Friday, October 9, 2015


Here is an updated list of what I currently have for sale!  If you are interested in any gear please shoot me an e-mail at


2015 Starboard Race Carbon - $2200
-No damage or repairs

Starboard Noserider Wood 10'x30" - $1000

Werner Grand Prix S1000 - $250

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 2 of the West Kootenays SUP Race

After a fun night at the Lions Head Pub we had some breakfast and started scoping out the course for the SUP Cross.  Endless Adventures team paddler Mike Grant came up with the course which included 4 buoys, 2 of which were 360 degree turns.  Upon looking at the course a few paddlers were noticeably quiet wondering how they were possibly going to navigate these 4 turns in and out of the eddies.

Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures
To alleviate the tension the entire group floated the course for a practice run before the first heats.   This was a lot of fun and gave many people their first taste of the river.  With some short and sweet instruction from Chris at Endless Adventure we were off navigating the race course.  Most paddlers found their way to the buoys and most also found their way into the water at least once.  That being said it was all smiles at the bottom of the course and everyone was excited for the first heats of the race.

A smaller turnout on Sunday meant we had enough people for 2 men's qualifying heats and 1 women's final. The first heat was very fun to watch with hometown favourite Mike Grant leading the way through most of the race followed by Norm Hann and Kalavida's Kevin O'Brien.  You never know what will happen in these races and hometown paddler Mike Grant went down on the final buoy and couldn't recover in time.  Norm Hann passed him for the win and Kevin O'brien capitalized and made his way into the final.

Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures

I was in the second heat along with Junior Champ Eli Fishbuch, Mark of Nikki Rekman Sales, local Chris Ryman and the man known only as Laser.  Chris and I took the whole shot and made it to the first buoy around the same time.  It was the second buoy when things changed.  Chris went for a swim and Eli passed him going into the third buoy.  I was holding a slim lead over Eli who was ready to pounce if I went down.  We both knew the top two made the final and so we just had to finish the race clean to advance to the finals.  I made it through the final and most challenging buoy followed by Eli who blasted through the eddy like a champ.  The finals were set:  Myself, Norm Hann, Kevin O'brien and Eli Fishbuch.

Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures

The Women's Championship heat featured the pro Lina Augaitis, Jennifer 'J-Law' Lawson, Christina 'CSA' St.Amour and 2 local ladies (Sarah and Julie maybe?).  No surprise to see Lina take the wholeshot paddling hard to the first buoy.  She held her lead but close behind was J-Law.  Jen and Lina both took my river clinic on the Friday and so they had a good idea of where the fast water was and where they needed to be in the river.  Jen took the higher line to the second buoy and caught Lina at the second buoy.  They turned flawlessly around the buoy and headed to the third where Lina pulled ahead.  Jen knew she had one chance to catch Lina and that was to take an aggressive line at the fourth and final buoy in hopes that she could blast through the eddy with speed to catch Lina.  Her gamble didn't pay off as she lost balance and went down crossing the eddy line, but she gets big props for pushing hard for the aggressive line.  Lina took the win while Jen ended up in second after a controversial DQ due to knee paddling.  All smiles after the women's race and it was awesome to see how much the confidence grew in these paddlers after pushing hard through a tough course.

Time for the Men's Final:

Norm on a Badfish MCIT, Eli on a Badfish MCIT, Kevin O'brien on a Surftech B1 Bomber and myself on my 2014 Starboard Astro Stream.  Norm took the whole shot to the first buoy, followed closely by me and Eli with Kevin not far behind him.  Norm held the lead into the second buoy and managed pull of a really nice tight turn.  Trying to match Norm's turn I stepped to the tail and tried to crank the turn but I went down at the buoy.  Cursing my lack of balance, I looked up and saw that Norm and Eli had collided and were hung up together in front of the buoy. That was my chance to get back into the race.

Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures

Norm and I reached the third buoy around the same time, in spite of his best efforts to block me from reaching the eddy.  Norm is known around the country for his less than respectable tactics on the racing circuit....OK just kidding he's usually too far ahead of everyone to execute any dirty tactics.

Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures

We paddled towards the final buoy which was going to decide the race. I took a slightly higher line to the buoy which meant I was going to have a bit rougher water but a better chance of staying high in the eddy for the turn.  My tactic worked and I managed to squeeze around the buoy ahead of Norm.  I pushed back into the current and put in some hard strokes to cross the finish line in first.

Huge props to the other paddlers in this race, especially Eli for paddling super strong and more importantly for getting in Norm's way giving me a chance at the win.

SUP Cross racing is so much fun and I expect we are going to see plenty more of it in BC.  The river side of SUP will continue to grow and I encourage everyone to get out and get some experience in the river.  To do this you need a good teacher/guide and the correct equipment.  We were lucky to be supported by Nikki Rekman Sales this weekend who provided Kokatat PFD's with quick release belts.  These belts are mandatory if you are going to choose to wear a leash in the river. I will have a post coming down the pipe soon talking about how to get into the river safely which will break down the gear and locations that will help you stay safe.

Make sure the West Kootenay SUP race is on your calendar next season because it is too much fun to miss.  I am also very confident that this race will at least double in participants next year so make sure you are one of them!

Next post coming soon:  'River SUP: How to Get Started'

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Most fun I’ve had at a race in…ever? Part 1.

What a weekend. I usually leave a weekend of racing feeling physically exhausted but this time along with that feeling I am also super excited for more river racing.

With the recent success and exposure to the river side of stand up paddling due to events like the Payette River Games and the Go Pro Mountain Games; it was perfect timing for the first ever SUP cross race in Canada.

I made my way up to the Kootenays and upon arrival I was greeted by a quick shuttle run up the upper Slocan River to scope out the site of my River Clinics that were to be held a few hours later.  It is an excellent section of river to get your first bit of exposure to river paddling.  Deep slow flow, few hazards, no holes and plenty of good clear eddies. If you are looking to get yourself into river paddling these are some key features to look for on your first go.  The second thing to look for is to get yourself some good local knowledge by hiring an instructor or guide to make sure you put yourself in the right place.  The river presents hazards that may not be as obvious as hazards on the lake or ocean and it doesn’t take much to get yourself into trouble on the river.

The river clinics went very well that afternoon with all students gaining some great new skills and confidence as we moved out way down the river.  A 30 degree day and some warm water meant that I did not need my Kokatat Icon Drysuit which was a nice change from the cold rivers I have been paddling more recently.  Thanks to Nikki Rekman Sales for helping with shuttles and providing all the safety gear and paddles we needed for our run down the river.
Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures

We arrived the next morning at the put in on the Columbia River for the 16km down river race.  The waters at the put in were very slow moving and calm which made for a great launch site and spot for the kids race. Following a quick ‘Spin to Win’ contest, in which contestants had to see how many times they could spin a 6’11” Badfish River surfer in 1 minute, we gathered for the safety meeting before the start of the race.
The course was well laid out to allow us to avoid the biggest hazards on the river which were generally found around the big pilings underneath the bridges crossing the river.  After the safety talk you could feel the nervous excitement in the group as many of the paddlers had no experience ever paddling down a river, especially one moving as quick as what were about to paddle.
Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures

 The race started and as usual I tried to get out to a quick start.  I was second to the buoy behind Matt Abbott followed closely by Norm Hann, Lina Augaitis and a pack of paddlers.  As soon as we made the first turn we could feel the current giving us a nice push down stream.  It didn’t feel much different until you looked beside you at the shoreline and realized just how fast things were flying by.  My GPS was out of batteries but information from other paddlers told me that we were averaging a pace of about 16km per hour which is exceptionally fast.
Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures

We made our way under the first bridge with a few boils and some funny confused water but nothing too challenging.  It was the next bridge that created the most challenge.  Downstream of the bridges we had some big back eddies and in between these eddies were big bubbling boils and some scary looking whirlpools that you could look right down into.  The plan was to avoid as much of this as possible, aim for the downstream V and power your way through the chop.  I managed to escape the tougher sections with only one fall off my board.  Matt wasn’t so lucky and found himself in the water a couple more times which allowed me to pass him in the rougher water. As far as I know the only paddler to stay dry through the whole paddle was the veteran Norm Hann. 
Photo Credit: Chris Ryman - Endless Adventures

Norm and I paddled together for the last half of the race exchanging the lead back and forth as we paddle through some more confused water and into some pretty strong headwinds on the river. We continued paddling and I spotted the white sandy beach with a picnic table on it which I was told was Goose Poop Island which meant the finish line was getting closer.  I tried picking up the pace but Norm stayed right there with me. We continued around one more corner and I thought I saw the white finish line buoy so I made a break for it and picked up the pace for the final stretch.  Turns out what I saw was a big white barrel in the water, not the finish line but thankfully the finish was just around the corner and I had enough left in the tank to hold off Norm for the win.

