Monthly Archives: June 2012

Women-specific paddles

It’s really important that lighter weight people — less bulky, less strong individuals, and most all ladies — have the right paddle or they won’t have as much fun and could possibly end up injuring themselves.

A couple features that distinguish a ladies paddle are a small blade, and a relatively flexible, small diameter shaft. The combination of these two things allow lighter weight paddlers to develop a high cadence stroke without the fear of injuring and overloading shoulder muscles, arms, and lower back. It’s really important that women don’t just grab the paddle their husbands or boyfriends use, or a rental paddle that is 1.5 or two pounds heavier.

The paddles we like to recommend for women are really lightweight, with small blade sizes — generally 83 to 90 inches in surface area, and relatively narrow, say between 7 and 8 inches wide. The shafts are quite narrow, so they are easy to grip with smaller hands. And they’re also more flexible. All these characteristics mean less load on the shoulders.

Examples of these paddles are the Quickblade Flyweight and the Kialoa Pipes. These are outstanding choices for ladies and both feature narrow diameter shafts and small blades. The Pipes is a 100% carbon paddle, ultra light with an ovalized shaft for superior comfort and grip. The Flyweight All Fiberglass paddle — with a fiberglass shaft and fiberglass blade, is a little heavier and is priced really well, while the Flyweight FG/CA, has a carbon fiber shaft and a fiberglass blade, and the Flyweight All Carbon, weighs in at a miniscule 15 ounces!

The Quickblade Flyweight has three options for women-specific paddles.

I encourage everybody to get the best paddle that their budget allows. You’ll have more fun. Your paddle is like your ski boots. It’s a critical piece of equipment that connects you, and you make contact with. Comfort is important. If you have a lightweight paddle that you like, you’re going to want to go paddling. If you have a big, clunky paddle that is oversized and fatigues you when you go out, you’re less apt to want to go paddling.

Let us help you choose the perfect paddle for you!

All-around SUP boards

At Big Winds we’re often asked by customers looking to get into Stand Up, “What is a great choice for an all-around board?” They’re seeking something they can paddle around on lakes, rivers, take out in bays, and maybe even ride some small surf.  Another factor people often look for is something they can take their dogs on, or their kids. At Big Winds we have a full selection of outstanding All-around boards that really fit these needs.

Two size ranges I like to focus on when people are looking for all-around SUP boards are those in the 10’6” and 11’6” range. The Starboard Drive, the Naish Nalu 10’6.5”, the Surftech Generator 10’6” and the Amundson 10’6” are three great choices for small all rounders. They are all about 30” wide, glide reasonably well, are stable and lightweight. For the larger all rounders, the Starboard Blend (pictured), the Naish Nalu 11’6” and the Amundson 11’6” are all excellent boards, offering excellent glide, stability and are all very affordable. And for folks looking for even more stability, the Starboard Big Easy is the ticket, at 12’ X 32”.

The Starboard Blend is a beautiful and functional all-around SUP board.

Give us a call (888-509-4210 or 541-386-6086) and let us help guide you into the perfect all around board for you and your family!

2012 Naish Fly

Date:  Friday June 15th
Location:  Hood River Sandbar
Kite:  Naish Fly
Bar:  Universal w/ 24m lines
Board:  Naish Alaia
Wind:  West,  4-10 mph (average 8 mph)

Naish just released the new light-wind specific Fly kite and I just had a chance to ride it on an unusual, sub 10 knot day here in Hood River.  This kite doesn’t have a designated size, but it looks like a 15m in the sky.  Big wingtips gives it a Park like appearance from the side, but looking at the main canopy, it adopts its shape from the new, two-strut Ride kite.  My first impression was how well it turns, quick for a light wind kite.  This turning speed really helps maintain a consistent pull, and on the Alaia board, not much is needed.

No white caps in sight, and planing across the pond….big smiles!  I looked over my shoulder to see no one but SUP paddlers!  My only concerns with big kites are back flying (stalling in lulls) and light wind relaunch.  Well, I’m not to concerned any more with the Fly.  I couldn’t get the kite to stall, even with an extra tug on the outside lines.  It  relaunched easily with just a single pull on an outside line.  This kite packs down so small, you can fit it into a 12m Park bag.  Indeed a kiteboarder’s vacation saver, without destroying the wallet!
Feel free to call toll free for more information….Available, NOW! at Big Winds.  1-888-509-4210


Gerry Lopez at Big Winds Saturday, June 9th

Come sailors, come kiters, come SUPpers, come surfers… It’s the evening we’ve all been waiting for. The fun starts at 5 pm at Big Winds’ shop. A humble surfing legend, Gerry will probably not talk about becoming Hawaii State Champ at age 14, or winning the Pipeline Masters competition in ’72 and ’73 – he really wasn’t in to contests. He may laugh about the handful of movies he was featured in.

But we hope he’ll talk about those early surfboard designs with downrailer edges, curve, foil, and rocker that made Pipeline survivable and helped Gerry change the course of the sport. Now living in Bend, Oregon, Lopez still shapes surfboards, Stand Up Paddle boards, and snowboards.

Here’s where the party is!

Paddle for the Podium Clinic June 10th!

Many of you have inquired about an SUP clinic that will take your paddling to the next level and I told you I’d be in touch when I scheduled one. So, here you go: Paddle for the Podium! This clinic is for those who are interested in developing competitive technique, strategies for starts, buoy turns, downwind runs, swell riding, etc. A solid paddling platform is required. This is neither an entry level nor intermediate clinic.

I will be teaching this clinic along with help from some of the athletes that I have worked with for the past year. I’ve worked hard on developing sound paddling strokes and race strategies for the past couple of years, learning from the top guys and women, racing throughout the west coast, and coaching a variety of groups, including the very successful Big Winds Jr. Elite Team. I guaranty you’ll learn a ton, have a blast and get thoroughly worked.

Call or email me with any questions, or to sign up.

I look forward to working with you!