying to race ahead of the wave just to escape the pound. My equipment worked great for the conditions.

6. Did you have a strategy during the heats or did you just “follow the flow”? It’s a little of both. I always try to start off with a few long rides just to get a few scores on the board, and then I try to hold out for the set waves to get the big scores. If the waves aren’t coming to me, then I pull out as many moves on the waves as I can.

7. This is the second year of the Stand UP World Tour, could you notice any difference in the atmosphere or the competitors this year compared to last year? Totally! The sport is growing so much every month and the level of the athletes is improving each event. The equipment is better, the guys are better, and we are all pushing the limits of the sport. It is pretty cool.

8. The waves were quite big this year, 20 ft plus. Were you ever scared or felt uncomfortable? I love surfing big waves! But, I grew up in Hawaii and learned really young to have respect for the ocean, and if you aren’t a little afraid you are just stupid. I have watched the best surfers in the world get pummelled there, but I felt good, everything was clicking, I timed getting out pretty well, and loved riding the bigger waves for sure. The best feeling is being able to be in the water with just three other surfers since normally there are tons of people in the water and we had it to ourselves! I wish the conditions were always like that!

9. Tell us about your most memorable wave from the event. My favorite wave of the day was definitely in the Semi Finals. Everything just was clicking. I caught one nice sized wave from the outside, dropped in and hung five before doing a few bottom turns and then up the lip again, but then as I was trying to get the reform I did a board 360 made it into the new section and pulled of two more 360s in the smaller part of the wave. I was stoked! I wish I would have had a wave like that in the Finals too.

10. What do you plan to do next? I am going to Mexico next month for another SUP wave event in Punta Sayulita then a few windsurfing events before France for the second leg of the Standup World Tour. I can’t wait! I just want to keep improving my results throughout the tour.

11. Anything else? Yeah! I want to make more Go Pro movies. I have a lot of fun making them, and get a lot of hits on them so I think people like to check them out too. It is a great way to promote SUP to more and more people. And I love going on travel adventures like the trip I took with Starboard to Peru. I just want to keep surfing, traveling the world, competing, making movies and doing what I love with a bunch of really good friends in the water!

http://www.standuppaddlesurf.net/2011/02/10/zane-schweitzer-finalist-sunset-beach-world-tour-2011/

Waterman’s Applied Science – What I learned..

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Waterman's Applied ScienceWhen it comes to equipment the choices far outweigh the relevance.

If Kelly Slater taught us anything over the last twenty years it is simply that he is unique. How else can one explain ten world titles spread out over 17 years of continual progression? Regardless, surfing culture became the culture of Kelly Slater. Surfers around the globe wore what he wore, rode what he rode and aspired to his every move. Somewhere along the way, every one of us failed to notice that the same approach didn’t do squat for 100+ of the world best competitive surfers as they attempted to dethrone the king.

Yet we soldiered on, searching for salvation in newer and better equipment, plying the pages of surf mags and web blogs for the mythical magic bullet, the key to Kelly success, as if it was one carbon fiber side-biter away. This dysmorphic behavior is not exclusively found in surfing. Every sport from rugby to running has its trends, but one could argue that none has ever had such a dominant character; an entire culture devoted to the impossible task of emulating a man who can bend over backwards and lick his own toes.

Even though it is a relatively new sport in terms of popularity, paddling has not been spared this nonsense. In a community where local stars still carry some weight, homogeny is probably not an immediate concern. However, the search for the Golden Fleece has already begun. It is not uncommon for a new entrant to purchase multiple boards and paddles within a year. The search for the fastest, latest and lightest equipment has become ridiculous. Buyer beware: when elite paddlers began to experiment with running blades twelve inches overhead in 2009/10 many found themselves in rehab for shoulder injuries before the season ended. Rob Rojas, notoriously demanding on his equipment, routinely wins races on waterlogged boards weighing 35+ pounds. Jamie Mitchell paddles his old green board to victory year after year despite evidence that it at one point fell off a truck. I have personally paddled Danny Ching’s BOTP distance race winning Unlimited and will verify beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the paddler, not the board.

