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Messages - kjulks

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1
Gear Talk / Re: Board upgrade recommendations
« on: March 30, 2016, 06:05:36 AM »
Have you thought about looking for a used Bullet?

2
Travel, Trips, Destinations / Paris Race Rentals?
« on: September 16, 2015, 04:00:50 PM »
Just got a call from a friend who got into the Paris Nautic Crossing and is exploring his options for boards. Anyone know of rentals in Paris? The race is 12'6" class, and he'd need some volume as he's a taller guy usually on a 14'.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. (I can speak some French if I have to, maybe enough to stumble through that conversation.)

3
Events / Re: What works well? Race/Event suggestions
« on: September 02, 2015, 07:21:02 AM »
Adding a regional teams component might be an interesting take, similar to a swim meet.
I'm not certain what's currently in place at the Midwest events, but the best races I've attended have games and entertainment in the water and on shore for family and friends. 

Also, if you could schedule up some wind that'll help  :).
Thanks for the response! It's funny you bring up swimming - I've had the same comparison in mind for a few years, but it seems like things will have to grow a bit before my dreams would be feasible. I grew up swimming in the summers, and we had a bunch of pools around different parts of the city that would compete 1v1 on Saturdays. At the end of the season we'd hold "All City" with all of the teams for all the marbles. It was awesome. We've got a few boathouse/rental/shops around the city, and I've been trying to hatch a plan of how to encourage growth and participation so a similar setup could get rolling. We'll see.

Quote from: stoneaxe
How is the party?...do you have a party?
Thanks as well! So all of the races around here are put on my independent race organizers. A lot of them go for sanctioning through the WPA to provide some measure of consistency and points, but those points don't ultimately lead to anything. You can win the circuit for pride but that's about it. Anyways, that's a tangent. Whether or not there's a party is up to the race organizer. OABI in Detroit had an awesome setup: stage, local music, beer, food, outdoor retail vendors, the works. Same in Madison, WI, but that one was tied into an existing well-attended tradition of "Paddle and Portage". Some of the races are pretty lacking. Entry fees are all around the same price, but the disparity in the afterparty offerings is staggering.

4
Events / What works well? Race/Event suggestions
« on: August 30, 2015, 12:53:12 PM »
The Midwest SUP series wraps up in two weeks in Lake Geneva, WI at the Midwest SUP Masters. After that race, a bunch of us will be getting together to try and come up with some ideas for ways the series could improve in general, but also feedback for specific events.

I'd love to hear from you what you've liked about an event or race in your area, and why. Conversely, if you'd like to share something that didn't work well, it'd be similarly helpful to know what to avoid.

ex) Waterman's Paddle for Humanity in Minneapolis, MN this year hosted by Wai Nani Surf and Paddle. The flow of the whole day was flawless. A lot of events seem to be hurry up and wait. Haul ass before the race to get check-in sorted in time to hopefully squeeze in a good warmup and get to the line in time. Race ends, kill time until the awards ceremony, raffle, whatever it is. Probably leave right after

Not the case for this race. Registration/check-in was efficient, plenty of time for a warmup, plenty of time to get to the line, music and MC bringing people home off the water as they finish. After everyone was in we had a cool and engaging demonstration while they tabulated results. Soon after was a fun relay incorporating local culture (paddle a board using a plastic snow shovel) with a prize for male/female winners. Right after that were awards/raffle.

At no point was I bored or wondering, "Can they just do the awards already..."

ex 2) Once Around Belle Isle in Detroit, MI. The course was technically interesting and challenging compared to a lot of the courses around here. It wasn't a simple triangle, W, out and back, point to point, blah course. We started on Belle Isle about 1/3 from the north point and lapped the island. Upriver combined with upwind, interesting currents and rebound around the north point, downriver/downwind while navigating decent-sized wake in an international shipping channel, and back to upriver/upwind for 2/3 of the island for the finish. Way more fun than 6 laps around a 1 mile oval.

Thanks for any input!

