Category: Health and Fitness

2015 YOLO Experience at Vista Guapa

Vista Guapa, YOLO Board, adventure, surf, sup camp, costa rica, SUP

SUP Costa Rica with the Vista Guapa and YOLO crew.

A YOLO Experience at Vista Guapa

Vista Guapa Surf Camp, a proud partner of YOLO Board, will present three distinct installments of their highly anticipated YOLO Experience camps with special guests and dates set for the 2015 season. Camp ambassador Mark Salvetti will host ‘Marko’s Mardi Gras YOLO’ February 14th to February 20th, YOLO Board Team Rider Michael “Westy” Westenberger leads ‘Westy’s Spring YOLO’ March 21st to March 27th and CrossSUP founder Christian Cook closes the series with ‘Christian’s Summer YOLO’ set for July 25th to July 31st. Reservations are now being accepted for the limited opportunity SUP/surf adventure camps with the Mardi Gras YOLO Experience already sold out.

With just 12 guests per camp, the YOLO Experience offers a personalized weeklong adventure vacation with SUP and surf lessons from top local watermen including Vista Guapa co-owner Alvaro Solano, a seven-time national surfing champion and one-time masters champion. The small group environment allows for instruction to be tailored to the individual making it perfect for anything from aspiring novices to seasoned wave riders. Spend your days surfing and SUPing at the best surf breaks on Costa Rica’s breathtaking Pacific Coast along with receiving fitness training and photography instruction, participating in sightseeing excursions and enjoying homemade local cuisine.

Vista Guapa, YOLO Board, adventure, surf, sup camp, costa rica, SUP

Vista Guapa camp ambassador Mark Salvetti, enjoying his time in Costa Rica.

“Alvaro, Wendy and their crew do an amazing job making everyone feel welcome and at home at Vista Guapa,” adds Westy, Director of Operations at Chicago Paddle Company. “In addition to surfing world class waves with the best instruction available, you’re also getting an insider glimpse into the Costa Rican lifestyle. After a busy season of racing, teaching, and working, this trip is a highlight for me.”

Recently honored with a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award for 2014, Vista Guapa is a tranquil five-acre tropical oasis on a secluded hillside overlooking the Pacific yet minutes from the town center of Jaco. Guest accommodations include three air-conditioned guest bungalows, each featuring two rooms with private bathrooms and decks with hammocks and ocean views, a main house for group gatherings, a swimming pool and two open air Yoga pavilions. A recent TripAdvisor® guest review characterizes the onsite staff, “Not only were they extremely knowledgeable about local sites, flora and the surfing conditions, they were extremely friendly and full of positive attitude. Every little request was met with a smile and a ‘no problem’.”

Pricing for the Vista Guapa YOLO Experience is $1,700 per person for six nights of double occupancy with additional nights available on a pro-rated basis. Rates include SUP surfing and flat water paddling instruction, surf paddle and race technique instruction, morning workouts, a yoga session, an excursion to a national park or waterfall hike, airport transfer to/from San Jose and daily breakfast, lunch and dinner.

For more information or to make reservations, contact Mark Salvetti:
Stay in touch with all camp happenings by following the Vista Guapa Facebook Page.
Click here for more Industry News.

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C4 Waterman Outpost Holds Grand Opening Celebration

C4 Waterman Celebrates Outpost Grand Opening

C4 Waterman held a grand opening celebration Thursday, October 16 at their Outpost location at 515 Ward Ave. in Honolulu. This celebration launches the next chapter for the Hawaii-based brand C4 Waterman and its parent company Wenonah Canoe Inc. 

“This opening is a long time coming; we are beyond thrilled with our new home and everything we have to offer the paddlesports community,” said C4 Founder Todd Bradley.

The former Kanai Tofu Factory has been transformed into the flagship C4 Waterman Outpost. The showroom displays the entire line of C4 Waterman products and is filled with Hawaiian Waterman history and art. At the opening, C4 Waterman also debuted a clothing line that pays homage to and supports the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

Bradley also explained C4’s partnership with the Polynesian Voyaging Society: “The Hokuleʻa clothing line designed by Keone Nunes and the C4 Team, features a traditional Polynesian tattoo print on clothing that is functional and fun to wear. We are excited to do our part to help raise funds for the Polynesian Voyaging Society while also spreading our shared values of teaching respect for our natural resources and the importance of ocean conservation.”

C4 Waterman will be donating 50 percent of the profits from this clothing line to the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

c4 waterman, todd bradley, brian keulana, honolulu, ward center, oahu, hawaii

The C4 family. | Photo courtesy of C4 Waterman

C4 Waterman Inc., founded in 2007, is based upon four core disciplines that apply to the ocean as much as in life: Balance, Endurance, Strength and Tradition. C4 is a waterman-created and operated paddlesports company based in Hawaii, whose founders includes some the world’s most respected watermen: Todd Bradley, Brian Keaulana, and Archie Kalepa.

To ensure the company’s position as a premier brand in the global action sports industry, C4 Waterman aligned with Wenonah Canoe, Inc. in February of 2014. The merger has improved global access to C4 Waterman products, leveraging the strength of Wenonah’s established and growing distribution network with C4’s innovative tools for rivers and oceans and water rescue equipment. 

The C4 Waterman Founders, Todd Bradley, Brian Keaulana, and Archie Kalepa, along with the executive team of Wenonah Canoe, Inc., Mike Cichanowski, Jim Brown and Bill Kueper, were present at the grand opening to spread their Aloha and celebrate in style.

For more information, visit:
Click here for more Industry News.

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2014 SUWS FINALS: Sprint Race Highlights

2014 SUWS FINALS: Sprint Race Highlights

After Saturday’s 13-mile Long Distance race along Oahu’s North Shore, Standup World Series competitors returned to Turtle Bay for a full day of sprint racing. The North Shore provided challenging conditions for Sunday’s event, with 8- to 12-foot sets rolling into the Sprints course throughout the day.

