Posts Tagged ‘SUP’

Summer 2017 in the books

September 5, 2017

The first few non-green maple leaves are showing up in my yard this week.


It seems like I barely paddled this summer.  The usual suspects popped up and robbed me of my time. However, there was some paddling.  Seems like most often the paddling I do tends to be with people that have never been on a paddle board before, or with people that just haven’t paddle before.

Like Canadians for example. We had a family reunion this summer and somehow our Canadian relatives managed to get across the border. And? We took them paddling.


That’s all in the rear view mirror now, though. Next up?

This fall wavetrainSUP is rolling out double bend paddles, both ready to use paddles and kits.

Later on, as winter rolls around, we’re also going to have a go at paddleboards. Not paddles. The bigger chunks of wood that do the floating not so much of the paddling. 

That’s what took up so much time this summer. 

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that ‘new product development’ is not a time and money sink, although I am hard pressed to find a more pleasant way (other than paddling) to spend summer days.

happy trails! paddling too!


Sunset paddling in magic light

November 7, 2016

sunset paddling on the yahara river We decided to take advantage of the last night before Daylight Savings Time ends and it starts getting dark after lunch here in northern flyover country 🙂 We loaded and scurried and arrived at the newly redone haunted old Dyreson Bridge with the sun still in the sky. Just barely. For once, there were others on my favorite stretch of the Yahara, in fact there were even kids playing on one of the docks that has stood empty and forlorn for years. I guess we all knew that days are getting short and fun near the water is drawing to a close.

Magic light descended on us within minutes of getting on the water. The marsh grass lit up in a golden hue, my old beat up kaholo even looked good. My wife’s skin and hair glowed just right. The colors in the paddle blade emerged.  Magic evening light is really hard to beat. Every time I am able to immerse in it, good things happen. It’s even better when I throw in my good camera at the last minute.

Best of all though, were the reflections. The wind calmed, leaving glassy water and silence. btw, this stretch of water has enough current that geese tend not to like it, so the quiet was even deeper. Everything offered a perfect reflection, the grass, the trees, the people. It’s a beautiful thing.

Magic light. Quiet water. Perfect paddle.

Taking Time to Enjoy the Water. Simple.

September 20, 2016


Out on the edge of the continent, in that tiny little 100 yard strip of water in the surf zone there’s usually plenty of action with paddles and sup, etc. It’s easy to assume that because we see so much of that little tiny 100 yard strip that everything in SUP must be like that. Young blond women in bikinis, paddling hard to catch the wave while looking good for the front side camera.

It just ain’t so.

Young blond women, like my daughter here, can sit down on a paddleboard and simply look at nature and listen to the birds and sometimes even the silence. No front side camera. No furious paddling to catch the wave. No Beach Boys playing in the background about the eternal party ongoing in the 100 yard strip of trend setting Americana.

Someday I’ll do the math, but I’m sure the number is staggering. Inland water, flyover water, fresh, flat water like this stretch of the Yahara is the staggering majority of paddling water. I’ll bet 99.995% of paddling water is like this and excludes the surf zone. It’s not all about the frenzy of the surf zone. It trends followed the numbers, it would be about flyover water in all its simple and many beauties. Yet somehow, the gnat on the tail of the dog, wags the dog. That silly little surf zone makes the market so to speak, while we here in flyover country happily enjoy the silence and simplicity of good paddling water.

North Americans are blessed with an abundance of beautiful simple water to get out and immerse in. Feel the silence. Listen to the little waves hit the bottom of the board.

Flyover water rocks. I love it.

SUP in a lake, simple paddleboarding

January 18, 2016

It’s been awhile since I surveyed the “industry” that wavetrainSUP seems to be in. In this case, I searched Twitter for the keyword “paddleboard”. Wow. Either wavetrainSUP is an outlier or…I don’t know.

I found nothing about the simple pleasure of paddleboarding. It’s not all surfing and racing after all. There’s plenty of space for getting out on a nice summer day. Of course it’s winter now, so the above shot reminds me of what is coming in just a few months I hope.

So here’s the thing – my background is all freshwater and simple pleasures, like paddling one of the many lakes here in Wisconsin. Usually that paddling includes a paddleboard I built myself and a paddle I made myself as well. Some fishing, lots of picture taking, sometimes I even take our little dog along on the paddle.

I almost always have the water to myself. It’s quiet, there’s lots of birds, and looking down into the water is kind of mesmerizing.

R is for resin

April 22, 2015

Resin is the other half of the epoxy (along with hardener) that makes such a fabulous dance partner for the soft limp cloth that is fiberglass cloth when dry.

It’s industrial. It is chemical. It sticks stuff together even better than glue. I use West Systems GFlex for the paddle shaft and MAS epoxy for the blade. Both are quite good for the purposes in which I apply them.

So the next time you’re out and about and notice something light and strong and non-metallic, odds are it could be epoxy in some way, shape, or form. Amazing stuff.

fly fishing on a SUP in New York City waterways

August 9, 2013

Fun article in the Character Study section of the New York Times.  Love this section of that paper.  Great paper too. Anyway, Corey Kilgannon hooked up with (no pun intended) a flyfishing SUP’er named Pierre Champion.  He’s all about using a SUP as a fishing platform in New York City waterways.  Good stuff.

Here’s the article – Stand Up, Cast Off, Reel In

Yahara River on a Standup Paddleboard

March 3, 2012

Living in Stoughton, WI., I am happily situated just minutes away from lots of paddling water. My favorite stretch is on the Yahara River, putting in at Fish Camp Park and going up to Mud Lake and then back. This put-in is minutes away from McFarland and just a few more minutes from Madison itself. Downstream takes you out into the lake, upstream takes you onto a great stretch of slow moving river. Of course using a wooden paddle that I built myself makes it all the more special. My friend Spencer Schumacher and I got out for a long lunch paddle last fall on that stretch of river.

Slow Wood is kind of like Slow Food

September 5, 2009
Hand Tools and Slow Wood make nice things together

Hand Tools and Slow Wood make nice things together

Each paddle is different, whether from the wood, the tools, or the mood.  Patience is part of this game too.  If you go too fast “tear out” or chatter marks happen and either one can be a show stopper.  A little bit at a time followed by a rub of the hand to check progress is the order of the day.  Reality TV is full of food shows now, many of which show and tell about the wonders of enjoying the journey rather than the destination.  In other words, enjoy making the meal as much as you enjoy eating it. Here in our shop, the order of the day is to enjoy the feel of the tools, enjoy the sound of the wood as it curls off the shaft under the spokeshave. There’s a balance between churning out one more paddle to meet the deadline and allowing the time to feel the paddle take its final shape under the drawknife or spokeshave.