Thursday, January 9, 2014

SUP Surfin' with Mike Darbyshire

Back from a few days of holiday surfing in Washington State and I'm ready to go back again.

I find myself heading down the I-5 to Washington a little more often these days for surf and I am usually not disappointed.  With a few well known spots like Westport, Crescent Beach and Hobuck there is always waves to be found.  If I had it my way I would be surfing in Tofino every other weekend but sadly the cost of getting on the ferry seems to send me down south instead.  There might be a little bit more driving but in the end I save money on ferries, gas and of course good ol' american cheap beer.
Trying to get to the nose on my 9'0 Starboard Converse

On this past trip I was able to connect with a couple Washington state locals who I have seen on the race circuit but not had the pleasure of surfing with yet.  Getting into the surf side by side with Renick Woods and Tom Hanny is a little bit more fun than trying to paddle harder than them at one of the many races we've been in together.

I went out on this trip solo and managed to score a couple of good sessions at Crescent Beach and Hobuck.  Crescent Beach is a great spot but tends to be a little bit tricky when checking the forecast for the right conditions.  The forecast looks great and you show up and those beauty conditions you saw online just aren't there.  This can happen at any surf spot but I know those who surf anywhere in the Strait of Juan de Fuca either on the Washington or Vancouver Island side know all too well how it feels to drive out to your local break and get skunked.  Regular grunts, complaints and cute pet names for surf forecasts website such as 'Tragic-Seaweed' or 'Black-Magic Seaweed'.

Looking for rights, Starboard 8'0 Pro and Werner Nitro

Either way there's always water to paddle on and fun to be had. As the season goes on I think I'll be bringing my 12'6 with me and if the surf is down there is usually somewhere nice to paddle or maybe some small rollers that only a bigger SUP could catch.

Plan is to head out again this weekend and hope for the best.  Winter swells tend to roll in pretty regularly but the challenge is usually finding shelter from the wind and chop.  Once again, all that matters is getting out on the water!  I have to get as much playtime in as I can before the real hard work on the water starts in getting ready for race season.  Paddle surfing is such a great way to boost your fitness and skills for flatwater racing and I never realize just how hard I'm working because it's too much fun.

As we get ready for the upcoming Spring I've been getting lots of questions about race dates and people planning their 2014 seasons.  Start your season off with a Surf Course in Tofino, run by Norm Hann, Catherine Bruhwiler and myself! E-mail for more information.

If you are looking for dates for local events, I have added as many as I know about to my event calendar so feel free to put them down on your calendar or let me know about any other events or races that might be relevant.   All of my dates are not 'official' so please consult with the various organizers and race directors for confirmation of tentative dates.

Thanks and see you on the water!

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Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin