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Messages - robcasey

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SUP Safety / Re: What would you do?
« on: February 07, 2018, 05:10:58 PM »
It's always classic that often the only two boats on the lake/waterway get into a collision. i used to see this more when i was kayaking - being lower. Usually guys on auto-pilot or actually bombing towards me to see what I was then veer at the last moment.  Luckily i can surf. 

Also get pics of the incoming boat in case it's hit and run, if you have time. 

Downwind and Racing / Re: New raced called the SEVENTY48 in WA
« on: February 07, 2018, 05:01:39 PM »
fyi, races in the Pacific NW are not dwindling, but rather building sup and non sup specific. 

Curious if any of you have done ultra long races 30+ miles and have had issue with feet/lower leg pain, swelling, etc? If so, any tips on preparing for such distances, prevention and/or remedies?


Technique / Re: Tracking Tips
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:53:38 PM »
-Vertical shaft from your catch to exit.  This is a biggy. Bugs me in races when I can't draft a paddler when they're zig zagging around. 99% of the time their shaft isn't vertical for the forward stroke.

-Place blade a few inches from the nose, following a straight line to your feet. Get on sand or grass and standing on your board drag a line with your paddle parallel nose to feet. Placing the blade at your nose then curving around turns it, essentially is a sweep turn, every stroke.

-fin back but can vary.  Learn to paddle first then get the big funky race fin to solve other issues. 

Back in the day, before knowing the above info, i pushed and held down the rail of my laird 12-1 then adjusted my board position (trim) to find a sweet spot. When i found it, i could paddle on one side. Glad i found another option. 

Technique / Re: How to fall off a board safely?
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:47:47 PM »
Fall flat (ideally backwards) like a pancake. I'm 6-4 and 230lbs, and don't touch the bottom in 2-3' of water using this. 

Technique / Re: How to end ride on wave?
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:46:17 PM »
I'm a big fan of finishing the ride with a fixed cross bow - essentially a nose rudder. While you still have some speed cross over, plant the blade, then hold it.  Only plant 1-2" if you're cruising fast, deeper for slower speed. If done right, you'll spin around nearly 180 degrees or close. If not, finish turn with a sweep stroke on your standard side.

Like all cross bows, keep knees bent, hands loose on paddle and look where you're going (not straight ahead).  Spinning right, look right.  It'll help you turn easier. The move can be one easy flowing movement, all finesse and less work. 

Try this turning method on flat water. Get your speed up, cross over and plant and hold. 

Or Tail stall, etc..

Downwind and Racing / Re: New raced called the SEVENTY48 in WA
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:38:16 PM »
Stoked. We have a posse of paddlers in Ballard working out together and getting ready for this epic race. 

Going to be a fun mix of everything you know - downwind hopefully, navigation, racing, endurance, reading water, race strategy, rough water, camping, board outfitting..

Downwind and Racing / Maliku dw board rentals?
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:36:29 PM »
Curious who to rent DW boards from on Maui and approx costs? Same or more cost around Olukai?


More freighter wave pics from Seattle..

As SeaDart said, we do surf great waves on Puget Sound in Seattle. On a good day we can get chest high sets lasting one set to 45 minutes on the bow wave, then waist high for the rest. Peeling and A-frames, and up to 2 minute long rides. Happens Jan - Nov per lower tides in daytime. I do have a freighter wave class to help you figure it out. These are beach break waves. Check out my youtube channel, tug wave surfer or rob casey. 

Tug waves occur in deep water with no beach, just a boat wake that when the tug captain speeds up for us can give us 5' faces that on a 14' or longer board gives rides up to a half mile. This is all year, glassy days. 

Footage here,

SoCal / santa barbara sup surf lessons?
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:25:19 PM »
santa barbara sup surf lessons?  Who to call? I have a student interested. Thanks. 

General Discussion / Re: SUP Business on THE PROFIT this Tuesday
« on: June 13, 2017, 12:25:11 PM »
A few things that strongly affect success in the sup businesses that we've seen..
1. Online or costco. the majority of buyers of sup are not the people we see on this forum or at the races, maliku, etc.  They're everyday joe's and jane's with/or without families. They want a deal not a $3k SIC or Allstar.  Weekly in Spring-Summer people ask me (or I overhear) "Do you think that Costco inflatable for $495 that comes with a paddle, bag etc is for me?  I've heard it 2x this week already (it's only tuesday).  So that's the volume sales. No loyalty to shops or the local market. 

