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Topics - shapeshifter

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Events / chicago shoreline marathon
« on: August 27, 2010, 07:00:57 AM »
conditions look right for an attempt at the chicago shoreline marathon tomorrow saturday 08/28/2010... i'm getting ready to give this one a try.

our shoreline features of revetments, groins, and breakwaters make navigation tricky because waves bounce back and forth resonating chaotically. hopefully this will not be the case tomorrow.

Fish Tales, Stand Up style / cast a net?
« on: February 18, 2010, 07:29:33 PM »
march through april is smelt season here in chicago.

dip nets and other contraptions were the norm back when these fish were more plentiful. i'm wondering if a throw net off a sup will offer the necessary mobility to get over the schools wherever they may be. might take one down to warmer waters to see just how hard it is to cast off of a teetering platform.

smelt are like small sardines eaten bones 'n all...

cast net instructions there are several techniques but i'm thinking that this is about as simple as a toss can get...

those weights would wreak havoc on most composite decks so inflatables may be the way to go. just wondering if anybody else is thinking along the same lines here?

SUP General / US Geological Survey (USGS) Real-Time Water Data
« on: May 14, 2009, 12:40:29 PM »
While preparing for some river courses I came across this resource which could help paddlers assess the river stage information for stream conditions.

Click on the image for the link!

Events / the des plaines river marathon (chicago area)
« on: May 13, 2009, 12:29:39 PM »
whoa! the des plaines river marathon is this weekend and paz and i are making plans to run the historic des plaines.

sup would fit into the following categories:

"22             Open Racing
     Any Seaworthy, Paddle Powered Craft. This Class is for the Fast Boats!
Craft: Any
Ages: Any Age
Gender: Any Gender
Paddlers: Any Number
Paddle Type: Any Paddle Type

23         No Contest
     No Award Given - Any seaworthy paddle powered craft.
Craft: Any
Ages: Any Age
Gender: Any Gender
Paddlers: Any Number
Paddle Type: Any Paddle Type"

future events in our area include:

chicago flatwater classic
chicago shoreline marathon

then there's the paddle and portage in madison wisconsin

SUP General / the view from above...
« on: April 07, 2009, 11:33:34 AM »

from time to time i would do a google search on: chicago stand up paddle just to see if there was anything happening within my vicinity or anybody new out there i hadn't had a chance to meet. when to my surprise, yesterday something new surfaced with ken ilio's article entitled "stand up paddle boarding in chicago". the pictures contained provided the answer to a question that would enter my mind while paddling below all the highrises along that coast... one can't help but imagine what it must look like to see someone down there paddling on the water from high up above.

three of the pictures depict myself in three different seasons: the first one was recent from just this spring, the second one take during last summer (heading for the water intake crib), and the third was shot from shore during the winter as i was working my way through an ice jam. found it surprising that i am alone in all of these shots as there have been a few of us out there on several other occasions though these photos convey a sense of solitude appropriate to that moment in time.

Events / moonshine lunatics!
« on: March 26, 2009, 10:07:23 AM »
there's a full moon on each of these weekends this year:

may 9th (saturday)
june 7th (sunday)
september 4th (friday)
october 4th (sunday)

thinking that any of these may be a good reason for a midnight paddle!

june 21st, summer solstice, falls on a sunday too btw.

Gear Talk / amphibious footwear
« on: March 20, 2009, 09:58:32 AM »
deep see amphib boots

these are turning out to be my favorite pair of shoes in and out of the water. super light, ultra comfortable, easy on/easy off, and quite affordable at around $60 us. sized to fit without sox so go for one size up if you plan to wear something under them.

"this is an all terrain, multifunctional boot. originally designed for military rescue applications, the boot works well in and out of the water. the amphib provides the necessary ankle support and foot protection for operating personal watercraft or when negotiating a boulder choked waterway. construction includes a 3mm seeflex nylon II neoprene sock, rubber outsole, and eva midsole. the heel and the toecap are brushed rubber and upper is synthetic leather. the amphib uses 550 parachute cord for laces and a velcro cinch strap secure the boot at the ankle. a screen meal eyelet protects the water purge at the in-step.

weight: 2 lbs. 6 oz per pair."

Gear Talk / kogan gps watch with bluetooth ($85 us)
« on: March 19, 2009, 11:33:08 AM »

check out this wired magazine article and here's a link to kogan its australia based manufacturer. water resistant... but to what extent?

Sessions / livin' to dye another day!
« on: March 15, 2009, 08:51:50 AM »
coloring the chicago river an emerald green on st. patricks day is a long held tradition and rite spring. this year a couple of us decided to paddle out to the downtown section of the river where the event was to occur at approximately 10:45 am.

leaving from about three miles north, we took a leisurely paddle to arrive near the designated area just before 10 am. it was obvious as we got close because of the legions of spectators lining the river walk and bridges. it was no surprise to encounter the chicago police department water safety unit poised dead center on the river on our approach. not trying to avoid the encounter we paddled right up the boat only narrowly escaping their initial round of pfd inquiries upon arrival. when asked if i responded that the drysuit i wore was a "floatation device" and paz flashed his wetsuit hidden beneath his jacket and running pants. given that, our friendly river police opted to waive us through.

paz and i took a couple of runs back and forth across the river to pass the time occasionally interacting with the merrymakers lining the shore. a passing tour boat cruised by, the temptation for the shifty one proved too much as a chase ensued, came up behind them but there was no wake to catch then opted to turn in their churn while approaching a bridge loaded with spectators. needless to say the shapeless one "chose" this moment to test the floatation qualities of said maritime assault suit system. it proved sea worthy as not a hair was drenched during the, ahem... transition. and the crowd went wild (all they wanted to see was someone hitting that dirty water!