5
Events / Re: Skyline SUP Series - Chicago, IL 8/29
« on: August 30, 2015, 12:31:08 PM »
Fully recognizing that this generated zero discussion, I feel compelled to correct some incorrect statements:

1. Westy, Brian, and Cam were not present. Was misinformed about the potential turnout for all three.
2. That "tie-breaker" was not. I hadn't taken into account that the WPA scores your top 6 finishes only. Ben is winning the 12'6" series by a good margin.

The race turned out to be a flatwater slog in a channel. 14'ers David Gould and Dean Leeper, both from Madison, WI put on a good show. David was the favorite in that faceoff, and was leading the draft train for a good margin of the race. He crossed the line moments before Dean, after a commanding surge for the finish. I asked Dean about it afterwards and he said something to the effect of, "He deserved that one. He was pulling for most of it."

12'6" saw Ben Gareiss of Traverse City put a healthy lead on Robbie Brink of Minneapolis and myself early on. He darn near kept pace with the 14' lead pack (though not near their draft) for most of the race. Robbie, who said he's been training hard, really showed up and had a phenomenal race. He passed me fairly early on, and I spent the rest of the race trying to catch up but most likely losing ground. I had a serious off-day, but I don't mean that as an excuse. Ben and Robbie had phenomenal performances.

Thanks Windward Boardshop for a fun race! This edition of Nobody's Reading This Anyways - a Midwest SUP Recap has been brought to you by kjulks. Look forward to the next update, Why Am I Writing This Sh** Anyways, after the Midwest SUP Masters in Lake Geneva, WI from 9/11-13.

Photo credit: Lincoln Park Boat Club Chicago, Barto

6
SUP General / Re: Props To Riviera
« on: August 30, 2015, 08:08:13 AM »
Very OT from your original post, but it's funny that there's a thread with this title. I want to give them props too.

Had the chance to meet Ryan Helm yesterday in Chicago. He came down and was paddling around after our race, and I wanted a few of my friends to see how they stacked up against a pro. They're on the fence about flying out for Battle of the Bay or PPG. I asked him if he'd be down for a little fun race, fully expecting to be ok if he was like, "Naahhh, I'm just here to paddle around." He was awesome. I think his exact words were, "Yeah man, it's always good to see where you stand. Flatwater is what it is, but sure man." He waited patiently while we got our gear back to the water, and he drag-raced us for a mile. (He smoked it, really high turnover. Pretty cool.) Dude was absolutely nice and helpful. We went for about a mile paddle after that, and he was giving us all kinds of tips on what to expect for PPG, race strategies, the works.

Props to Riviera for have an ambassador that takes the time to teach, grow the sport, and indulge us amateurs in our requests.

7
SUP General / Re: Leash Use.
« on: August 30, 2015, 07:56:54 AM »
I don't accept that the only alternative to "leashes save lives" is a page of complicated text.

You have a valid point, but criticism alone won't solve the problem we all want solving, which is that people are routinely risking their lives needlessly. So I'd welcome hearing some suggestions from you for alternative messages that get across the need to understand the importance of leashes as part of your potential life-saving equipment. It also needs to be simple enough to be effective.
You're right. And so is PonoBill. Sorry for just being on the negative side of the issue. I just wanted to make sure that those points were brought up and defended.

As far as suggestions... in wilderness medicine we use a lot of TLAs (probably borrowed from the military) because they're easy to remember. Mnemonics in general are pretty standard for helping convey complex messages with formulaic outputs. (ABCDE for life threats, rule of 3s for survival, SAMPLE, etc) So something that captured that simple input->output and was memorable...

So here's the brainstorm, feel free to critique the hell out of it since I've been dishing critiques all day.

Input              Output
Lake               PFD on or leash (redundancy wouldn't be bad)
River*             PFD on, leash aware
Surf*               Leash
Downwind*     Leash (PFD as redundancy wouldn't be bad)
Cold                Redundancy +++
Whitewater    Not experienced enough to say. Lots of gear.

* denotes the scenarios where one or the other could be detrimental to your margin of safety. ie, a leash in a river could easily lead to a snag scenario, a PFD on in surf means you're not getting under waves, a downwind without a leash means you're waving goodbye to your board.

