Archive for August, 2007


Dave sent me a cool video

Until I saw this video I would have said theDave and I are pretty similar level playboaters…

One thing that the video does tho is prove that you can teach beginner playboaters to loop in just a few weeks of practice. I think the All Star and coaching from James, EJ and Jesse helps a tad though :-) !


The Squirts…stern squirts, that is…

At the end of each session at Spencer’s, when I couldn’t face the attainment and the hole beating anymore, I spent some time working on stern squirts. These are so much fun. While practicing these moves I finally discovered my butt is very valuable asset- this is in addition to knees and core muscles to control edges and balance. Torso rotation is helping a lot- I’m finding the more the wind up, the less I have to work to really sink the stern. When getting vertical i drop the upstream edge a little bit. When the stern catches the undercurrent water, the All Star flies so fast. Jesse had some great advice too- if you are not vertical enough, try doing an Ab-crunch. This really worked. Also, try to really think about driving down the stern and use less paddle – instead focus on utilizing the natural energy from the current. I’ve been trying to throw my arms back to stay in a stern stall, but I can’t really manage more than about 2 seconds right now. I think working that butt a bit more will help…and definitely the boat and outfitting I’m using are, I believe, the best on the market. I’ve never been able to do any of these tricks until I found the All Star. I have included some photos from last night. Here is Jesse in a space Godzilla and me trying to get my stern stall down. 

                                              sternzoom.JPG          jessesg.JPG                                                      


James’ loop sequence @ spencers

I took these photos of James last night and i like these shots of him doing his loop becuase it demonstrates all the moves of the loop correctly. Plug the hole; stand up on the happy feet, arms upstretched; throw forward; loop; finish with arms behind head. Hope this is helpful for someone learning to loop-it certainly is for me.

img_1943.JPG  img_1944.JPG  img_1945.JPG  img_1946.JPG  img_1947.JPG


Some pictures from Spencers

I thought it would be cool to share some pictures from Spencers.  All pictures are thanks to our wonder photographer, Sanrda Elverud – cheers for that matey! Here we see me in a back surf; Dave proving it only takes less than 10 sessions at Spencers to be fairly consistant in a loop; James showing us the cartwheel spot.

Kate     Dave     James


Surfing- California style

This past weekend I needed to take a break from play boating and head back to my roots- surf kayaking. I headed south to Northern California for some wave action (wow-all 3 feet [max] of it). I was hyper-excited about this trip because I was there to work with Dick Wold. Not only is Dick is an excellent teacher, he also has some serious credentials- 18 years on the US kayak surf team; 5 times US champion and 1993 world champion…oh yeah and 6 times US waveski champion. I was extremely privileged to have the pleasure of surfing with him for 5 hours. Dick had some great advice for me about surfing- mainly to practice soup hops as these are key to all the surfing moves. I found an explanation of a soup hop on the internet- “get up on top of the foam by elevating the angle of the edge of the kayak nearest the foam side. Once on top of the foam you can, with the aid of your paddle … flat spin the kayak and go to other options”. Notice-elevate the angle nearest the foam….this is key to this move. It’s interesting, because for me this was counter intuitive. E.g. I finished a left bottom turn and the wave closed out, so I was riding the foam, and I wanted to get around the foam to the next breaking section. I dug in on my left edge to try to drive left. This is wrong. Had I raised the seaward edge, not the beachward edge, I would have climbed back up the pile. I tried soup hopping several times and discovered that it’s a really subtle change- too much edge saw me flipping over, too little and nothing seemed to happen. My HP boat is a little unforgiving with the edge thing too- I’m still getting used to concave edges. The soup-hop move is definitely something to work on and is a great tip for any newbie surfer.


Another day, another loop…?

Something that has been helping me improve ‘mentally’ is visualizing moves, thinking them through and practicing paddle placement and edge transitions before even setting so much as a toe in a boat. This was something I did with Jesse at 24/7 when he was trying to explain a cartwheel to me. I believe it is a valid and valuable way to aid the teaching of play boating- at least for people like me (thinker, doer). On the weekend EJ showed me and theDave the upper body moves for the blunt and we practiced all the paddle moves and edge transitions standing up in a car park. There is so much to think about in moving water (whether it be a river or ocean wave) that its sometimes hard to think about what you need to do, combined with timing. If you can teach your body some muscle memory prior to getting in the water, surely it will help out in the water? Time to put it to the test.

Back up to Spencer’s last night. I decided that I want going to push it too much. I had a few nice rides with some spins to warm up. EJ was trying to coach me about how to throw a right blunt. It is such a fast move and he said to me that you have to throw as fast as you can. I just couldn’t get it- most of the time I ended up just initiating a cartwheel. I think with time it’ll come tho…I can sometimes do these moves in the ocean but it’s hard to transpose to the river. I gave up on blunts and switched to trying my loops. I got a few attempts but got flushed. Then I thought about what the guys taught me. The moves are: shove end forward, stand up (lean back), tuck forward then lean back to finish, throwing the paddle behind the head. I actually thought about what I was doing as I was going through the motions, and success…throwing the paddle back is key. It’s kind of like hucking a waterfall- there is actually some time to think while you are executing a move. There is a definite correlation between my loop success rate (currently about 10 % to 20 %) and my tiredness. It seems the more tired I am, the better my loop- last night, my last ride was a spin followed by two consecutive loops (flushed off on the second loop). I can only conclude that I’m trying too hard earlier in the sessions. If I learned anything last night it was that I have to learn to relax on the wave/hole.