CHRIS GRIEVE: FOUND COMPETITION IN SUP RACING
Chris Grieve did not like competition, that is until he found stand up paddle racing. We talk about his journey in SUP and what he is doing to be even more competitive. Podcast Audio Here
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This is Darrell Kirkwood’s stand up paddle the world radio and I am here with Chris Grieve and we’re a couple hours before our weekly Lake Union race on Lake Union in Seattle Washington. And so first to you Chris I’ve known him for three four years. You know it different racing events in our green lake see fair race and things but I’m super stoked to talk to him. He’s we’re seeing some changes in him. He’s getting ready now and getting some secrets. I want to ask him about these darn elastic bands these resistance bands he seem to be working for him. They’re pretty convenient
and I’m getting ready to go traveling so I know they’re working for him so I’m taking that. But I just want to learn about what he’s doing you know he’s got a lot of experience on the water used to be a fly fishing guy. So you know you’ve got to know how to read the water to see where the fish are know the currents. So he’s been asked that a little bit. But man are you crazy. I’m doing good thanks for the interview. Man I got it. I’m dying to ask you something. I’ve known you three for years and I would only see you at the green light grapes you know and or you know where we have our kind of our annual Green Lake race.
And man you were a pretty low key do you know and I would only see you that once a year and I just kind of thought you were kind of low key in this sport. And then in the last year I mean you came right up to me looked me in the eyes said dude I’m going to beat you this year man. And you did. But how was Chris Grieve changed in the last three four years with this whole thing.
Well I get to spend a lot of time on the water now and met a bunch of people that are. It’s a great community and. Everybody is really friendly and encouraging and people like to share what’s working for them. So it makes it a fun activity in the summer.
Have you always been competitive or is this just been lately the last few years or what.
It’s funny I used to hate competition. I started doing triathlons like four or five years ago I wanted to challenge and had to swim so I figured well I knew how to swim but I couldn’t swim good. So I figured that was a good way to do it. There’s a lot of competition in draft one but it’s really hard to get to know people because it’s an individual sport. Nobody really cares what they’re doing or how they’re getting faster. So it was a community that was more inviting to me.
OK well I called it right then. Man it’s been a cool transition to see your path and saw pair man like a lot of us man just really epic. And you’re really killing it out there man. Great job. You talk about what you’re doing man what kind of training are you doing.
Well I guess the thing that I find that works for me the best is paddling and racing against people that are faster than me.
I started training early part of the spring with a bunch of guys on the east side to get together on Tuesday Thursday mornings and I think I was only having time to meet with them on Thursdays and they were doing intervals and that I think probably helped me a lot. And some of those guys are more experienced than me and were able to point out some some things I could fix in my form but mostly for me I have to have somebody next to me to go fast so if I have somebody next to me that’s faster than I’ll push myself to go faster.
That’s a good but they always say train with a partner you know or you’re just not going to push it it’s hard. Otherwise you know you were a fly fishing guide forever you know so you can read the water in your read in the water while you’re on shore and while you’re in there you know in your waders. But you know what. What are you looking for on the water what can you see what kind of experience have you received from that.
Well actually the fly fishing guide you know reading water was mostly the river stuff so it hasn’t helped me a ton out on the lakes and the salt water other than possibly the tides. But I’m probably it’s more experience time on the water. Paddleboarding that’s helped me more with that.
Yeah I think the guiding and taken wraps down the rivers helped me more with the rivers up which I’m just getting into now. And I know quite a few put ins and takeouts on the river and I can look at a map and try and figure out like where I want to launch and where I want to take out. So that’s mostly where that’s helped me.
You know what are you doing on your nutrition. I know you you have been paying attention to your you know nutrition when you doing this triathlon which I thought was a pretty good deal you’re getting real fast out here on the stand up paddle racing while you were training for a triathlon that was a good good plan. But what was the food. What are you learning about nutrition. Yeah so three or four years ago a friend put me on to this book called Thrive diet and this was written by I don’t remember the guy’s name off my head but he was a triathlon professional triathlete
and he kind of figured out that the competitive edge that he had that.