So maybe just targeting those three in particular. You guys would know better than me, but my gut tells me that people wearing PFDs in surf isn't a huge issue. In other words, you might not even need to highlight the need to NOT wear a PFD in the surf. (Not talking about tow-ins and that kind of craziness.)

Waves and bumps -> leash
Moving water -> PFD

So uh... Leash it up for wind and waves, float it down the river. That's dumb... DSL,PR? Downwind Surf Leash, P(FD) River? Those are existing ubiquitous acronyms, might be easy to remember. Eh... "Would you put a leash on your dog swimming in the river?" Nah, too emotionally charged and a bit of a stretch... SPR(a)WL -> Stream PReserver Waves/Wind Leash


8
SUP General / Re: Leash Use.
« on: August 28, 2015, 06:12:11 PM »
I've heard anecdotal examples of bicycle helmets causing traumatic head and neck injuries, even death. Google it. There's no such thing as a safety product without hazard. In truth, there's no such thing as safety. Doesn't mean bicycle manufacturers shouldn't encourage people to wear helmets.
Lemme put that part of it another way then. There's a principle in LEED building design and certification that says "Respect diversity". What they mean is don't expect to design a sustainable building for the Amazon that will also work in Siberia. Don't make a marketable statement the industry-wide mantra when it's 100% inappropriate in some situations.

I'm not talking about freak accidents. I'm talking about what could become, if it's not already, a statistically significant population of paddleboarders taking leashes out on rivers for recreation. Reducing the concept of risk management to nothing with "There's no such thing as a safety product without hazard. In truth, there's no such thing as safety" kills me. I know that. There's no guarantee that I won't fall out of my chair right now and die. But do me a favor and don't bring that up like it has any bearing on treating different SUP circumstances differently when it comes to appropriate use of safety equipment.

9
SUP General / Re: Leash Use.
« on: August 28, 2015, 05:35:39 PM »
But if you are going to reject any cost/benefit analysis as a matter of principle, even when there might be good pragmatic reasons for doing so, then it's going to be tough to please you. Perhaps we should just let people make up their own minds, like happened on Hood River. That's the approach we tend to favour in Europe. If you decide to take a risk with your own life then mostly we don't care. Go die if you want to. It is only when that decision puts others at risk that we care.
I don't reject them on principle, only when the principle of utility furthers an argument that would lead to a positive harm. I'm really not trying to be an argumentative dick, I'm just clearly unable to articulate the subtleties of what we're discussing. Let me try again:
The conversation started with the letter, and Dave Kalama put forth the argument that leashes save 100 times more lives than they take. He cited an example of helping someone who became entangled. He acknowledged the risk of entanglement, but stated that the potential benefit outweighs that risk. From that letter, Starboard appears to be spearheading a movement to include a "Leashes save lives" sticker on all of their boards. That has ramifications for the industry. Starboard is widely regarded as one of the leaders, if not the leader. This could mean that several other manufacturers do the same.
So, fast forward to how this plays out: Somebody rents a board, and the rental outfit has boards that have these "Leashes save lives" stickers. The outfit follows this advice, as does the customer. They're on a river, or they take the board to the river. They snag. They die. That is what I mean by a positive action that results in an inappropriate application of safety equipment. That would be directly caused by a positive action taken (the sticker campaign, the inappropriate enforcement of an inadequate generalization), and it would result in a life lost. That is differentiated from a lack of action.
Deaths from lack of action, one could argue, are just as bad. We see Andres, these other poor guys that have drowned recently due to board separation. That's horrible, and I don't want that to happen either.
What I'm trying to say is that these are not the only two options.
The pragmatic approach is the neither "Leashes save lives" nor <silence>.

But even if you take this approach then it might still be useful to tell people that leashes might save their lives.
Yes, but that "might" in the "save their lives" is the important part. Manufacturers jumping on a message that could actually take lives is a horrible mistake. "Leashes save lives" is a very forceful statement. It suggests that leashes are the answer. Beginners, less informed facilitators of the sport, and all sorts will view that as a statement made from a position of authority, and will likely follow it. A small percentage of those adherents could do so to their detriment.

You clearly don't think much of the proposed messages. So how do you think that message should be phrased?
I think the examples cited by Admin from Bic and the ACA are the realistic approach. I understand the desire for an easy solution, but safety is a complex issue. I don't have a good answer, because I think "the message" is more of an industry-backed approach. It's not a blurb, a sentence, a sticker, but rather a mindset. Facilitators and enthusiasts should do everything they can to aid newbies and educate them. Experienced paddlers should take responsibility and call each other out when we aren't being safe for dumb reasons. Whether this means pamphlets like Eagle said, videos like several people have suggested, or some sort of facilitator certification system, I don't know. I don't think there's ever going to be an easy answer to safety. What I'm trying to caution against is the feel-good reaction to a snappy phrase that will do a lot of good, but will also result in harm. That can't be the answer.

But the vociferousness of your voice on this matter makes me wonder if you have had some personal experience that is driving it. What is your own personal experience of leashes?
Fortunately no. I love this sport, and I'd hate to see it misstep because we acted out of grief. That's all.

And, Area 10, I'll say this one more time because I'm really not trying to be a dick: I'm sorry if some of this is stated in a "holier than thou" way. That's not my intention. I'm not trying to lecture anyone. I feel strongly about safety, especially when it's targeted to beginners and could have ramifications for the industry as a whole. When the stakes are high like this - yknow, life and death - I'd rather state the obvious and come off as condescending than leave things unsaid and assumed. So I sincerely apologize if I'm doing any of the above, which were, in summary: being a dick, holier than thou, lecturing, or condescending. Pretty sure I did them all, but it comes from a good place. [See? I can get behind cost-benefit arguments...  ;) ]

EDIT: The last last thing I'm going to add on to this friggin treatise... This snag hazard isn't some outside chance. I live near a bunch of rivers that are used recreationally like lakes by a lot of people. Kayaks, canoes, power boats, you name it. I'm not going on and on about this because it's not a perfect solution. I recognize that nothing will ever be death-proof. I'm saying that if the sport keeps growing (and here it certainly will... we're about 5 years behind coastal trends I'd guess), then telling a load of people to use leashes in inappropriate scenarios will lead to issues that will be statistically significant.

10
SUP General / Re: Leash Use.
« on: August 28, 2015, 04:10:42 PM »
Yes. But my point is that anyone who can be saved will be more likely to be saved by the correct leash for the situation (than not wearing one).

The fact that some people will drown no matter what help you provide (and sometimes will also drown a person trying to help them) does not alter the veracity of the line of text. The text wasn't "the correct leash will save every person's life". That would be fatuous.
This is the cost/benefit utility argument rearing its ugly head again, and I must vehemently argue against it. The choices are not A) Leashes save lives, or B) <no message>. The message can be anything you want. What I've been trying to articulate, and if I'm not mistaken what Admin has been saying, is that simply stating "Leashes save lives" doesn't address the times when it doesn't, and furthermore could augment the times when leashes take lives. To make this the industry-standard silver bullet would be a mistake.

You cannot say, "Well it's the best option, people are going to drown no matter what. So on balance, 100 times more lives saved by encouraging wearing leashes offsets the 1 time where someone dies from wearing it." That is a positive action taken that will influence some beginner to wear a leash when it is explicitly inappropriate to do so. That cannot be allowed to happen.

The message, whatever it is, must be more than an inadequate alliterative one-liner.

11
SUP General / Re: Leash Use.
« on: August 28, 2015, 12:17:42 PM »
What we are talking about here is the same thing--a safety solution that could have a negative safety effect. The challenge in analyzing the solution is that if it works a million times to save someone's life that will not be reported, whereas if it drowns two people by entanglement it will. ... Will there be useful statistics to make that assessment? NO.
You're right about that. I thought you were trying to say that a seatbelt jamming and keeping someone stuck in a car that could ignite- a case of malfunctioning equipment - was somehow akin to a misapplication of a safety device. That's where it becomes an inappropriate comparison for me.

But forget the debate team BS, I'm not trying to win arguments. I'm trying to clarify that those potential negative effects could be minimized by taking a more nuanced approach to the message and educational efforts. "Airbags save lives" without the educational piece about sitting too close, being too small is an oversight and not acceptable. Similarly, I'd say "Leashes save lives" without the education piece about moving water, being able to get out of the leash is an oversight and unacceptably simplistic.

