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Messages - robcasey

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Downwind and Racing / Re: VHF radios, DSC and MMSI
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:36:57 PM »
First of all, take other precautions first to make sure you don't end up a pickle..
-Double leash in big conditions (in small conditions test your leash string and leash connections)
-Float plan (tell a friend of your departure/arrival info, where going, how to contact)
-Stay within your skill level or hire a guide like Suzie, Jeremy, Jaecy, Dave, etc.

And bring a communication device for both of you (if you get separated). Bill's info on the phone sounds great, test before you go. We use VHF's all the time for our classes offshore or in rough water.

Standard Horizon and ICOM both have floating hand held waterproof radios that are quite bomber and have great battery life (rarely charge).  Attach each on a string to your hydration pack or similar (or PFD, but I assuming no one wears PFD's in HI).

You can check the weather, communicate with each other like a walkie talkie, or call the CG if necessary. One issue is that high winds are noisy, so radio and 1-1 communication can be difficult. Hand signals are good back up there between each other.

Downwind and Racing / Surf-Ocean Races - Pros and Cons?
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:27:28 PM »
I've been asked to be race director on a new ocean race in Lincoln City Oregon in Aug 6th. We're brainstorming ideas for a super fun course. Seeking input on what the best format is for such as race and pros and cons?

Plan right now is on Sat Aug 5th, a 3 mile race in Devils Lake. Then a 6m ocean morning race Sunday Aug 6th. Either Sat and/or sun we'll also do a sup surf comp.

Thanks in advance! RC

Sessions / Freighter Wave Surfing in Seattle
« on: June 08, 2017, 11:47:44 PM »
Fun short session yesterday freighter wave surfing in Seattle with friends..

To go even faster get an unlimited length board. 14' is fast for SUP, but the fastest craft out there are surf ski's which usually range from 18' to 21' long. There's a few brands such as SIC, Infinity etc. I use a local shaper, Sean Thomas of Echo Composites near Seattle.  My 17' and 18' boards means less work, more speed providing you have a good stroke.  Beware that some UL's can be too narrow for rough water conditions so get something that fits your ht and wt plus skill level and conditions you'll be in. 

For the 14's, try before you buy. Not all 14's are fast. 

Technique / Re: How to catch waves
« on: June 05, 2017, 02:13:41 PM »
Starting out, take off perpendicular to a wave to get the basic feel down. Trick is while watching the wave coming from behind you and surfers on your sides, many paddler paddle shafts tend to paddle at an angle over the board thus turning the board out of being lined up.  So keep a vertical shaft while looking behind.

A few tips..
-Pick your wave, start to accelerate depending on normal speed or size of incoming wave
-step way back if a big or fast wave, but not as far back for smaller (3-4' waves)
-crouch/squat as wave hits you in staggered stance or surfer's stance while accelerating
-stick paddle behind you if you can't turn as a rudder to go down wave straight or lean/carve as needed to turn
-walk up to nose when wave gets small and loses power
-with some speed still on the wave, pull a cross bow turn (but static blade, like a rudder) to spin in a 180 back around to paddle out.
-step on tail while paddling over incoming waves paddling out. very common for folks to stop paddling when they go over a wave. short fast cadence to get speed vs longer strokes
-if you get tippy - paddle.  don't rise up and put your blade above your head and/or try to balance - get low and paddle. 

Any tips for getting on a sup or kayak from the back of a motorboat or sailboat?  I've had a few requests from folks on this, so wanted to get info to write a blot post on it.  Thanks. 

Gear Talk / Re: Proteck vs Sanding fins...
« on: April 22, 2017, 01:31:58 PM »
I've been surfing, racing, downwinding and paddling tidal rapids with the Proteck superflex fins for years. No injuries to date, and I don't find any difference between the super flex fins and stiffer fins. Providing i'm not surfing really big waves and/or am an elite racer, but nonetheless all is good with superflex.  The flex fins also allow to paddle through thick kelp beds without any issues and have prevented a few wipeouts from hitting rocks etc whereas stiff fins would've resulted in a face plant. 

We also use the super flex fins for our student boards as beginners tend to hit things on occasion, drop a board, etc. 

