Archive for November, 2011

VIDEO – Rob Machado, Jamie Mitchell & Friends OAHU SUP downwinder

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Rob Machado, Jamie Mitchell  and friends go for a fun 6 mile downwinder on Oahu. The crew starts at Turtle Bay, rides open ocean swells down wind and eventually ends up back on dry land at Waimea Bay.


VIDEO – Jamie Mitchell Road to the Eddie

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Hi guys. Well I was lucky enough to get on the Alternate list this year for the In Memory of Eddie Aikau Event… Although I am too far down the list to get a chance to surf if it does run they do have a opening ceremony each year which is just so cool to be apart of.. So me and Joss have set off for about 10 days of Hawaii time to be there for the Ceremony.. This will be my 3rd time on the list and one day I hope to get on the main list and have the honor to surf in the event. We will be trying to post a video blog daily to see whats happening out here on the Nth Shore leading up to the event. The Sunset event of the Triple Crown kicks off tomorrow and with a solid 10-12 ft swell forecast for Sunday hopefully we can entertain you while we are here.. Take care and see you soon… JM…

Day 1 through 5


Connor Baxter wins Namotu World Paddle Challenge

Friday, November 18th, 2011

The 2011 Namotu World Paddle Challenge was a great event. The first day they started off big and ran the long distance race first. They said the race was going to be 19 miles, but it ended up being 23 miles. The race was from Natadola Beach on the main island to Namotu Island and there were about 15 of us at the starting line. We were all on 12′6″ race boards – which made the crossing that much more challenging. It was a beach start and once I heard go – it was on. Right from the get go all the young guns pulled out to the front of the group. Slater, Zane, Noa, Kai and I were in the front and headed out to the Navy Ship, which was our outside marker we had to round. I was the first to round it and turned down to start the fun. It was pretty light, but there were still some fun bumps to catch. I caught some really long ones in the beginning and then the race started to get worse and worse. It got littler and the current started to go against us. Around the half way mark, I had a good lead and still felt strong, but then it was getting flatter and flatter and there were no bumps to catch. By the time I got to Cloud Break, which is not too far off of Namotu, the wind stopped and it was a flat-water grind to the finish line. So I put my head down and I knew what I had to do. As I got closer I caught a wave at Swimming Pools and then I was on the home stretch. When I finally got to the beach and ran up to the finish line, I was so stoked to finish and to come in first place. The race took me about 3 1/2 hours. So, I rested up for the rest of the day and was getting ready for the next race of the event.

The next day we got to rest and surf it up, which was a lot of fun, but the next day was the race day. This race was run in heats – in and out of the surf around buoys. I was in the first heat. I waxed my board and headed for the beach. The top two made it to the next round, so my plan was just to go as hard as I needed to advance – and I did that and was second behind Zane. This put me into the next round, so I went into the shade and drank water. The next heat was a little harder, but I had the same strategy and I went hard in the beginning then took it easy to save my energy for the final. Once again I came in second, which put me into the finals.

As the day went on, the wind got stronger and the waves were getting bigger and the tide was dropping. Padding out for the finals I knew what I had to do and right when they said go I was gone. Kai, Zane and I jumped out in front and then I pulled away from those guys. I rounded the first buoy first and started heading in. Coming in I caught a big wave and it doubled up and I got pounded. I manage to get back up and still make it to the next buoy in first place, but on the way out the current was super strong, which allowed Kai to catch up. So Kai and I were battling it out to the last buoy and a freak set took us out but we got on our boards and kept going. I sprinted my brains off and got in front and rounded the buoy first, but Kai manage to catch a wave that I couldn’t get which put him in first and me in second. It is crazy when racing in waves anything can happen, you can be leading, but all of a sudden something happens and then you fall back a few places. Super stoked for Kai, but now we were tied for the Overall – both with a first and second place.

So, now we had to do a tiebreaker, which wasn’t going to be announced until the day of the race.