well, realizing that they had a potential rodeo clown disaster on hand, our boys in blue decided to revisit the situation.. the same barrage of pfd questions rang out so... erm,  someone, heheheh... decided to demonstrate the obvious by taking another float on the river holding both hands up showing how the air in the suit kept head and shoulders above water. well again the crowd goes wild thinking that this nitwit was back in the drink. really doubt that the officers were too impressed with these impromptu demonstrations as they flanked us with their flotilla. now looking for any reason to get us out of the water. we found little hope for escape or reprisal (though vague thoughts of either possibility abound).

the ride over to the cpd marine unit off of randalph near navy pier (completely opposite direction of our vehicles) was pretty relaxed as we bantered about pollution and other relevant topics including the fact that the boards were active floatation devices. taking every opportunity to apologize to my fellow paddler and any figure of authority overlooking us now for good measure. it was a relief that they treated us and our boards with upmost respect as they let us store our "sleds" as they called them within the secure confines so that we can retrieve them later upon returning with a vehicle.

considering the situation we were a couple of lucky bassturds because in retrospect, though we never did have a chance to putter around the green, getting away without a ticket or having our boards confiscated was exciting enough to say the least.

SUP General / a heartfelt thank you for service beyond expectation!
« on: January 28, 2009, 03:20:28 PM »
i just wanted to have the opportunity to thank everyone at uli for going far beyond expectation to provide the extraordinary service to their customers in this sport.

for me there are only a few others that come to mind... first and foremost, there's the dedicated admins of the zone (thank you for bringing this fun luvin' bunch together!)

then there are members of the tribe called uli. uncle jim, uncle chris and cousin clinton... not to mention the many family members we've met on the road along the way. only someone who's had a chance to experience how hard these guys work for their customers could understand how special they make us feel.

sorry if all of this sounds ridiculous, but i really felt these people really need to know:

thank you! from the bottom of my heart.
-alan sidlo

Gear Talk / nelson factory, maui
« on: October 18, 2008, 06:17:20 AM »
don't know him personally, but i've been told that mark nelson has provided shapes for mistral, which only goes to say that he's got the stuff to do our boards right. having seen the carbon slalom windsurf boards that mark has shaped for a couple friends of mine, i can tell you that his work is out of this world!

above is an example of his cross over model, it is 11' X 32" wide and is the perfect board to learn the basics on flat water, downwinders, small surf and even sail when you want to try something different. click on the picture for a link to his site.

custom services:
  • advanced composite construction built to order
  • large and oversized boards, 16 long  x 36 wide
  • custom shape designed around you
  • super light construction
  • race, wave or cross over SUP designs

only the best,

Events / the dairyland surf classic in sheboygan, wisconsin
« on: July 28, 2008, 12:42:54 PM »
haven't seen it posted on their website yet but it's been announced that: 2008 corona's dairyland surf classic sheboygan, wi is offering for the very first time a stand-up paddle competition. first prize is a $1600 paddle board!!!! any takers? paddle events start at 2pm saturday of labor day weekend. 1/8th mile sprint.

hmmmmm... seems like it's going to be an easy race.

heheheh... sorry, don't mean to be such a stroke.

anyway i've been toying with a technique to snap the paddle out of the water by twisting the handle (and the top of the shaft)  inwards (towards me) because the angular change causes the blade to squirt right out of the water.  doing so also sets the blade in a more aerodynamic position to be moved from the follow through to the catch of the next stroke.

this might be more useful for heavy hitters using wood or aluminum as the added weight is something we contend with.

bad technique can cause a (elbow) jerk reaction which may cause or exacerbate a present injury.

also please let me know if this has been discussed before as it only seems natural in ergonomic terms anyway.

next topic: i slept with my uli and my wife found out.

The Shape Shack / a wood paddle is taking shape
« on: March 31, 2008, 02:04:28 PM »
it's taken the better part of a year studying about paddle building, related wood and its structure, standard practices old and new, etc... before finally feeling that i'm ready to start testing out some different concepts. it wouldn't be a problem for me to vacuum laminate a "carbon  copy" of an existing model but i'm more interested in finding out if some of my own ideas have any validity to them. it would be nice to experiment on different types of wood lamination in the future, but for now i'm keeping it real basic.

this weekend i started building a wood paddle. i'm basically carving it out of a poplar board approximately 2" x 10" x 7". in order to experience the process on a more intimate level i've opted to limit the use of machinery. working with hand tools would allow better observation of how the grain structure reveals itself as it takes shape. this allows the time to make changes to the design if the structure or intention for the design (as that evolves) dictates. the initial shape was roughed out with the help of a band saw but there after the only tools used will be draw knives (planes), chisels, files, and sandpaper. got that strange feeling that this is going to be quite a bit of exercise?

Gear Talk / geosat navigational tools
« on: February 01, 2008, 10:25:48 PM »
sometimes our activities can puts us in places that might be tough to determine. i'm sure there are a few of us here who are  interested in knowing where they're going or finding a way of letting people know where they've been?

i've recently upgraded from a magellan gps companion for the handspring visor (prism) to a few of the latest garmin rino 530 hcx gps/radios only later finding out about another way to spot somebody on this planet.

somewhat related: here's a benchmark i only recently was able to recover for the  national geodetic survey... it's this connection to the past which makes us feel like we're playing a part in history by helping  to shape how future generations might view our world.

click on the image for directions to the site...

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