Was it that other people didn’t have necessarily was or weren’t looking at necessarily was nutrition. And one of the big things that you know I think a lot of people feel threatened by it. But it’s it’s a plant based diet and the theory behind it is that your your body has to work to process food. And if it’s working less to process food it can work harder it rebuilding muscle after a competitive event. So I’m not totally plant based but I don’t I try not to do any meat before a race and I
do do the shakes that this guy put on protein. It’s a plant based protein powder that I use after every race and it’s kind of funny last year I got a lot more competitive last year and a number of people asked me if I was doing steroids or EPO or whatever the blood blood doping thing is and I’m like no it’s a plant based diet and this is the protein powder I use and I don’t know if they believe me or not but that makes it takes a lot of calories.
Eat. I mean when you’re eating it to burn to burn some of these things so that’s a great idea. What’s that program called again.
Well the book is called the Thrive diet. And. I can’t remember the name of the protein powder off the top of my head but I just bought it a couple of days ago. So.
You know on his pre-race nutrition you know. So you you’re after you’re eating some of this protein shake you’re having some protein shake or whatever what are you doing before the pre-race you don’t eat a lot of meat. What else are you doing the pre-race just you know hour or two before a race.
Yes. Usually lunch. I try to do a vegetable based meal plan based meal potatoes stuff that’s relatively easy for your body to process. No hamburgers before. That’s for sure. And then a couple hours before the race all drink my electrolyte drink. These races are short enough that you know a three mile race on Monday Wednesday you don’t need to bring hydration but you do need to be hydrated before the race so one of the. One of the electrolyte drinks I got out of this book was basically.
Coconut water. And. Some salt and some. Little bit of ginger and like a honey.
Sweetener. So that’s that’s what I’m doing right before the race.
You know I was looking at Susie Coney’s book. She’s got some kind of you know World Health Organization hydration drink you know where it’s salt and honey or some things. I thought that was interesting. Just basically like a homemade deal. You know you’ve been playing around with custom boards like you were on some kings and things but what’s that been like.
Yeah. So it’s funny the very first race I went to was stroke the sloo. And this guy walked in with this board that I could tell was a custom made board. It had no paint on it it was just clear coat and it was all carbon fiber. And I started talking to the guy and his name shammed. John Thomas well known as Dr. Ekko and his Borgir are eco boards and he is he’s a really good shaper he somehow kind of knows what to do and his Borgir competitive with the starboard race boards that everybody has and a lot of times I can beat the guys on Star
boards and he’ll make custom board for less than what you’re paying for. Off the shelf star board. So you really can’t beat that. You just have to. You got to work with them. You know let them watch you paddle and hope between the two of us. We come up with a shape that I like. So that’s worked out really good for me.
Yeah Sean’s epic man. Yeah I wish he had more time to build a bunch of parts that he’s so busy but. And they look really nice too.
Those boards those clear kind of clear boards you know when you’re an engineer so you kind of know about these materials that are going in these carbon fibers and things. What do you think about when you’re talking to Sean or looking at a board. I mean because you’ve got this kind of innate background with this stuff.
Yeah. You know from some of my engineering school and mostly from aerospace I know carbon fiber it’s been in use for quite a long time in the military and more recently and commercial airplanes. So.
We’re using carbon fiber to get the weight weight down and the strength up. And then he strengthens the board with either S-Class or a Nagra. And I’d never heard of a nigger until I started talking to Sean and it repels water. Kevlar was a big thing like 10 or 15 years ago. But the problem with Kevlar it it actually absorbs water so you don’t want to you you don’t want to use Kevlar and a board that’s in the water all the time because then it’s you know if you get some sort of crack. In a proxy you’re just going to start sucking up water and that’s a bad day that’s going to slow you down.
