Friday, December 31, 2010


Family ski outing/day trip to Winterplace, takes longer to get there than it does to the NC slopes but they had a better deal on the kids ski school and seem to handle the crowds better with multiple parallel lifts running at the same time. We had good conditions as they had received a ton of snow earlier in the week. Great family day and the kids loved it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peace On Earth

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Can Laugh About It Now

I fell in the water today. 45 degree water and 35 degree air temp. 4 miles away from my launch without a full wetsuit.

But I was able to laugh about it not long after it happened. I was with Fred and Matt for a long 9 mile paddle. We had dealt with some wind and chop with no problems. Then we end up in some flat glassy water leeward of a point in front of many lakefront homes. We're taking a brief break and barely moving on our boards just talking...and that's when I somehow lost my balance and my board shot backwards right out from under my feet. DOH!! In that split second, I'm thinking I can save myself and at least keep my upper body from getting immersed. But no chance as I go full under. It must have been the cobwebs I was still shaking off from the neighborhood Christmas party the night before. Whatever it was...was now a shock to the system and now a sudden worry of hypothermia.

But I was actually not in any real danger. I was not paddling alone. We were right next to several lakefront homes so I could have left the water right there and gotten a warm blanket from someone and called my wife to come pick me up. I'm certain someone was sitting in their nice warm cozy home and saw me fall in...and probaby mumbling something about that crazy nut out on the water on such a cold day. I'm sure it wasn't a good example and showing for SUP on Lake Norman.

As it turned out, the biggest reason I wasn't in any real danger, was the clothes I was wearing. So I just decided to keep moving to stay warm, paddling the rest of the way back to the launch.

Rip Curl 5mm booties & 2mm "Glacier Gloves" - the only thing I had a problem with after I fell were my fingers....they were freezing. I'm now getting cold weather neoprene mittens to keep those fingers bundled together.

Fleece cap (made for road bikers to wear under their helmets on cold days). Keeps my head toasty warm.

NRS hydroskin .5mm neoprene pants - not like a real wetsuit but wicks off water nicely. They passed the cold water immersion test today and my legs stayed warm.

Polyester wicking shirt (I wore this as the 1st layer). If you're not in the water, this is normally a warm shirt and keeps you warm even when you're sweating underneath.

Fleece long sleeve rashguard (as 2nd layer) and shorts (worn under the hydroskin pants) - I've had this combo for 10 years that I usually wear under my wetsuit on cold windsurfing days. This is what saved my upper body from getting hypothermic today.

3rd layer on top of the fleece shirt - Pearl Izumi cold weather tri/biking shirt

I was also wearing a pfd belt pack and had my cell phone in a water tight pouch.

Talk about feeling like an idiot. Looking back, it was pretty funny. I can imagine what was going through Matt and Fred's head when I fell in. I've never fallen in while simply paddling on flat water...and never have given it a second thought. I normally don't wear the fleece shirt/shorts or hydroskin pants if its over 40 degrees. If I had not been wearing those 2 things, I would have had to find help from one of those lakefront homes. Don't make the same might not have the same luxury I had with others close by. Be prepared for cold weather paddling.

30 minutes after I got home, it started snowing.

Here are some good articles written about cold weather SUP and windsurfing:
The Ice Man Cometh

30 Tips For Cold Weather Paddling

Welcome to Freezing Cold-Ville (windsurfing)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Irish Waves

The surfer (Richard Fitzgerald) talking on camera looks like that kid in the Ireland scenes from "Step Into Liquid", doesn't he?

The windsurfer mentioned must be Finn Mullen....great article here from what must be that day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

There Is No Off Season

SUP is a year round sport. Whether at your local lake or coastal spot, put on the rubber or lycra and a cap...get out there and paddle. And take in the beautiful never know what amazing sights await. It's the best time of the year on the boat traffic. Here's a brief collection of some fall and winter SUP footage, mostly shot over the course of the last 30 days including a couple of indian summer (2 weeks ago), sunrise, and fall color scenes thrown in, as well as some winter surf footage from last year. Click on the title link and enjoy in HD.

There Is No Off Season from WaterTurtle Productions on Vimeo.