12
The Great Lakes seem like they would be a world class venue for downwinders. How come we never hear much about downwinding there?
We generally do a shite job of advertising what goes on around here. There's a decent population of SUPers, but definitely less than coastal areas. My theory is that we haven't reached the critical mass to have really activity-specific groups get out and attract enough numbers to advertise it in any way. There are pockets of people, specifically in Michigan, that do lots of downwinding. You don't hear about them because they go out with each other, and that's about it. They're not exclusionary or exclusive, we just don't have a huge crowd to advertise to.

If you think of a huge SUP community, and then break down by percentage who's doing what, I'd guess that the vast majority is surf-style or beginner rentals and day-cruising. Here too. Take your percentage of people downwinding, or racing, or surfing, and then apply that to our paddling population, and you're left with just a few people.

13
SUP General / Re: Leash Use.
« on: August 28, 2015, 11:14:12 AM »
We can't really teach people how to drive a car safely. "Seat belts save lives unless they jam and you burn to death". Not a great safety slogan. Airbags required even though they snap the neck of anyone a little too small or sitting a little too close.
Yeah, but let's not use improper analogies. We're not talking about malfunctioning equipment. And in the case of "too small or sitting too close", there was a massive public safety effort to educate the populace about car seats, keeping your kid in the back until a certain weight, etc. With some coordination people CAN be taught how to handle variables to maximize safety.

Quote from: Easy Rider
So please stop arguing about "rights being taken away" or "sometimes leashes can kill you" - - and lets just get the message across and educate people that Leashes do in fact save lives!
I'm not arguing to take anything away from your message. I appreciate your efforts and your dedication to safety. What I'm saying is that they absolutely do until they don't. Please don't take personal offense to attempts to help clarify a murky subject.

It seems like this whole conversation was brought about as a result of Andres' death, yet we're all now citing that those types of circumstances aren't going to be the type of situation targeted by this kind of effort. Please keep separation of the two in mind, then. If we're targeting beginners, we must be taking a thoughtful approach to keeping them safe. If the message is "Leashes would have saved Andres' life", then own up to that. It's probably true. But calling for an industry-wide campaign to put forth a blanket statement that isn't patently true and that could actually lead to accidents is a mistake.

I'm sorry if that seems callous, but safety protocols can't be born from an emotional reaction.

14
SUP General / Re: SUP Safety
« on: August 28, 2015, 09:46:30 AM »
My $0.02

Wave - I'll leave that to an expert.

River - Leash and PFD. Coil is best, quick release/easy access is necessary. Actual vest PFD is best.

Swiftwater/Whitewater - Helmet, adequate clothing, whitewater PFD. See PRG. TBH I'm not sure on leashes in those scenarios. I'll leave that to an experienced person as well.

Lake - Broad range of sizes and possible conditions fit under that heading, but a leash is good, an inflatable PFD or vest on is an alternative. A vest on the board with no leash is useless. You're not tethered to either form of flotation (the board or the actual PFD) in that case. They could both go bye-bye in a hurry.

Downwind - LEASH. In most cases but especially cold water or river downwinding I'd say double leash (if your board has the points for it) or PFD as redundancy.

The main thing is to talk to someone who's paddled the area or the conditions beforehand. They will be able to help you delineate what is most appropriate for your spot. If you buy a board from a shop, tell them where you're likely going to be paddling. (Then again, if they don't ask you that first thing, maybe call a different shop...) If you rent a board, press them for the rationale of their safety requirements. It should be more well-reasoned than a CYA liability statement. If you go out with friends, press them to think about the full spectrum of conditions you're going to encounter.

Also, swimming skill is your most valuable asset when everything else fails. If you don't feel confident in the water, know that you're putting yourself at the mercy of your equipment. Strongly consider taking lessons, swimming at the health club, or taking other measures to beef up your skill and comfort in the water.

15
Sessions / Re: Cold but glassy surf.
« on: August 28, 2015, 07:14:34 AM »
The French linked ya!

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