So so yeah. So part of you know the material part I kind of knew about the shaping part. I really didn’t know anything about it.
And that just comes from Shawn’s experience in surfing and shapen surfboards and paddle boards and he’s done he’s done a great job.
What do you what do you think it about on it. Yeah you’re you’re beating these Starbird 17. So but what do you think about the starboard 17.
Well I haven’t spent more than a couple of minutes on them but everybody seems to have them so they must be they must be work and good. I hear that. I hear that they’re pretty stable especially the narrower ones for you know based on the with that they’re pretty stable. But I don’t know we’ll see. So the board I’m racing right now is Sean’s board from like three years ago and the guys that I’m racing against that have been on it say that it’s a pretty Tippy and I will admit that the board is pretty Tippy and I’ve fallen off quite a few times so hopefully the new shape that seans should have for me in a couple of weeks is a lot more stable than the one I’m on right
now and I can I can blow you guys out of the water so bad.
Talk about distributing the baby. We’ve had some really good friendships here with our group and you’re a core part of that group but what’s it been like you know with all our folks with our O’Hana the last three or four years yeah it’s been pretty it’s been pretty great. The very first race I went to I met Sean and a couple of other guys and then.
Started you know when you meet a few people than they tell you about a few more races and you start meeting more people every race. But I think the thing that really did it for me was a couple of years ago Troy Tremore created this group called Six plus. And. And you know talked to a bunch of us like hey let’s stick around have a drink after the race. And I think for me that’s really where the community formed was getting on that page and finding out what other people are doing. And having a few drinks with some of the guys after the race and getting to know them a little bit better. And and then we all
started this paddling club at the Elks and then we got to know even more people through that. So yeah it’s been it’s been great. It’s fun when you go to the race you know like a bunch of people with the race maybe half of them or more and then you know when you leave you say goodbye to everybody and you’ll see them in a couple of days.
You know it around that time to that 2 0 0 6 I mean geez this 206 Waterman group you know and people have them all across the country kind of your your Facebook page for your local community. What I remember about the same time Troy really laid open everybody at the downwind challenge when Andreas Pombo had died without a leash and PFG down there at the Gorge and he really put out a white paper about a one page white paper that was pretty scathing. And I think everybody was afraid to say anything about this or you know who they would offend. And Troy just got out there and said it and it opened up a dialogue and everybody else jumped in and really. So you
know Troy really did come in here by storm and really do some amazing things especially with that group. I know now he’s starting his fathom the sound page and he’s hoping the same thing will happen environmentally. But what else man who else other folks that you met.
Yeah so some of the people that have influenced my piling in racing. John shakha that you interviewed a few weeks back. He he’s always really good at it. I don’t paddle with him a lot. Just because you know I’m a little further north than he is further south and he gets out really early in the morning usually during the week I probably paddled with them like outside our races maybe a half dozen times but he’s always eager to point out things that I can do to improve my technique and a really positive guy super fast. I don’t think I’ve ever beat him yet.
So yeah he’s been really helpful. And then Sarah Sandstrom has been inspirational because she is she’s always be me. She seems like she I don’t see you’re training with other people so I don’t really see like how she does it and I’ve asked her before you know I guess.
I am I’m only really able to push myself hard when I’m going head to head with somebody else. And she is faster than me and she seems to be able to push herself on her own. And so that’s that’s pretty cool. Last year Sarah Michelle and I were at the Vancouver Suppe challenge race and we had stopped for a lunch break and I think I asked her what her goal was for the year. And I don’t remember what she said but she said she asked me what my goal was and I told her that my goal was to be her and she had a big smile on her face. But I actually
did it a couple of times this year.
Whenever I see Sarah train it’s alone she’s alone out on the sound there. You know and someone just remarked they saw her watch they heard her watch go off with these different beeping for intervals. But that’s that’s all. I’ve never seen her train with someone.