Look around for proteck fin deals, I know Salamander in Idaho is a distributor. Advertised on this site, Blue Planet also stocks them. 

Technique / Re: How the heck do you engage your stinkin' core?
« on: April 20, 2017, 03:27:55 PM »
Paddle with both arms nearly straight - upper elbow has to bend a bit. But your lower arm should be straight, even when you recover/feather.  But keep a loose grip for flexibility throughout the stroke. Keep the paddle shaft vertical for your power phase (stroke) to keep straight.  The straighter arms will force you to rotate your torso (or core) to paddle instead of your arms for power. 

This means, less work (after you get over the newbie robot feel of straight arms) and more endurance. It's about finesse. 

Technique / Re: looking for advice,
« on: April 20, 2017, 03:22:10 PM »
Was just in Gilbert, loved the heat (50 in Seattle).  Tips..

- Paddle more. Get to where you can't remember how many times you've been out.
- For boat wakes, bend your knees (shock absorbers) and paddle with short quick strokes (to your feet). Don't turn into the wave, keep your regular course and paddle!  When the wave hits you, don't freeze or try to balance - get low (like J-lo) and paddle!  In time learn to surf those wakes.
- It's ok to fall if you're dressed for the water temps. Don't let falling be an issue. always wear your leash to stay connected to your board.
- In bumps, use a sweeping brace for stability. Apply when you feather the blade - just lower it so it hydroplanes over the water vs in the air.

While sliding or jumping about, make sure your paddle is in the water engaged. This means either you're paddling even with short cadence strokes, or you're doing a sweeping brace, meaning sweeping the blade in a forward sweeping motion on the water surface hydroplaning with the leading edge up.  Obviously if you're on a wave that momentum provides stability for easier footwork.  And as one mentioned below, try a semi-surf staggered stance, so not 100% on stringer, more a mix of surf stance and paddling stance (flatwater stance). 

Tips for the sweeping brace..

Gear Talk / Re: Paddle for bad shoulder
« on: April 20, 2017, 01:44:56 PM »
Narrow width blades really help. I've been using them since day 1 after having shoulder issues in the kayaking realm pre-sup. The Werner Nitro, Accent Pro-bolts are good starters.

Paddling tips to help reduce strain..
- Super loose grip in both hands - barely hold on. check my stokemagazine post yesterday on that.
- As others have mentioned, right length - at your catch, keep your upper arm elbow at eye level or below (but not too low)
- Make sure you're rotating your torso vs just arms for paddling, ie: straight arms, loose grip. 
- If you're racing, or in a hurry get an efficient board. I've seen folks injure themselves trying to push a sluggish board faster.
- shorter cadence, pulling out at feet (mentioned above). not a fan of the huge 90 degree bend reach thing. 

General Discussion / Re: What surf forecasts do you use?
« on: April 20, 2017, 01:36:00 PM »
We have a local app that a surfer runs so the info is localized vs a national site perspective on our area.  Since that only covers the coast vs the inner waterways I'm normally on, I also use NOAA's marine forecast (and buoy checks) which is very reliable and windalert to check real time wind and to double check the noaa data. Also webcams if available for certain spots. 

I find when Magic Seaweed does a 5 star forecast for our area, everyone shows up but the wave are small or flat. Nice to have local info. 

General Discussion / Re: Transport Questions
« on: April 20, 2017, 01:29:31 PM »
Some thoughts..
- get an inflatable sup to store inside if it fits.
- for the roof, place a doubled over yoga mat (sticky) or towel and place the board on top, then secure with 2 straps through the doors. Maybe add a nose or tail (leash plug) strap to the bumper to be more secure and/or avoid sliding left/right in wind or high speed. Foam blocks work too. 

General Discussion / Re: What is the D-ring for?
« on: April 20, 2017, 01:26:32 PM »
The 2015 Imagine boards had a D-ring on the bottom nose to hide the back end of the pump valve on the deck. But it did work as a great tow line attachment or nose tie-down on the car. Mine ripped off at some point. 

For the tail D-rings on deck for the leash, I just attach the leash to the big ol' handle there. 

Pretty epic, always fun to see. Join us for Freighter and tug surfing on Puget Sound if in our hood. No ocean required for waves if you pay attention to boat wakes (and tides, wind, current etc). 

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