I have been involved with paddle sports for most of his life. Starting out as an avid river runner as a kid evolved into a full-time athletic career for nearly a decade. This journey included winter training trip to Costa Rica and Australia, summer road trips in the US and Europe for competition (yes, it was a rough lifestyle). During the racing roller coaster I made lifelong friends, paddled some truly amazing rivers, and tested myself against the best in the world. I walked away from a decade of competitive racing with no regrets, glad to move on, but still had the drive for paddling.
After moving from Asheville, NC to Bellingham, WA in the winter of 2007, I started paddling in a surf ski I had bought cheap from a friend and hauled out West through snow, sleet, lightning and 60 mph winds. After meeting some of the local Bellingham paddling crew, I quickly upgraded to a higher performance surfski (that didn’t sink like the old one) and fell in love with surf ski paddling.
Paddling surfski blends paddling technique and fitness into a sport that is right at my doorstep here in the Pacific Northwest. I have found that storm paddling feels a lot like whitewater with big waves, rebound, tides, eddies, and wind working together to create challenging conditions. With multiple lakes in Bellingham, flatwater surfski and K-1 training provides a venue to work on basic paddling technique, speed, and fitness. Finally, downwinders on a surf ski, either at home in Bellingham Bay, up in BC at Deep Cove or Bowen Island, or the Columbia Gorge, are as good as it gets. Downwind surfing runs are a chance to bring all the other training elements together, whether it’s relaxing on a glassy wave, surfing rebound, or sprinting onto the next wave. Living in Bellingham, we are lucky to have an amazingly strong community of surfski and OC paddlers from a wide variety of athletic backgrounds and ability levels make skis go fast. Surfski paddling has become a way of life and I look forward to more exciting paddling adventures to come.