Oct 30, 2012

Port Mann Bridge from a new perspective

Friday we had a little house re warming party! Andrew spent the last 1.5 months building, creating, and fixing our little home. Check out his blog for PICS etc

SUP and Port Mann Bridge

Saturday morning we joined Johnny and Marc on the Fraser River. It was pouring down with rain so out of our sport options paddling seemed like the most sense AND Johnny thought of a cool adventure. I am always up for exploring new places... I wanted to get out for a SUP anyways and paddling with others is always more fun! Johnny and Andrew were in Johnny's skin on frame canoe, Marc was in the evo surfski and I was on my Starboard BOP SUP. We were quite the scene launching out near a construction site underneath the Port Mann Bridge! We headed not too far upstream into the Coquitlam River. Here we paddled until basically the current got too strong for us to make significant headway. I kept getting little waves of dizziness whenever I looked down as we were heading the opposite way to the current and it was fairly shallow waters so I could see the bottom rushing past in a weird direction.... it was kind of trippy! I was enjoying the "resistance training" of the current and also trying to keep up with a surfski:)  The paddle down the Coquitlam was much quicker than going upstream... we explored the Fraser river some and then headed back under the Port Mann and took some time looking up through the gaps of the bridge... again definitely a little tipsy standing on a river looking up at traffic whizzing overhead:)


Saturday evening we enjoyed some Halloween celebrations and after a well needed lie in, on Sunday afternoon we headed out to Cypress to explore some new trails. We decided to only take our running shoes as we weren't too sure where the trails we were looking for were and in what condition they might be in! We managed to be out there for about 3 hours and found some trails but not the one we were looking for:) We will be back as it is a whole new area of trails that we have yet to discover/ride/enjoy:)

Sunday night I got called into Deep Cove to guide a full moon tour! Love the full moon tours!!!! Sunday ended up being a wonderful day that we spent in the outdoors:)

Now, it is time for my body and mind to get prepared for the last BIG SUP race in awhile.... Off to Mexico to battle it out at the Hennessey's World Champs!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Oct 22, 2012

Doing many different things......

I've been busy in a really good way lately!

I have missed out on writing about some recent adventures so I am going to summarize.  Adventures keep popping up lately and I am loving it but its tough sometimes to keep on top of all of the other smaller but really important parts of life:)

Winthrop Thanksgiving weekend
The crew at the top of Angels Staircase

Biking the ridge of Angel Staircase

There was lots and lots of sunshine... lots and lots of really great mtn biking, lots and lots of amazing food.... fun people, slacklining, and good times.
We rode 4 days: all over the area of Winthrop and still managed to ride some trails that we had never rode before.  We also rode some of my favorite classics like Cutthroat and Angels Staircase.
I am one for traditions and this is one tradition I hope we keep alive for a long time coming. THANK YOU Chris's parents for lending us your cabin for a weekend, WE LOVE IT there! I also love it when you bump into someone on top of a mountain in the middle of what feels like nowhere... Great to have bumped into you Dale! It truly is a small world...

Andrew at top of Cut Throat Pass

Me biking down Cutthroat Trail

me slacklining behind the house

andrew and I at the top of Angel Staircase hike a bike

I got to finish the weekend off with a SUP in Bellingham Bay. Andrew dropped me off and I paddled the bay and he picked me up about 45 minutes later! It was great to beable to get out for a little paddle. I was on the Starboard Astro Blend Inflatable SUP board! Great for packing it up in a small space and quick to pump up and put together!

Bellingham SUP

Bellingham SUP

Bellingham SUP

Slipstream 90 Hour Wilderness First Aid Course
Following a great weekend of mtn biking, food, and friends I headed straight into a 9 day intensive wilderness first aid course. The days were long, the information plentiful but interesting and useful, and the nights full of readings and review. Although it was intense and tiring it was a great course. I met some really awesome people and learned a lot about myself and first aid! A double winner in my books! I just have to finish an online multiple choice test and I am officially done...well for the next 3 years at least! I totally recommend Slipstream if you are ever thinking of doing a more intense first aid course!

