Posts Tagged ‘EJ Johnson’

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…

E.J Johnson Race Recap – 2011 Battle of the Paddle and Catalina SUP Festival

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The BOP was  bigger and better than ever, with the largest number of paddlers to date. The open age group saw 334 paddlers on the water at one time, and was a sight to behold. The weather this year was more typical of June with a thick marine layer in the morning, which gave way to sunny skies in the afternoon.
This year elite racers had to qualify for the main event, by being in the top 50% of their heat. I managed to get 37th of 63, which meant I will be board handling for another Starboard team rider, and by the way was very challenging to not get run over by competitors or other handlers. Super exciting being right there in the mix/ pit.

Sunday  9/25

The distance race is more my thing, liking open ocean conditions and not having to run with a bad left knee. The count was 226 paddlers attempting to win or just finish this challenging 10 mile coastal run. Conditions were very mild, with little wind and not much bump in the water,and these water starts are always a bit sketchy with people jumping the line in anticipation of getting a hole shot. It was a grueling race, with many groups of drafting trains, I fought my way past some of the packs, to get to the one with my direct competitors. I stayed with this group until we hit the last right shoulder buoy, and then it was a all out 200 meter sprint to the beach. I was stoked to hit the beach with such great athletes as Jim Terrell and Chuck Patterson, but was edged out on the beach run. I got 4th place in my age division, which was the largest group in the 14′ class, and was 15th overall out of 93.

Congrats to fellow Starboard team mates.

Connor Baxtor  1st Elite  and 9th Distance.
Bart De Zwart  20th Elite and 8th Distance.
Dan Gavere      34th Elite
Annabel Anderson 3rd Elite and 2nd Distance.

The 1st Annual Catalina SUP Festival  (Oct. 1st & 2nd 2011)

We disembarked from our home port of Dana Point on our 38′ Morgan sailboat named “Librada”to the beautiful island of Catalina on friday, and were greeted to a nice smooth 39 mile crossing, seeing many Dolphin along the way.

Day #1

The race on Saturday took place at the beautiful Descanso beach club, complete with cabana’s, palm trees , cobblestone beach and the clearest water on the West coast. My elite course race consisted of three one mile qualifying laps, which were totaled up for a final score. I ended up in tenth, out of 22 which they let 16 through to the final.
The final was at 3:00 p.m., with a two lap course around the bay, having 7 buoys per lap. The seas were nice and lumpy, getting extra chop from the big boats coming and going from the mainland. I ended up in 9th, after having a horrible start, being in 15th at the 1st turn. It’s always cool to be on the podium with such great athletes and ambassadors to our great sport of SUP.

Day #2

The distance race was from Descanso Bay to Long Point and back, which is right around 10 miles. It is typically downwind from the point, but due to tropical weather it was all over the place. It was a mass start, with open racers joining us for part of the journey, but turning back at mile 3. I took my own line the whole race not getting involved with the typical drafting packs, and felt strong. The scenery is so beautiful, that your mind starts to wonder a bit, but when you hear the splashing of another board, it sends you back into overdrive. And if you don’t know, SUP racing is always a full out sprint, with no breaks unless you count switching your paddle from side to side. Mitch Kahn and I had a great race trading positions a few times, and a sprint to the finish. Once again, stoked to come in 7th against these tough competitors. I will put this event at top five of the season, and looking forward to this one again in 2012.

The Carolina Sup Cup – E.J Johnson Recap!

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Unfortuanately the Carolina SUP Cup was the same day as the Watermans Applied Science Paddle for Humanity in Dana Point so we had to miss it, but EJ and Andy stepped in to give us the run down from the paddlers point of view.

Here’s EJ’s recap of The Carolina Sup Cup   4/30/2011

Westy, Betsy and I jumped in with The Pope to check out Happy Hour with Colin and Byron at CB Surf Shop for the meet and greet. After a few beers, Byron, Colin and I decided we would work together as a drafting team on race day to at least help get us to the ocean and once there, we would go our separate ways as it would be everyman for himself downwind.