Once again we had a rest day – which was filled with surfing and playing. And then the next day was the moment of truth. We found out that the course was going to be around the island of Namotu, combined with a surf race. So I was super stoked and was getting everything together for a long day. Once I got down to the start it was blazing hot and I knew it was going to be a long one. So once I heard Tristan Boxford say “GO!!!!!!!” it was on. The race was super hot and long, but I lead the whole race and had the rest of the competitors draft me, so once we got to the waves I was drained. Slater and Jake passed me up, but my main goal was to stay ahead of Kai. We went in and out thought the surf a few times and then on the home stretch I got a good wave in and Kai did as well and was right on my tail. Coming in bashing boards with Kai until we got closer and I just gave it every last bit of energy I had, hit the beach and ran up ahead of Kai – Winning the Overall Event Title.

I was super stoked with the whole event and to top off the trip we got some great waves for surfing.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Rainbow Sandals, Rista Fins, Maui Jim Sunglasses, EFX Technology, Dakine, Nike 6.0, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, and Hi-Tech Sports. Also, Scott Sanchez (MPG) for his wisdom on fitness and training!!

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers. Scott and Mandy for all their hospitality on Namotu. Great Event!!

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Sailing Away

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

EJ, pulling into his driveway one last time.

Moving can be tough. Selling the house, packing everything into boxes, getting rid of all the extra junk that you’ve accumulated over the years usually causes major stresses for the whole family. Then there’s the Johnsons. A new opportunity arises, and poof, they’re gone. By eliminating most of the excess clutter, they’ve eliminated the excess stress as well. There’s something to be said for living so simply that you can just sail away.
I’m going to have to make a new friend who always has a cooler of beer on his boat.
Happy Sailing…

EVENT – NAISH SUP FUN – Beach Fitness & Paddle Challenge

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Paddle, Sweat & Bring your GRRR..

M A U I: Saturday, December 3.2011

Challenge yourself and your friends!


Location: Mai Poina Ole La’u Beach Park, South Kihei Road

Paddle off those extra holiday calories and come join the fun and see what you’ve got! Bring your board and bring your grrr, for the first of its kind beach fitness and SUP challenge! This non-competitive event will put you to the test from the sand to each buoy turn. Demo the new Naish 2012 SUP boards and learn some new training tips for SUP with Suzie Cooney, Naish Team SUP Rider and Maui’s elite trainer. Indo Board & TRX Rip Trainer demos.

Mass start of all paddlers, 3 buoy turns. Hit the beach running through beach circuit course then run to board complete second lap, return to beach for final beach circuit course then to finish and high fives!

Awesome raffle prizes from our generous sponsors for participants and finishers! (must be registered, participate, and finish to be eligible )

6:30 am – Drop off boards at drop off station near bathrooms ( we highly encourage
car pooling – parking limited )
7:00 am – On site registration, sign waiver, receive wrist band, register for prize
drawing (Participant Cap, 75 )
8:15 am – Indo Board & TRX Rip Trainer Demo Suzie Cooney
8:45 am – Skippers meeting, challenge and course review
9:00 am – SUP & Fitness Challenge Start!

To see course map go to

Need to rent a board for the event? Call the Naish Maui Pro Center: 808.871.1500

Prone or Surfing Paddling Technique

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Advice from the world’s best on how to maximize your stroke and catch more waves by Dr. Tim Brown.

One thing I think we can all agree on is that to be a good sufer you must possess an effective, strong, fast paddle stroke. Ever wonder if you’re using the most effective paddling technique? I certainly do. Especially if I’m paddling out in waves of consequence and you see the telltale dark, ominous shadow moving towards you from out the back!

We’ve received quite a few comments regarding paddling, so it’s just a natural progression to speak a bit more in-depth about the subject. I reached out to some of the best surfers in the world and asked their opinion on what are the keys to an effective, efficient paddle stroke.

The tips are seemingly simple, but implemented properly, they should upgrade your ability to catch more waves, have more fun and, with some of the training advice we’ve provided over the past few months, make you feel better while doing it.


1. Keep relaxed. When you’re paddling, don’t tense up and get all stressed. Relax the shoulders and keep everything loose. People tend to miss a wave or get frustrated and you see them thrash or look like they’re chopping wood or something. Keep it simple and stay relaxed – that’s the best way to move along quickly.

