Dec 30, 2013

Dec 29, 2013

Christmas Holidays: Ski and Surf

Who doesn't love the week between Dec 25th and New years?????.... I sure LOVE IT.. especially when you can ski, surf, and trail run, all in the same week.... Pacific North West  love.
Christmas day ski/hike with skis/hot chocolate photo: Andrew Dye

Self shot after a great session at Long Beach

Going out in the whitewash photo by Andrew Dye

Catching some little ones amongst the wash photoby: Andrew Dye

there is more surf to be had...

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Dec 27, 2013

SUpracer/SIC... a nice post-Christmas present

check out this lovely article "the bossman"/Chris from SUpracer wrote:

THANK you for the kind/inspiring words!

In tofino at the moment.... getting thrashed by the cold cold waves!!!!! and.... loving it!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Dec 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

andrew and i and our tree!
MeRrY ChRiStMaS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you are enjoying this special time with family and friends!!!!!!!!!!!!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

backcountry ski with Kala, Meg and Andrew(taking picture)

Dec 16, 2013

Paddle Royal: A test of will power

A little motivational quote to start things off
I've been eyeing the Paddle Royal race for a couple of years and was thrilled to have been able to make it this year.
There was a lot going on right before this race with finishing off work, becoming recognized internationally as a SUP athlete, and trying to figure out how one lives a pro athlete life. I wanted to do this race for many reasons but felt it important for me personally to go out and race to set off my new life as a pro. I didn't know what to expect with varying levels of stress, lack of proper training, and just a lot going on in general. I was blessed with such positive inspiration from the SUP community, family, friends, and pretty much everyone that no matter what my results would be I knew I was doing the right thing. I wasn't sure how I would react to the added pressures from myself and the media,... I was keen to find out...

I arrived slightly earlier than others as I really wanted to make my way to the other side of the island to paddle and stay with a really great family and business owner. He owns Verde Azul in Aguadilla and helped provide me with a board to use for the race (Starboard All Star 12'6 x 25). I had planned to rent a car, drive down, and hang out/paddle with them. I did some further research about the driving in Puerto Rico and got scared, with the added poor weather, and high stress levels I just could not do it. The thought of renting a car, driving it on my own in an unfamiliar country in torrential rains put my stress levels through the roof.... I had to unfortunately abandon those plans and stay around San Juan.... I so wish I could have been with the Verde Azul crowd but after meeting them and loving them and seeing how amazing they are I can't wait to come back and paddle over there! I managed to jump on a BIC one design and Danny Ching's 404 board for some training out in the open ocean which provided me with some idea of what to expect out in the open ocean. Every day the ocean got progressively more intense with rising swells and increasing winds.... it was going to be a wild ride for sure... but I kind of enjoy that feeling of being slightly scared out there...
Photo by Mark Paaluhi

Thursday evening we had a race get together at the very awesome Velauno shop in San Juan... We were treated with drinks, great company, and talks from Eric Terrien, Jim Terrell and Chris Parker. Afterwards we had one of the best pizzas ever in a small pizza joint located on top of the shop... I got the pleasure to get to know some of the other top racers throughout the evening; sharing our adventure stories among other things. Everyone was excited and had tales to share.

Velauno Shop Thursday night. Taken from Velauno facebook page

Friday more racers were arriving, the rain was still downpouring, the winds still increasing, and my nerves and excitement starting to become noticeable. I went for some more paddling practice in the chop, tried to rest, hydrate, and eat! I definitely have a new obsession with coconut water.
Werner team members Friday

Hanging out with the ladies on Friday before the race day

Paddle Royal
Below is a little recap of how they come up with the final overall points at Paddle Royal:
The goal is to get the lowest number of points. You get to throw out your highest score and then the other 5 scores are tallied for your overall score. The distance race is worth two races and each sprint race is one. If you get 1st you get 1 point, 2nd 2 points, etc.... It is a cool way to try and find the most talented racer, one who can do the distance and have the speed and skills in the sprints.

