Salmon Bay Paddle - SUP Instruction & Tours in the Pacific Northwest Tel: 206-465-7167 / salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com

11/07/2017

Race to Alaska's Karl Kruger to Talk at the Ballard Elks 11/16/17

Race to Alaska's Karl Kruger to Talk at the Ballard Elks 11/16/17

In June of this year, Karl Kruger completed the 750 mile unassisted human powered R2AK from Port Townsend to Ketchikan in 14 days.

He was the first stand up paddler to complete the race and he did so after paddling 50-75 mile days up the Inside Passage. At times, he was ahead of kayaks and sail boats.

Karl also paddled through the treacherous Seymour Narrows at night to hit it at slack and in order to keep up with his schedule.

Join us at the Ballard Elks Lodge at 7pm on November 16th to hear Karl talk about his trip, his trip planning, nutrition, fitness preparation and his gear. He will be bringing his 17' Bark paddle board.

Hosted by the Ballard Elks Paddling Club

Check out the R2AK 

Questions: bepc@ballardelks.org

Presentation Details:

Ballard Elks Lodge
Doors open: 6:30 / Starts 7pm
$15 Non-Elks members; $10 Elks members
*Get Tickets Here or Pay at the door.

Directions




Karl landing in Ketchikan

Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Certification.

Apps I use for NW Paddling

Here's a few apps I use for Pacific Northwest paddling that help with weather and wave forecasts, planning trips (finding waves), race planning, etc..

SURF FORECASTS

I use a variety of apps as surf can be difficult to forecast. I take an average of each and/or just go if it's looking mostly good. Many surfers like surf specific forecasts such Magic Seaweed or Surf Forecast. But for NW surf especially the Strait, which is difficult to forecast for, I prefer local apps. Often a 5 star MagicSeaweed day isn't that. 

Surfwa.org (Mobile Surf) - A really good local app with webcams, buoy data (size, direction, period and wind speed and direction), as well as visual graphs showing height and period. And tides and the NOAA Ocean Forecast.

NOAA West Point Station / Seattle
NOAA Marine Forecast - Includes ocean swell direction, size and period as well as wind. As accurate as many of the non-local surf apps.

Dairiki Ties - NW based tide table.

NOAA Tides - Basic tidal info.

Port Angeles Tides - Peninsula Daily News (Port Angeles) the most accurate tidal info on the Strait. Get the paper! Difficult to find their tide chart online.

WindAlert - Real time wind and wind forecasts. Similar apps include Wind on the Water.

Windy - Super cool wind map showing animated wind direction and heat maps. 

Ventusky - Similar to Windy below but more options. Wind, weather, etc

Hoko Cam - Webcam on the Strait near Sekiu. If it's breaking there, you may get waves inside.


Ventrusky - Wind Animation/Motion!
SEATTLE / Shilshole Bay

West Point Lighthouse NOAA station (Discovery Park) One of my favorite sites with within the hour data for wind speed and direction, air pressure, air and water temp. Check the page for other stations near you. 

West Point Webcam - Requires manual refreshing but is a great way to check tides, wind, weather (fog?), and for boat traffic off the point.

NOAA Marine Forecast - Includes wind speed and direction, and wave height if weather is stormy.

WindAlert - Real time wind and wind forecasts. Also fun to see how wind is blowing throughout the state, a great way to see how wind works.  Similar apps include Wind on the Water.

Dairiki Ties - NW based tide table.

NOAA Tides - Basic tidal info.

Windy - Super cool wind map showing animated wind direction and heat maps. 

Ventusky - Similar to Windy below but more options. Wind, weather, etc

FREIGHTER WAVES
I use all of the above Puget Sound apps and Marine Traffic to determine which ships are coming and when. The ship ETA isn't always correct so don't rely on it 100%. Take my freighter and tug classes to learn about ideal tides and how to track ships and which ships work the best.

