Tag Archives: stand up paddleboard

3rd Annual Onion River Race and Ramble!

Click the link below to view all the photos from the day.

Onion River Race & Ramble Photos



Airhead SUP Anchor Kit

Check out this review for the Airhead SUP Anchor Kit! Seems like it would be a great product for those wanting to float in one spot without drifting.

This is ideal for…

  • Fishing
  • Yoga
  • Stopping to enjoy lunch on the water
  • Taking a break in the sun

Basically it eliminates the worry of floating away down the river or across the lake or too far on the ocean, when you really just want your SUP to stay put.

The nice thing about the Airhead SUP Anchor Kit is that it is super lightweight and compact. It only weighs 1.5 lbs.

It’s not too heavy to lug around on your paddleboard but it’s strong enough that it works great.

It is a grapnel anchor that is made for small vessels. It hooks easily into rocks, branches, or coral.

The four tines however have a little harder time clinging to sand and mud but it’s still possible. I found it worked really well in several different environments.

For more about this product go to www.isupworld.com.
Airhead SUP Anchor
Airhead SUP Anchor

BIC Sports Receives Men’s Journal Gear of the Year Award.



BIC Sport is excited to announce and honored to receive the 2014 Men’s Journal GEAR OF THE YEAR award for the 12’6 SUP AIR inflatable paddleboard. The board was tested by Men’s Journal gear test team and chosen as one of the “best tools, toys and tech” for 2014 for its innovative features and performance.

Shaper Patrice Remoiville, working closely with the BIC SUP team in Europe and North America, designed the 12’6 SUP AIR (together with the rest of the SUP AIR range) to perform more like traditional rigid boards than typical inflatables.

Dubbed by Men’s Journal as the “Go anywhere SUP”, the 12’6 was lauded for its exceptional rigidity and a “smooth, stable and relatively fast ride”. They also noted the innovative use of a “high-performance removable fin like the one found on regular SUPs” which is universally compatible with other fins for easy replacement or customization.

3D Printed Paddle Boards – Reality or Hype?


A company called 3D Creation Systems, recently held a contest on GrabCAD, to see who could come up with the best stand up paddle board design. They were looking for a paddle board that could be more portable, easy to assemble, and able to be taken to various locations with ease. They also wanted a paddle board design that could easily be 3D printed and was nice to look at.  Portability is a problem that many surfers and paddle boaders run into.  Today’s paddle boards are limited to being transported on the roof of cars, where they can be dangerous and hard to move.  A solution to this problem is one which just about every paddle boarder would love to see.    – 3dprint.com

Click here to read the full story from 3Dprint.com

Stand Up for Patagonia!

Aussie Chris Theobald is a stand up paddleboarder, mountain guide and journalist in the Torres del Paine, Chile, Patagonia. Driven by a desire to paddle in incredible places Chris left behind his beautiful home, headed to Santiago to buy a board and then set off on a glacial ice SUP adventure.

SUP Patagonia

This incredible SUP Patagonia experience is shared with us thanks to the mind blowing photography by Marcel Urbina Tarifeño. And with an important environmental message, to ensure we sustain such beautiful environments to paddle in. Chris tells his SUP story…

CLICK HERE for the rest of the story.

Geek Beak – Why an Iconic Whitewater Fad Won’t Die

Check out this fun article written by Katrina Pyne of Rapid Media  to learn the history and future of the Salamander visor. If you’ve been around whitewater for a while, you probably have one stuffed away somewhere or maybe even still attached to your old school, but still good, helmet. I know I do. In fact, I rocked it just a few weeks ago on my SUP.

SUP The Winooski 2013 Salamander Visor

In the days when play-boats were more than 10 feet long, freestyle was called rodeo and pirouettes were a hot move, paddlers had a problem.

It was the early ’90s, and the Pro-Tec and Wildwater helmets of the day worked well for protection but nothing for sun protection.

People layered baseball caps under their helmets to add a brim, but the pressure of the hats’ buttons pressing into their skulls meant every paddling session ended with headaches.

Around the same time, Patrick Kruse sat in his Seal Beach, California, basement apartment trying to solve a dilemma of his own: how to launch his startup gear company into the world of whitewater and stand out against other manufactures.

A paddler himself, Kruse had heard complaints about the baseball cap conundrum.

After a two-day flurry of cardboard and fabric cutting and pasting, he emerged with a design that would push his new business into the mainstream.

The Salamander brim was a hit.

For years, every Dagger Crossfire and Perception Pirouette contained a paddler whose helmet had a sticky Velcro strip and colorful, three-inch, foam-filled visor.

It came out in more and more colors and jungle and hibiscus patterns that would’ve made the Fresh Prince proud.

More than two decades later, the same brim comes with the same Salamander logo on the same 600-denier poly-cloth and Volara foam with Velcro-705 molded hooks, as when Kruse first designed it.

It remains on Salamander’s best seller list and is easily the company’s defining product.

In the late ’90s though, helmet companies like Orosi started catching on – modern helmets emerged with built-in brims and started turning heads.

