Presidents Day Weekend

It started out with a lot of vehicle time for me Friday. I had been at a conference in San Francisco since Wednesday so I had to drive home unpack then repack before turning around to go to Santa Cruz for the holiday. We made Kyle drive the first two hours from Lincoln to Livermore and I got to rest a little.

Dawn hit her encaustic classes from 10-4 Saturday and Sunday where there was apparently frenzied print making the whole time. Kyle and I went over to Covewater SUP to see about renting him a SUP to surf and wet suit for the weekend. I tried out two different adjustable carbon fiber paddles. One a 90 sq-in and the other a 100 sq-in. It turns out my existing paddle is around a 105 when I compared them. Trent had commented watching me SUP surf a few months ago that I should try other paddles. That something did not look right but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He was right it turns out. My existing paddle was a little heavy for a carbon paddle and it turns out too big. Kyle and I went out and I initially used the 90 on a length setting about three inches shorter than what I am used to. Bam! I was catching all over the place at Jack’s. I switched with Kyle after a handful of waves. Even with the lighter 100 I was struggling to paddle quickly enough to catch waves. Just like my paddle. The 90 was so fast into and out of the water and with plenty of power that I was able to bring my stroke rate (cadence?) up. Which for me was huge for catching waves. Strangely, for as much time as Kyle spends on my Endo Board at home he could not stand up on his SUP very easily. So he kind of lazed around on the outside. As usual his size 12 feet froze in the water so he went in to warm up. His feet were still numb and hour later he said.

The next day I bought him some nice booties, which he didn’t want, but when we went out all he said to me was “game changer” with a big grin. We had some technical issues so our secession never really got started on Sunday. I lost a screw on my center fin on my first wave and luckily did not loose the fin. Needless to say we got out and headed to the SUP shop. Since it was late afternoon we turned in the rental gear and I bought the fixed length version of the Quickblade Kanaha 90 All Carbon. The paddle is so light, at only a pound, and so quick in the water. I also had it cut a little shorter, like the rental, which helps when you are on a wave to keep paddling. It keeps you from not having to lift the paddle high or stand up and potentially loose your balance while on a wave.  That turned out the be a very good change.

Monday I went out before sunrise for dawn patrol and watched the sun come up between waves. It was very choppy but there were lots of shoulder to head high waves which I basically had to myself before everyone else came out. The paddle worked great! I had several 100+ yard rides from the outside of Jack’s, halfway to Pleasure Point really, to the stairs at 38th Street. I got out at the high tide and went home to pack and drive home. Uneventful drive home and we are all unpacked. I am good and tired now and hope to sleep like the dead tonight.

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