Author Topic: Beginning SUP Season 2 - About the Om  (Read 1502 times)

Remickulous

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Beginning SUP Season 2 - About the Om
« on: April 26, 2017, 11:44:14 AM »
It has been one helluva winter working through lots of internal stuff - re-evaluating life, the universe, and everything. I stopped paddling in December, started again in March, and have been out almost every day since. I replaced the 12'6"x30" Starboard Touring with a 14'x28" Coast Runner "Race" board, and I'm still rocking the big Universal board. I hit over 100hrs on the water last year and stopped counting because it seems irrelevant now, but maybe that's a good marker for folks reading this that are brand new to the sport - get 100+ hours on the water, and the way you view Stand Up Paddling will change in ways you might not expect.

So, here's some fun things that I've experienced since starting again this year:
  • Relaxing - It is sooooo much easier suddenly! I paddle in a place called Birch Bay where the water rarely approaches this concept of "flat" I hear about. Most days I have 10-15mph of wind & chop that never syncs with the rollers coming into the bay, and the conditions used to really bother me. Now, If I want a workout, I can just challenge the wind & waves, treat it like a challenge to find the best path, battling up and down each wave, pulling hard, and learning how to manipulate your board to give you the best path. Or...If I don't want to be intense, I can just get up on the board & paddle normally, and suddenly it's a different scene. All of a sudden the wind & waves aren't challenges to overcome, just elements you choose to let flow by you, as you flow with the scene and make slower, but steady progress. Very, very big deal for me
  • Board shape & size - It doesn't really matter anymore. My 32" wide Universal board is like standing on the deck of a boat because it has so much initial stability, and my 28" Coast Runner is like being on a weeble-wobble because it has so much secondary stability. They both have their uses, and they are both super fun to just toodle around with, so I don't care what size/shape the board is anymore, as long as it can float my manly manliness - and then I think about some crazy dudes my weight with 20 years on me surfing tiny boards I don't think I could stand on (I'm thinkin 'bout supthecreek here)
  • Fear - I guess that was part of my internal stuff, because the "edge" is totally gone. I don't think many folks want to jump, or fall, into 48deg water and similar air temps - it's freakin' cold, and no fun to paddle in if you are soaking wet and cold, but the deep water & unknowns don't come into the picture any more. In fact, I've developed a "friendship" with a beautiful silver harbour seal that always comes to check me out no matter the weather. I talk to him every day, thank him for showing up, and I think he likes to see if I notice him as he pops up silently all around me. He loves tailing my board by about 10ft, and if I don't acknowledge him there after a while, he will pop up in my field of view somewhere. Yesterday he got within a paddle length as he swam by, and I stalled the board to chat & watch. He looked me right in the eyes as he swam up to me from the side & behind, eventually ducking under to swim right behind me. Amazing
  • Safety - I've been too cool for school sometimes, going out to paddle without a leash, or life vest, or wetsuit, or phone, because I didn't want to gear up, or was in a hurry. I think about paddlers who have died out on the sound in my area who knew their stuff, and I realize it's not about being cool, or fast, or comfortable, or anything else - it's about choosing to be responsible for my own safety. It's not glamorous wearing a wetsuit, PFD vest, or leash, and I want to get away from my electronic leash (phone) - but the truth is, conditions where I live change very quickly, and a long paddle on a lovely day can turn into a survival situation if I don't use the gear. To actively choose not to use safety gear is just plain dumb, so I make it part of my routine. The only caveat to that is when I'm only paddling in the shallow swimming area & I'm just playing
  • Sleeping & Meditating on the water - It may not sound like a "thing" for most paddlers, but this might be my favourite part of SUP! I make it a point to meditate while paddling, it gives my monkey mind something to do. I say "Hey monkey mind, quit chattering about nothing and pay attention to my paddling & breathing" and monkey mind says "Good idea! Place, pull, release, glide, switch sides" etc. etc. - and then I am free to learn whatever the universe is teaching me that day. I go in and out of this state while paddling, but my favourite part is when there is an onshore breeze (almost always) and I can just lay down on the board, close my eyes, and feel everything around me. Laying down on the board in the middle of wind and waves, closing my eyes, feeling the water & world move all around me, and finding such pure peace & solitude is just...amazing...incredible...life changing. My friends always look surprised when I mention this, saying things like "How the hell do you stay on the board!?" and "aren't you cold/afraid/wet?" but the truth is that board you stand on is like a big duck you see in the water floating over all the waves with grace. The only "tricky" part is balancing your body while lying down & getting back up, and that's super easy. After that, secure your paddle however is comfortable and close your eyes. You are not gonna fall off unless the whitecaps are REALLY big and crashing, and most of the time I don't even get wet from spray. I've actually woken up to my board hitting the beach, and it is the best sleep I've ever had