Yeah. John actually went out there with her last week and I can’t remember what program he said that she was using but she downloaded the program to her watch and they were due. They did like 70 minutes of intervals and he said he was pretty wiped out after that.
So I know she surfs a lot and now she’s doing Whitewater and I think that’s a real good secret too. You know it just seems like you have to surf now with the Whitewater you can really get your balance tuned in.
Yeah. So one of the races the race was at in Tofino was some of the turns were in the surf and I talked to one of the guys who won one of the races up there and I asked him because he’s a tall guy like me and I asked him what he did to get his balance as good as it is and he said surf your paddleboard or get out on sup surf and just surf so Sarah is really good in the rough water. She she beat everybody a couple of weeks ago and we had the rave race with like three foot swells. And I think that her river SUP and definitely her surfing or probably helped a lot with her
her stability. But yeah she’s she’s got crazy good balance and when it gets rough out there you just see her pass everybody.
So it’s a she she made it look easy. I mean we’ve had some epic graces even in the last two years. I mean amazing waves that she made it look like nothing. I mean and she was way ahead.
Yeah I don’t know how she does it. I’m I’m good and I’m fast in flatwater And I think flour is kind of easy for everybody. I think maybe because of my my height makes me maybe a little bit better in flatwater and maybe probably gives me a little bit more endurance. I want it when it gets rough. I have to work.
So what’s your what’s your goals going forward. I think you’re going to do a big battle with the panel style race or something here coming out. Yeah.
Actually my goal for this year when I started this season was to do the pro race at the Gorge but with the race and all these guys that are training with these guys on on the side guys on on Thursdays and racing on Wednesdays when those guys show up I realize that I’m probably not quite ready for the pro race. I don’t want to I don’t want to come in last. That’s what everybody says when they start racing I don’t want to come in last but I don’t want everybody to have to wait for me. So once I get up there and I can hang with like Marco and Spencer then maybe I’ll be ready for the pro race so maybe hopefully next year when I’m on this new board and I’ve had some time to train on
it. Yeah. So the battle of the paddle down in Dana Point California look looked a lot of fun like a lot of fun so I reserved a hotel room down there for a couple of days and then I started talking to people about it talked to Scott Van Hughes and he was telling me that he was in a race in the program like he does the pro race at the Gorge he’s not race in the race it Dana Point he’s been racing the open race I’m like crap. That’s that’s the division I need to sign up for. I might be in trouble there so I got to go out. I guess Westport and do some surfing on my race board and spend a little more time in the White Water.
Delfino race a couple of turns were in in the in the surf and I actually did OK on that. I think. I had like six turns in the surf and I only fell down on one of them. So. So that was pretty good. But I was cheating and doing the cross-bow the buoy turns in the surf. I haven’t mastered yet so I got to get better at those.
Men. So you weren’t competitive then before up here. Three four years ago. Yeah.
I don’t know. So yeah I started triathlon and I really like the competition in that I wasn’t competitive and so like I wasn’t competitive with everybody else because I didn’t know what I was doing. But yeah I don’t I don’t know I don’t know what it is but I’ve always loved being on the water. And. And I just like the thought of going fast and I want to beat everybody.
So we’re. Where were you born where are you from and all that.
Well I was born in Yakima but my my dad got a job there with the state. He’s a civil engineer does a roads and bridges. We only stayed there for a couple of years and then we moved to the west side. I pretty much grew up in Snohomish and my dad was working for the county there.
So you’re. Know north of Seattle a half an hour.
So yeah. Yeah. So I’m a Washington native. I’ve been here pretty much all my life other than the four years at Arizona State for college.
You know what do you what do you see going on you’re an engineer now. I mean science seems to be exploding and what we know and automation. I mean what are some things you’re seeing. And you know in jobs I mean how does a guy get a job nowadays. Or are there more jobs are there fewer jobs in engineering I mean what’s going on it’s a different world right now.