A few years ago I asked World Renowned Triathlete and coach Roch Frey what it took to compete in a triathlon. (It was too long ago to quote, so I’ll paraphrase.) You need a bike, some shoes and a pair of goggles. When I commented that good gear was too expensive for my blood, Roch laughed. If I wasn’t going to win the race, what difference did I think a better bike would make? After all, if I can’t swim, bike and run well the equipment sure isn’t going to do it for me.
If you need something to think about next time you get passed by a mini van on the freeway, ponder this: Kelly Slater really did surf a front door. The irony being that many, like myself, probably surf better on their first board than their last and if you want to have fun in the sun and get some good exercise the best you can bring with you is a good attitude, reliable equipment, realistic expectations and your trusty sunscreen. However, if one morning you hear the gun go off and realize that you’re probably going to win this day, it might be time to invest in some new equipment.

***

www.watermanssunscreen.com

Race Video – Hal Rosoff Classic, Feb 2011

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

This is the start of the race from the water side, really unique perspective for those of us who don’t see the race from the front!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IB0ttVKrrVc[/youtube]

Chuck Patterson: Skiing Jaws

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Chuck Patterson does a lot of crazy things, many of which go unnoticed. Occasionally, when you push the limits of sport, people take notice. Chuck’s recent antics have put him on the front page of Yahoo! and the LA Times, among other publications. Check out the vid:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahk48h7P4ts[/youtube]

Order HD Helmet HERO at GoPro.com

Watermans Applied Science

Freecaster Feed for Sunset Pro Live

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Hanohano Paddleboard SUP Race Report – EJ Johnson

Monday, February 7th, 2011

This was my 5th year participating in this great event and it is now evident this past weekend that SUP racing is here to stay!

Check out EJ’s awesome wooden paddles!

With a total of 162 sup entrants, compared to my 1st year with less than a dozen. The most impressive was the women’s increased presence with 44 on 12′ 6″ and 5 on Unlimited. Mens 12′ 6″ with 49 / Mens over 50 with 16 / Mens 14′ with 33 / Unlimited Mens with 15.

The course was 4.7 mi in the protected waters of Mission Bay in San Diego Ca, with staggered start with OC 1 and 2’s /Surf Skis 1st, all SUP’s, then traditional prone paddle board. The conditions were perfect for a So Cal winter, clocking in at 65 degrees F, when the rest of the country is sub zero! California is awesome…..

I raced my 14′ ACE against a field of 33, and was stoked with 2nd place finish, it was a battle from the very start , bumping rails and paddles. As the pack spread out, different drafting packs developed, the one I ended up in one that consisted of an unlimited, a 12′ 6″ and two 14’s. We switched off leads a few times, to share the load. I personally am not a huge fan of drafting, but when it’s on you gotta go or get left behind! So at the finish we all split the last 300′ and sprinted it out. The first place 14′ ( Eric Stearns )was 14 seconds in front and third place ( Jim Terrell ) was only 5 seconds behind.

The Hano Hano is always a fun event, with good food , music, and a huge raffle.
Great job to my Starboard teammates : Nikki Gregg 5th place 12’6″ Dan Gavere 4th place 12′ 6″ and our latest new up and coming 12 yr old grom Nick Scheel placing 2nd in his division.

Visit EJ Johnson’s Paddleboard SUP Blog

Check out EJ’s awesome wooden paddles!

Karen Wrenn Channel Islands Crossing

Monday, February 7th, 2011

WHOEVER SAID ALL the good adventures have been done was so wrong. There are still plenty of firsts, and standup paddler Karen Wrenn is tackling one this week. The 37-year-old mother of three left the dock in Southern California this morning and motored west toward Santa Barbara Island, where tomorrow she’ll start heading north on a 150-mile circum-paddle of the Channel Islands.

Channel islands PaddleRead the follow up!

Dave Kalama – Who cares

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

It seems that everybody around at the beginning of stand up wants to claim that they were the one that started the whole thing. Who cares, no one is giving away awards for the one that is responsible for it all. There’s no cash bonuses being handed out, even if we all did agree one person is the most responsible, then what. Is there a parade, or a big sponsorship waiting? I don’t think so. Does that person get a hall pass at any surf break he wants? If so I want to be that person, but unfortunately I’m pretty sure there’s no hall ojypasses being handed out.

