Sunday, December 28, 2008

Open Ocean Paddling Safety

With the popularity of open ocean paddling increasing, all paddlers need to practice and communicate to others the importance of open water paddling safety measures. These include:

  • Always paddle with a partner stay within close proximity of one another
  • Always use a leash
  • Carry a cell phone in a waterproof case
  • Carry a whistle
  • Carry water
  • Practice sun protection with sunscreen, a hat or visor, eyewear, and a surf shirt

Remember if you get in trouble, are falling a lot, or are having difficulty with the wind blowing you where you don't want to go you can always go on your knees and paddle or even prone paddle with your arms. To prone paddle place the paddle blade under your chest with the shaft facing forward.

The joys and benefits of distance paddling are boundless for those who have experienced a good downwind run. Lets make sure everyone can experience this without mishap.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Stand Up Paddle Association of Hawaii (SUPAH)

A non-profit association has been started to promote distance paddle training. It’s called Stand Up Paddle Association of Hawaii - acronym SUPAH. The SUPAH clinics are distance paddle instruction and training for novices through accomplished paddlers. Instructors signed up so far are Todd Bradley, Aaron Napoleon, Guy Pere, Morgan Hoesterey, Kainoa Beaupre and Doug Lock. Here’s the dates and potential topics for the clinics:

1/24/09 Paddling Technique 1 and Ocean Safety
2/21/09 Paddling Technique 2
3/7/09 Open Ocean Paddling and Bump Riding
4/18/09 Equipment and Mock Race
5/16/09 Kaimana Run and Graduation Party
June race season starts

Clinics are scheduled on the Saturdays with no Kanaka Ikaika race. They will start at 7:30am and go for 2-3 hours. The format will include instruction and individual coaching along with the opportunity to try various race boards. Location will be at Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai. A flyer with details and pricing will be available soon and a website is being constructed for SUPAH at

SUPAH will also be doing community service projects such as ocean/shoreline cleanups using SUPs and public awareness and educational campaigns on SUP ocean safety and surf etiquette.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2009 Race Schedules

Here is the tentative 2009 race schedule for all races available for SUP. The one-man and paddleboard races graciously provide a categoryfor SUP:

Overall Schedule:

The Holiday Burn Off put on by Pa`a is the first race of the year on January 3rd:

See you there!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

2nd Birthday Party

Wet Feet is having its 2nd anniversary party on Saturday December 6th. Come by and check out our new logo clothing and party specials including a free C4 paddle with a purchase of a C4 board until December 28th. Register for the C4 sweepstakes to win a C4 board, paddle or accessories. By any board and paddle and get a free beefy paddle bag or pay only 19.95 for the bag with paddle purchase. Free refreshments too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Race Class Standardization

This is an important topic for race organizers, board manufacturers and racers. There has been some consensus on the subject and what seems to make a lot of sense is the following for race classes:

Stock 12'-6" and under - This was the stock class at Battle of the Paddle and what the Pro Division was restricted to. Boards that qualify are:

12-6 Jimmy Lewis Distance
12-0 C4 Holoholo
12-1 Surftech Laird Surf
12-5 Infinity Custom Race
12-0 and 12-6 Joe Bark
12-6 Starboard Cruiser
12-6 Custom Joe Blair
12-0 Hobie Surf
12-1 Ron House Surf
12-6 Race boards from Battle of the Paddle including Dennis Pang, Hobie, Ron House, and Ohana

Stock up to 14' and no rudder - This is the standard size race board and includes:

14-0 C4 Vortice and Vortice XP
14-0 Ted Spencer/Wet Feet model
14-0 Joe Bark
14-0 Surftech Joe Bark Expedition
14-0 Custom Infinity
14-0 Custom Sandwich Isles Composite by Mark Raaphorst

Open/Unlimited Class - This class includes any length greater than
14-0 or with rudder. All the models below use an active steering rudder:

19-0 Joe Bark
F-16 and F-18 Sandwich Isles Composite by Mark Raaphorst
16-0 Ted Spencer/Wet Feet model
14-8 Starboard The Point

We'd like to hear your feedback on this and hope to have all the race organizers in agreement on standardized classes next summer. The Hawaii organizers that we have talked to think these categories are good and fit the board manufacturers models.

The main thing it to get more people racing! With standardized classes participation is encouraged because racers know they are competing only with those with similar equipment. An added bonus would be some sort of age brackets but that is not as important and will come with time and more participation. ~ Jeff

Photo courtesy of Battle of the Paddle