Birthday SUP Surf weekend in Tofino
Birthday at Chesterman Beach

I wanted to go surfing for my birthday. My birthday happened to have landed on a friday and I managed to get that friday off from work.... SO, Andrew organized a birthday weekend in Tofino. Its a process getting over there.... the ferry line up, and the ferry itself, then the drive across the island. Luckily, it was worth it:) We got three days of mix of sun and rain, and am happy to say it was mostly sun! The waves were a perfect size for Andrew and I. Thank you Trident Sports for lending us the boards. I really love surfing on the Starboard Whopper board. We also had a Starboard Blend and Andrew was looking solid out there on that board! We stayed at a greta little guest house called Tofino Travellers. It was very peaceful and FUN! It was just what I needed after a long 10 days of class! THANKS ANDREW for the perfect birthday weekend!

my mad skills:)

Now, its time to gather my thoughts, do some soul searching, and figure out what is next for me. I have many ideas and desires but they are a little unfocused, and I can't do it all in one go. I have to pick and choose and frankly I find the choosing tough... tough when there are many great choices and I have no real indication what the outcomes of each choice can be.....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Oct 3, 2012

Battle of the Paddle: Dana Point California

View from the Starboard team House. I heart beaches

When I came back on the scene of SUP after a year away in China.... The BOP was not on my list of races to do this fall. I knew I hadn't surfed since probably two years ago and so much of the race depends on the ability to read waves, catch them and ride them.... The BOP is a really great event but it does cost A LOT of money to enter the races. I spent money on getting there etc but I still couldn't bring myself to lay down the $$$ for the elite short course. I just wasnt mentally confident enough to regularly catch and surf in waves most of the time. Right now catching and surfing a wave is more in the hands of chance than skill. I am hoping to practice surfing throughout the winter and change this.... So, the money bothered me BUT I wanted to be on that start line up BUT it would show me nothing other than I could finish and I know I could finish.hmmm... I had to make a choice....

lots of people on the water...

The OPEN race.
A whole bunch of craziness!!!!! What happens when 400 paddlers paddle around a circle five times?.... I think you need to experience it yourself to fully understand. Some called it a huge human whirlpool and others just plain chaos....
At the start of the race, I didn't even get butterflies in my stomach.... no pressure, no tension, no nervousness (other than not really understanding how it would actually work with so many paddlers out on the water at the same time?!?... ) The start signal went and I just hammered away.. I wanted to sprint out of the mess from the start:)  Luckily we only had a minimal amount of small surf breaks to get out to the first bouy, unluckily for some paddlers they managed to get caught in a big pile of a mess around the first bouy... I stayed WIDE and far away from that scene as I didn't want any part of that. I consistently paid attention to others and tried to react to their movements in order for me to stay upright and not get caught in a battle field of people and boards. I did fairly well until on the last length a man in front of me fell and tipped me in.... oh well... its all part of the game!...and then again I fell on a wave riding in to shore but did manage to catch the next one and rolled in with the ever so famous Gerry Lopez. I found myself with a first place prize and my confidence boosted!  I was on a Starboard carbon BOP 12'6x26.5 board. A board I enjoy in the chop and swell. I find the BOP board light and stable yet maneuverable. It was my first race with my new Werner Grand Prix Paddle and so far it felt good in my hands. The shaft is slightly longer than I am used to and I think it helped with my reach which is great!  It is super light weight and think it definitely helped me get out in front throughout the start of the race.
Start of Open Race Photo by Jason Lexa

Open race madness Photo by Jason Lexa

Photo by Shannon Bell Running in with Gerry Lopez in the background!