Note there are several other apps like Marine Traffic, that's just the one that works best for me.  Boat Beacon is another version. Pocket Mariner has several other options to check out.

DNR WA Shoreline Photos
DECEPTION PASS TIDAL RAPIDS
Here you want to follow currents instead of tides, wind direction and speed. 

Mobile Graphics - I use this one as it's easiest for me to read. Scroll to the bottom to changes dates.

NOAA Currents - I don't use as much as the above option.

NOAA Marine Forecast - Includes wind speed and direction, and wave height if weather is stormy. For DP check North Sound, East Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet.

WindAlert - Real time wind and wind forecasts. Similar apps include Wind on the Water.

Ventusky - Similar to Windy


below but more options. Wind, weather, etc

Windy - Super cool wind map showing animated wind direction and heat maps. 


Trip Planning and Surf Spot Search

- Google Earth - I'm addicted to this app. I spend hours looking for stuff including WW2 bunkers along the Strait, camping spots, sea caves, surf spots, etc.

- DNR Washington Shoreline Photos - Also a fun site to look for aerial images. Check images dating back to the 1960's.  Still images only, no fancy Google Earth features but high resolution images.  Images were shot at low tides.

- Navionics - This one is new to me but has great methods of looking at marine charts, water depth, topography, etc. Fun app! 

Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Certification.







10/31/2017

SUP Gear I'm Using Now..

SUP Gear I'm Using Now..


Imagine 14' Connector (29" wide) - Use for downwinding, surfing freighter and coastal waves and flat water paddling. In fact I only use this for surfing on the coast this year and became pretty comfortable dropping into 5' face with a 14' board. I got spoiled with the longer rides as well! **Imagine is no more. The brand is dead and supposively they'll blend it into their parent company's other brand, JB Australia. Too bad, they're great shapes.

Fjord 10'x32" Surf Style - A surf camp in Tofino with Norm Hann and friends in early October got me back into wanting to surf shorter boards. I brought up my Imagine 11'x34" wide board and felt like I was on a barge after surfing on a 14' downwind board and compared to other boards used in class which were mostly tiny surf shapes, 6'-9' long.

That said, I have a Fjord 10'x32" board that I'll be using this fall/winter. I use it mainly for small folks in my classes. It's super light, has a pop-out handle and is quad fin. I haven't surfed it in years. I got the board from Brian Stevens who started a SUP company years ago then closed it. It was a trade for marketing help. I still use my Amundson 11-6x32's for some surf and for classes.

Splinter SUP 12-6, 14' and 16' wood boards - My early curiousty into internal storage touring boards sparked the interest of Port Townsend's Brandon Davis of Turn Point Design. This year he started Splinter SUP, a stitch and glue wood SUP line each with full internal storage.

I've tested his 14'x26" which was super fast yet still stable and now have his 16'x28".  Stoked by his boards, they're making me 3 as demos to help market the line. They're made from sustainable paulownia wood, are super light, stable and as strong as any fiberglass/foam board.  My final line-up will be a 12-6, 14' and 16'.  **If you get one, use 'Rob' as your online code. 

Fins - Surfco Superflex 9" - I'm using these on my touring/race boards, surf and downwind boards. The 9" length helps with stability and I can go in shallow, hit things, run through kelp, not worry about putting fins on the ground etc.  I'm not using my QFR quick release things as much as two have fallen out or broke out recently.

Paddle - The ol' reliable Accent ProBolt one piece has been great for several years. Curious about the trend for using shorter paddles, I've been using my 2pc Werner Carve's which I can shorten. If I choose to add a shorter paddle to my line-up, it'll be a one piece for the weight and flex shaft.

Wetsuit - After a bout with pulmonary edema in 2016, I'm not on blood thinners which makes me colder. Usually I have more on that most. For a few years I've been using the RipCurl 5.5x4mm fleece lined (flash bomb) top entry (no zip) suit. Totally waterproof, super warm, I got another before my Tofino trip. For summer I was using a 4/3mm basic O'Neil full suit.

