The 4th annual Shore-to-Shore paddle race, sponsored by Live Water Surf Shop of Stinson Beach, was here Saturday. Two courses: 2.8 miles, and 7-1/2 miles. There’s a bigger turnout every year. Paddling is catching on in Northern California. It’s huge in Southern California and more recently, Santa Cruz. New technology (as in skateboarding) has revolutionized the sport in the last ten or so years. I’ve always loved paddling, and a few years ago, I got a 12′ Joe Bark Surftech racing paddleboard. It weighs 32 lbs and skims across the water like a water skeeter. If I paddle in the lagoon going with an incoming tide, I’m flying, with a v-shaped wake off the bow. Fun!
What I love about these events (there’s a very large kayak/outrigger race in Sausalito in October) is seeing not just the various types of paddleboards, but the kayaks and especially the outrigger canoes. I have to admit to lusting after one of these outriggers since my friend Tom Mebi, who lives on a beach in Hawaii, told me about his outrigger. 20′ long, weighing 23 lbs. Man!
These ones yesterday were real beauties. Featherlight (and expensive — $3-5000). I’m trying to find one I can try out in these waters, and if it performs well in the ocean, I’ll look out for a used one.
I did the short course. Ocean was choppy, weather foggy, but I love being in the water (prone paddleboard). I was tired, but not wiped out. A good vibes event, great lunch in the park afterwords. Great to see my old beachbum/lifeguard friends. We all love the ocean.