2. Hand position. People ask me all the time how I hold my hands and fingers when paddling. Do I keep them close together or have a slight gap? I personally just relax the hand and it tends to have a slight gap. If you keep your fingers together, it feels unnatural — like you have to try to keep them like that.

3. The catch. Have you ever watched a good swimmer’s stroke underwater? Maybe you should. You want to try to copy the same stroke that they are doing under water and transfer it to your stroke on your surfboard. (Especially if you are thinking of paddling Maverick’s after that last swell!) Here’s a youtube example of this.

4. Feel the water. Yes, that’s right — feel the water. You need to feel the pressure of the water against your hand from the time it enters to the time it leaves the water. The more you feel it, the harder it is on your arms but the faster you will go.

5. And if you are after that extra edge and want to take it to the next level, try to grab a paddleboard and do a couple of sneaky training sessions to strengthen your stoke.

KELLY SLATER [Nine time World Champion]

1. Place feet together
2. Paddle with your stroke under your board, almost compressing water against the bottom of your board.
3. Keep chest/head up so you can see and then lunge down into the stroke when needed.

LUKE EGAN [Former World Tour surfer/ Parko’s righthand man]

1. Touch your chin on your board when paddling for a wave.

JOEL PARKINSON [World Title runner-up]

1. The more hollow the wave, the deeper and harder the paddle stroke.
2. The mushier the wave, the more you want to stay on top of the water with a lighter, less-water-penetration, quicker stroke.

MICK FANNING [Two-time World Champion]

1. Long, powerful strokes. Pull from the lats.
2. Head not too high.
3. Switch on your core for stability.

GREG LONG [Big Wave Champion]

1. Position yourself on your board correctly. Where you actually lay will be different depending on what type of board you ride, but each board has a sweet spot. You don’t want to be too far back on the board. This causes the board to be too high and makes you push through the water. If you are too far forward your nose will pearl into the water. You want to be perfectly centered so when you do start paddling your board is on a nice, even plane.

2. Get a full arm extension with every stroke. I often see people who do an awkward, chicken-wing paddle where their arms enter and exit the water prematurely. Your hand should be entering the water at the full extension of the elbow and never before.

3. When you are at the full extension of your stroke, your fingers should be held tightly side by side creating a cup or paddle with your hand. Do not slap the surface when your hand enters the water. It should enter in a graceful diving fashion.

4. As you pull through your stroke, try and get your arms as deep as possible. I like to create a slight “S” motion with my stroke bringing my arms down the centerline of my board. Try and keep your wrist and forearm in one line.

5. Pull through your stroke in one continuous motion until your arm is fully extended behind you. Again, do not prematurely pull it from the water. In doing so, you lose power and your stroke is ultimately much less efficient. Not to mention you look like a chicken.

6. When you pull your hand from the water, do so in the same graceful fashion as when you entered. Splashing or throwing water behind you is wasted energy.

7. As you become a more advanced paddler you can get even more power from your stroke by implementing your core strength into the paddling motion. As your arm reaches forward your torso will slightly lift forward with it. As your arm pulls back, so does your torso adding even more muscle and power into your stroke.

ERICA HOSSENI [Top female surfer]

1. Long, deep, full arm strokes use less energy expenditure for longer sessions.
2. Place your chin to the board when paddling for a wave. This keeps more momentum and speed going when you pop up.

MATT GRIGGS [Surf trainer/fitness expert]

1. The focus: Don’t sprint! Paddling should be looked at as your rest time. Riding waves is the explosive part, so you don’t want to arrive out the back only to catch the perfect wave and have nothing in the tank to ride it. Paddle efficiently, breathing calmly through your nose. Breathing through your mouth inspires flight or fight response which can make the body rigid, inhibiting recovery from your last wave and potential on your next one. If you paddle calmly with the right technique, you will go faster anyway.