In summer or warmer months I'll wear a NRS zip up jacket, sometimes over a rashguard or alone. And wetsuit pants also from NRS. In summer, I wear a neoprene short under my shorts. SeasonFive and the UK company, Reed ChillCheater also have good jackets and tops for keeping wind out and heat in.

Booties - Still loving my fleece lined and waterproof NRS Desperado Wet shoes which have a thick textured sole for grip. In winter, I'll add my NRS Expedition socks in the booties on sub freezing days. :)  On warmer days, I'll use the NRS FreeStyle booties. Same as above but doesn't have a tread.

Hoods - The Ripcurl 5/4 has a hood and I also use separately a ProMotion chin strap hood and an old Kokatat fleeece lined hood. I have one in the car for those forgetful days. I also use hooded vests over my hoodless 4/3mm suits and/or a rash guard on warmer yet still cool days.

Gloves - NRS Mavericks for light cold days. Glacier Perfect Curve fleece lined glove for full on winter. I may consider the NRS mits again, super warm. But hard to open my PFD. I nearly drowned with those on in 2003 when I couldn't get out of my surf kayak to pull the spray skirt. We've used my mits since as faucet covers for the house.

PFD - MTI Cascade and Vibe. Both have great full storage in front, a big compartment behind that one to store a camera, gloves and/or hood. My Vibe is bright orange, good for rough water. If you like it minimal, a few of my students have been getting the NRS ION (get a bright color).

Tow System - North Water Micro Tow Line - Can be worn or deck mounted.

Sunblock - SOL, a Seattle brand that goes on thick. I have a lip baum stick and small container in my PFD.  Sometimes I use SunBum to spray on in summer.

VHF - ICOM and Standard Horizon floating hand held. Both are good.

Helmet - Gath Hat and Gath Gedi (whitewater).

Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Certification.


10/23/2017

Freighter Wave Surfing - Done for 2017!

We catch our freighter waves in Seattle on Shilshole Bay throughout the year but it's best Spring to early Fall. We need low tides at our spot for best results, these are more common in late Spring and summer.

Here's a super fun video by Evan of standuppaddlesurf.net of a session surfing freighters last year.   Give me a holler to take our freighter wave class to learn when to be there. We've seen a few guys who think they'll just come out and figure it out. It's fickle enough that that's a long learning curve. Take the class to learn when to be there, right on the money to get the best waves most often. And you can surf these on everything - boogie, longboard, sup, wave or surf ski, kayak..
Click Here

Now being Mid Oct, we move on to the big storms for downwinding and beach break waves from high wind events, as well as tug surfing which occurs all year but is best on flat days.  Then the
commute out to ocean surf and rivers.

More info on Freighter Waves

How to Catch Freighter Waves

Puget Sound Freighter Wave Locations

Freighter Wave Surfing Footage

How to Track Freighters in Puget Sound

Why Tug & Freighter Wave Surfing is Safe

Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Certification.

10/17/2017

How to's of Paddling a SUP out in Surf

How To's of Paddling a SUP out in Surf - 7 Tips

From my article in SUP Magazine..