With a torn ligament and sprained right foot, Zane Schweitzer capped his successful year of World Series racing by taking another win: the Standup World Series Finals Sprints. After battling Saturday’s Long Distance Champion Kai Lenny for the entire sprints final, it came down to a drop-in bomb, followed by a stroke-for-stroke battle and photo finish, with Schweitzer taking the coveted win.

Local Oahu paddler Halie Harrison took the Finals Sprints win for the ladies, ahead of a tough field that included Lina Augaitis, Angie Jackson and Saturday’s Long Distance Champion Fiona Wylde.

2014 SUWS Finals Sprints Champion Halie Harrison with second and third place Fiona Wylde and Sonni Hönscheid. Photo: Waterman League

2014 SUWS Finals Champ Halie Harrison with Fiona Wylde and Sonni Hönscheid. Photo: Waterman League

The 2014 Standup World Series Finals event culminated with Kai Lenny and Halie Harrison taking the overall event wins.

With Connor Baxter named the 2014 Standup World Series Men’s Champion back at September’s Huntington Beach event, it all came down to the Finals event for the women, where Lina Augaitis was crowned the 2014 Women’s Standup World Series Champion.

2014 stand up world series Finals, lina augaitis, connor baxter

2014 Standup World Series Champions: Lina Augaitis and Connor Baxter. Photo: Waterman League

SUWS Finals Event Results

Men’s Finals Results
1. Kai Lenny
2. Mo Freitas
3. Jake Jensen
Women’s Finals Results
1. Halie Harrison
2. Fiona Wylde
3. Sonni Hönscheid

Read more »

Second Look: 2014 SUP Awards

Second Look: 2014 SUP Awards

The 2014 SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama kicked off the biggest weekend in SUP last Thursday and did it in style. The who’s-who of the standup world were in town and ready to celebrate our wonderful sport. They hugged, they laughed, they caught up, they cheered, they had a good time. It’s a fun night, one we look forward to every year. Check out the photos from the night and watch the video of the action. See you next year!

More 2014 SUP Awards coverage here.

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Waterman League Announces Location X and World Series Finals

Photo: Waterman League

Photo: Waterman League

Standup World Tour Announces Location X

Morocco will host this year’s Location X event, following directly on from the La Torche Pro France and running from November 8th – 16th. Final details are still being confirmed with all travel, logistic and broadcast details to be released next week.

While it will not be a rankings event this year, it will adopt the exhibition status, with full prize money and featuring the Top 20 athletes on the Men’s Standup World Tour, plus four wildcards.


There will then be a Trials event for international athletes, from which the Top 4 will advance into the Main event and a Moroccan Trials, to celebrate the emerging local talent. From the Moroccan Trials, the Top 4 will advance, to make a 32 man event.

The most unique part of this event will be the roving component. With hundreds of kilometers of coastline to choose from and pristine untouched pointbreaks during Morocco’s prime surf season, the foundations have been laid for an unparalleled experience for athletes and spectators alike and the and the ultimate close to a spectacular 2014 season.

Photo: Waterman League

Photo: Waterman League

World Series Finals Return to Turtle Bay

Next up: the World Series Finals at Turtle Bay from the 10th – 12th October

Next up on the the prestigious World Series Finals at Turtle Bay, that will conclude the 2014 season for the Stand Up World Series. Watch as the World’s best will return to Stand Up Paddling’s birthplace here in Hawaii for the dramatic close to the season, as World Champions are crowned and one of the most spectacular showcases of performance racing gets underway.

Entries are open at for both Open and Elite level competition, so register now.

Photo: Waterman League

Photo: Waterman League

Connor Baxter secures the 2014 World Title in advance of the World Series Finals

Huntington Beach saw some of the most dramatic Sprint Racing yet on the Standup World Series, as well as a long distance race to remember.

Connor Baxter wasn’t going to make any mistakes this year, and put on a dominant and strategic performance at the Huntington Beach Pro, edging to victory in the sprints ahead of a star studded field, and then again in the long distance, just ahead of Australia’s front runner, Jake Jensen.

This meant not only the event win, but also that Connor Baxter has secured the 2014 World Title ahead of the World Series Finals at Turtle Bay – an incredible achievement from the young Champion from Maui.

Photo: Waterman League/ Donavon 2014

Photo: Waterman League/ Donavon 2014

Izzi Gomez dominates to secure HB Title and 2014 World Tour Title

Izzi Gomez has already made the history books by winning more events on the World Tour than anyone over the past two years. She missed out on the Title in 2013, but this year, after a slow start at Turtle Bay, she turned it on, winning the next three events back to back in dominant fashion.

With three bullet wins out of five, she has rendered herself untouchable with just one event to go, thereby securing the well deserved 2014 World Title. It’s clear that Izzi Gomez has an incredible future ahead of her and watch out for her at the La Torche Pro France next month for the culmination of the 2014 Standup World Tour.

Photo: Waterman League DkB 2014

Photo: Waterman League DkB 2014

Kai Lenny Regains Lead in World Title Rankings

The scene is now set for one of the most dramatic and exciting closes to the 2014 Season for the Standup World Tour, as Kai Lenny regains the lead on the World Tour rankings for the first time this year, but just by a matter of points. An epic performance at Huntington Beach allowed Kai to secure his second win of the year, setting himself up for a real Title run.

The battle between Caio Vaz and Kai Lenny is one for the history books this year, as they both have two wins, with Kai holding a second and Caio with a third as their counting results. As we come into the Final event, they will be starting at opposite sides of the draw, and given their form so far this year, it’s not a shot in the dark to predict that they might end up in the Finals together.

The scenarios are that if Kai or Caio win the event, they win the Title. If Caio finishes in second, but ahead of Kai, he wins the Title. If they both go out before the final, Kai wins the Title.