2. Technique: Work in your natural range with correct posture and communication between every muscle. Literally, “feel” all your muscles working, not just your shoulders. Don’t reach too far out or you’ll shut down the communication between muscles and feel disjointed. Not only does this fuel imbalances in the body, but this lack of balance in the muscles will carry through to your feeling of balance on your board when riding a wave. Keep your head in line with your spine, feel your core stabilize and use your lats so it’s not just your shoulders doing all the work. Your muscles should feel open with support from the rest of your muscle community, not rigid and alone in the workload.

3. Training: The best training is to pay attention to correct technique when you are doing it. Maintenance of balance is the next focus so a good exercise would be Superman postures daily as well as stretching through shoulders all the way into the neck to keep the movement free and easy.

LAYNE BEACHLEY [Seven-time world champion]

The most effective training for surfing is surfing — and the same goes for paddling. Very few people do exercises that correctly develop the muscles and endurance levels required to surf for a decent period of time before fatigue sets in. If you can’t access the surf as much as you want to because, let’s face it, there are only so many hours in the day, I recommend the following exercises to keep your body strong and relatively surfing fit even while you are out of the water:

The Plank – a great core strengthening exercise which will essentially activate all the muscles you use when surfing (shoulders, abs and legs).

Swimming — including hypoxic breathing, which will increase your lung capacity and confidence to remain calm when being “rag-dolled” underwater.

Push ups – you’d be very surprised how many of these you do during an average surf session.

Squats – it’s important to have good leg strength to help you stay standing. Considering the amount of effort the average surfer exerts to first get out the back and then catch a wave, the last thing you want to feel when you finally get to your feet are jelly legs.

I’ve taken some of the fittest athletes in the world surfing, including as Martina Navratilova, and the overwhelming common theme is the early onset of fatigue due to the repetitious motion of paddling. (Surely you have seen the size of her shoulders!) 85% of surfing involves paddling so becoming a strong paddler will certainly enhance your time in the water.

One of the downsides of getting older for a surfer can be the loss of normal mobility. For instance, look at a 12-year-old get up and walk away from sitting in a chair. They are fluid and move without restriction. OK, now watch a forty or fifty-year-old get up and slowly start to walk away — a completely different look. The kid is off and running with ease, while the adult is still trying to combine the standing up with moving, using muscles that are stiff and tight and that do not function as they did when they were used to moving and being flexible. Perhaps you have morphed into the “guy/gal behind the desk” because over time you have molded to a corporate image while sacrificing the very mobility and fitness that provides you with the ability and energy to surf, move and recover like a kid. It makes it so much harder on you to paddle and surf when you have limited mobility/flexibility.

Most of us know that the guy who has a hard time picking up his chest and head off the board is probably not the guy that is going to paddle-battle you for a wave. It takes so much energy and extra effort for him to even paddle out, let alone to be able to be efficient and functional as a surfer. This “tight” surfer will spend at least twice the amount of energy to accomplish the same in the water as someone who is flexible and mobile enough to paddle in proper posture without straining their neck, shoulders and/or upper back.

If you have a tight upper body and you try to paddle, it’s as though you are trying to paddle with an extra 50 pounds sitting between your shoulder blades and pushing your chest, neck and head down to your board. You can handle it for a while, then fatigue sets in and surfing stoke diminishes because it’s just less fun when your body is opposing your commands.

Dr. Clay Everline, a medical doctor specializing in water sports and sports medicine on Maui, adds these factors to the mix:
It is not always speed, endurance or power, but position that gets the wave. Wave selection is probably one of the most important factors in paddling for waves. Conversely, knowledge of a given surf break (currents, swell direction, bowls) will influence how much strenuous paddling is involved in getting out to the lineup.

Legendary shaper Dick Brewer noted that a professional surfer can plane a shortboard and get into just about any wave with only three or four well-timed and well-executed strokes. Whereas beginners can be caught inside for twenty minutes on a good-sized day before even getting to the lineup…if they make it at all. That is why it has been stated by many surf-philosophers that nature is a better regulator of crowds on big days than any intimidating local.