Is it a matter of recognition? Maybe, but let’s examine that for a moment. The most I can ever see is an honorable mention at a future stand up hall of fame. We know there will never be an honorable mention at the surfing hall of fame, they can’t stand us. Who would that be anyway? Do you take it all the way back to John Zapotaky. While I’m sure he enjoyed it, it didn’t exactly take off from his involvement. How about back to the Duke, he’s the one that showed Zapotaky. Or do you go all the way back to the ancient Hawaiians? There’s just no question they did stand up paddle surfing. Even though there is no photographic evidence that they were doing stand up paddle surfing, they were all paddlers. Is there even the slightest chance they failed to put paddle and surfboard together?  Surely it would have been done by at least a few of them, and probably the folks that stuck with prone paddling complained that they were hogging all the waves.At least they probably didn’t get grief about having dangerously big boards.  ALL the boards were dangerously big.

Then there’s these guys:

The Peruvians also have a legitimate claim in their Tortoras and I’m sure they’re not the only indigenous people to discover this mode of transportation. So I guess it depends how far you want to go back to give credit. Again even if we designate one person or group prior to Laird’s involvement, the sport didn’t exactly take off.

No matter what your perspective of Laird is, to me there is no question he was the tipping point factor that got the sport to the masses. Did he do it alone, absolutely not, would it be where it is now with out him, absolutely not. You have to admit that Laird has transcended surfing and has become a bona fide celebrity. Whatever he does draws attention, whether it’s stand up or just standing on the beach. He draws a crowd and I’ve seen it first hand over and over again. And even though I was there on the first day he and I did it together, the likes of Jennifer Aniston and  Pierce Brosnin aren’t going to try it because Dave Kalama does it.

H2O Audio - Paddle With Music

The real beauty of all that is the guy most deserving of the recognition could care less about it, He’s much too busy doing it.

Is the first domino the most important or is the domino that spreads the single file line into a sprawling fan of dominos the most important. Like I said, who cares. The important thing is that the dominos are falling and spreading at an incredible rate. So try as you might to get the magnifying glass at one point, you’d be missing all the beauty of the bigger picture. I guess the people that like to argue can argue over this for quite some time because from what I can see, there is no one to give ultimate responsibility to. To some degree it really is and has been a team effort to get this message of stand up out to the world. Not so one person can wave his flag and say it started with me. Instead we can all fly the flag of this great sport and share it’s benefits to help make the world a little better, even if it’s for an hour or two, or as long as you are on the water.

Sure, I would like to say I’m the guy as much as the next guy, but even if I were, so what, I wouldn’t get a prize, I don’t get to drive in the carpool lane by myself, guys aren’t going to give me more waves because of it, fellow competitors aren’t going to let me win the race because of it, my mortgage company isn’t going to say ” Hey your all good, don’t worry about the loan, we’ll cover it for you”. It ultimately serves no real purpose. I’m just glad I’m one of the lucky ones that get’s to do this sport as my job. So while I might not be “the” guy, I am the guy that’s on the water as much as anybody, which is good enough for me.

Aloha,

Dave

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

Dave Kalama – Tempo Paddling Techniques

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Photo Darrell Wong

So you’ve read all the technique articles, watched all the videos on you tube, maybe even attended a clinic from one of the pros. You’ve spent countless hours processing all the information and tried to integrate it into your stroke. Maybe you’ve even gone as far as having some one video tape you so that you can go through it with a fine tooth comb, and slow-mo it like the sports analysts do on any given Sunday. Well there’s one little detail you seldom hear in the stand up world… tempo( or cadence ). In outrigger it’s quite a common term because of the team work factor. Everyone must paddle exactly together or blend as they say, and at the same rate or tempo.

There are many factors that determine your speed, for instance, the amount of power you apply, efficiency of your technique, fitness level, board design, etc. For the sake of argument,  let’s say you paddle pretty much the same every time you go. So the easiest way to control your speed is by the number of strokes you take per minute, or tempo. If you only take forty strokes per minute no matter how good they are you will only travel so far, but if you take seventy stokes per minute( provided they’re good strokes) you will travel a lot further.

The trick then becomes setting your tempo to three key factors. One, your technique, be it Hawaiian or Tahitian. Two, your fitness level, meaning how much cardio stress can you put on your body and maintain a certain level of efficiency. Three, your level of power output. When anyone of these factors is too high you’ll reach a point of diminishing returns, simply meaning, that you no longer can maintain a efficient movement when you’re trying to hard.

Because the length of a stand up paddle is so much longer, you will do fewer strokes per minute compared to the rates of an outrigger paddler. In an outrigger, the Hawaiian stroke can vary from the low fifties to upper sixties, whereas the Tahitian stroke can be anywhere from the lower sixties to the low mid eighties. For stand up you can subtract five to ten strokes per minute for the longer paddles.