Photo: Waterman League/DkB 2014

Photo: Waterman League/Donavon 2014

Candice Appleby is A Double Threat

With a dominant performance to take the win in the World Series Racing in Huntington Beach and a solid third place finish in the surfing, there is no doubt that Candice Appleby is a serious double threat on both the Racing World Series and Surfing World Tour.

As Grand Slam winner here in Huntington, Candice will be coming into the World Series Finals at Turtle Bay and the La Torche Pro France with confidence and momentum, hoping to bolster her rankings across both.

Photo: Waterman League/ DkB 2014

Photo: Waterman League/ DkB 2014

Mo Freitas Shows Strength on Both Tours

Mo Freitas has established himself as an unprecedented threat on both the Surfing World Tour and Racing World Series.

His committed rail to rail surfing has long impressed the world since his first World Tour win in Brazil a few years back, but his Racing is now also coming into its own, as he demonstrated this past weekend in Huntington Beach, with an outstanding 2nd place finish behind the 2014 World Champion Connor Baxter.

As he will head back to Turtle Bay for the World Series Finals, all eyes will be on Mo as he takes on the best of the best in this last dramatic race of the season, before heading out to France for the Finals of the Surfing World Tour.

Read more »

Plans for BOP TV Series Announced

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Plans for BOP TV Series Announced

We are pleased to announce that Rainbow Sandals and Firefli Films, LLC have joined together to develop the Battle of the Paddle SUP television series spotlighting the events, lifestyle and top athletes.

Firefli Films is working with Rainbow Sandals to develop a television show/series base around the Battle Of The Paddle events. The series will consist of multiple episodes per season for network television being filmed at the Battle Of The Paddle events . The final episode will be the finals which showcase all of the major contenders/winners we have been following in previous episodes. We will develop an on screen relationships with sponsors and the major contenders from around the world.

We will be filming and developing the stories in the countries that the athletes are from as they prepare for their country event and ultimately the arrival to the annual Battle Of The Paddle finals to compete for world champion. Each country and event will be an episode. By developing a series of the Battle Of The Paddle we will expand the sport, open viewership to a global market attracting more sponsors and athletes while meeting television network parameters and ultimately getting the series on air.

The Battle Of The Paddle 2014 at Salt Creek is our launching pad for developing the pilot program. We will have cameras covering all aspects of the event. On land, in the water and in the air. This event will be filmed with a generous sponsorship from GoPro cameras in full HD. We would like to thank all of our sponsors to date: Rainbow Sandals, Wavejet, Uli Boards, Maui Jim, OC Parks, SUP Magazine, Rouge SUP, 404, Hobie SUP, Riviera Paddles, Kialoa, Victory Koredry and Dukes.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Battle of the Paddle SUP events please contact us today. We look forward to working with you.,

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 3.49.15 PM

by default 2014-09-22 at 2.59.39 PM

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Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam Kicks Off Tuesday

Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam Kicks Off Tuesday

The Standup World Tour and World Series join forces at this week’s Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam. Competition begins Tuesday, September 16, with World Tour surfing.

Check out the schedule of events:

Monday, September 15: Tommy Bahama Bar & Grille, Newport Beach

‘Tommy Bahama’s Opening Night’ hosted by Dave Boehne & Tristan Boxford

Doors open and Red Carpet @ 6pm, Registration Open
‘Talk Story presented by Turtle Bay’ goes LIVE @ 7pm

Tuesday, September 16: Huntington Beach, Standup World Tour

7am: Briefing
7:10am: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
7:20am Start for the Huntington Beach Pro Trials

standup world tour, huntington beach pro grand slam, paddle surfing

Wednesday, September 17: Huntington Beach, Standup World Tour

7am: Briefing
7:10am: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
7:20am: Start for Round 1 of the Women’s Main Event
9:20am: Start for Round 1 of the Men’s Main Event
1:20pm: Start for the Women’s Repechage Round

Thursday, September 18: Huntington Beach, Standup World Tour

6:50am: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
7am: Start for the Men’s Repechage Round
9:40am: Start for Round 3 of the Women’s Main Event
11am: Start for Round 3 of the Men’s Main Event
1:40pm: Start for the Men’s Round 4

Friday, September 19: Huntington Beach, Standup World Tour (all man on man surfing)

6:50am: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
7am: Start for the Women’s Quarterfinals
8.20am Start for the Men’s Quarterfinals
9:40am: Start for the Women’s Semi Finals
10:30am: Start for the Men’s Semi Finals
11:30am: Start for the Women’s Finals
12:15pm: Start for the Men’s Finals
6pm: Registration & Welcome event for the Standup World Series (location tbd)
7pm: Stand Up World Tour wrap party (location tbd)

standup world tour, standup world series, huntington beach pro grand slam

Saturday, September 20: Huntington Beach, Standup World Series

9am: Open Division Athlete Check in
10am: 3km Open distance Race
12pm: Elite Division Check in
12pm: The Starboard Morning Show goes live
12:30pm: World Series Sprints
4:30pm: Sprints Podium
7pm: Movie Screening (location tbd)

Sunday, September 21: Huntington Beach: Standup World Series & Tour

9am: Check in for Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge
9:45am: Starboard Morning Show goes live
10am: Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge
11:30am: Check in for Surf Exhibition event for World Tour athletes
12pm: World Tour Exhibition Event
1pm: Check in for 6km and 10km Long Distance Races
1:30pm: Briefing
2pm: Start for Long Distance Races
4:30pm: final podiums

Read more »

Bart de Zwart Wins 6th Annual SUP 11-City Tour

Bart de Zwart Wins SUP 11-City Tour

An international field of over 100 paddlers from over 15 countries lined up at the start on Day 1 of the 6th Annual SUP 11-City Tour. Although it’s a five- to six-hour race every day, the start is as explosive as a 500-meter sprint, and this year was no different.