winning my 1st place prize for Open race with Sparky and Gerry Lopez

Karly and I with our prizes. Photo by Mike Darbyshire

Open Race Award

The DISTANCE race.
Coming into the BOP event I knew the distance race was the event where I had a better chance to flourish and really test myself against the best. Less luck would be involved and more just hard good ol fashion grit and mental tenacity. I kind of expected to finish somewhere around maybe 10th or so and would have been content with a top 10 placing among the elite women. The start was a water start and it was a little mental with people sneaking forward, the officials making people move back, forced to sit, and the skidoos infront of the line making waves and then somewhere in the mix of all that there was a GO! and...we were off. I truly just concentrated on my stroke, my balance, my hydration and going in the right direction. Once we started, the waves and people made it too difficult to concentrate on anything else but staying upright on my board. After the first few minutes of banging boards and crazy waters I kind of fell into a rhythm... I looked up and then saw Jenny Kambalch, a truly accomplished SUP racer right there beside me.. My first thoughts were "oh she must be having a bad day cause I am so close to her"... I then saw Brandi Baksic, another amazing SUP racer, just ahead and got some jitters as I realized it would be kind of unlikely that they both were having bad days at the same time...maybe I was having a good day:) So, I got on the end of the drafting train behind Jenny and some boys. In this race anyone could draft anyone.... I was gettting excited and maybe got a little too exctied because the next thing I knew I was in the water and the fast train had just pulled away from me :( I shook it off and got back on my board and just put my head down and started to paddle again.  I got some drafting here and there but it seemed as though I was in an empty space with not too many guys or gals really around to draft.... hmmm... I sipped my NUUN more than usual... the heat was getting to me and my stomach was growling. The water was tough throughout the entire course, swell and random chop made it tough to keep a straight line. I rarely get sore legs but I was feeling it with all the micro movements needed to stay on top of the water rather than in the water. Slowly though I could see Jenny and Brandi and their clan moving farther and farther away from me. It was frustrating as drafting really does help and there just wasn't a train for me so on I pushed by myself. I rounded the last bouy and sort of luckily for me I was in between sets. This did mean I had to paddle all the way into shore without a free ride form a wave but it also meant no carnage...:) My Werner Grand Prix helped me paddle hard into shore. I proudly found out I was the 5th girl across the line. 5th elite women!  It felt really good. I am totally stoked!
Comin in at the end of Distance Race photo:Jason Lexa

Distance Race photo: jason Lexa

Running into 5th place women elite photo:Jason Lexa

Pretty Stoked after the distance race photo: Jason Lexa

I heart Team Canada! Mike Darbyshire, Norm Hann, Gary Parsons and myself created a Team Canada for the relay race. We raced on a starboard BOP 12'6x26.5 carbon board. I wanted a leash so Mike D created a system that I could take on and off the board as the other badass surfers didnt need one! One day maybe I will be confident enough in the surf that I won't need a leash either:) I loved the relay race! The carnage, the crowds, the team aspect... all of it! Team Canada came in 10th out of about 50 teams! YAY CANADA!

Team Canada Relay Team: Gary, Mike, me, Norm photo by Karly Cox

Me waiting my turn photo by Karly Cox

Mike running photo by Karly Cox

Gary photo: Karly Cox

Heading out to paddle photo: Karly Cox

most of the Canadians at BOP but not all... CANADA ROCKS!

*Trident Sports and Starboard for helping me out with boards and accomodations and for being a really fun cool team to hand out with!
*Nikki Rekman sales and Werner Paddles for providing me with a stellar Grand Prix Paddle that helped me get to where I needed to get to(start line to finish line..) quickly!
*Ryders Eyewear for protecting my eyes while chillin on the beach and at the beer tent:)
*Laiph Clothing for bringing me on as an ambassador to what seems to be an amazing team. I look forward to being part of the team!
*Mike Darbyshire for driving us around and just being awesome
*Dan Gavere for organizing us athletes getting us boards, food, and ensuring we were having a good time
*All the amazing people, the community, and the stoke!
*ANDREW my hubby for encouraging me to go to the race and being awesome in every way possible! LOVE YOU

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!