Setting your tempo on a stand up is a very subtle thing because adding five strokes per minute is barely noticeable. That’s just a little more than one stroke more per fifteen seconds, which by the way is generally how you count your strokes. Count the number of strokes you do in fifteen seconds and multiply by four.

If you’re more of a cardio type person you should lean more towards a Tahitian style stroke since the rate is higher and will require more cardio endurance, thus playing right into your strength. If you’re a bigger stronger guy perhaps you might slow your stroke down and take advantage of your strength by powering your paddle a little deeper. Whatever you favor naturally I highly recommend mastering both techniques as they both use slightly different muscle groups, which allows for less fatigue because of load sharing throughout the body.

So instead of always working on just your technique, try adjusting your tempo to suit your stroke and technique to enhance both factors and become that much faster over the long run.

Aloha,

Dave

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

Who cares

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Darrell Wong photo

It seems that everybody around at the beginning of stand up wants to claim that they were the one that started the whole thing. Who cares, no one is giving away awards for the one that is responsible for it all. There’s no cash bonuses being handed out, even if we all did agree one person is the most responsible, then what. Is there a parade, or a big sponsorship waiting? I don’t think so. Does that person get a hall pass at any surf break he wants? If so I want to be that person, but unfortunately I’m pretty sure there’s no hall passes being handed out.

Is it a matter of recognition? Maybe, but let’s examine that for a moment. The most I can ever see is an honorable mention at a future stand up hall of fame. We know there will never be an honorable mention at the surfing hall of fame, they can’t stand us. Who would that be anyway? Do you take it all the way back to John Zapotaky. While I’m sure he enjoyed it, it didn’t exactly take off from his involvement. How about back to the Duke, he’s the one that showed Zapotaky. Or do you go all the way back to the ancient Hawaiians? There’s just no question they did stand up paddle surfing. Even though there is no photographic evidence that they were doing stand up paddle surfing, they were all paddlers. Is there even the slightest chance they failed to put paddle and surfboard together?  Surely it would have been done by at least a few of them, and probably the folks that stuck with prone paddling complained that they were hogging all the waves.At least they probably didn’t get grief about having dangerously big boards.  ALL the boards were dangerously big.

Then there’s these guys:

The Peruvians also have a legitimate claim in their Tortoras and I’m sure they’re not the only indigenous people to discover this mode of transportation. So I guess it depends how far you want to go back to give credit. Again even if we designate one person or group prior to Laird’s involvement, the sport didn’t exactly take off.

No matter what your perspective of Laird is, to me there is no question he was the tipping point factor that got the sport to the masses. Did he do it alone, absolutely not, would it be where it is now with out him, absolutely not. You have to admit that Laird has transcended surfing and has become a bona fide celebrity. Whatever he does draws attention, whether it’s stand up or just standing on the beach. He draws a crowd and I’ve seen it first hand over and over again. And even though I was there on the first day he and I did it together, the likes of Jennifer Aniston and  Pierce Brosnin aren’t going to try it because Dave Kalama does it.

The real beauty of all that is the guy most deserving of the recognition could care less about it, He’s much too busy doing it.

Is the first domino the most important or is the domino that spreads the single file line into a sprawling fan of dominos the most important. Like I said, who cares. The important thing is that the dominos are falling and spreading at an incredible rate. So try as you might to get the magnifying glass at one point, you’d be missing all the beauty of the bigger picture. I guess the people that like to argue can argue over this for quite some time because from what I can see, there is no one to give ultimate responsibility to. To some degree it really is and has been a team effort to get this message of stand up out to the world. Not so one person can wave his flag and say it started with me. Instead we can all fly the flag of this great sport and share it’s benefits to help make the world a little better, even if it’s for an hour or two, or as long as you are on the water.

Sure, I would like to say I’m the guy as much as the next guy, but even if I were, so what, I wouldn’t get a prize, I don’t get to drive in the carpool lane by myself, guys aren’t going to give me more waves because of it, fellow competitors aren’t going to let me win the race because of it, my mortgage company isn’t going to say ” Hey your all good, don’t worry about the loan, we’ll cover it for you”. It ultimately serves no real purpose. I’m just glad I’m one of the lucky ones that get’s to do this sport as my job. So while I might not be “the” guy, I am the guy that’s on the water as much as anybody, which is good enough for me.

Aloha,

Dave

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