Jay Hasley and Peter Bartl started strong, but Bart de Zwart and Martijn van Deth caught up shortly, leaving Jay in their wake to form a three-man lead group. After only 15 minutes into the race, Peter surprised the competition by making the move to sprint ahead of Bart and Martijn, where he continued extending his lead with every kilometer up to the day’s halfway point. Upon reaching the halfway point, a turn of events changed the race, as Bart and Martijn turned on the power and began creeping up to catch Peter. With only a kilometer left before the finish, Bart caught Peter and won the first leg with a three-second lead.

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

Day 2 saw the same lead group came together after the start and remain together for the day, battling throughout. Peter dug deep several times to break away but never succeeded to drop his competitors. It came down to another sprint to the finish, where Peter and Bart took over, battling for the last 500 meters. Peter crossed the finish first, only 0.8 seconds ahead of Bart. With the finish of Day 2, Bart remained in the lead with only seconds over Peter, followed by Martijn in third and Franck Fifils of Guadeloupe in fourth.

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

On Day 3 and 4 it seemed the podium was almost sure with Bart, Peter and Martijn extending their lead even more over the rest of the field. But, between the three there was an intense battle for first place. It came down to a sprint each of the two days with Bart edging out on both sprints and extending his lead over Peter and Martijn.

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

The final stage saw intense racing as Peter gave everything he had, paddling the highest speeds seen in this competition thus far. In the first five minutes, Martijn dropped from the lead pack, but Bart managed to stay on Peter’s tail. After 25 minutes, the speed dropped down to normal race speed and the remainder of the race saw a battle between Bart and Peter.

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

Despite Peter’s incredible fighting spirit, he couldn’t break Bart this year. The two sprinted into the final city of Leeuwarden after 22 hours of paddling. Bart won the final stage and crossed the line 6 seconds ahead of Peter, claiming the 11-City crown for the fourth time, while Peter finished second overall and Martijn in third.

In the women’s division Janneke Smits of the Netherlands came in first overall, dominating every stage. Joanne Hamilton-Vale of England came in second and third went to Sweden’s Maya Persson.

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

Photo: Mayola Dijksman

For full results, click here.
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In Search of Mana: Talia Decoite Video

In Search of Mana: Talia Decoite

Talia Decoite is one of the world’s best female paddlers. After setting a world record while winning the 32-mile Molokai-2-Oahu race in 2012, Decoite burned out and got sick while training to defend her title in 2013. She pulled out of the race and, in the coming months, rediscovered her joy for paddling.

She faced the channel again in 2014 and came in fifth.

This is a story of love, battling back and finding what makes you happy.

More Decoite here.

Decoite bio.

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InZane in the Basque Country

InZane in the Basque Country

Earlier this year, the Standup World Series‘ European Cup showcased the high level of SUP racing offered across Europe with stops in France, Spain, Finland, Germany and Italy. Zane Schweitzer—a top competitor on the World Series and Euopean Cup Champion–maximized his water time by spending his downtime in search of surf. And it paid off. Here’s the Maui-bred surfer and racer going ‘inZane’ in the Basque Country.

Click here for more videos.

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Just Going, Pt. 3: The Gear

The women all loaded up. Photo: William Gayle

The women all loaded up. Photo: William Gayle

Just Going, Pt. 3: The Gear

On May 28, Rachel McCarty and Casi Rynkowski took to the waters off Massachusetts for a doomed two-day, 50-mile paddling adventure. Rynkowski told us their story in two parts, below. Here, McCarty gives us the lowdown on the gear they used.
Part 1
Part 2

We are often asked what gear we bring on our trips, and in the interest of getting more people paddling long distances, we’ve put together a list of our favorites. For this trip, our trusty BIC 12’6” Wings carried a total of 50 pounds of gear, which also included water and food. This is not a complete list by any means, and includes some crossover outdoor gear. We purchased most of this gear at our local Eastern Mountain Sports.

On the Water
Werner Carve 3-piece Paddle
Werner carbon fiber paddles are lightweight and practically indestructible, but they can still float away from you, so we carry a fiberglass 3-piece paddle for that “just-in-case” scenario. Taken apart, the longest section measures 24” and fits nicely strapped to the deck. I like the red laminate color because it is bright and easy to see – perfect if you need to use it as a signaling device.

MTI Fluid 2.0 Belt PFD
The new low-profile Fluid 2.0 Belt from MTI makes the compactness of an inflatable PFD even more appealing. Three different models cover all different types of paddling, but we love the Race 1 Belt for our expeditions because the sewn multi-loop attachments are easy to clip gear onto.

Lifeproof LifeJacket Float
Our phones multi-function as GPS trackers, cameras, and as, well, phones, and as such we need an easy and safe way to keep them close by. With the LifeProof Nuud case, I feel confident my phone is protected from water and drops, but the LifeProof LifeJacket Float brings total peace of mind to the package. Attachment points make it easy to tether to a PFD or deck bag, and included lanyards slip around the neck or the wrist.

Photo: Gayle

Photo: Gayle

Sea to Summit Rapid 26L Drypack
Camp isn’t always close to shore. Sea to Summit’s new Rapid 26L Drypack held a sleeping bag, pad, extra clothes and food, and the integrated shoulder straps meant it could be carried easily, leaving your hands free for board and paddle. Perfect for portages on river trips, too.

VestPac WilsonPac
Loved by SUP racers around the world, the VestPac WilsonPac is a revolutionary design for hydration packs and perfect for long distance paddles too. The unique fit system is extremely comfortable to wear and doesn’t place weight solely on your shoulders. We loved the chest pockets for carrying our VHF radios, snacks, and sunblock.

Camelbak Podium Bottle
I don’t like to put electrolyte drink mixes in hydration packs because they are difficult to clean on a trip, but I was having a hard time finding a water bottle that fit my paddling needs. Caps you have to unscrew are too cumbersome, and most “sport tops” require at least a little fiddling to open. Enter the Camelbak Podium bottle, with its JetValve top that is totally leak proof, even in the “open” position.