We waited as the other paddlers crossed the finish line and then loaded the shuttle for the ride back to the Lions Head Pub where we had dinner, prizes and live music for our evening entertainment. We had a great party night at the pub full of excitement about the upcoming race the next day. Paddlers all had a bit more confidence in the river after today’s paddle and we were all ready to take part in Canada’s first SUP Cross race.

Part 2: Coming tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Race Season Begins

Driving home through Washington State I thought I felt good until I had to do a 3-point turn and realized that my arms hurt too much to spin the wheel and my back was screaming when I had to turn around to shoulder check.

 I hope I'm not the only one who felt like that after this weekend's races.  First event of the season for me and we had a great turnout of top local paddlers and not just one race but two distance races and two sessions of multiple heat knockout sprint races.

10km buoy course on Saturday morning, 4 heats of 200m sprints Saturday afternoon, 7.5km buoy course on Sunday morning and 3 heats of 100m sprints on Sunday afternoon. It was a great way to kick off the season and great to see so many paddlers back out on the water.

It's definitely a testament to the growth of the sport when we start seeing that many paddlers in good shape this early in our season.  Maybe it was the relatively dry, mild winter we had and lack of snow on the mountains but it seems like more guys have been paddling and paddling hard throughout the winter.

I felt the benefits of my early start to the season at this weekends race.  The extra attention I put onto general fitness and cross training definitely helped me get through 2 days of multiple races.  The on-water training through some cold, wet ugly days definitely helped me hold off a few really strong paddlers (with some help from some capsizing OC's and swimming Matt Parkers)

Huge credit to Mathew Abbott who was able to squeeze out two victories on thee distance races this weekend.  We had some great back and forth position changes on both days and it made for a fun and exciting finish.  Both races though we benefited from a quick start and a bit of bad luck for the racers just behind us.  The 10km race saw a previously named paddler fall at the first buoy turn creating some mayhem at the corner allowing Matt and I to get a clear break off the start which me managed to hold for 10km with Matt outsprinting me at the finish.  The 7.5km race featured a mass start with sprint kayaks, sprint canoes, outriggers, sups and surf skis.  It was mayhem, but again due to a quick start and a bit of luck I managed to stay ahead of a capsizing OC1 which held back a few of my competitors.

It's too bad when a race is almost decided on the first buoy because of carnage but that's racing.  It really shows how much importance you should place on how you start your race.  Being even 1 board length ahead of the majority of the pack reduces so much chop and gives you a clear lane to paddle in.  Starts become to crucial in SUP because catching up to a paddler in front of you is very difficult. Unlike a running race or a cycling race, your sprint speed on a SUP is not considerably faster than your race or cruising speed and so closing gaps is difficult if not impossible.

So practice your starts!  and if you need or want help I'm always happy to offer my tips, tricks and suggestions at the next race or through a private lesson.

Great weekend of racing and I only have to wait 2 more days until the next one.  Our Tuesday Night Races in Deep Cove start up this Tuesday April 8th and will run every Tuesday until September so come on out and get racing!

The races are always fun but I can't say enough about how great the whole SUP community is here in BC and Washington.  I've made some amazing friends who are also wicked competitors but the vibe is still so positive and fun.  I cant say enough about how great it is to race within such a fun, positive and excited community.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pre-Season Training

It's that time of year again!

Spring is not far away and I'm starting to see more and more people hitting the water or the gym to get ready for another season of paddling.

I have been hitting the gym, playing hockey, rock climbing, paddling and trying to mix up my workouts as much as possible to stay entertained and well rounded as I workout.