Watch the waves for a few minutes before going out.  Are you comfortable with the wave size?  Can you turn easily on a wave and handle a crowded surfing area?  If not, pick a less crowded break with smaller waves.  Inquire from local surf shops on where the best beginner beaches are to avoid conflicts on more advanced or crowded breaks.  In areas such as Southern California, some beaches have specified SUP-surfing sections.  You can be ticketed if you paddle in the wrong area. Decide from the beach which wave you want and observe where others are surfing in. Make sure you paddle out where others are not surfing in—that’s just one facet of surfing etiquette you should be aware of prior to entering the water. Bone up on wave-riding etiquette with Surfinghandbook.com’s 10 rules.
Enter the water on a beach that is clear of rocks and large groups of people, and always use your leash in surf.  If a big wave comes in, it's possible to lose control of your board, which becomes a projectile and could endanger yourself or others.  That's not a smooth way to introduce yourself on a new beach. If a wave does come in, don't get between your board and the beach. Stay on the seaward side of the board—otherwise, it can be pushed by the wave right into you.
Walk your board to about waist deep, then get on.  If you're feeling unstable, paddle out on your knees or butt, and choke up on your paddle.  If there's a strong onshore wind (wind coming into shore) consider paddling out prone (on your belly) with the blade of your paddle under your chest and shaft and handle sticking out over the nose of your board.  Paddling out sitting down also reduces wind resistance.
Stand up in paddling stance (or Hawaiian stance) in smaller waves up to about knee-high, with both feet about 12 inches apart, facing the nose and positioned in the middle of your board. Paddle as you normally would on flatwater over each wave.  If you feel unstable, bend your knees as the wave passes below you. Keep paddling until you get out past the incoming waves or until you see a wave you want to surf.
Start out in paddling stance (feet parallel), if the waves are waist-high or larger, and take some hard strokes to gain speed.  As the wave nears you, step one foot further back on the board to lift the nose out of the water, making sure each foot is on either side of the board center.  Bend your knees to lower your center of gravity for more stability.  Paddle hard with short quick strokes as the wave begins to pick you up and go under your board.  If the wave is really steep, move even farther back toward your tail to allow it to pass under your nose (see photo sequence above). You can use your paddle as a quick brace on top of the wave if you feel unstable or if the crest breaks on you.  Keep paddling as the wave passes and be prepared for more waves to paddle over. 
Push down one rail in the water with your foot to angle the face of the board toward the wave, which deflects some of the wave energy as your near the crest. Called edging, this is a technique used in surf kayaking, where much like standup paddling, duck dives are out of the question.  If you feel tippy, get lower and widen your stance.  When in doubt, paddle.  Just having your blade in the water adds stability.
Don't let go of the paddle if you fall in while paddling out, and make sure when you come to the surface that you're between the waves and the board, and hold onto the leash by the board, which is called short-leashing. When there's a lull in between the waves, get on the board and continue to paddle out. If you're a beginner in the surf, consider a surfing helmet to protect your noggin from colliding with your gear in a wipeout.
Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Certification.

10/05/2017

SUP Tips - How to Dress for Fall

We're now into early October and all of the summer people have disappeared. Yet it's still 69F in Seattle this week. A touch of cold in the wind reminds us that this may not last forever. No worries, fall and winter paddling brings short ferry lines, better surf, more regular downwinding and less boats to avoid on the lakes. Cold? So is skiing and you don't have to pay for paddling every time you go. 

What I wear in the fall...

Temp Range - Air / Conditions: Non Surf, no or low wind. And unlikely you'll fall regularly..

60 - 70's - Shorts or neoprene shorts; wetsuit pants; wetsuit jacket or neoprene top; rash guard.

45 - upper 50's - If you get hot, the above options still work. I get cold so will wear my 4/3mm wetsuit, booties, maybe gloves if there's a wind chill and have my neoprene hood stuffed in my PFD.

35 - upper 40's - 4/3 or 5/4/3mm suit for sure, and for those of us that get cold, 5/4mm or drysuit, 5-7mm neoprene booties, hooded vest over non hood wetsuits (or separate neoprene hood), neoprene gloves.

15F - low 40's - Same as above but add rash guard and/or poly top under your suits; paddling jacket to cut windchill; NRS expedition socks under my booties (standard socks get funky).  2nd hood.  :)

And..

If you get cold.. Same as above but add rash guard and/or poly top under your suits; paddling jacket to cut windchill; or hooded vest, NRS expedition socks under my booties (standard socks get wet and slide around).  2nd hood. Helmet helps keep me warm on super cold days (teens). 