Long Course
Saturday morning we awoke to howling winds and huge swells. As we gathered for the race meeting we were told that the coast guards cancelled the open ocean section of the race due to their concern for safety... I was bummed as I was excited for the adventure of going around Old San Juan but also happy in a race way as I knew that the strong ocean paddlers would have had a huge advantage over me due to experience in those conditions... I made sure I had Nuun in my water and some gels in my pack. I used my Werner Grand Prix S1000 paddle and was on a Starboard All Star (12'6 x 25). I decided to wear a leash, looking around most pros didn't use a leash but I figured since we didn't have a run in the course, it wouldn't hurt to have one just in case it would get a little gnarly at some point (it turned out to be a good call wearing the leash. it did get gnarly).
Photo by Michel Terrien
We had a new race start format which I think I will like but needs some practice in perfection by everyone involved. That being said I had a mediocre start but quickly gained the lead amongst the women. The women started 1 min behind the men and we quickly caught up to the slower men before the first buoy. It is always interesting when we are mixed in with men, it def keeps us on our toes trying not to get intertwined with falls and drafting. After the laps in the lagoon we headed out towards the channel. I kept my lead but I had no idea how far in front I was to the other ladies. We had a pretty solid downwind run and I was hoping that I could keep my lead and not falter. At the end of the chanel we came to the green turn around buoy. What I was staring at was overhead waves breaking, men surfing and men scattered all over the place as well. I thought Holy Sh*t is this for real? I am going to die! HA.... but at the same time my brain was telling me I am a PRO I can't get intimidated, Lina put your head down and paddle with confidence you will make it! So, that is what I did, I just paddled hard and hoped to stay on top of my board. As I got closer to the turn I noticed that the waves were not breaking on the buoy but closer to the rocks so I took the safe route and headed away from the rocks and therefore away from the huge breaking surf. I was wondering if this strategy would have lost me time but I just didn't have the confidence that I could surf those waves... I was sure glad I had a leach though. On the way back it was a pretty brutal headwind. I was out in front so had no one to draft, I didn't know how far ahead I was so I just kept paddling trying to hold my lead. I tried to stay close tothe edge to get out of some of the wind but most of the time there was no escape. I was just waiting for the bridge as I knew then it was almost over. I didn't eat throughout the race but I did drink some from my pack. I managed to pass some men. At the bridge I took the left entrance but didn't realize it was really short and had to crouch so low to get under the bridge. I was kind of angry at myself for doing that but it seems in the end it turned out well as I didn't get as much of the current as those that passed through the middle hole. I crossed the line first among the women and 13th or so overall... I was very happy with my result and enjoyed the glory for a short bit. I didn't want to get too excited as I knew there was a whole second day of racing which could totally affect my placing...

Sprint Races
The wind did not let up even in the protected lagoon. There were 4 sprint races... of varying length all counting towards the overall standings. My goal was to go out hard on the first two secure some more wins and then hope I could hold on to the top 3 for another race. The starts were important in this race as well as strategy and buoy turns. It was tough to manage hydration and food as the races were spread out and we didn't really know when we would be going throughout the day. We started the first race at 11am and the last race around 4pm. The first race was the longest. I got a solid start and was able to hold onto my lead the entire race. The second race was slightly shorter but again I had a solid start and held onto the lead. In between the 2nd and 3rd sprint races there was a one design team relay race. I decided to join a team as there was some cash money for the win. Chuck, Chris, Frank and I joined forces and managed to win the team relay!!!! We were stoked!
The winning relay team!

On the 3rd race I had a lead off the gun but at the second bouy turn Brandi took the inside line and managed to sneak out in front, it was a great battle... she has some solid turns and totally deserved that win. We had a pretty huge break before our last race which was a straight line sprint. Brandi and I figured out that no matter what happened we had locked in our positions of 1 and 2 and so celebrated with a beverage and felt relaxed with the pressure off our backs. There was a serious battle going on for 3,4,5,6 places among the women and for the men it all depended on the final sprint. I had an awful start but managed a win in the final race. The race to watch though was the pro men in that final sprint. It was AMAZING, the battle, the speed, the determination... Danny Ching managed the win and therefore the overall win for the weekend. Congrats to all racers, thanks Jaime from Velauno for putting on a great weekend!
Photo by Mrak Pahuuli

Awards! Lina 1st, Brandi 2nd, Helga 3rd, Gail 4th, Bailey 5th

St Thomas with Gail, Erik, and Jaecey....
I feel blessed to know amazing people. Two of these amazing people are Gail and Erik who live on St Thomas. They invited Jaecey and I to stay with them and experience life on St Thomas Island. I will try and summarize my time there.
Every Day all the time: Amazing views, warm water, and lovely people... I was trying to figure out if I was on vacation or working?!? HA. I wanted to use my time there to train in open ocean waters, surf, and downwind. So, is this work or vacation when you are an athlete? I tried to do a little bit of both I guess. When we were out on the water I took it seriously and tried to learn but also had loads of fun and enjoyed our adventures. I wanted to pack it in.... I don't get to enjoy warm waters very often so I was all about water fun!
Luckily so were Gail and Jaecey!

