Blake Thornton and Victor Wickerhauser hold the MR340 record in the Stand Up Paddle Division of this grueling endurance race that snakes 340 miles across the state of Missouri. How they did it is a combination of luck and preparedness and a testament to their friendship and dedication to the sport. Blake’s unlikely history of Stand Up Paddle Racing just before the MR340 is an inspiration to others entering the sport and he and Victor share their unconventional race strategies that won them the title of fastest Stand Up Paddle Team ever in this incredible endurance event.
Prepare for a serious dose of stoke as TJ Gulizia of “Big Winds” in Hood River, Oregon introduces us to one of the greatest downwind runs in the world–The Viento Run. The stoke continues as we learn about the Columbia River Gorge itself and its spectacular scenery, wildlife, and unlimited opportunity for recreation and things to do.
I love these lights and can’t believe they have been improved upon tremendously over the last year. They are just under six bucks here in Seattle at http://www.UrbanSurf.com
These lights are very waterproof, shockproof, and bright as hell. The white globe puts off an incredible soft white light. I can’t believe they 100% revamped these light this year with a very cool looking aircraft aluminum look and a very soft glow in the dark globe that makes the light even more shockproof. I gave away my two lights last year–one during Seafare to a boater who’s electrical system went out and she had to get back to her marina. Another to a fellow stand up paddler to get back to a launch spot in the dark. Coast Guard requires one white light on a SUP in the dark. This is the light. Also comes with a bullet proof clip to hook to PFD or other locations. All for the cost of a double tall latte!
These are great and reliable lights, however, due to the importance of being seen at night on the water, be sure to carry a backup light, preferably one Nebo Lumore light and one Cyalume SnapLight.
If you can’t make it to Urban Surf, please purchase them through our Amazon.com link below which helps support the Dan Devereaux Memorial Trust.
Nighttime SUP adventures are an incredible aspect of our sport. Here’s a night tour my good friend and collegue Rob Casey leads in Seattle taking advantage of “Bioluminescence” in the Puget Sound.
Here’s a link to the Nebo Lumore light and Cyalume Snap Light:
Another milestone for my little boy–his first wetsuit. Looking forward to sharing some adventures with him soon. He’s no stranger to riding stand up paddle boards and has ridden with me on a very remote island in Alaska, on the Snake River in Idaho, and high atop mountains in Washington State and Oregon. All he talks about is trains and busses. I can’t blame him though as all his dad talks about is Stand Up Paddle Boarding. The journey is about to get a lot more interesting!
A big thanks to everyone at Urban Surf in Seattle for making his first wetsuit fitting and stoke a huge success!
I had the pleasure of meeting the folks from “dryrobe” at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. I am now an ambassador for the brand, so you’ll see me in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest changing and staying warm in my dryrobe before and after each paddling adventure. Me and my local group paddle year-round in the Pacific Northwest and Seattle, and to be sure we are quite warm on the water no matter what the conditions, as we are well equipped with various wetsuits, and drysuits. However, it is the time just before a paddle and just after when we can
cool down quite quickly due to inactivity. This is where dryrobe comes in handy–it allows you to change into your wetsuit, and stay warm, and it is ready and waiting when you return, perhaps wet, to keep you warm and allow you to change out of your gear. I’m excited to post some before and after shots using my dryrobe!
Be sure to check them out at: www.dryrobeusa.com
Here’s a story from “Seabreeze” in Australia regarding my Stand Up Paddle Adventure in an abandoned sand mine in Missouri.
“Lit by nothing but a torch, he and a couple of friends had to lay
totally flat on their boards to fit through some of the tiny sections
along the way.”
The Crystal City Sand Mine in Missouri, was decommissioned long ago. Now, it stands as a tourist attraction, offering guided tours through the underground tunnels and even kayak tours on the huge underground lake. Deeper into the tunnels however, things get narrow, and that’s where stand up paddler Darrell Kirk had the perfect craft for the job.
Yep, he took his stand up paddleboard for a paddle through the incredibly narrow passages of a sand mine. 400ft underground, in total darkness. Lit by nothing but a torch, he and a couple of friends had to lay totally flat on their boards to fit through some of the tiny sections along the way. Below them, crystal clear water from an un
derground spring, above them, the solid walls of mostly silica,
where back in the 60’s, some of the worlds finest glass was sourced. It’s a claustrophobics nightmare, but if you’re cool in tight places, an adventure of a lifetime!
Now before you go diving into an underground mine with your SUP, remember this is dangerous stuff! People go missing, drown, get trapped or simply lost in mines. All the time. It looks like this adventure was accompanied by a guide, so do some research to find someone with some local knowledge before you go. The freediving community are huge fans of underground waterways, so perhaps start there to find your next amazing stand up paddling experience.
Check out the footage from the front of Darrell’s board, as he stand up paddles through a sand mine, 400ft below the surface of the USA.
Link to video of this trip here
“Round the Rock 2015” was especially challenging this year due to a later start and 85 degree temperature. Even though our team was fully hydrated and fueled, we all cramped up, our hands that is! On the last few miles of the race, our hands had a mind of their own and opened and closed at will! Some of us joked that the origins of the “Shaka” might have come about from long distance races in hot weather as some of our
hands went into an involuntary Hawaiian hand gesture during the last few miles of the race!
Was a real honor to be part of team “Monster and Sea” this year and I am so proud of all the great men and women on our team who I also call my friends. Monster and Sea is a great organization and clothing brand that was brought about by a life changing event that can be epitomized in a quote from its founder:
“Monster and Sea was inspired by a morning on the water when there wasn’t much left. Mentally drained from all that cancer brough
t into my family. Honestly – didn’t know what to do.”
All of us in the SUP community seem to have found this sport, or have used it as a savior in time for many of life’s crisis. For me it was the death of my dear bro
ther Ron Kirk who died in a rock climbing accident.
Surely, life would have been a lot different, and
to this day still, had I not SUP, SUP racing, and the SUP community who are some of the best men and women in the world.
Looking forward to other long distance SUP races with this great competitive team of athletes and friends and the good work they are all doing daily!
An unforgettable Standup Paddle adventure along Antelope and Egg Islands on the Great Salt Lake in Utah.