Racing:
Depends on you. Do you get super hot or not? If hot, you can wear wetsuit pants and a neoprene jacket well into winter. I'm a full wetsuit type as I get cold. 

Surf, Downwind and Rivers:
Full wetsuit or drysuit Fall/Winter. 4/3mm if you get hot. 5/4/3 if you're moderate. 5/4mm if you're like me and get cold along with booties, gloves and hood. 4/3mm for summer too.

Interesting products to check out.. 
Season 5 and Reed Chill Cheater - Both are thin neoprene like layers with a light fleece inner. Both have tops, bottoms and jackets. Reed has hoods, socks etc. UrbanSurf sells SeasonFive.

Where to get gear? 
NRS has many great products. I use their Freestyle and Deperado Wetshoes all year, wetsuit jackets and Expedition socks in winter.

In Seattle - NWOC for some NRS gear, Urban for full wetsuits and jackets, ProMotion in Hood River (makes their own suits etc); Kayak shops for drysuits (nwoc.com and Kayak Academy). 

**TRY BEFORE YOU BUY ANY CLOTHING.  I've seen a few folks rushing it on Amazon then finding out the suit is too big or small, tight in the neck, etc.

How to Dress for Winter PNW Paddling

How to Choose a Wetsuit

10 Tips for Fall/Winter Paddle Clothing


Rob Casey - Salmon Bay Paddle / PSUPA
Seattle, WA USA / 206.465.7167 
salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com
IG: @salmonbaypaddle
Blog: Suptips.blogspot.com




5 Tips for Easier SUP Buoy Turns

5 Tips for Easier Buoy Turns

Too often I see racers working too hard to turn. Here's a few tips to make your turns easier and less stressful on your body..

- Use a Cross Bow instead of the pivot turn. Less stepping back and no speed loss. Watch video of folks going round buoy using a pivot. They step back, then take mini strokes on one side then step forwards and pick up speed. Their speed coming into the buoy becomes a stall once they jack up the nose. The only forward movement are the little sweep strokes. The cross bow doesn't kill your speed. You glide in, cross over for the turn and glide around around the buoy, no stopping and little slow-down.

- When using the CrossBow, look where you're going, not straight ahead. The rotation of your body will help you turn easier.

- Get low. Getting low shoves the paddle out further in the water thus creating more leverage turning you more effectively. Standing up means your paddle has less leverage and it less stable (high center of gravity).

- Use a staggered stance - one foot slightly back which easer to set up for turns. Not a full blown surfer's stance which can become unstable. I paddle in this stance at all times as it loosens my hips (I feel locked in forward stance with both feet parallel). When you need to step back - the rear foot is halfway there, just step it back a touch more to release the nose for the turn.

- Leaning into your turn. This raises the outside rail reducing drag on your hull.

- Jamming around the buoy nearly bumping into it is stressful especially when others are crowding around you super close nearly colliding. Instead avoid the crowd and pick a line a few feet from the buoy for the same results, minus the collisions and rough water. 

- If windy over compensate your buoy turn by going upwind vs straight at the buoy. If you paddle straight to a buoy in lets say a strong side wind on your right, you'll be pushed to the left and your buoy turn will turn into a harder turn. If you aim for a line to the right or upwind from the buoy, the wind will help push you around it.

- If you need to step back, do so before you get to the buoy to prepare early. So as you approach the buoy start stepping back while still paddling vs doing it all at the buoy which will slow your speed to a near stop. As you pass the buoy, step up and paddle, then step again in a few strokes. This way you don't loose your speed 100%.

- For rough conditions around a buoy, use the sweeping brace for stability. Instead of feathering your blade above the water, sweep it over the surface like a hydroplane, leading edge up. This will help create a lot of stability in the rough water generated by multiple racers pushing around the buoy.


Rob Casey - Salmon Bay Paddle / PSUPA
Seattle, WA USA / 206.465.7167 
salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com
IG: @salmonbaypaddle
Blog: Suptips.blogspot.com