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Topics - Blue crab

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Downwind and Racing / Capetown downwinders
« on: October 31, 2018, 09:16:00 PM »
Hi, I'll be heading to Capetown for a conference in December and am hoping to get in a run or two. I was wondering if anyone on the zone has contact info for shops which rent boards and run shuttles.  I'll be staying near the convention center.  Thanks!

Downwind and Racing / Late spring downwinder
« on: April 10, 2017, 10:41:39 PM »
We've had a weird downwind season in Seattle this year. It has easily been the best powder year I've experienced: I think my boys and I got >10 days with fresh tracks.  It has really been special.  Usually snow storms in the mountains correlate with wind in the valley. Not so much this year. On multiple occasions, the wind was forecast as really strong, but may of these days ultimately turned into duds. 

That being said, there have also been some epic days with very intense and unpredicted bursts of wind which developed unexpectedly over over a few hours.  A couple of weeks ago I got in a day on the Sound with winds consistently above 45 mph. The conditions were perhaps the best I have experienced anywhere. However, the wind only lasted a few hours.

Last Friday was the first day where the forecast predicted a great day and it actually happened.  I therefore brought the GoPro out.   I slowed down the first half of the video to highlight how complex our run can be, particularly at high time.  The choppy conditions can be tiring.  However, a bit of patience pays off:

Downwind and Racing / Viento run from a high vantage point
« on: August 26, 2016, 10:22:33 AM »
My wife took this iPhone video of me from Mitchell's point. I am visible on an orange board about 1/4 of the way across the river.  It is pretty grainy & crappy quality. However, I think it captures the power of the river nicely.

It also captures the simple & obvious fact that speed on a downwinder is all just % of time in plane.  For the first 20 seconds or so, I am essentially bobbing about doing nothing.  However, I link a few after that and end up covering a lot of water pretty quickly. 

Downwind and Racing / Fun in the Gorge
« on: July 10, 2016, 10:59:03 AM »
Amazing conditions last weekend in the gorge. All of this footage was from our first run. The second was actually windier.

Downwind and Racing / Great wind week in Seattle
« on: December 15, 2015, 06:22:29 PM »
After a few months of following posts from Greece, Oz & Hong Kong with envy (no downwinding here due to few wind days & heavy workload), things finally came together last week. Check out the contrasting conditions of our 2 local runs.

Lake Washington is groomed, corduroy, smooth, 3-4 foot rollers. Conditions are superb for beginners & advanced paddlers alike. Easy put in. Easy take out.  There is no fetch at the start of the run so it takes a good deal of wind to get it going.  The more wind the better. the run is ideal when conditions are 35-50 knots as they were on this day.

Puget Sound off of West Seattle is somewhat reminiscent of Maliko light based on the complex water patterns, though without the massive swells and frightening outside breaks.  There is often an onshore component and lots of refractory waves due to the seawall.  However, on a great day and with a bit of patience, the conditions can be really fun.

British Columbia / Torino downwinding
« on: December 15, 2015, 10:29:56 AM »
Heading to Tofino for 5 days next week.  Will bring a surfboard but am wondering if it is worth bringing a downwind rig.  If so, any locals to contact? Any recommended surf stores that cater to SUP? Thanks!

Downwind and Racing / Columbia river downwind videos
« on: August 29, 2015, 09:15:41 PM »
A few videos of my sons doing some of their first downwinding in the gorge last weekend. It was just so fun being out there and seeing their confidence grow. I think this is an exciting sport for kids if done safely.  We did our last run (with the side point of view) on Monday and dedicated it to Andres Pombo and his family:


Downwind and Racing / Huge day in Seattle
« on: August 29, 2015, 06:57:10 PM »
Much fun was had by all down winding on Lake Washington

Downwind and Racing / First downwind video
« on: January 07, 2015, 06:46:26 PM »
We had an epic day on the Sound last week.  Lots of firsts on my end. First time using a GoPro. First time downwinding on my new King's AC Elite (14 x 25). First huge northerly run I've experienced on the Sound.  Winds were constantly in the low to mid 30s with hundreds of miles of fetch, so the swells were open ocean-ish.  Of course, the low mounted GoPro minimizes the actual size of the swell and misses the snow capped Olympic mountains in the background. However, it was still a fantastic day on the water despite below freezing air temps.

Downwind and Racing / 12'6" Bullet V2
« on: August 28, 2014, 09:05:25 PM »
Hi everyone,

I am in the market for a new DW board. A decent deal on a 12'6" V2 came up which would make this board considerably less expensive than the 14' version. I am wondering what people think about the 12'6" relative to the 14". Here are the parameters that I am looking for in a new board:

1. Fun factor. At the end of the day, I want a board that catches glides easily & is highly surfable. My current board is a 2011 carbon Glide  which I still love, probably because I am really dialed in on the board. I want a board that planes early & often like the Glide, and works well for our local high period, low amplitude conditions in Puget Sound.

2. Better speed. The only drawback of my Glide relative to the 14' V2, is that I probably miss 5-10% of bumps due to the tendency of the Glide's banana nose to push water. As a result, I am a bit slower.  I was actually pretty happy with my time at the Gorge Challenge, especially given the fact that I didn't train much at all this summer.  However, based on my experience demoing , I think my time would have been ~5% better on a V2 14' board.  I rationally shouldn't care about this one bit: the Gorge Challenge is my only DW race of the year; I will always be a crappy racer; there is 50% chance I'll miss this race each year due to work.  Nevertheless, it would be good for my fragile ego to go a bit faster.