The Salamander does offer one advantage over built-in brims, says current owner, Shane Preston, who’s been with the company for six years. “If a kayaker is upside down, the bill will actually flip back rather than catch the water and yank your head back.”

Today, companies like Sweet Protection, WRSI, Shred Ready and Predator all make brimmed buckets of their own. But Salamander lives on.

The company still sells 2,500 visors every year, although for the most part, it’s not us buying them.

“To be 100 percent honest, it’s the horse industry – they love these things,” says Preston.

Salamander now sells 20 times more brims to its equestrian market  than to whitewater paddlers. The visors fit on riding helmets just as well as they once did on whitewater helmets.

He’s also selling to bike and ski shops.

“For the hot kayaker, not too many kids are wearing them because they’re a little dorky looking,” Preston says. “But they work. You can’t deny that it gives you some nice protection.”

Salamander’s original visor designer Patrick Kruse now runs a company called Ruffwear selling performance dog gear in Oregon.

Three years ago on a hot summer day he was driving down Highway 395 towards Red Rock Canyon when a giant grin spread across his face. On the side of the road he saw a crew of 20 or so road workers, each with a bright red Salamander visor Velcroed to their hardhats.

Paddling Whitewater Basics

Looking for that next adventure on your stand up paddleboard? Try navigating a river! There are a few things you need to know before you paddle your way down just any old river.

First, are there any rapids on the river you want to paddle? What are they like? American Whitewater has a great compilation of most rivers with whitewater sections. Choose a river that is within your ability  level. If in doubt, call a local outfitter. They love to talk about the paddling opportunities around them.

Whitewater SUP Friends

Second, recruit some crazy friends to adventure with you. You should aim to take at least 2 other people with you. Besides being necessary for safety, you want someone there to witness and laugh at your many wipeouts.

Third, make sure you have the proper gear. A durable board, helmet, PFD, paddle and good foot protection are the minimum. You might also want to consider knee pads and/or elbow guards. A releasable leash can also be a good idea if you are worried about your board floating downstream without you after you fall off. Never tie yourself to your board while in moving water unless you have a quick release feature.

Falling Backwards

Fourth, go out and have fun! While on the river you will most definitely run into rocks, get wet and fall in. Check out this great blog post about how to safely fall off your board.

Lastly, take a picture and tell us about your adventure! We want to hear where you went and how you did.


Turn Faster with the Forward Sweep Stroke

You’ve got the forward stroke down, but what about turning? The most common method of  turning is a sweep stroke. The forward sweep stroke is essential for turning while keeping that forward momentum that you’ve worked so hard for. I’ve broken this stroke down into 3 basic steps.

Forward Sweep Setup

Step 1: The Setup – This is where you prepare for a sweep stroke.  First, you’ll want to position your feet in a modified surf stance. Drop one foot back a few inches with a slight angle out. This will allow your hips to rotate better toward the side of your sweep. Once your feet are positioned, bend your knees. Bending your knees will allow you to reach farther out from your board, allowing you to have a more effective sweep stroke. Rotate your body so that your paddle blade can be placed into the water at the nose of your board. This is like setting up for a golf swing. If you don’t get your body rotated before your swing the club, the ball just won’t go very far and your arms will become tired and strained very quickly. Once your body is fully rotated, place that paddle blade into the water until fully submerged.

Forward Sweep Stroke

Step 2: The Stroke – At this point your paddle blade is already in the water and your body is like a spring all twisted up and ready to uncoil. Let it happen. If you imagine your standing in the middle of a clock face and the nose of your board is at 12 and the tail of your board is at 6, you want your paddle to follow those numbers on the clock all the way around from 12 until 6. The farther you can reach out towards those numbers, the more effective your sweep stroke will be. Since you are standing in a modified surf stance you should be able to rotate your hips and body most of the way around. Make sure you are keeping your knees bent the entire time to help keep your center of gravity closer to the board, and you more stable.

Forward Sweep Recovery

Step 3: Recovery – Now that your paddle blade is close to the tail of your board, you can remove the blade from the water by slicing it sideways and up and through the water or pulling it straight up and out. If you didn’t turn enough you can leave your feet in the same position and setup for another sweep stroke or you can bring your feet back to the neutral position and continue paddling forward with the forward stroke.

Once you’ve got the basic motion down, try taking a couple steps or hops backwards or forwards on your board before doing a sweep stroke. Did you notice any difference? Moving backwards should help turn the board quicker because as the nose comes up out of the water there is less contact between the board and the water, allowing the board to turn easier (these are called pivot or buoy turns). Moving forward will make it harder to turn until you have moved far enough forward that the entire fin is out of the water.

If you’re still looking to make your turn more effective, try tilting your board. Just after your place your paddle blade in the water during the setup phase, put a little extra weight on your forward foot to tilt your board. Then, proceed with the stroke. You should find that it lets the water move underneath the front of your board easier as you’re turning because the edge of your board leading into the turn is angled up out of the water.

Need a video to help you visualize?
Check out this “How To” video by Jimmy Blakeney of BIC SUP.