Author Archives: SurfskiNorthwest
Recently the inaugural Canadian Surfski Championships was held on the beautiful northern tip of Howe Sound, BC. Though I wasn’t expecting a 100% downwind ripper, I was hoping for some bump. As it turned out come race day, the race was flat, but an amazing roster of international athletes were on hand ready to compete and it was a very well run positive event. As one top Aussie athlete said the day before the race “I’m an ocean racer, you get what you get, sometimes downwind, sometimes upwind, and sometimes flat”. That felt like good motivation to pull hard throughout the race.
Ah, but the start… here’s the video;
Not the best video, but also quite evident that it was a moving start line. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised that the start went off the way it did. Friends that race ‘the circuit’ say it’s very common in international races for the line to be pushed. Never the less, there has been a lot of chatter, griping, some hilarious finger-pointing, and even history digging, regarding this particular start. As a local hacker who is too slow, too old, etc… to race the international circuit, I can officially say I loved the start. All the US Champs that I’ve competed in have gone off with some degree of line-pushing & I’ll happily admit I like the starting-line jostle.
So, I asked Dawid Mocke what he thought of the start. He wasn’t at the race, so that gives him a little distance from this particular start. As one of the most successful athletes in the sport, strong paddling ambassador, and all around nice guy, I wanted to get his take on the status of race starts on the international circuit.
Q – What is the current race etiquette for racers bumping/creeping the start line in a mass start event?
Dawid – start etiquette – creeping start lines happen at all races everywhere in the world and are seemingly the rule as opposed to exception!
It seems more prevalent in water based starts and where racers haven’t been briefed ad nauseum about the procedure; where its evident that misdemeanors won’t really be policed and where the start line is very wide and loose.
Also where there is too much time spent trying to get a straight line and everyone on it.
You also need a very strong starter.
If you have a standing land based or standing next to your ski start its always much easier to get a clean fair start.
The best method I have seen for a start is Dean Gardiner’s where there is a small startline between two buoys with a front seeded line of paddlers and where everyone must pass through the buoys.
Big thanks to all the athletes, sponsors and race volunteers who made 2014 US Surfski Championships a huge success! It was the deepest and most competitive field in the history of the race. No surprise that three out of the top five overall finishers paddled FENN Surfskis.
We currently have our largest inventory of brand new and ‘barely used’ surfskis currently in Bellingham. Many prices have been reduced to help these boats find happy new homes, please contact us directly for more information. Currently we have;
Fenn Elite Spark
Fenn Elite Glide
Fenn Elite SL
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a demo opportunity or for more info regarding these end of season deals!
Looking forward to seeing many of you next weekend at Canadian Championships!
Whatcom paddlers, listen up! Ocean Paddlesports is proud to announce that Fenn athlete/sensation Jasper Mocke, will be in Bellingham this summer! Hailing from a family whose name has become synonymous with high performance surfski racing, Mocke is looking to continue his 2014 season dominance in North America. On August 20th and 21st, Jasper will be in Bellingham sharing his knowledge, passion, and expertise with the paddlers of the Pacific Northwest.
Over the last year in the international surfski scene, Jasper has been on a meteoric rise, proving he is the man to beat! In 2013, Jasper claimed several huge victories; two among them were the hotly contested Perth Doctor and the Cape Town Downwind. Building off his 2013 breakout season, Mocke, has really shown that 2014 is shaping up to be his year. So far Mocke has won three of the first four Surfski World Series Races, including the Doctor, the Mandurrah Duel, and the Defis World Cup. Mocke is also fresh off two victories at the South African Surfski Champs, winning both the singles and doubles category in Durban.
I personally, have learned volumes from Jasper. His flatwater technique, downwind surfing, and race day execution are second to none. And on top of raw physical ability, he also has a wealth of information to share with you about training, racing, and improving all aspects of your surfski paddling.
He has been one of my biggest inspirations over the last two years and as many of you saw in my post after my trip to South Africa, I learned volumes about racing and training from Jasper.
A lesson with one of the unstoppable surfski forces of 2014 is not something to be missed. If you are interested in joining one of his clinics on either Wednesday or Thursday (August 20th and 21st), please contact DJ.
Looking forward to visiting Bellingham soon!
This opportunity will fill-up quickly, please email DJ asap to get your name on the list!