I've been spending time working with some awesome people at some local gyms and we've put together a couple of awesome exercises that I think are great for paddlers getting ready to start the season.

Thanks to Jian Pablico at Distrikt Movement in North Vancouver for setting me up with the battle ropes. Distrikt just opened up in January and has an awesome mix of crossfit/mma style conditioning classes along with some fun and challenging yoga classes.

Rope Slams are a great workout to develop some good explosive power.  This kind of power is great for starting a race, accelerating to pass or accelerating to catch a wave. The real benefit comes from the fact that it uses a wide range of large muscle groups and does not just isolate one muscle or group.

Cross Country skiing is a great way to cross train for SUP and this exercise is a great way to train for both. The bands allow you to get into the same rhythm as you would on your board and combined with another strength exercise it will keep your heart rate up while you train.

Workin' out with the Dog! Scott from Sundog Adventure Sports in White Rock as helped me with some meal/nutrition planning as well as some killer crossfit workouts.  Here's a couple gooders from Scott that target your paddling muscles.

This straight arm lat pull down will isolate some paddling specific muscles.  You don't need much weight to make it work and you need to keep a solid core through each stroke. You can experiment with different degrees of knee bend and forward bend just make sure you keep a strong core and back.

Wide grip pull ups are awesome for your lats.  As an alternative while you are on the bar try this one to help develop a strong core and shoulders.

Combine some of these exercises with your on water routine and you'll be laughin!

Be sure to check out Distrikt Movement in North Vancouver:
Sundog Adventure Sports/ Westbeach Crossfit in White Rock:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Surf in Washington

Back from a few days of holiday surfing in Washington State and I'm ready to go back again.

I find myself heading down the I-5 to Washington a little more often these days for surf and I am usually not disappointed.  With a few well known spots like Westport, Crescent Beach and Hobuck there is always waves to be found.  If I had it my way I would be surfing in Tofino every other weekend but sadly the cost of getting on the ferry seems to send me down south instead.  There might be a little bit more driving but in the end I save money on ferries, gas and of course good ol' american cheap beer.
Trying to get to the nose on my 9'0 Starboard Converse

On this past trip I was able to connect with a couple Washington state locals who I have seen on the race circuit but not had the pleasure of surfing with yet.  Getting into the surf side by side with Renick Woods and Tom Hanny is a little bit more fun than trying to paddle harder than them at one of the many races we've been in together.

I went out on this trip solo and managed to score a couple of good sessions at Crescent Beach and Hobuck.  Crescent Beach is a great spot but tends to be a little bit tricky when checking the forecast for the right conditions.  The forecast looks great and you show up and those beauty conditions you saw online just aren't there.  This can happen at any surf spot but I know those who surf anywhere in the Strait of Juan de Fuca either on the Washington or Vancouver Island side know all too well how it feels to drive out to your local break and get skunked.  Regular grunts, complaints and cute pet names for surf forecasts website such as 'Tragic-Seaweed' or 'Black-Magic Seaweed'.

Looking for rights, Starboard 8'0 Pro and Werner Nitro

Either way there's always water to paddle on and fun to be had. As the season goes on I think I'll be bringing my 12'6 with me and if the surf is down there is usually somewhere nice to paddle or maybe some small rollers that only a bigger SUP could catch.

Plan is to head out again this weekend and hope for the best.  Winter swells tend to roll in pretty regularly but the challenge is usually finding shelter from the wind and chop.  Once again, all that matters is getting out on the water!  I have to get as much playtime in as I can before the real hard work on the water starts in getting ready for race season.  Paddle surfing is such a great way to boost your fitness and skills for flatwater racing and I never realize just how hard I'm working because it's too much fun.

As we get ready for the upcoming Spring I've been getting lots of questions about race dates and people planning their 2014 seasons.  Start your season off with a Surf Course in Tofino, run by Norm Hann, Catherine Bruhwiler and myself! E-mail for more information.

If you are looking for dates for local events, I have added as many as I know about to my event calendar on this blog so feel free to put them down on your calendar or let me know about any other events or races that might be relevant.   All of my dates are not 'official' so please consult with the various organizers and race directors for confirmation of tentative dates.

Thanks and see you on the water!