The only other muscular endurance and postural factors I can think of to help you paddle are:

During the pull-through phase, avoid hyperflexing the wrist (causes flexor carpi ulnaris tendonitis), over internally rotating the shoulder during pull-through (causes impingement) and focusing on pushing water back with triceps. Triceps endurance conditioning may help for long paddle expectations.

Low back hyperextension should be mitigated. The most dangerous complications of this can manifest in novices with surfer’s myelopathy. Prolonged back hyperextension for hours can pinch off the blood supply to the spine and cause paralysis. Most cases have been seen in Hawaii, presumably due to complications of air travel with this condition. Novice surfers appear to be predisposed to this condition as they have undeveloped core musculature relative to the demands of surfing and potential for dehydration (Aviles-Hernandez, J Spinal Cord Med 2007; 30(3): 288-293), in my opinion from not being properly acclimatized to their environment. Core muscle condition may also play a part in speeding recovery and preventing further episodes.

Some serious scientific paddling research


sternwheeler surf

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Dan Gavere surfs the wake of a sternwheeler traveling thru the Columbia Gorge in Oregon/Washington. Music mixed by Cillo and the track name is Breathe. Videography and editing by Chris Emerick. For more SUP video check out

Dave Kalama – Up Next

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

You’re invited to participate in my backyard playground. What? I’m partnering with the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea to host a Kalama-style Maui Surf Camp. You can find the skinny of the play date here. Hope to see you soon, and be ready to get your feet sandy and gills wet.

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

VIDEO – Dave Boehne SUP Surf in O’Side

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Dave Boehne showing off his smooth style – Boardworks is stoked to be doing a full line of TEC Infinity SUP’s including the Carver, and TL Carver’s as well as 2 Slater Trout surf SUP models.

2011 Battle of the Bay Race Report & Results

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Source: Battle of the Bay 2011

The 2011 Battle of The Bay went off in spectacular fashion this past Saturday October 29th with 158 paddlers taking to the water to do Battle for the inaugural Battle of the Bay Title.

Under the blessing of a gorgeous Indian summer weather pattern that bestowed brilliant blue skies and a balmy 75 degree air temp the race organizers pulled together what is easily one of the most successful major SUP races ever held in the San Francisco Bay Area. Besides all the incredible racing action on the day, we’ll get to that in a minute, the day was jam packed with demo’s and instruction from most of the Major SUP companies including Platinum sponsors Starboard, Boga Boards, and Focus SUP. Over 150 non racers showed up to simply soak up the day and ride all the latest gear.

The race organizers pulled off the day like a well oiled machine never missing a beat. This volunteer team came together to pull off the performance of a veteran crew despite the fact that it was really their first SUP event of this magnitude. A lot of that credit has to go to the leadership of Title Sponsor Bluerush Boardsports and proprietors Stephen Pugh & Geoff James. Pugh & James, however, will be the first to tell you it was the cracker jack team of Volunteers who spent the last 9 months relentlessly planning out every detail that made it all possible.

The day kicked off with the Open 4 mile race and the massive fleet of paddlers ready to tackle a challenging 4 mile course. The course was not your standard up and back affair but rather the organizers had intentionally planned to up the ante and make this a challenging event that would test both stamina and skill alike. The paddlers took off from a beach start to a buoy about a ¼ mile offshore to then proceed to a second buoy for left hand turn in what would be a unique starting lap before getting in to a normal routine of doing an M-style course. And the complicated course took its toll. Despite the fact that Chris Brackett and Tucker Ingalls were leading the way correctly about 25 paddlers missed the inside mark causing them to be DSQ’d.

These DSQ’s are not reflected yet in the results below as it will take the honor system for these paddlers to come forward; it was simply too hard to pick out the names from the throng off paddlers on the course. There was no doubt however about the lead two paddlers who were locked in tight race for the front with Bracke5t doing his best to reel in Ingalls who had taken the lead early. It was to no avail as the younger Ingalls (15, and pictured at right) was simply too strong and took the win.

Sofia Dewolfe put up a blazing 43 minute and 1 second time to take top honors for the Junior women while Eldore Wood’s 42 minute 36 second time was the standard in the Women’s Masters Fleet. Mike Day was the man to beat in the Men’s masters only no one could.