I tried to sell a few boards last year. Students told me to hold boards for them but ended up going to rei (online), amazon or costco for a deal, even though our boards were actually cheaper. Backlash to online is you can't try before you buy so there's a lot of returns.

If you're a brick mortar shop, your best bet to sales is building a strong community so folks respect your input and advice and only buy from you. In Seattle UrbanSurf has done a great job doing this by offering weekly summer races (40+ attend), good advice, they have a race team and good gear. At my monday night race last night, 90% of the participants have starboards they bought from Urban (or from friends who originally got it at urban).  I tried to sell Imagine's last year but the loyalty to their shop was so strong.. well long story I chose not to go the retail route. 

2. Don't just sell sups and find winter/off season business.  Urban's owner and many of their employees are kiters, so that's their winter backup business. And they sell traditional surf boards so that crowd comes in as well.  Another local shop is busy doing kayaks/sup in summer (and rentals) but also has a busy ski shop, ski outfit/repair and ski bus in winter. Urban also sells summer swimwear which does well in winter for those going to warmer places on vacation. 

3. Lastly, i've seen businesses go out of business for scaling too quickly on day one.  One guy is in a small town on an island and started out with a huge trailer with big logos on the side, 20 boards, paddles etc - but had no initial business.  He priced low for his market going for the groupon or volume model but as a summer only business, closed a few months ago, only 3yrs in.  Another started small in a tiny rural retirement town and is now closed as he got little business. And one big kayak/sup rental place in seattle did stellar for years, even with 1k people days in summer. but is now slow as we're having cooler weather. their only clients were sunny day folks. they have no wetsuits and didn't provide training or insight on cool day paddling. they're currently 50% down and have brought me in to offer sup/kayak instruction (previously they were only rentals and tours with minimal instruction and no retail).  REI stores would sell more but they don't train their sale staff, as far as we can tell. so the more experienced local paddlers generally don't buy there. A shop that does do well and advertises on here, Blue Planet, is in a tropical destination, has his own line of boards plus others, has a strong community, good instruction, well trained and knowledgable staff (weekly dw group sessions) etc - super busy shop. 

General Discussion / Re: To leash, or not to leash
« on: June 13, 2017, 12:00:54 PM »
Influenced by using a waist leash for rivers or where we teach in tidal rapids, we're now using waist leashes for flat water, dw, etc.  Just a coiled attached to the side vest pfd straps, or waist belt waist strap.  It keeps your feet free when walking on the board, you feet free mostly when falling off and of course your feet free when in kelp, lake milfoil, etc. 

Also if you happen to still be leashed up and walking or portaging while carrying your board, you won't trip over your leash if on your waist.  Less likely to show up on kook of the day. 

Big wave surfer and friend Wade Lawson wears a specialized double leash thingy on a waist strap when doing Maverick's etc. His reasoning as I remember - when you're being body dragged under water by the wave, much like a river, you're more likely to release vs being dragged leg first - good luck there. 

Like anything, it's a personal thing, regional trend or what you're used to.  In our neck of the woods in summer (now) we're again seeing the newbies on Costco boards without any leash or pfd (or skills) offshore in cold water. Silly season has started.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Race To Alaska - ambitious for sure
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:45:17 PM »
Blue Shed custom 17's with a foot controlled kayak rudder.  Luke and Erdo (Team Fueled by Stoke) made it across the Strait of Juan de Fuca in a few short hours and are now headed north up the east side of Van Island. Follow on the race tracker at

Karl of (team Heart of Gold) in the meantime is rocking it on a Bark custom in 2-3rd place (overall) north of Naniamo. I'm sure with a vengence after having to quit early last year.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Still sucking at downwinding + fin question
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:40:14 PM »
Get a more stable board. 23" is great for calmish conditions and/or flat water race but in DW you're pushing your luck with balance. A wider board you can forget about balance and focus on downwinding. 

Given I'm tall, but I use the 29" Imagine 14' Connector and rip on DW's often passing those on skimpier boards who are falling in every few hundred feet, or more.  Still fast enough to do well upwind (usually get low).

And how are your bracing skills? You use the sweeping brace when surfing down a wave (hydroplaning a flat blade at your side like an outrigger); staying low when you get tippy (not raising blade above head or trying to balance like on a tight rope). When in doubt - paddle, short cadence.   

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