Yeah. It’s kind of a it’s kind of it’s kind of hard to see what’s going on. Like a lot of a lot of the aerospace stuff I mean my career is aerospace a lot of aerospace stuff here revolves around Boeing and the suppliers to Boeing. I’m not. I don’t work for one of those companies. But. When when Boeing is higher and then the market goes up and the salaries go up and when Boeing starts laying off then the jobs start going away and the salaries don’t necessarily drop so much but they stagnate. So that’s kind of the environment
we’re in right now.
So and even though we have all this other stuff blown up it’s not like Amazon.com. Or you know it’s not like they’re looking for engineers.
Well they do hire engineers but I think it’s mostly software and systems kind of guys delivery system kind of guys like Amazon. I don’t think it has a huge need for aerospace engineers but I suppose if they were desperate enough they could hire us and try to retrain us.
You know we’ve got I didn’t know we’re in a big space area here. I mean Seattle is a big space component to it. I don’t know about it but you know is that an opportunity.
Yeah. I think SpaceX is out here and I’m pretty sure that’s Ilan Musk organization.
I know that the company that I work for has some people in there but I don’t exactly know how big it is.
You know what’s it like now for a guy getting into super racing that if he really wants to take. I mean it’s it’s interesting when we got in there was kind of all kinds of new things going on. But you know what’s the latest info to be seeing out there on race and a guy wanting to start out.
Well I think there’s a lot of opportunities for test new boards I mean the biggest thing like nobody people ask me like what board do I get. And the you know the answer is you just got to try a bunch of boards and if you want to get fast you got to spend time on the water and that’s what people told me when I started getting into it. So you know the cheapest way to get into it now seems to be inflatables and you know star board and a few other companies have. Have come up with some inflatable race boards. Red Red had a good race for the last couple of years and one of the guys we paddle with was was
killing it on an inflatable board last year.
Now they’re Whitewater Whitewater guy.
Yeah he is really strong too. Jane Jane Right.
So man everybody has some epic story about how they got into stuff. I mean how did you find standup paddle.
I had done a little bit of kiteboarding and out in the Dominican Republic. I took a lesson. And then when I came back here I found out I did some looking looking around on the Internet and I found out that urban surf had had lessons out on Geddie island. But at the same time I decided I wanted to buy another house and I didn’t have money to spend a hundred dollars an hour on lessons and I had seen that urban surf had it so I came down and rented an inflatable paddle board for an hour and I was like oh yeah I can go fast on this thing.
And at the time I was in there for the border and all I saw in advertisements or stroke the sluice though. So I signed up for it and. And that’s how I got started and that’s where I’m at and that’s where I’m at Sean.
You know going back to this engineering. So your dad was a civil engineer. Did he have a did he influence you at all on becoming a mechanical engineer.
Yeah. When I was a kid I used to play with Legos all the time and I don’t remember you know today when you buy Legos you buy this little kit to build something. I don’t remember that I remember having this big suitcase full of Legos and I don’t even know where they came from. But like there was no instructions on how to build stuff so I would just like see stuff on TV and decide to build it. And the one thing I remember that I built was a Battlestar Galactica big huge thing that didn’t stay together very well. But I remember my parents telling me when I was pretty young that they thought it would be a mechanical engineer so that’s what I ended up doing. I’m really good at taking things apart and put them back together and usually I
usually in most of the pieces end up back in it when I put it back together. So.
It was exciting showing up when you were at a scrum event. You know where where they. They put cars together with that scrum you know with the agile development interesting and you had some folks from work with you I believe. But that must be pretty cool. You know doing what you love there at Boeing. I mean what’s a day look like for you. What are you working on. What are you guys thinking about.
Well so I work for a company that actually modifies the Boeing airplanes and it every day can be different. It depends on you know what. What hasn’t been done yet so we’ll modify the systems we’ll put new monuments in the airplane design monuments you know a lot of people give me a bad time because about four years ago I was working for a offshoot of the company that. Was designed in a lavatory for the 737 and it has has this curved wall on it so it takes up less space in the airplane. And you know my mom asked me what I was doing
to the lavatory and I told her I was making it smaller and she got really mad. She’s like what. You can’t make it any smaller it’s already too small.