The race directors had to switch the race course due to weather conditions in order to create more of a downwind run. We were met at the ocean by waist to shoulder high sets which I was able to make it through two waves and ended up getting knocked off by the third wave where I was then greeted by fellow paddler and Local NC friend Chill and we proceeded to downwind together the next 5 miles and  you had to take left runners the entire time to take the outside line to keep you from getting pushed  into shore.

I was able to pass most of my competitors by the time I got to the rock jetty which then put me in fourth place but the chop at the inlet ended up throwing me in again and was passed by Colin M. as  the next pack (Byron Kurt,Justin Cook,Matt Becker and I) converged together  we were headed into the upwind, up current,inner coastal flat waters it was at this point we all took slightly different lines which Byron ended up with Justin as I took my own line and it was an uphill battle for the next 3.5 miles. About half way through I hear a paddler on my tail and looked to see Larry Cain in his C1 surf stance sailing past me, I could have jumped in his slipstream and drafted him but I decided to tough it out like a man and take my own line.  We were greeted at the finish line with big cheers and ice cold water.

All of the finishers sat on the dock and waited for the remaining paddlers to come in to cheer them on as well.
I was pretty stoked at my time of 2:25 and 8th place with such an Elite group of paddlers.

14′ MEN—Main Men’s Event   12.5 mi.

1  VELA, anthony 14′ Men 02:15:03
2 KOSTERLITZ, Chase 3 – 14′ Men 02:15:06
3 TERRELL, Jim 14′ Men 02:20:29
4 CAIN, Larry 14′ Men 02:22:58
5 COOK, Justin 3 – 14′ Men 02:22:59
6 MCPHILLIPS, Colin 3 – 14′ Men 02:23:31
7 KURT, Byron 3 – 14′ Men 02:24:24
8  JOHNSON, EJ 3 – 14′ Men 02:25:00
9  HILL, Christopher 14′ Men 02:26:00
10 BECKER, Matt 3 – 14′ Men 02:28:49

Later that afternoon we headed back to the hotel and I packed up my cooler with some cold Coors Lights and headed down to the pool for a little R & R before the evening festivities began. I found myself walking around the parking lot drinking beers with my fellow Luchadores as I waited anxiously for my beautiful wife to receive her 1st place award for the 6 mile Money Island race!

A Huge Thank You to William Pope, John Beausang and the rest of the crew who helped put this all time event together.
Make sure to mark y’alls calendars for this all time event. For the inaugural year this truly puts North Carolina on the map as one of the best SUP events of the year!!

We look forward to next years Carolina SUP Cup!!!!

Read post on Watermans Applied Science Sunscreen For Waterman!

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!

Results for the H20 OverDrive SUP Cup – EJ’s Point of View

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Jordanelle Reservoir We have been going non stop since July 28th, when we disembarked to Utah on the 700mi hi-way trek to theH20 OverDrive SUP Cup in Park City. at Jordanelle Reservoir in our 2003 custom EJ built Freight Liner Sprinter van. We stopped in at one of my all time favorite towns ” BEAVER “, Utah, and headed up the mountain to a special place called Anderson Meadow to enjoy some clean 8500′ mountain air, after driving all day.

This event included an open race and a pro 14′ class, which was the first one where all the top guys met, to battle it out on the same size board. The smaller lighter guys ( myself included ) prefer the 12′ 6” class, where the larger heavier guys like the extra foam in the 14′ class.
The pro race was a 5mi closed coarse trapezoid / M shape with a small beach run to make it more spectator friendly.

Stoked to have placed 8th, among such great paddlers and friends!
Here’s the top ten results :

1 35 TROUT, Slater pro men 00:50:09 0 00:50:09
2 11 ROJAS, rob pro men 00:51:19 0 00:51:19
3 33 KURT, Byron pro men 00:51:38 0 00:51:38
4 25 WILD, Jay pro men 00:51:58 0 00:51:58
5 29 MCPHILLIPS, colin pro men 00:52:07 0 00:52:07
6 13 PATTERSON, Chuck pro men 00:52:20 0 00:52:20
7 28 RAMBO, Brandon pro men 00:53:24 0 00:53:24
8 24 JOHNSON, EJ pro men 00:53:25 0 00:53:25
9 07 CURRY, Chris pro men 00:53:40 0 00:53:40
10 02 HILL, Chris pro men 00:55:38 0 00:55:38

Many Thanks to The Doc and Betsy Risner for opening up their doors to us and many friends from across the country, Florida, North Carolina and so on.
We made many new friends on this road trip!