Day 1 We SUPsurfed. They were perfect size, deep reef, no crowds.... I was in heaven... I used my Werner Nitro paddle which worked awesome! It took me a while to figure it out but by the end I was catching some waves for sure.
Practicing some turns on our way to the waves photo by Jaecey Suda

Day 2 We SUPsurfed and did an awesome downwind run. The SUPsurfing was slightly bigger but still good. Again it took my a while but then I was catching them and riding them out the side:) YES! Improvement! The downwind run was just so fun! Colin Butler from !!!!!!!!!! took us out on his fishing boat. He dropped us off off the coast of St James Island and we paddled 8.5miles back to the lagoon/harbour. It was so nice to be out in the big ocean, the swell was overhead and we were having a blast catching glides, falling off, and just being in this beautiful area. I still am nervous when I fall off the board about sharks and other large underwater creatures but I try not to think about it too much:) I was working on catching glides and riding them, trying to read the waters like Jeremy Riggs taught me in Hawaii. I used my Werner Grand Prix small blade, My Virus tank and Sweet Waterwear shorts.
Downwind photo by Colin Butler
Day 3 The wind and waves died off in the morning so our plans for another downinder failed but as we switched plans to paddle over to some islands and snorkel the wind decided to pick up which made our paddle slightly more entertaining and more of a work out.
Gail and I with a truck full of fun photo by Jaecey Suda
Day 4 We packed it all in. We got up early and Erik dropped us off at Megan's Bay beach where Gail and I practiced too many bouy turns to count. The beach is clean and picturesque. We then paddled back to Hull Bay where Gail and Erik live. Then Gail introduced me to the Insanity work out... my butt still hurts... but doing it outside with a gorgeous view and carribean winds cooling you down makes it bearable and fun! HA. Friend Meredith joined us for a small downinder on the south side of the island from the Ritz hotel to Gail's parents place. We switched arounf between different SUP boards and her unl prone board. It was my first attempt at prone paddleboarding.... TOUGH... not sure how people do this from Molokai to Oahu but I can see the benefits of using it as a cross trainer! We were going to snorkel but went for some beverages instead! We enjoyed dinner at the Hideaway, the local beach restaurant/bar.... and finished off the evening with a game of Trains....

I don't want to give a away all the secrets but I can say St Thomas is a great island for water adventures. Gail and Erik amazing hosts. I got a lot of good open ocean training in which I am so grateful for! Now, its back to Vancouver, back to my hubby, back to the cold, and back to training in a different way as well as some serious planning and working on the computer..... These last two weeks have confirmed to me that following this dream at this time is the right thing for me right now. I know it is not always going to be glorious but for now I will bask in this glory and take the tougher times as they come.... Although it seems like a luxurious easy “job” like any I know it will have its ups and downs,.... but I am ready for them!

SUPracer: HERE

THANK YOU Werner Paddles, Nikki Rekman Sales, Trident Sports, OnItPro, Virus Performance Action Sports, Feed the Machine, Ultimate Potential, Pro-Lite, Ryders Eyewear, Surffur, Chacos, Crossfit Vancouver, Sweet Waterwear

Live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Dec 6, 2013

A quick update of all the nice things people are saying:)

THANKS  SUPtheMag for the nice post:)

THANKS SUPracer for the confidence:)

Tomorrow is day 1 of the Paddle Royal.... Its gonna be windy and big swells.... gonna be interesting:)

check out for results

THANKS for all the good luck wishes:) they will give me strength through the rough waters tomorrow:)

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Love these people and their products:)
Werner Paddles, NikkiRekman Sales, OnItPro, Virus performance Sports, Trident Performance Sports,  Ryders Eyewear, Surffur, Feed The Machine, MDrive, Ultimate Potential, Vancouver Crossfit, Sweet Waterwear

Dec 3, 2013

The first week of my life as a full time athlete....

 It's all happening! Just one month ago I was an extremely nervous person as I made a decision to pursue a dream of mine; to be a full time athlete. Friday was my last day at Mulgrave School... It was sad to leave the students and staff (I am still involved with some coaching and OE days.... YAY!)  but I would be lying if I didn't say I was also excited about the year ahead. I will miss so much about Mulgrave and I truly hope it is not good bye forever.... Infact, the Mulgrave community has installed extra motivation and faith inside of me as I step out of the comforts of the everyday living and live the exciting life of hard work and adventure.... Thank you for the positive support Mulgrave.

 Before I know it I will be in full swing of doing my thing in the world of SUP...

I got to initiate my first day as a "pro athlete" by giving an informal talk to 20 or so Quest University students. I chatted about choices, taking risks, and cherishing opportunities. I also got the chance to explain all the wonderful opportunities within SUP and how amazing this sport truly is. It was a great experience to be able to share my story with others in hopes of inspiring and motivating them to pursue their dreams.... It can be done my friends!

I am curious how the year to come will fill out and am realizing that it is totally up to me to steer it and allow it to flourish... which can be slightly stressful at times. I have some goals that I hope I can achieve throughout the year but I know whatever happens this year I will learn and experience a lot about myself, others, and the world.  Taking these first steps in making the choice to truly go for it was difficult but I am already filled with positive outcomes.

Right now I am in San Fran on the way to Puerto Rico to race at Paddle Royal.

Paddle Royal is a race I've been wanting to get to since its existence a few years ago.... I am pretty stoked to check out a new country, and meet a new SUP community....

this is only the much more to come.

check out for updates on race results....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!