NRS Taj M’Haul Deck Bag
SUP expeditions require a lot more gear than your casual day paddle, and having a way to store it and stay organized is key to avoiding a lot of frustration later when exhaustion sets in. Mesh water bottle holders on each side were perfect for our Camelbak Podium bottles and snacks. The integrated – but removable – dry bag had plenty of space for dry clothes and first aid supplies.

SUPreme Neoprene Pants and Catch Hybrid Jacket
The SUPreme Contour Quantum Foam Neoprene pants are perfect for in-between seasons, giving you the protection of a wetsuit on your lower half and the freedom and breathability to wear whatever works for you up top. They also make bathroom pit stops a breeze. Wetsuit tops have a tendency to be sweaty. Not so with the SUPreme Catch Hybrid Jacket, which uses neoprene on the chest and arms for warmth and Polyolefin fabric on the back for breathability. The full zipper made it easy to layer other wicking tops underneath for warmth, and quick to remove when temps warm up. A go-to piece for every paddle.

Paddle Port
This surprisingly simple paddle holder made floating breaks worry free. Especially when you are hunting through your bags on the water looking for gear, knocking your paddle everywhere. Paddleport keeps the paddle tucked to the side and out of the way.

The post Just Going, Pt. 3: The Gear appeared first on SUP Magazine.

Standup World Series Picks Up in Japan



Standup World Series Picks Up in Japan

A selection of the World’s best paddlers will descend upon the Japanese surf town of Chigasaki from August 15 – 17, to meet up with a growing local contingent, as well as paddlers from across Asia, for an unforgettable weekend and a US$20,000 World Challenger Series Race, the Shonan Chigasaki Pro.
Register here.



World Series Finals to Include New Divisions

In addition to the elite level racing, we are proud to build out our Open division for the Long Distance race (for both 14′ and Open class racers), as well as a prone paddleboard and OC1 division, to make for a more complete Ocean Sports gathering at this final event of the 2014 season. The Finals will also include the continuation of the Na Kama Kai Youth Division, where we will see the stars of tomorrow stepping up to do battle inside the protected waters at Kuilima Cove.
So, look forward to a full weekend of action for the SUP world as the 2014 season comes to a close on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore from the October 10th – 12th. Accommodation specials are available (while space is available and by presenting your entry receipt to the reservation staff) and entries are now open.
Register here.

Photo: Wiewel

Photo: Wiewel

Entries Open for Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam

World Tour Surfers will be putting it all on the line for Stop 4 of the Standup World Tour, as excitement mounts towards competition picking back up after a long summer break. The World Tour event will run from the 16th – 19th, with a full Trials event, Men’s and Women’s Pro events and a high profile exhibition event on Sunday, September 21, 2014.
World Series Racers will once again step up to do battle at the world-class race course that Huntington Beach provides, as Stop 4 of the 2014 Standup World Series and Stop 1 of the US Trilogy will get underway. Saturday, September 20th will see the World Series Sprints in full effect under the pier, while Sunday, the 21st will feature the Long Distance Race. An open fleet racecourse will also be created to provide an easier access race for everyone.
Register here.

For more information, visit:
Click here for more on the Stanup World Series.

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Kieran Grant: Reading Waves and Lips

Photo: Tim Baker

Photo: Tim Baker

Kieran Grant: Reading Waves and Lips

Kieran Grant is a Floridian who loves the water. He’s been surfing from a young age and like many water lovers, Grant couldn’t help but make the transition into SUP, jumping into the scene full force to compete in SUP surfing and racing. And, Grant does it all without being able to hear. The ocean athlete is deaf, but his lack of hearing doesn’t hold him back the least bit.

SUP Mag: You started out as a traditional surfer. Tell us about your transition into SUP.
Grant: I started to learn how to SUP surf just over two years ago. My first time seeing SUP at a contest I thought it was slow, but that’s because everyone surfed huge SUP’s. My brother Fisher was getting good at it fast and when we went to the 2012 USA Surfing Championships in California, he entered a couple of SUP divisions and I got to see some sick SUP surfing that I didn’t even know anyone was capable of. And, since I couldn’t let my brother get all the glory, I decided to give it a go.
Our SUP guy, Tim Baker at East Coast Paddle, watched us surf and we gave him feedback on what was working and what wasn’t. It’s been evolving ever since. I’d have to say though, if we hadn’t witnessed the SUP surf scene out west, we wouldn’t have known how rad SUP surfing could be.
Having shortboard skills from my earlier surfing days definitely helped the transition to be easier. I like it because it’s a really fun experience and great training. In addition to SUP surfing, I enjoy competing in races now too. I have to say that BOP-style and downwinders are my favorite because they allow me to kind of separate myself from the guys who are stronger than me. I feel more comfortable when I’m able to use the strength of my ocean skills.

SUP Mag: What was it like rising through the ranks of paddle surfing to compete in
your first World Tour event earlier this year?
Grant: Well, since I’d only competed with an upper level of SUP surfers once before (at the 2013 US SUP Tour stop at San Onofre, Calif.) I was a little apprehensive. It was also my first time in Hawaii and, the biggest surf I had ever SUP surfed in. Other than hurricanes, we don’t get much practice on anything with any size to it.
My first day out, while paddling to the line-up, a set broke way outside. Anyone who SUP’s knows that there’s no “duck diving” and when you have to bail in front of a two-story wall of whitewater, it can get ugly. In my case, my new leash snapped and it was a long swim, especially when one hand was holding a paddle. But, I was pretty happy with my results at the Sunset Beach Pro. I made it through the trials and on to Round 3, which actually ranked me #1 for the East Coast guys after the event.

