Rob Casey is the owner of SUP school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle, co-founder for the PSUPA and is the author of two paddling guides.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Car Rack Strap Noise - How to Prevent

Have you ever strapped your boards or kayaks on your car then drive away to hear a super annoying vibrating sound that even the best car stereo can't block out?  This is caused by car rack straps that are not twisted - twisting the straps prevent the noise. Sometimes strap ends will do it, but usually not as as annoying as the main straps.

The last time this happened to be, I had two stacks of boards on top and while the straps were twisted, it took me a few pull-over's to find the right one, which of course was inside the two stacks in a difficult to reach spot. 

Hear a sample of the noise from my last experience, click here.

Un-twisted Straps
Twisted Straps














Twisting straps for concave / carved out deck


Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: 
salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167
 - 
Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Interview with John Puakea - Stand Up Paddle the World

Learn about SUP and OC efficiency in this very informative podcast of John Puakea by Darrell Kirk of Stand Up Paddle the World. John, an outrigger canoe designer and world class paddler talks about stroke efficiency, the forward stroke and what it feels like to achieve the perfect stroke.



Click Here for the Stand Up Paddle the World site

From the post page:

John Puakea is a legend in the Outrigger Canoe community and has brought his years of experience to the Stand Up Paddle world.   As an exceptional technical coach, John has helped push world-class paddlers to the next level in international competition. His ability to improve the performance of already-elite paddlers also led Team Bradley to consecutive first-place finishes in the Molokai-to-Oahu Na Wahine O Ke Kai, and to the fastest crossing time by any women’s team in the history of the race.  John talks about his entry into the outrigger canoe world and how to develop a fast paddle stroke in both OC and Stand UP Paddle Board Racing.



Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: 
salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167
 - 
Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How to Hold your SUP Paddle - 3 Hand Positions

It's not uncommon to see paddle boarders holding the paddle in an incorrect way.

What does incorrect mean?  

Standing Position:
- Hands too close together, which reduces power and control
- Hands too far apart. This creates strain on the inner arm and upper back and you'll have less rotation in your stroke.
- Hands not on the handle when standing.  Unless you're doing a short cadence race start, this technique forces you to bend over a bit to paddle, creating less power and control in your stroke.

Kneeling:
Often we see folks holding the handle when kneeling. This increases strain on your arms and shoulders and most likely the paddle shaft will be diagonal thus turning the board on ever stroke (vertical shaft means the board will go straight(er).

Sitting:
Same as above, there's issues with hands being too close together or too far apart.

How to Paddle Correctly - 
I'm always cautious of saying 'proper technique' as folks have different methods of doing things for their own style. But for the most part, the above listed issues do lead to arm and shoulder pain, less power and more work.

Watch this video to learn how to use the Paddler's Box to determine how to hold the paddle when standing, kneeling or sitting. Note when sitting, we use choke up to the blade and use the long end of the shaft for the additional 'blade'.



See more videos and info for holding the paddle, paddling straight and the 3 paddling positions:





Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.


Sea Kayak DIY Conversion to a Sit on Top

Inspired by the open deck surf ski cockpits, I wanted the performance of a sea kayak but as a sit on top. My combat roll was never that solid and I like the freedom of putting my legs over the side, jumping in-out anytime and more recovery options in big water.

Kayak fisherman Todd Switzer did the first part of the project removing the top and installing a test interior. Sean Thomas of Echo Composites finished the job with a surf ski style cockpit with scuppers and venturi's and rail leash plugs to attach the thigh straps to.



My first session in the new boat was a success while surfing 5' wind waves in a 25 kt northerly on Puget Sound. The scuppers worked great, the boat was only a few pounds heavier than the original 37 lbs and it rolled without any differences than the prior version.  The skeg will be converted into a pull up - push down variety off the back deck behind the cockpit since we removed the side slider. The skeg never really worked well as a slider, sometimes breaking (cable got jammed).

Parts used:
Boat: 2009 Sterling Illusion
 Scupper: Home Depot parts
Venturi's - custom molded by Sean (he has a cnc).
Foam: Mixture of EPS 1lb and blue insulation foam
Foot Pegs - out of production model purchased from www.nwoc.com

Contact Sean Thomas of Echo Composites for more tech builders info. He's thinking of creating a plug to more easily place a cockpit in existing boats. Doing so manually was quite a bit of work.
Sean Thomas sean@echosup.com in Issaquah, WA























Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Paddlers Tips for how to Prevent Blisters and Arm/Wrist Pain

Ever get a blister on your finger when paddling? Most likely it's due to either holding the paddle too tight and/or with all your hand at once.  The key is to let go just enough that the paddle doesn't fall out of your hands. You really don't need to hold on that hard to be in full control, even when surfing, paddling rivers and racing.