It’s like those rounded shower curtains you see now they make the shower smaller but they’re like shower curtain bends around in a half circle going around it. Yeah. You’re digging race starts. You spent a lot of time on that. What are you what can you tips can you give on race starts or what have you learned.
So I used to hate the race starts because it was you. It’s really rough. You get a lot of side job from the from the weight it’s coming off all the boards in front of you. And one time last year I was trying to line up away from everybody at camera Spencer somebody who lined up right next to me and I look over and I’m like oh crap.
And we started the race and I’m about as hard as I can to stay stay next to the person next to me and I look out and all of a sudden like I’m in front of all the people that normally in front of me so kind of like a light went off I’m like oh you’ve got to start next. The people who are fast and try to stay up with them and then you can beat everybody else to the buoy. And the other thing the other thing I figured out I guess kind of by accident is a lot of us warm up before the race and I found out that if I do like a really hard paddle like maybe 15 20 minutes before the race and then I get in and kind of take it easy for like five minutes before the start.
You know my muscles are all ready to go and the blood’s already flown and so that that really helps me out it helps you go faster too. And then the last part of it like lately in some of the Monday night races I’ve been the first person to the first person to do the first turn. And honestly I don’t know how that happened.
That’s great. Yeah you just you know it was great when you were training for that triathlon because we could just see you kind of get ripped as you were doing that. And I mean that’s really great. And it show that’s a great you know have a cross-training I mean what kind of cross-training are you doing.
Well so I was doing you know training for the draft on I was doing swim and bike. And when I found out actually this year I was caught. I really slacked off in my triathlon training this year. But when I found out was I was training so much for paddleboarding the bike was easy. Like in the and the past years my legs get really sore during the bike ride. And that didn’t happen this year and I actually I think I did better on the bike this year. Than I have in any of the other. Triathlons I’ve done and I did a least amount of training. So
I think the thing that’s that’s really helped me with my paddling. And you had mentioned to read at the start of this was the bands that I’m using. So what happened was. I actually did a paddle clinic like three years ago before around the rock and it was put on by Thomas Maximus and it was a really good paddle clinic where he gave us a book. He you know showed us how to hold a paddle. So to sort of mark on the board where were the paddles should go in and come out. He gave us a book that he put together a little paperback book and one of the things in the book that I don’t know if you
highlighted on too much was used in bands for your shoulders to straighten your shoulders and I kind of forgot about that. And then what happened was I was out on a fishing trip with some buddies out on the chute’s river and we were we ride our bikes out and back and we ride back at night and I was going down a really steep hill and hit a sage bush and went over the handlebars and really messed up my shoulder and had to have surgery. And then I went through like months of physical therapy. But the one thing we used in the physical therapy pretty extensively was these these bands. And so then you know months later I was going back to that book before I
lent it to somebody and I noticed that the same exercise is in Thomas Max Lewis’s little book where the exercise that I was doing so the other thing that happened was when I was using those bands I was using them both on my left and my right arm because I didn’t want one arm to get stronger than the other. And I’d kind of done the same thing to my left arm like twenty five years ago and college had a bike accident messed up my left shoulder and had never been the same since but I noticed doing all those bad exercises that. My I stopped having problems with my left shoulder. And. So I’d continue to do those exercises and then when you when they have you there.