Photo: Standup World Tour/ Hank Foto

Photo: Standup World Tour/ Hank Foto

SUP Mag: Can you tell us how being hearing impaired affects you out in the water and during competition?
Grant: First of all, I am profoundly deaf, which means I pretty much do not hear anything. However, I wear a Cochlear implant, which allows me to hear almost better than “normal” people. But this is only on dry land. In the water it’s off, since I can’t afford to lose it in the surf, so every time I go out in the water or during competitions, I just keep eye on the beach and set my watch before my heat. From my perspective, there’s nothing really that affects me in the water. I can read lips really well, so watch it—I can see what you’re saying!

Photo: Rick Bickford

Photo: Rick Bickford

SUP Mag: You and your younger brother Fisher have a special bond, but still compete with each other. Tell us about the competition and camaraderie between you two.
Grant: Definitely! We travel, surf, and train together. We’re buds but our styles are a lot different. I prefer shortboard and Fisher is really a longboarder at heart, although we love any excuse to get wet. My dad really emphasized that we become capable on any vehicle in the water and that we have waterman skills.
I think a good tip is to always remember, there’s a tool for every job. Are the waves small or big? What’s going to give you the best connection with the ocean? The cool thing about SUP now is, you can cover all your bases with a paddle in your hand. So I can rip, my brother can glide, and my folks can flat water paddle. Pretty sick, huh?

SUP Mag: Tell us about your favorite place to find waves when you’re home in
Grant: My favorite spot is my backyard because that’s where I learned to surf and still surf with my friends. It’s one of my secret spots and it’s never crowded there. It tends to break over an outside sandbar and can be pretty punchy if the conditions are right.

Photo: Rick Bickford

Photo: Rick Bickford

SUP Mag: Let’s talk about long-term goals. Where do you want the sport to take you and what do you want to achieve as a competitive paddle surfer?
Grant: Well actually, I want to travel all over the world to compete on the World Tour and tap into more racing. The challenge I’m facing is mostly finances. The prestigious events are pretty scattered still and require athletes to commit to some pretty decent expenses.
I was lucky to travel to St. Croix, USVI with my friend Girard Middleton earlier this year to compete in a race with Ryan Helm and Zane Schweitzer. Those guys are amazing athletes and they were so positive with me—[they] totally stoked me out! That one experience alone convinced me that if I could show up, I could blow up. It just gave me a lot of confidence, which was pretty cool.
In the meantime, I’m keeping the “big look” and feeling super blessed to have support from my famiy, friends, and people like my PRT crew, who I race with. The SUP world is really full of awesome people! I would love to continue to work in the industry and think that between the people I’ve me and the experience I’m getting from a competitor side, I may be able to do good things. If you ever see me at the beach, say ‘hey’ and let’s paddle!

Photo: Rick Bickford

Photo: Rick Bickford

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Best Local SUP Instructors: Norm Hann

Photo: Dan Barham

Photo: Dan Barham

Best Local SUP Instructors: Norm Hann

Cold climates breed hardy folks. The weather dictates how they live their lives. But there are always those special souls who venture out regardless of the conditions. Norm Hann is among the hardy. And he faces winter’s worst with a paddle in is hands.

“I take pride in being a Canadian paddler,” Hann says. “We’re fortunate up here; you can paddle all winter. I take pride in paddling in all conditions.”

Hann, 44, is one of Canada’s leading paddlers, finishing the Molokai-2-Oahu last year solo, starring in the conservation movie “Stand” and bringing serious SUP expeditions and training to British Columbia.

Hann grew up in Northern Ontario, Canada wandering around the outdoors surrounding his grandpa’s cabin. When he was in college he played basketball at the national level while getting his teaching certification. He taught for a couple years and spent his summers hanging out in Banff where he “got into the Western mindset” while earning guiding credentials on the side.

In 2000 he moved west for good and found a job guiding fishing, hiking and kayaking trips at the King Pacific Lodge, deep in the Great Bear Rainforest, which stretches up the BC coast from Vancouver Island toward southeast Alaska.

In 2008, he saw a video of Loch Eggers and Laird Hamilton standup paddling.

“I loved the ocean and loved surfing but you can only get so good if you’re not (on the ocean) everyday,” Hann says. “SUP looked like the absolute perfect combo of paddling and surfing.”

After forcing a local to sell him one of the only standup boards in the area, Hann took to the water.
“Being a guide on the coast here in BC, my eyes just got really wide at the potential of having SUP on the coast,” he says.

Hann first did a paddle along proposed oil tanker routes covering 400 kilometers from Kitamat down through Great Bear. This stretch of coast grew close to Hann’s heart over his time guiding there and would eventually turn into the “Stand” movie project. He started bringing people on tours there that same year.

“It’s an area under threat,” he says. “There are people in Canada and the US seeing what’s happening and want to check it out.”

He also began his own standup business in Squamish.

“It’s beneficial to me to have a teaching background,” Hann says. “Coming from a high-caliber athletic background I also had a lot of tremendous coaches. Standup is so multi-disciplinary that I believe teaching the foundation and the proper skills, sets (beginners) up for success for all these disciplines they can do.”

Hann is certainly certified for the job, both with on-the-water time and through technical classes such as wilderness first aid and swift water rescue. He’s also an instructor for Paddle Canada, which means he teaches at the highest level within their SUP program.

His instruction schedule is fittingly diverse. In the spring he concentrates on teaching paddle surfing and instructor trainings, getting shops and businesses ready for the upcoming busy season (an area which he says is growing rapidly). In the summer he focuses on touring and expeditions and then in the fall he comes back around to surfing.

