Tag Archives: surfing

FIRST TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE LAKE SUPERIOR ON A SUP

DULUTH, Minnesota – 23 year-old Jared Munch isn’t your average college student. Rather than living carefree and with no responsibilities Jared wanted to experience more. A couple of years ago, Jared decided and committed to circumnavigate Lake Superior by SUP and after two long years of preparations he was the first person ever to do so. The journey covered 1350 miles over 46 days on the lake and was largely a solo and unsupported expedition. To learn more about his expedition over the summer we caught up with Jared to talk about what his experience was like out on the water. Take a look:

Lake Superior is quite the task, what was your motivation in doing this extensive paddle?

I had originally been looking at a study abroad option in Patagonia that was designed specifically for whitewater kayakers. It looked awesome, but it was expensive and wasn’t going to help me with my major (civil engineering). I started looking for other ways to broaden my paddling experience and the idea came to me as soon as I looked out my dormitory window. I remember thinking “Why am I trying to travel hallway around the world to have a cool adventure when I have THAT right in my backyard?” At first I thought paddling around Lake Superior was just a crazy idea. It had never been done before on a SUP. I at least took the dignity of writing the idea on a whiteboard for further considerations. After a month of staring at the whiteboard, I knew that it had to be done. This all occurred almost two years before I actually departed.

lake superior sup adventure
Views of Lake Superior as seen by Jared Munch. | Photos Courtesy: Jared Munch & SUP Connect
Did you train for this beforehand? What was your training schedule like?

Training? No. That’s for people with time and money haha. My “training” consisted of me frantically scrambling between school and work for the two semesters leading into the summer. I was working anywhere from 30-50 hours a week on top of being a full time college student just to fund my summer adventure. Physically, I wasn’t in tip top shape when I started. I was over prepared mentally though. I spent a lot of time in class 5 whitewater and surfing Lake Superior. I was totally comfortable being out there in some big water. In addition, I had gotten pretty good at making use of little supplies, and just being miserable in general over the last year during my “training”.

How long did it take you?

It depends on how you look at it. To me, it took me two years on planning and squirrelling away money to pull it off. My total number of days actually paddling around the lake was only 46. I left in early May, then returned to Duluth for two weeks to teach whitewater classes and raise more money for the rest of summer. I left again in June and got back at the end of July.

lake superior sup adventure
It wasn’t all easy paddling on Munch’s 46-day expedition. | Photo Courtesy: Jared Munch & SUP Connect
How far on average would you paddle each day?

Over the summer, including my days off for waiting out the weather, I averaged just under 30 miles/day. My biggest day was 52 miles.

Was your adventure supported or unsupported?

Out of the 1350 miles, 1150 were solo. The other 200 miles were in the company of my dad, brother, and friends. I carried all of my food and gear on the board. I shipped resupplies of food to myself at 150-200 mile intervals.

What gear did you take with you?
  • Board: C4 Waterman Wai Nui
  • Paddles: C4 Waterman Carbon X-Wing, Two-piece sea kayak paddle for heavy headwinds, and a flatwater canoe paddle for beam winds
  • Clothing: NRS farmer John Wetsuit, 7mm booties, semi-dri wear, down jacket, camp clothing
  • Food: Lots of dehydrated food from Camp Chow and lots of Cliff Bars
  • Tent: MSR Carbon reflex
  • Stove: MSR pocket Rocket
  • Others: dry bags, GoPro, first aid kit, small sail for emergency use only, compass, gps, sleeping pad, and my trusty Pillow Pet
lake superior sup adventure
lake superior sup adventure
Gear Shots. | Photos Courtesy: Jared Munch & SUP Connect
Hardships?

Dealing with the wind was a huge thing for me. Keeping a 14’ board tracking well in a strong beam wind is one thing, but put a bunch of camping gear on it and you will have a much larger problem. Hunger was also a big thing for me. I had no possible way of eating as many calories as I was burning. I lost 15 pounds in the first three weeks. The remoteness was difficult at times, but I mostly enjoyed the thrill of having only myself for any type of support.

Biggest thing you learned after going on this adventure?

Paddling flatwater all day isn’t very fun. You start to hope for some storms and nasty weather just for an ounce of excitement.

lake superior sup adventure
Munch getting the nasty weather that he had hoped for. | Photo Courtesy: Jared Munch & SUP Connect
Would you consider doing it again?