Petey they you know they start out with this you know light colored little skinny green band and then you know eventually end up on the fat blue band that’s the strongest one they have. Well that wasn’t enough for me. So I started doing two bands I did the blue band and the green band and then I started up in the Rab’s because that still wasn’t enough. And then not too long ago I was this Laird Hamilton movie that came out at surf and he was doing 100 reps of all these exercises and I’m like oh I can keep up with the reps so I was doing like maybe 40 at the time I saw this movie. So now I’m up to 60 and he’s doing the band’s two is he’s doing bands what he was doing. He’s
also doing you know he has his own gym so he’s doing like these neck exercises where he’s doing 100 reps of neck exercises. So. So you have like probably eight eight or nine different exercises I do with my shoulder you know the the bad I would the wedge the band in the doorway and then go through all these exercise that takes me about 15 minutes and you really work up a sweat and your shoulders are sore. And I noticed I kind of intentionally was doing the exercises on the Monday and Wednesdays mornings the same day as the races you know figure and that and that race would be a good workout. I found out a couple of weeks ago that if I.
Don’t do the bands the day of the race I’m actually faster so. So now now I do the bands the day after the race so that I can beat a few more people.
But I don’t do it. And Christians started talking about one of these training programs and I bought that and it’s heavy on the bands too. So it’s good to hear that like I when I talk to you you just said you just had to do more repetitions on it.
Yeah. So one of the things I think when you when you get older you know and you get in your 30s or 40s you’re cartlidge is the weak point.
So if you’re in the gym trying to do low reps in heavy weight or at least for me I get hurt. So you know. Go into the gym and overdoing it and getting injured doesn’t make you go faster. So you know when you’re out on the water you could be out for an hour or two and you know you’re doing hundreds if not thousands paddle strokes so you know 60 to 100 reps on the bands is nothing compared to what you’re doing when you’re actually paddling.
You know I’ve done a couple ABC races up in British Columbia and I know they dig our crew. They they know Renick and some of the other guys down here. But what’s that like going up north to Canada or in racing.
You know it’s weird it’s a completely different experience. There are the races that I’ve been into in B.C.. First it was White Rock and then is Vancouver the Vancouver Suppe challenge and then Sury champion of the crescent. Those those races are all in Salt water and they’re a little bit different than our Ballard Monday night Ballard race because it’s more coastal type water. So you’re getting some some break. You know sometimes you’re a mile out and you know going around the channel markers or you’re kind of in the ocean. So. I
find it a little bit more challenging. It’s a different environment. The racers up there are very competitive also. And it seems to be like those races seem to me more of a party atmosphere like they have deejays and or live music for most of the day. The races are put on really well by guys who have experience putting on races not like you know the Monday Wednesday night guys here do a really good job also but we don’t have a lot of really big races we have around the rock and once a year. So it’s good to you it’s good to get up there for to
add a few more for races under your belt. And and you know in years past it was just me Michelle and Sarah that were going up there and you know there was no coordination between the three of us. I’d go up there and I’m like oh what are you guys doing here. But then this year this year a bunch of the side guys showed up to the race and it was really fun and like you know 10 or 12 people that were up there.
I did the big chop up there and man that is crazy. It really is big chop and you know when you come back there’s a bunch of prizes in music plan and what a lot of people to a lot of people up there racing in Vancouver.
Yeah it’s it’s kind of like a it’s like a party up there it’s it’s a fun event. You know it’s a family event. There’s lots of kids they do kids races they do fun relays. Yeah it’s a good time.
I to get the board up. There’s not a house I mean you just strap it up and you go across the border. They’re pretty cool I think.
Yeah. When you cross the border with the paddleboard on the top and asks you where you’re going and you tell them it’s for a paddleboard race they don’t really question it just tell you keep going.
Let’s see oh yeah. What did a few people that said that that day yet. Yeah for sure. Well Chris let’s talk about family batted and I know you told me earlier today that your dad just passed away a couple of weeks ago and that’s that’s got to be tough man. Yeah actually.
He we found out he was sick back in June and you know I guess I kind of felt bad about a little bit. But you know one of the ways I deal with stress is I go out and it on and I wanted to keep training. So when when he he lives over and one Accion there right next to the Columbia River. So when I found out that he was sick and I needed to go over to the hospital I strapped a couple of boards on top of the truck and. Went over there and heard the diagnosis and it wasn’t good. But every morning. I. Take the board off the truck and drive out to the ER
drive out to the park and take the board off the truck and paddle for an hour or so up the river and down a little estuary that you can paddle into and you can paddle up when you’re ever a little ways till you start till you run into the rocks and then come back down.