Next up was the main event and if you thought the 4 mile course was challenging the 5 mile elite race was definitely a level above. With a modified M bolted on to a shoreside Zig Zag course that saw the paddlers sprinting down the line directly in front of the spectators; it was a sight to behold.

Video of the Elite Race

Speaking of a level above that’s the only way to describe Jay Wild’s paddle on the day. Despite the presence of world class paddlers like Chuck Patterson and Dan Gavere it was Wild who simply dominated. Paddling his 12ft 6 Hobie Wild (pictured below right with Chuck Patterson at his right side) quickly distanced himself from the pack and seemed to be growing his lead with every stroke. If Wild was impressive Krisztina Zur was amazing. At times early in the race it looked like Zur had an honest shot at the podium ….in the men’s division!

With a stacked field that included Jenny Kalmbach, Morgan Hoestry, Gillian Gibree, and Karen Wrenn Zur left little to doubt as she navigated the technical course with power and strength that saw her taking the women’s division win and the 8th overall placing. A special note has to be made for the performance of local paddler Ben Sarrazin. Sarrazin’s third place overall finish, that saw him getting the better of journeyed waterman Dan Gavere, shows just how far the local paddling fleet has come in the last few years.

Over in the Kids race it was The Brackett Boys who showed the crowd the face of some future paddling stars. One look at how these kids handle their boards and paddles on the water and you can tell these are not your average “kids” racers but rather trained paddlers who have honed their skills. Again however a local paddler was up for the challenge with San Francisco’s Shane Rathle digging deep to match the Brackett’s early on. Rathle got boxed out on a mark rounding that saw the two Brackett’s, the 11 year old Josiah and the 8 year old Joshua, put a gap on him. Rathle hung tough for a solid third place finish with the Brackett’s just out of reach. It was Josh Brackett however that took home the Everpaddle SUP board so generously donated by Everpaddle’s Kevin Seid for the first place finisher. Now that’s a stoked kid! (pictured below Ben Sarazin, Chuck Patterson and Jay Wild)

Then it was on to the business of relay racing that saw teams of four doing two laps each on an up and back course. With Rasta men, Monkey’s , and Crab’s making up many of the teams paddlers (Halloween is just around the corner) it was an exciting contest that saw some carnage at the handoffs as paddlers whipped their boards around. With all the big names on the course including Zur, Patterson, Gavere, and Kalmbach the racing was action packed.(pictured below women’s Elite Podium Krisztina Zur, Jenny Kalmbach, Gillian Gibree)

What do you do to top off such a successful day of racing? Party!!!! And of course hand out some cash and that’s just what happened as the fleet head down to enjoy the hospitality of The Marin Yacht Club. With all the trappings of a major sailing regatta the Marin Yacht Club rolled out the red carpet as the Band of Boga Board’s Dave Meyler rolled out the tunes the paddlers partied on in to the night.

A special thanks has to go out to all the volunteers who chipped in to make this event possible. From registering racers, to board caddying the finish line, and everything in between it was a first rate crew that put their heart and soul in to making the event flow so smoothly. Also thanks to the Marin County Parks department and the phenomenal support of the Park’s rangers who chaperoned the wily crew of paddlers like true professionals.

Most importantly thanks to all the Sponsors without whom the event simply could not be possible. First and foremost Title Sponsor Bluerush Boardsports followed closely by the Platinum sponsors Starboard, Focus SUP, KKMI Marine, and Boga Boards.

Last but not least was the considerable support that Battle of the Bay gave to Baykeeper. With most of the proceeds after expenses being dedicated to this more than worthy organization that works to protect San Francisco Bay. Their work however is never done and we can still use your support so head on over to Baykeeper today to lend your support. CLICK HERE TO HELP PROTECT SF BAY.

The Battle of the Bay will most certainly be back next year so stay tuned the facebook page and website as a bigger and better Battle will be waged next year…if that’s possible.

See you next year.

Full results here

Source: Battle of the Bay 2011