A looser grip also means reduced or no pain in your wrists, elbow and shoulders. Many who get shoulder issues are holding on too tight.

Letting go also means you'll have more overall flexibility in turns and other core and full body movements on your board.

Watch this video for examples of how to have a loose grip on the paddle shaft and handle

Tight lower grip (see tension in wrist)


Loose grip, fingers only during power phase


Tight 'death' grip


Loose grip, thumb hooked below T-Grip/Handle

Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.




Thursday, March 9, 2017

How to Paddle a SUP Straight

Paddle goes in straight line

Having a hard time keeping your sup straight? Back in the day when I was new to SUP, about 2006, I devised a way to keep my board straight when paddling. I added pressure to one rail, adjusted my trim (where you stand on the board) to where the board would go straight. Then I'd hold that angle for a few miles. Luckily, I overheard Dan Gavere mention paddling straight with a vertical paddle shaft.

There's a few reasons why you're not going straight. Here's what I teach my students to help them paddle not only straight, but on one side. You can do 2 of the three tips or even just one if you have a long race or downwind board with a straight waterline.

Paddling on one side is less work, will make you go faster and have more fun...

1. Look where you're going (not down or to the side, for the most part).

2. As the image shows on the right, draw your paddle blade down a straight line from the catch to your feet. The catch is where your blade goes in. If you follow the contour of your board from the nose down, you're actually doing a sweep turn which is very common.

3. Make sure your paddle shaft is vertical through the power phase of your stroke, so from your catch to your exit at your feet. This means your upper hand is over the water. If your upper hand is over the board, the shaft/blade will be doing a C shape turning the board.

  
      Keep Paddle shaft vertical

For your Forward Stroke - Avoid..

- Pulling your paddle past your feet. A little bit is fine but too much, your body will rotate thus will turn your board.

- Over Grip your Paddle - This extra tension will put strain on your arm/shoulders and limit the flexibility of your arms thus will affect the efficiency and direction of your stroke.

- Paddle with your Arms Only - Make sure to have both arms mostly straight (slight bend in upper arm) thus rotating your torso for your stroke vs bending your arms to paddle. Making sure to reach from your waist (hinging) for your reach to the catch.

Try This...

Count your Strokes - Start counting your strokes on each side. You may notice that you'll get more strokes from one side than the other. For many it's their dominant side. For me, a lefty (goofy foot) I can paddle forever on my left side - but not so effective on the right side. In races when my competitor is changing sides a lot, I can pass him/her by not changing my sides. Downside of paddling on one side is possibly over using that shoulder. Keeping a loose grip (super loose) does reduce arm/shoulder strain.

Fins - Fins can make a difference of whether you're paddling straight. A small fin 3"-5" can not only affect balance but also be too small to really affect your tracking. If the above techniques don't work for you, get a bigger fin. Many race fins are 10" deep and 4-6" wide. Larry Allison's Ninja and Gladiator Fins are examples of popular fins that help paddlers not only go straighter but will make them more stable.  Most of my surf style boards have 9" fins. I use the Ninja for my race board.

Your Stance Affects Direction - Years ago, I called Prijon, the kayak manufacturer for my boat at the time. I complained that the boat must've been warped as I couldn't keep it going straight. I never heard back. Turns out, I was probably sitting slightly ajar in my cockpit. Same goes for SUPs. If you're adding more pressure to one rail than another, your board will go in the weighted direction. If the board isn't flat on the water - nose up or tail up, then this will affect your forward direction. Have someone look at your board from the side to make sure your it's flat (with u on it).


Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - 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.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SUP Podcasts & Adventures on Stand Up Paddle the World Radio

(L to R) Me, Darrel and NOAA Scientist Mark Powell
Despite a lot of rain, we have a lot going on here in Seattle when it comes to SUP. Just so happens, paddler Darrell Kirk lives 2 blocks from me. Darrell runs Stand Up Paddle the World which is a collection of pod casts interviews of SUP paddlers from not only the Pacific Northwest but also around the world.

Darrell's page also includes his explorations of many SUP trips he's taken on the Chicago River, 400' under Missouri in a mine, the Salton Sea and many more places.

Check out his site here..


Search Darrell's many pod casts of paddlers, a NOAA meteorologist, families who paddle together, women in SUP and SUP fitness experts.

Check out Darrell's channel on iTunes


Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - 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.