Tentative Clinic Schedule
· Style: Private
· Price: $100
· 90min session
· Clinic Size: 4 people max
· Style: Group
· Price: $50
· 2hr session
· Clinic Size: 10 people max
· Style: Private
· Price: $100
· 90min session
· Clinic Size: 4 people max
Summer is here and we’re restocked with new Fenn surfskis just in time to cool down & enjoy our endless summer paddling opportunities! I’ll be at Bloedel for the next two Wednesday evenings, July 2nd & 9th, to allow folks to demo the new boats during the Wednesday evening race. I’m also planning on jumping in boats with anyone who wants to talk paddling technique or go for a cruise in a new design.
We have every design in stock, including the Blue-Fin, which has been extremely popular since it hit the US market last year. This design allows novice paddles the confidence to feel stable in a variety of conditions and more experienced paddlers the opportunity to chase waves. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to demo this design – they’re going fast!
We also have the Fenn Swordfish (#1 intermediate design in Bellingham for last two years) back in stock, and the Fenn Elite Spark & Glide! The Spark & Glide have been on top of the podium since they were released in 2013. Jasper Mocke just rode a Spark to a much coveted win at the 2014 South Africa Surfski Champs against a packed ‘A-list’ of competitors – once again proving the Spark can perform as an elite ski in a variety of conditions!
Please feel free to contact me at anytime regarding setting up an Ocean Paddlesports/ Fenn demo opportunity!
Big thanks to everyone who’s helped make the local spring race series a huge success!
Fenn surfskis continue to lead the race pack in local and international competition. Congratulations to all Fenn paddles for top finishes in local early season races!
*La Conner – OVERALL RACE WINNER – Fenn Elite Double
*Bellingham Rough Water Challenge – OVERALL RACE WINNER – Fenn Elite Spark
*Dan Harris Challenge – OVERALL RACE WINNER – Fenn Elite SL
*Lake Whatcom Classic – OVERALL RACE WINNER – Fenn Elite Spark
Ocean Paddlesports has had an exceptionally busy start to the year and the second shipment of Fenn surfskis are on the way! Fenn boats continue to impress ski paddlers with their full line of surfskis, innovative designs and unbeatable quality – we have everything for your flatwater through surfing needs! Please feel free to contact us at anytime if you would like to schedule a private demo in Bellingham.
Hope in see you on the water!
We are pleased to announce two upcoming demo days! Come out and demo the full Ocean Paddlesports line-up of Fenn surfskis and see why they are the best surfskis on the market.
SATURDAY APRIL 26TH
Lake Padden, swim beach below bathroom
SATURDAY MAY 27TH
Bloedel Donavan Park on Lake Whatcom
Please feel free to contact us with specific demo wishes and we look forward to seeing you on the water. Remember to bring a lifejacket and appropriate coldwater paddling clothing. Demos will be rescheduled for high winds (aka nuking), please check this website prior to the demo day if it’s gusty for plan-B options. Please feel free to contact us for alternate demo opportunities at anytime throughout the year.
Hope to see you on the water!
Fenn Surfskis are made with pride in South Africa at the Fenn owned & operated factory, come check-out the quality of these amazing boats!
|Vac Glass 31lbs $2500||Performance 34lbs $2795||Performance 34lbs $2695|
|Vac Hybrid 26 lbs $3100
||Ultra 27.5 lbs $3795||——|
|Vac Carbon 23 lbs $3900
||Elite 24l lbs $5095||Elite 28lbs $3495|
Hey Bellingham Surfskiers!
I am very pleased to say that I am coming back to Bellingham (my surfski roots) and I can’t wait to get the chance to paddle alongside the Bellingham crew once more. I will be racing in the Dan Harris Challenge, Lake Whatcom Race, and of course, I will be attending the Wednesday night race (where reputations are forged and shattered and pain is but a pastime).
I also wanted to announce that I will be doing a few paddling clinics for anyone who is interested. I have spent a lot of time, effort, and thought learning from the best and developing my stroke, training, and understanding of the sport.
I know a lot of you may be skeptical about improving flatwater stroke, but it is essential for any significant improvement. Just ask DJ about our whitewater days. In whitewater slalom we, along with the best whitewater racers in the world, would spend the first few months of EVERY year going back to the basics to tweak/improve our stroke (essentially, the foundation upon what your season is built).