3. Great teaching board. The reason that I really want a 2nd board is to impart the love of downwinding to several friends who are interested in trying the sport, as well as my wife.  She is a decent paddler and has had 2 great DW experiences. Ultimately, the 12'6" would be her board, but would double as a beginner board for friends trying DWing for the first time. 

Asking a lot for one board. Interested in people's thoughts.

Downwind and Racing / King's Paddle Sports
« on: May 12, 2014, 04:46:53 PM »
Wondering if any zoners own a King's board. I paddled a number of boards at the NW paddlefest this weekend.  The King's boards really stood out (though several key companies were not present).  I was impressed with both the AC Elite & the Unlimited.  Both were extremely quiet through the water, really light and felt really fast.

My wife was fired up about a Candice Appleby but now is leaning towards the AC Elite.  I am wondering how these boards fare in choppier conditions, as we were dealing with flat water only. Any experience out there?

Gear Talk / New to SUS
« on: January 29, 2014, 09:12:54 PM »
I apologize in advance as I am sure that this thread exists somewhere on the blog but wanted opinions on a good starter SUS set up.  Prior to last year, I was mostly a snow sport guy. Bought a SUP about a year ago and it's been a great journey ever since.  I've logged lots of DW hours. By no means an advanced paddler. However, I am quite comfortable going out in big wind and consider myself competent.

That being said, I have only prone surfed twice and let's just say the pieces did not totally come together.  I live a few hours from the coast and realistically can get out there 4-5 x / year.  I understand fully that the financially sensible thing would be to take lessons / rent boards. However, I know myself. I won't commit to the sport unless I have to walk by a piece of expensive equipment in my garage each day.

I am looking for advice on a solid, affordable (used is fine) board that I can grow into: I am willing to suffer a bit at first on a slightly smaller board if it will be more fun in the long run.
Thanks for any insights.

Downwind and Racing / La Ventana
« on: December 22, 2013, 11:01:22 AM »
Just want to put in a plug for La Ventana, Mexico as a great downwind destination.  La Ventana is well known as a premier site for kiters & windsurfers, and is also not a complete secret for SUP ( That being said, it is still well under the radar.

I recently traveled to La Ventana as a side journey during a family trip to Cabo.  The location is on an extremely remote and beautiful section of the Sea of Cortez.  It was a good 2.5 hour drive from Cabo and is apparently an hour or so from La Paz.   The infrastructure for DW SUP has expanded considerably over the last few months. Stephen Winiarski runs Ventana Windsports ( which has great beach side cottages & a restaurant. At the moment, the shop provides an informal shuttle system down the coast & some great DW rentals (including a Fanatic Falcon, Naish Glide & Starboard Open Ocean).  I get the sense that they wish to expand the DW component of their business to align with their already active kite and windsurf rentals.

We arrived at noon and had a fantastic Mexican seafood meal.  The wind was perfect, a constant 30 mph directly along the coast from the north.  Based on data from wind alert, during the winter, a strong northerly can be expected on ~75% of days.  I did the 6-mile run twice, first on the Falcon and then on the Glide, and had a blast. Aside from some somewhat gnarly shore breaks at the point of entry, the course is easy to navigate with 3-5 foot swells the whole way and some nice off shore sand bars where the waves partially break, allowing for some really, really long glides.  (As an aside, the Falcon is one hell of a board: light as a feather and fast.)

Part of the enjoyment is being in a rural Mexican fishing village.  There is not much to do other than DW (kite / windsurf if that is your thing), relax and eat great food.  I can not emphasize just how laid back this place is: not an ounce of pretense.  I could envision a vacation consisting of 3 great books, 15-20 miles of DW a day and a daily dose of ceviche / fish tacos / beer. The only fault my kids could identify was the lack of a pool.  I was pretty sad to leave….

Gear Talk / SUP lights
« on: October 31, 2013, 02:57:28 PM »
Wondering if there is any collective experience paddling at night. The fall / winter is a fantastic time to paddle in Seattle with crisp clear days, alternating with storms / downwind conditions.  Only problem is that the days are awfully short and it is typically too dark to paddle early in the AM or after work. Would be great to be able to get in some water time in the evening but would obviously want a really dependable light source. Any thoughts?

Gear Talk / Round the Rock dilemma: Naish Javelin 14 vs Bark Competitor
« on: September 03, 2013, 07:50:50 AM »
Hi everyone,

New to posting on this blog.  However, based on many great insights by paddlers near & far ( for example), I just picked up a 14' 2011 Naish Javelin carbon.  My quiver also includes a Naish Glide 2011 carbon for DW. Prior to picking up the Jav, I would race (& get smoked) in flat water on my wife's Bark Competitor (a nice 12'6" board). My weight is 180 lbs. Been SUPing < 1 year but have taken on the sport fairly aggressively as I have good access to Puget Sound & have made a couple of trips to Hood River. Would describe my balance as "improving" which is part of the justification for the new board. Fitness level is good.

Round the Rock is approaching and I am on the fence about which board to use. Not the Glide for sure as I find it slow in upwind and flat conditions. Been on the Jav twice.  I had a great deal of fun paddling it upwind in Hood River to the Hatchery and then back downwind a couple of times. Balance was a challenge DW but things went far better than I would have expected. Yesterday, I perhaps foolishly took the Jav out for a late training run on the Sound, after already having taken a fairly strenuous bike ride. My legs were tired even at the start, and though conditions were mild, I ended up struggling with balance.

I am on the fence about which board to chose: the safer but slower and shorter Competitor, or the incredibly fun (but riskier) Jav. I am a bit concerned that if I bonk at mile 10, there will be no end to the race, particularly if there is side chop.

Appreciate any thoughts!

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