But it’s kind of nice. There’s a pretty big variety of places you can. Go to to. Unwind.
And actually. So one of the reasons or one of the I guess one of the reasons that I got into paddleboarding is I actually got divorced like I don’t know maybe six years ago now and I lived up in Arlington there wasn’t a lot there for a single person to do. So I rented a house down Bothell and it was probably like a mayor or something like that. It was really hot out on the lawn. I’m like Man this sucks. I’d rather be on the water. So that’s that’s when I actually gave urban a call and said hey you know you guys rent paddle boards and that’s when I found out about the fun out of it struck the SLU race and that was kind of the beginning of it. And then you know since then
I was one of the one of the get togethers after the Santa LBL a couple of years ago at the Elks and I met Lindy at that race or that event.
And then her and I you know like maybe like seven months after that she had sent me a message saying Hey you want to do this sup surfing class that Rob puts on up and near Bay and I was like Hell yeah I’ll do that. So I went up and did her and I kind of been inseparable since then. Yeah she’s a lot of fun. She’s a great person. My life boring you know when she’s around. So and she loves the paddle so it’s good. It’s a good partnership.
Yeah it’s been great watching that relationship flourish you know for the last couple years you know at CNN. So that’s great. Yeah. We have such so many epic friendships here. And then you know people are meeting on and off the water. That’s just great.
Yeah. You know it’s a great it’s a great place to meet people. We all we all have probably a shared love of the water and there’s a variety of ways you can enjoy it on a panel or so.
You know what are some things that you really remember about your dad. You know some things that he instilled in you or some some things he did with you when you were young.
Actually the fishing and the Guiding is kind of where that came from. He I remember him taking me fishing when I was really young like I used to sit in this little. I think I used to sit in this plastic kiddie pool. I think it was in the shape of a boat and I’d sit in the middle of the yard and pretend I was fishing.
But so that was one of the big influences.
But you know he was always honest and hardworking guy so I kind of got my I guess my work ethic from him. So yeah.
What about your mom what did she do. Haha you know when I was a kid my mom used to take me to all the all the events.
That kids do you know soccer and swimming track. You know you name it she she was always there she was always she was always a good supporter of my activities. She even she even went to the paddleboard race last year that I was there was two races that was like the longer the race and then kind of shorter like open race. And I was still recovering from soldiers shoulder surgery and I had just done a triathlon like a day before. So I entered the open race and won that one and she actually showed up to
see me win that race.
So what’s what’s your goal like in five years with their standup paddling home.
And I haven’t even thought five years out. My goal for next year is do the pro race at the Gorge So hopefully hopefully that works out. And five years from now hopefully I’m still paddling and maybe I’ll be maybe maybe I’ll be as fast as John and Sarah.
Yeah that’s it is great to have those people in our community. And John I mean man he’s in his 60s and just killing and he’s killing 20 year olds out there age just African and he’s just so stoked about it. That’s what’s really great to know that we have a very long future ahead of us in standup paddle looking at those folks.
Yeah. John’s got John’s got a great attitude. Really competitive trains really hard. I think he’s worked for everything he’s got and stand up and so kind of he encourages you to work hard to get you can There is man Chris Grefe man another paddler in our community.
And you know three four years ago you know you see this guy and I’d see him once or twice and now he’s one of our best guys. So it’s just a real inspiration. But thanks a lot Chris Great talking with you. Thanks for all right man is Darrell Kirkstone of the world radio. Thanks so much for listening every week to folks like Chris Grebe put to a man. Darrell Kirk’s stand up paddle the world radio. Stay up and stay on that board. Standup paddle the world radio is brought to you by treehouse vacation rental visiting Seattle live like a local treehouse vacation rental 2