EJ Johnson – Visit http://johnsonbigstick.blogspot.com/

New York City Sea Paddle Elite Stand Up Paddle Race as told by E.J Johnson

Monday, September 6th, 2010

E.J Johnson SeA Paddle Elite RaceWow, what a contrast compared to Dana Point Harbor, where we call home! This place really is a concrete jungle!!!!!
Well, after a crazy cab ride and a 6hr red eye flight, we arrived to our hotel in the Wall Street district. And met up with our Starboard East coast rep Mark Colino, from Jersey!
He knows the lingo around here and is a pretty big guy, so we felt a little safer. (LOL) We had a great Italian dinner with lots of pasta , bread and of coarse my favorite “BEER”.

Next day we arise to sunny skies and 80 degree temps, which is so much better than the 100 F mark a few days prior. I’m already feeling the nerves, knowing that I’m gonna be
on the board for a least 4 1/2 to 5 hrs with who knows what kind of conditions!

It’s funny all the ups and downs you go through on such a long paddle, but all in all it was a beautiful experience! It was so cool to go under all those huge bridges, hearing people screaming at you like you are crazy!  ( maybe just a little )

I hit the wall at mile 20 getting muscle spasms and cramps, that sent me to a little island on the Harlem / East river split.
I stretched and took some B vitamins and more goos’ ( I hate that stuff ) to try anything at that point. I looked up and saw two of my competitors sail past me, and that was enough motivation to get my punk ass back on the board and finish this race. I caught and passed one of the guys, and almost got the 4th place position. I finished in 5th place in 4 hrs 29min.

The White Water party in the evening was spectacular, with views of the city lights and awesome food and entertainment.

The next ext day we had a few hrs to check out the city and play tourists around Manhattan, before hopping back to So Cal. We walked around the Wall St. area and Ground Zero, which a was a huge reminder of 9-11!  Heartfelt to the core!

NYC Sea Paddle Elite 14’ SUP Mens results:

1.      #71     3:56          Thomas Maximus Shahinian  (Ohana Paddleboards)
2.      #44     4:01          Slater Trout
3.      #49     4:01:30     Will Reichenstein  (Ohana Paddleboards)
4.      #59     4:28          Mark Temme
5.      #36     4:29:30     Ernest Johnson  (Starboard)
6.      #38     4:31:30     Billy Mehl   (Island Surf & Sail)
7.      #23     4:37:30     John Beausang  (Distressed Mullet)
8.      #33     4:52          Shane Boyle
9.      #30     4:57:30     Jason Colclough   (SideArm Surf & Skate/ Surfer’s Healing NC)
10.    #45     5:21:30     Mark Colino  (Starboard No Flat Earth)

Visit E.J’s Blog at http://johnsonbigstick.blogspot.com/

Brian Szymanski shaping EJ’s new 14′ Prototype

Sunday, August 8th, 2010
14' Racing board for EJ used in Tahoe

Starboard Proto 14'

I’ve been in my shaping room for the weekend but managed to put some time in the water as well. Here is a slide show of some pics of the new Starboard prototype that EJ is going to be racing in Tahoe.

One thing I’ve figured out through experience is that hot weather makes lighter boards, so I’ve worked hard to get this together this weekend. I used only one layer of carbon on each side with custom laps and patches to keep in comp light. I really am interested in seeing how this runs downwind, because I’ve have a feeling we got a magic one.
Living in Cardiff is awesome because I get to do resin work then go for a SUP at Cardiff Reef, add another  layer and get back in the water – and again! In fact now that my family is out of town for a few days I’ve getting in three sessions a day. Board building is supposed to be fun after all, and this is especially true when you’re building boards for guys like EJ!

Paddle On!

@szyblog