I'll leave it there for now, but if you are coming into this sport and feel overwhelmed with choices and decisions, I hope this eases your mind a bit, and maybe even sparks something for you - the only mistake you might make is not paddling every chance you can :P
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 11:51:25 AM by Remickulous »
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Surftech Universal Blacktip, 11'6" x 32" x 5", 32.8lbs 238L
48yo, 215lbs, 70", Bellingham, WA

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Dusk Patrol

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Re: Beginning SUP Season 2
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 12:21:54 PM »
Welcome back.. sounds like you spent winter well... achieving a higher level of being and all that  ;D

Makes me want to add a sleeping board to the quiver...
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Ichabod Spoonbill

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Re: Beginning SUP Season 2 - About the Om
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 04:45:10 PM »
Funny, I never thought about meditating on my board. That's a good idea. I just need to find a place to moor. Of course, I would run into the problem of all the concerned boaters being responsible and checking up on something weird going on.
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supthecreek

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Re: Beginning SUP Season 2 - About the Om
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2017, 04:49:24 AM »
Hi Remickulous, good take on a multi faceted sport!
There is sooooo much living to gain from time on the water.

I never stop for winter because I enjoy my most serene sessions in mid winter.
If you pick your conditions, you will find a soulful solitude that is unmatched.
and yeah...... wear your leash.... EVERY time! I feel naked without mine.

I spend enough time battling chop when I surf, so I like my flat-water... "flat"!
Every paddle tour I do, begins with a close look at the wind charts, searching for the place that will give me the calm water I crave. ( I use "Predict Wind" app.... the arrows help!)
Something about pure glass that soothes my soul in so many ways. Even in blizzards.


If I found your area right.... I think you have plenty of options for "Flat" water nearby, or many if you are willing to drive 1/2 hour.
Drayton Harbor offers an option... or drive a bit. No need to wobble around on chop... unless you chose to.

The area around the Lummi Reservation has a ton of options to be protected from the wind and chop.
It looks like an amazing area, with tons of paddle paradise to explore.
I love to change up my paddle locations.... to keep it fresh!

Some graphics to show your options to consider (if my search correctly found your bay)

and thanks for the nice comment.... but I don't "stand" as easily as you might think.... I fall over a lot on my little boards.... remember, my videos are edited  ;D

Keep posting the stoke....we all love this kind of story!
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Re: Beginning SUP Season 2 - About the Om
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 09:58:32 PM »
Thanks Remickulous

Great post! Looking forward to having a nap on my board.......what a fantastic idea.

Bob
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Remickulous

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Re: Beginning SUP Season 2 - About the Om
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 08:40:11 AM »
What a year it's been so far! I've grown my quiver a bit, paddled a lot, and I'm now considering paddles that I never would have before. I use the wind app to help me determine longer paddles - Thanks for the great advice, sup'!

I never stop for winter because I enjoy my most serene sessions in mid winter. If you pick your conditions, you will find a soulful solitude that is unmatched.and yeah...... wear your leash.... EVERY time! I feel naked without mine.

I spend enough time battling chop when I surf, so I like my flat-water... "flat"! Every paddle tour I do, begins with a close look at the wind charts, searching for the place that will give me the calm water I crave. ( I use "Predict Wind" app.... the arrows help!) Something about pure glass that soothes my soul in so many ways. Even in blizzards.

I've tried this flat water thing like you described, and...it's not very exciting **chuckle** After paddling on some lakes, and going after flat water on the Salish, I decided I'll take my flat water when it comes, and enjoy it - but I'm also really psyched about paddling all winter long in conditions I used to describe as "shitty"!

Welcome back.. sounds like you spent winter well... achieving a higher level of being and all that  ;D

Makes me want to add a sleeping board to the quiver...

Yeah Dusk, you can't go wrong with a sleeping board! I added one myself in the form of an old custom 16'x33" monster that I'm repairing/restoring right now  :o I'm actually thinking I might use that beast for a ~100mi paddle around the San Juan islands that I'm planning for next year, and sleeping on the board might be required **laugh**

So, I have a year in the sport now, over 200 hours on the water in that year on many boards in many conditions, and I don't think I qualify as "beginner" for the average Joe/Jane - even though compared to the old fogeys on this board I'm still spankin' new **laugh**

I hope the information everyone has posted in response to these two threads helps folks looking to get into the sport, I know it sure has for me. Mahalo nui loa to you all, it's wonderful to be a part of this community, and I hope to meet y'all out there!

Custom 16' x 33" x 6", 51.6lbs, all the litres
Starboard Coast Runner (2012) 14' x 28", 38.8lbs 293L
Surftech Universal Blacktip, 11'6" x 32" x 5", 32.8lbs 238L
48yo, 215lbs, 70", Bellingham, WA

Love is never wasted