The exact same trip? No. A circumnavigation of the lake was a one and done thing for me. I would feel weird doing it again. There’s kind of a spiritual thing about the lake to me. The memories from the trip are so vivid in my mind that I don’t want to relive them or change anything about them. I’m sure I’ll paddle parts of the shoreline again, or tour to some of the more remote surf breaks that I found, but I will not do another full circle continuously.

Do you have any other SUP adventures planned in the future?

Yes I do. Next spring I will be completing the first descent of the Steel River of Norther Ontario. We’re going to hit it as the snow is melting, which means living in a drysuit for a week and paddling lots of whitewater with camping gear on the board. Very little about the trip will be easy, but that’s what makes it an expedition.

lake superior sup adventure
Munch enjoying his solo time on his 46-day expedition of Lake Superior. | Photos Courtesy: Jared Munch & SUp Connect

We look forward to seeing a lot more expeditions from this young talent and we wish him the best of luck in his endeavors. To see a sneak peak at the documentary that Jared is editing check out the video preview below!

A SUPerior Adventure Teaser from Jared Munch on Vimeo.

3D Printed Paddle Boards – Reality or Hype?

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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

HOW TO RIVER SURF WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND

In Littleton, Colorado on the South Platte River Glide team rider Alex Mauer river surfs with mans best friend on a local river wave named after him. On Alex’s River wave, Alex gives us a few tips on how to surf with and keep your dog safe on the river.

how-to-river-surf-with-your-best-friend

“Surfing with a dog is really cool. I was giving a river surf lesson to a friend who brought his dog along. After surfing for a few hours he suggested that I try and surf with his dog, Wrigley, on my board. It was a really cool experience and got me thinking about a few tips to keep your dog safe on the water.

First and foremost, make sure your dog is wearing safety gear. Yes, they make dog PFD’s!

Next, you want to make sure your dog is comfortable in moving water. Swim the rapid and play around with your dog. Then, get your dog comfortable standing on your board. Paddle around a flat section to make sure your dog doesn’t jump off the board once you paddle into the wave. After getting your pup used to the river and making sure that your dog is comfortable in moving water and on your board, you are ready to surf!

*Disclaimer: In the photos I am aware the Wrigley doesn’t have safety gear on. His owner was spotting him downriver of the wave. I also took safety precautions by entering and exiting the wave on my belly to ensure Wrigley wouldn’t fall off my board.”

To see the video of Wrigley and Alex CLICK HERE

LOCAL RIDER PROFILE: Trisha Hlastawa

Vermont SUP connected up with a local paddler yesterday at Oakledge Park in Burlington, VT for some fun on the water and unexpected surf on Lake Champlain.

Vermont SUP Trisha Surfing Oakledge

Rider: Trisha Hlastawa
Age: 24 years young
Hometown: Norwich, CT but currently living in South Burlington, VT
Board: Naish Alana 9’5″

Vermont SUP Trisha Profile Shot

Where is your favorite place to paddle?

I love to surf but coming at sunset and paddling on the lake is one of the best things ever.

Now you just got back from Cape Cod, How was the surf?

I went to Orleans, MA in the Nauset Beach area. The surf wasn’t that good but got better yesterday and today. (7/15 & 7/16)

Photo Jul 16, 8 30 20 PM

Why Paddleboarding rather than Kayaking?

I do not like sitting down! I like moving around as much as possible and paddleboarding give me the freedom to do that. I can walk all over it, I can do headstands on it, I can do yoga on it, there’s a lot of possibilities.

 

What would you tell a first time SUPer?

Be patient is the first thing. Not everyone will get it right away. Try to go somewhere totally calm to start is recommended. That way you can focus on your balance and not which way the waves are going. Coming here to Oakledge [Park] is really fun when it’s super calm which is most of the time in the summer.

Vermont SUP Trisha Paddle Out

Whats the next step? Where do you want to go, What do you wanna do?

I wanna do some touring on a paddleboard, I have a touring board and I wanna travel and go to some cool places where you can look down [into the water] and see all kinds of things. Not sure where but I gotta get myself out there.

Vermont SUP Paddle Sunset

What’s your #1 vacation spot you want to go and paddle?

Ohhh… Hawaii…?  Probably!

Make sure to follow all of Trisha’s photos on her Instagram page: @thsurfsnow

Waves at Oakledge Vermont SUP Oakledge park Burlington Surfing trisha