“It’s a lot of fun introducing people to our coastline and opening peoples eyes to what you can do on a standup paddleboard,” he says. “You can get as gnarly as you want with it. I look at it as a really incredible tool to experience water with.” —Will Taylor

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SUWS: Baxter, Augaitis Win World Cup in Germany

SUWS: Baxter, Augaitis Win World Cup in Germany

Maui’s Connor Baxter and Canada’s Lina Augaitis added new titles to their name with last weekend’s Standup World Series wins in Germany, at the Camp David World Cup of SUP. The recent wins secure the two competitors’ leads in the World Rankings as the World Series looks toward the European Cup Finals and Stop 4 of the 2014 tour, this coming weekend in Rome.

After leading the Sprints on Saturday, Baxter took an incredibly close second to rival Kai Lenny, who edged ahead in the final moments of the race to take the win in an intense battle to the finish. Baxter wasn’t going to let the weekend pass without a win to his name, showing up for Sunday’s Long Distance Race ready to leave the competition behind. And, Baxter did just that, taking the win despite hairy conditions with 25km winds howling throughout the day, forcing event directors to adjust the course to include downwind and upwind legs. Australian Jake Jensen took second place for the men, after digging deep in a battle with third place paddler Zane Schweitzer. The previous day’s Sprints Champ, Kai Lenny, took fourth, surprisingly missing the podium after losing ground to the top three paddlers during the difficult upwind leg. France’s Eric Terrien took a solid fifth, while Denmark’s Casper Steinfath took sixth.

With his fourth place finish in the Sprints, Lenny took second place overall at the Camp David World Cup of SUP, and remains in second overall in the World Rankings. Jensen took third overall in the event, while Schweitzer took fourth, ending his winning streak in the European Cup, where he posted a string of three wins from Spain, France and Finland. Jensen’s third place result closes the gap between his and Schweitzer’s World Rankings, where Schweitzer sits in third and Jensen in a close fourth, only 500 points behind.

On the women’s side, Augaitis proved her dominance with another title win after taking both the Sprints and Long Distance race. The title win moves Augaitis into the lead in the World Rankings over Australian Angie Jackson, who now sits in second. France’s Olivia Piana also moved up in the World Rankings after this weekend’s strong performances in both the Sprints and the Long Distance, where she took second, to give her a solid second place event finish over third place Dutch paddler Carla Schellert, who finished third in the Long Distance and fifth in the Sprints.

With only one event remaining in the European Cup and three events in the Standup World Series, the competition is intensifying. Next up are the European Cup Finals in Rome, July 25 – 27, 2014.

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Standup for the Cure donates $125k to Susan G. Komen

Photo: Harry Wiewel,

Photo: Harry Wiewel,

Standup for the Cure donates $125k to Susan G. Komen

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, Standup for the Cure, alongside its national sponsor, Ambry Genetics, and presenting sponsors, Riviera Paddlesurf and Kaiser Permanente, presented a $125,000.00 donation check to the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen. The donation will go towards providing access to mammograms for 1,000 women in need, potentially saving lives. The team, led by founder Judie Vivian and Event Director Dan Van Dyck, also announced the addition of a Standup for the Cure Event to be held at Miami Yacht Club on November 8, 2014. This will be the second in a series of nationwide events aimed at expanding Standup for the Cure’s mission to raise money and awareness for early breast cancer detection, research, treatment and education.

“Standup for the Cure’s focus is to introduce non-paddlers to the healthy lifestyle of standup paddling, while building a supportive community bound by the desire to rid the world of breast cancer,” stated Event Director Dan Van Dyck.

Photo: Harry Wiewel,

Photo: Harry Wiewel,

The Standup for the Cure Event features instruction from top international paddleboard experts, including the famous Schweitzer family, as well as melanoma and breast cancer screening, live music, and a health and fitness expo. Attendees will also enjoy a great festival with catered lunch and beverages provided by Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Kona Brewing Company and Barefoot Wine. Ambry Genetics, Standup for the Cure’s national sponsor, leads the visionary family of partners which includes Riviera Paddlesurf (Presenting Sponsor), Kaiser Permanente (Presenting Sponsor), WJ Bradley Mortgage Capital (Gold Sponsor), Maui Jim (Gold Sponsor), Zonal Clothing, Irvine’s Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Kona Brewing Company and Barefoot Winery.

“We were thrilled with the success of Standup for the Cure that has raised more than $300,000 for our organization and are honored to have the event continue,” said Lisa Wolter, Executive Director of the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G Komen. “Mammograms are vital for identifying breast cancer at an early stage, so this event really is a lifesaver.”

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Top Tips from the Pros: Anthony Vela

Top Tips from the Pros: Anthony Vela

Ask anyone in the SUP scene about Anthony Vela and the words “nice guy” invariably come up. But behind his genial, friendly demeanor is a lion’s heart. As well as being a world-renowned lifesaver, prone paddleboarder and surfer, Vela has won premier SUP events worldwide, including the San Clemente Ocean Festival and the 2014 Hobie Hennessey’s Waterman’s Challenge, where his girlfriend, fellow pro Candice Appleby, also took top honors. If you haven’t been living in a barrel for the past few years, you’ll know that Vela and Appleby make the most successful ‘power couple’ in the sport.

In addition to their intensive racing calendar and a vigorous year-round training regime, Vela and Appleby run SUP racing clinics, personal coaching and water-based corporate events programs through their company, Performance Paddling.

Here, Vela catches up with’s Brody Welte of PaddleFit to share his top three tips for SUP:

Photo: Mike Muir

Photo: Mike Muir

1. Practice with a Hydration Pack

Vela is often asked how he makes the most of his hydration pack during a race. The answer? He tested various options before settling on the one that works for him: an over-the-shoulder Hydrapack. Then, he practiced using it while training in a variety of conditions so that he wouldn’t be fiddling with it come race day. “I found that having a hydration pack around my waist didn’t work, because that’s where my life preserver is. I also found that I felt the weight of the fluid more when it was on my waist. The over-the-shoulder pack makes it easier for me to get the fluids I need without impeding my stroke.” The takeaway? Find out whether you prefer an over the shoulder pack like Vela, or a waist-mounted system. Then, use the heck out of it before your next race.