The same is true for sprint national teams the world over. Even the best internationals refine and perfect their stroke every season. Therefore, in a sport like Surfski, where you don’t just paddle for 1000 meters in a race, but for tens of 1000s of meters, having the best flatwater stroke possible is paramount!
As for my flatwater stroke, I spent all of January, February, and March after returning from my South African surfski bonanza picking my stroke apart as I gear up for this season. If you are interested in benefiting from my experience, research, and training, then please attend one of my clinics.
Clinic Dates & Times
Saturday April 26th
Morning and Afternoon Session
Sunday April 27th
Afternoon Session – After Dirty Dan race
Friday May 2nd
Morning and Afternoon Sessions
Saturday May 3rd
Afternoon Session – After Lake Whatcom Race
Sessions will be limited to four paddlers. Please email DJ if you are interested in this coaching opportunity. I’m asking for a $30 donation for the coaching to help fund my next trip to South Africa to train and race in Fish Hoek next fall.
Please contact DJ at DNJ79@hotmail.com for more info and to sign-up for this coaching opportunity. He will work with all interested individuals to help arrange groups that will benefit all involved and set times/venue that work best for each clinic.
I look forward to seeing all of you & happy training!
North America- Austin Kieffer (USA) originally joined the Vaikobi Race Team, as one of the best up and coming paddlers in the US and Internationally. Austin loved the Vaikobi products and brand so much, that he wanted to become more involved and his experience and background made him a perfect fit for the Vaikobi Team.
Austin joins Vaikobi as our North American Marketing Representative and will be working hard to build our brand profile in the Paddle Sport market to support the growing number of stockists in North America.
Pat added that “From the first time I met Austin I was extremely impressed with him as an individual who is extremely capable and personable. His paddling & coaching skills on the water need no introduction and his passion for the Vaikobi brand is fantastic.”
Austin also represents Fenn Kayaks through the US based Ocean Paddle Sports.
Austin is based in San Diego, CA and can be contacted at: Austin@vaikobi.com Ph +1 828 775 8989
Europe- Robert Nagy (FRA) has joined Vaikobi as European Sales & Marketing Manager. With over a decade of experience in the watersports apparel industry plus a lifetime of high level racing in Sailboarding, Multihull, Olympic and Offshore Single Handed Sailing disciplines, Robert is well placed to help drive the Vaikobi business in Europe.
Robert is also the French Distributor for Epic Kayaks through his company, Wind Machine and will play a strong role for the Vaikobi brand both in France and throughout Europe.
Pat Langley, from Vaikobi, commented that, “Having worked with Robert over many years, we have developed a strong working relationship that will position us well as we grow in the watersports market in Europe. With our
strong focus on Paddle Sport, Robert will be working hard to support our building European network of stockists.”
Robert is based in Brittany, France and can be contacted at: Robert@vaikobi.com Ph + 33 668 002 822
Just spent a highly enjoyable long weekend paddling with the Ocean Paddlesports crew in Costa Mesa. I brought WAY too much cold weather paddling gear for air temps around 70 (yes, the locals were complaining it was cold) & water temp in the 60’s. We had great interval sessions, fun off-shore downwinders (had some Hawaii flashbacks as I skipped down the warm waves), and interesting spec-ski workouts. I highly recommend putting this destination on your ‘A-list’ for a quick & affordable warm weather paddling trip. DeAnne & Pat seem to have a constant stream of visitors and have a full fleet of new rental boats available. Be warned though, if you go out with Pat, Rich, Austin & Andy for a morning interval workout, it’s going to hurt!
The first Ocean Paddlesports shipment for 2014 just arrived with all the latest & greatest Fenn surfskis and accessories. All Fenn designs are now in stock, including the elite Glide & Spark, the proven downwind machine – Fenn Swordfish, and the reliable Blue Fin and XT. Fenn surfskis are made with pride in South Africa and their quality construction, superior designs, and unbeatable price point make the 2014 Ocean Paddlesports line-up stronger than ever. Please check out oceanpaddlesports.com for more info. Feel free to contact me directly for any product info or demo opportunities in the PNW. Fingers are crossed that 2014 will be an amazing downwind year! Looking forward to seeing you on the water.