8 Jun 2016

Delights of Iceland

”Schamazeballz” were my words when I first heard about the delights of Iceland.

A land rich in Viking culture and eco-friendly credentials.
Then I heard about Jokulsarlon, a beautiful ice burg lagoon on the south of the Island.
I knew from seeing the magnificent blue tinged natural ice sculptures that I had to SUP there. So I booked up my flight with WOW airlines ( Iceland’s budget airline ), taking with me my Starboard Zen Astro Touring 11’6 iSUP.

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Concealed in a regular suitcase to avoid the possible special equipment baggage allowance I set off. ”Damn” I have a fixed paddle !! No time to source a 3 piece paddle, I used my ex-army ethos of ”Improvise, Adapt, Overcome” and borrowed a rib boat 2 piece oar…It ‘ll do. I and my land loving travel buddy touched down at Keflavik airport.
After several days of camping and driving round the Golden Circle and south coast in our beat up Toyota Yaris hire car, we hit the ring road for SUP-ing mecca …Jokulsarlon.

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On arrival at the location, I could barely contain my excitement at seeing the ragged blue oversized popsicles. After a quick recce along the south shore for a suitable launch and extract site, I inflated my stick in record time. All suited and booted with a high viz wind shirt for good measure, I paddled out into my other worldly SUP Nirvana.
It was safe to say ”Wow” was an understatement at the serenity and beauty of paddling up close and in between these sexy jagged ice maidens.

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I was joined by two friendly seals who were following my every move and I’m sure were laughing at me drifting around a corner into the main outflow to the sea.
There I was met by a bunch of tourists on the bank snapping away at the seals and the dumbass brit on the ”surfboard thing”. So I had to look cool ( pardon the pun) and not look out of breath as I was frantically trying to avoid getting dragged out to sea with huge lumps of ice next to me. Damn that oar was rubbish, but a good workout nevertheless. Several minutes of treading water and not making progress, I dropped to my knees and dug deep to escape the flow.

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A strong headwind picked up, just as I’d got out of the outflow and had a bit of a task getting back to my start point. So I hugged the shoreline back with a huge grin on my face and greeted on shore by my now- webbed footed pal.
So with a bad back and sore shoulder from the crappy oar, I hurriedly packed away in near gale force winds and hit the road.
It was only later at another stunning SUP location that I discovered I’d left my fin behind at the last place. With no time to return and flying out the next day, i was slightly annoyed at my loss.

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But on my return, a quick Facebook message to the wonderfully helpful crew at Starboard UK and Ireland and the SUP hut Swansea, a shiny new upgraded fin was sourced and put in the post. Top blokes !!
A big shout out to the boys at www.liquidsurf.co.uk for the truckers cap.Check out their eco-based apparel.

Tips:
-Be a strong and confident paddler.
-Wear suitable attire for the cold conditions.
-Never head out alone, unless you have a buddy onshore aware of your whereabouts.
-Warm clothing at the ready on shore.
-Be aware that icebergs can shift and rotate, as I nearly found out.
-Ensure gear is up to scratch ( i.e., not a rib boat oar in lieu of a paddle !!! 😉
-Be aware that strong winds can pick up from nowhere and leave you stranded
-Don’t wink and wolf whistle at seals; they may want to mate with you.

Cheers
Rusty Finch, West Wales

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7 Jun 2016

Colwyn Bay Blast in North Wales on my 2015 12’6 Race

By Lucy Pearce

This weekend I took part in the Colwyn Bay Blast in North Wales on my 2015 12’6 Race.

Mainly a surf ski race, SUPs were taking part for the first time. The course was mainly cross shore, from Colwyn Bay to the Little Orme and back – around 14.5 km in total, although I think I did quite a lot more!

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I was the only female paddleboarder and also the only one to tackle the full distance course, starting a little before the surf skis as it was obvious they would be back to the beach a lot faster than me.

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Being mainly cross-shore, I knew it would be hard work and have squeezed in as much training on the sea as I could in the last few weeks, but it was still a big challenge for the legs.

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3/4 of the race was hugely enjoyable. Conditions were good, but the sea was choppy, with a little organisation, especially around the headlands, and outgoing tidal currents on the return. Once all the skis had passed it was a slog, zig-zagging across the swell to head in the right direction, with plenty of refreshing dunkings!

I completed in 2h 46 – the winning SUP, and setting a target time that I hope others will come to beat next year when I’ll be back with the experience under my belt! Next!

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11 May 2016

Japan for the Stand Up World Series Victoria Pro

By Peter Kosinski

I’m beyond excited to be heading on my next adventure to Tokyo, Japan for the Stand Up World Series Victoria Pro.

I feel so lucky to have this crazy lifestyle which I get to experience new cultures and meet new people every adventure. All this is possible thanks to my Friends, Family and Sponsors. ‪

Starboard Stand Up Paddle SurfingStarboard JapanStarboard SUP UK & IrelandBlack Project FinsEXITSUPboarder MagazineSummer SUP School.

Quick video from my adventures down in New Zealand powered by Starboard Stand Up Paddle Surfing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHeqaW6OzlM

 

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