2. Include Skill Drills in Your Training Program

How does Vela gain a competitive advantage before getting to the start line of each event? “I don’t just paddle in training, but also work on perfecting elements of my stroke and practicing drills that help with starts, finishes, buoys, surf, and other things that will improve my race day performance,” he says. In the video above, you’ll see one of Vela’s favorite training day drills: switching from a parallel stance to a staggered surfing stance. How do you do it? “Take two or three strokes in your parallel stance, then get into your surf stance and take another few strokes. Brace, then go back to the parallel stance,” Vela says. The pro also told us that this helps him in sprints, downwinders, and transitioning from flat water to surf. If you work on such skills in training, Vela says, “they’ll become automatic” during competition.

3. Focus on Your Weak Side

Do you know what your weak side is? And what are you doing to improve your stroke on that side? “Goofy footers, like me, typically prefer paddling on their left, while regular footers favor their right side,” Vela said. By recognizing that in a race he prefers to generate power on his left, Vela knows that he needs to work hard to improve on his right side during training. “To develop a fluid and powerful stroke on both sides, you’ve got to identify your weak side and then focus on it during paddles and drills,” Vela says. “Then, you’ll be that much better during competition.” —Phil White

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SUP Women Shredding in Abu Dhabi

SUP Women Shredding in Abu Dhabi

World Tour women continue to step up their SUP surf skills at every event. Earlier this year, the Standup World Tour headed to Abu Dhabi’s Wadi Adventure Wave Pool, where Izzi Gomez and Iballa Moreno showcased their stylish SUP surfing. Here are Izzi and Iballa shredding in Abu Dhabi.

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Paddle Healthy: Top Meal Replacements

Photo: Will Taylor

Photo: Will Taylor

Paddle Healthy: Top Meal Replacements

It used to be that meal replacement drinks and bars were chock full of high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils and a bevy of other artificial ingredients, plus sugar—lots and lots of sugar. Thumbs up for convenience, but a big thumbs down for nutritional content.

Although such unhealthy options still line supermarket shelves and people are still spending millions of dollars each year on them, the demand for healthier fare has led to the development of new offerings that give paddlers worry-free meal replacement choices. Unlike the first generation of SlimFast and the like, which were created in a lab with largely synthetic ingredients, new products include superfoods, naturally sourced vitamins and organic, non-GMO fruit and vegetable extracts. There are also plenty of Paleo and allergen-free products for those with special dietary needs. Take a look at our picks for top meal replacement options that you can throw down before or after a workout, or in place of a meal when you’re on the go:

UB Super Shakes

Scott Kanyok almost died when he was hit by a truck while cycling near his home in 2008. Though he fought his way back physically, Kanyok’s immune system was shot and he kept getting sick. To overcome this, he started eating only ‘clean’ foods, which meant organic fruits and vegetables and superfoods such as acai and camu camu. Working with nutritional scientist Jason Mitchell, Kayok eventually came across the ideal formula to re-set his immune system and, wanting to share the benefits with others, founded UB Real shortly after.
The company’s UB Super shakes mix easily with milk, water, and just about any other liquid, and will soon be available in a whey-based variety as well as the vegan version that sources its 15 grams of protein from chia and other plant sources. If you’re interested in getting a broad range of superfoods, prebiotics and probiotics into your diet, plus fulvic minerals that act as a transport system for efficient metabolism, follow the lead of pros like Travis Grant and Connor Baxter and check out UB Super.

Papa Steve’s No Junk Raw Protein Bars

As we recently discussed in our Paddle Healthy article on going gluten free, food allergies are more prevalent than ever before. That’s one of the reasons Steven Diebold founded Papa Steve’s. He also believed that, “Most protein bars are just disguised candy bars covered in chocolate with some protein thrown in.” Not the case for the bars that Diebold and his family started making by hand in a Southern California kitchen that’s certified by the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals.
Each bar—whether you choose almond coconut crunch, apple cinnamon, banana oat, or one of six other flavors —is free of gluten, wheat, dairy, soy and GMO ingredients, so there’s no better option if you have food allergies. The dates in Papa Steve’s have unique phytonutrients that lower the bar’s glycemic impact, meaning you won’t get a sugar spike and crash as with many meal replacement options. And, with 20 grams of complete vegan protein per bar, they’ve got the perfect amount of muscle building power for your post workout fix. Heck, even the brown paper packaging is good for the environment (although we don’t recommend you eat it!).


Whether you agree with its principles or not, the Paleo Diet is here to stay. And while firing up some eggs or a steak with veggies is a fine paleo option, it’s not going to work when you’re on the run. Enter Alex Bonesteel, creator of PRIBARS. The “No BS, just real food” slogan is legit, as these 276-calorie bars contain none of the additives, preservatives or artificial sweeteners you’ll find in most meal replacement bars.
Instead of a long list of unknown chemicals that are difficult to pronounce, Bonesteel and his team jam a list of simple, whole food ingredients into each bar, such as hemp seeds, tart cherries, and almonds. The hemp is high in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, and the tart cherries—an underrated superfood—help promote restful sleep, reduce soreness and lower stroke risk. And, from a taste perspective, there’s a unique twist: a pinch of sea salt that not only makes PRIBARS palatable, but also helps you replenish sodium after a long paddle or tough gym session. If you’re into localism as well as the Paleo Diet, you’ll like the fact that each PRIBARS ingredient is sourced from the Western US, too. —Phil White

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Father’s Day Downwinder

Father’s Day Downwinder from Paddle With Riggs on Vimeo.

Jeremy Riggs is one of the most well-respected downwind paddlers in the world. Apparently his daughter Natalie knows that and trusted him to take her out for her first downwind experience on Father’s Day in Maui.

“We had a blast!” Riggs wrote. “She’s ready for the next level!”

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