Monthly Archives: April 2012

New Container Just Arrived

Ocean Paddlesports is pleased to announce the arrival of the second container of the year loaded with Fenn surfskis.  We have a trailer heading north next week to accommodate all your spring surfski needs,  All designs are in stock, including;

Fenn Swordfish – proven surfing machine, it’s what I’ve been sporting all winter in the big blow days.  I had an epic big wave/ mixed choppy paddle two weeks ago at the Gorge and the boat performed like a champ.  Fast on the flatwater, maybe only about 20-30 seconds slower than my Elite on the Wednesday night race course.  Can’t drive around town without spotting one!

Fenn XT – proven reliable boat, single footwell with the seat moved up last year for improved surfing performance.  This boat gives beginner ski paddlers the stable platform to chase waves and more experienced paddlers the confidence to keep paddling well in big conditions.

Fenn SL Elite – Simon has been all smiles as he’s been enjoying putting the SL through its paces – his boat is plastered with ‘Relax’ stickers – the waves must be getting tired of his shredding skills.  The redistribution and added volume behind the seat allows the boat to easily pick-up runs, stability is very good in chop and straight line speed is second to none.  Hey, Jasper in an SL has been picking off his older brother Dawid who’s been sticking to the proven performance of an Elite – maybe it’s a changing of the guard, maybe it’s an SL?!

Fenn Elite Double Ski – proven top performer in all conditions.  It’s still the benchmark for double skis – excels in downwind conditions, corners like a champ for those tight lake turns, and super comfortable for those long hot slogs.  Like all Fenn boats, build to last (look how much abuse the club double has taken) at the Fenn owned & operated factory in South Africa.

New Fenn Spec Ski – this design has been making big waves in the lifesaving ski community.  Great for crashing through break and shredding back in, speedo sold separately.  Jasper Mocke just took top honors riding a Fenn Spec Ski at 2012 SA Lifesaving Ski Championships.

Also, currently in stock in Bellingham (ie pay no shipping, pick-up & go paddling today!)

* Vac Carbon Fenn Swordfish – 24 lbs

* Vac Glass Fenn Swordfish – 30-31 lbs

* Vac Glass Fenn XT – 30-31 lbs

Please contact me or Ocean Paddlesports with questions or to set up a demo of any of the Fenn line-up.  We have had an incredible amount of positive feedback from happy customs from the last shipment and look forward to continuing to bring proven designs coupled with quality construction to the PNW surfski community.

CBC Paddling Clinic

Hello Whatcom Paddlers,
Ludo and I have joined forces with the Community Boating Center to help kick start a youth paddling program here in Bellingham.  The CBC plans on hosting several paddling clinics this year that will be fundraisers for a local youth paddling program.  Our plan is to use the CBC’s youth camps throughout the summer as feeder programs for a youth paddling club with the goal of getting local youth in boats.  The Community Boating Center provides the liability insurance umbrella & organization structure which is required to get a youth program off the ground and have the perfect on-water location in Fairhaven.  These clinics will serve as fundraisers with 100% of the proceeds going towards purchasing equipment to outfit local youth and give them an opportunity to pursue paddling in a fun and safe environment.  We are offering this initial clinic prior to the CBC Paddle Challenge (5/12) as an opportunity to refine your technique prior to the afternoon race.  I learn/ refine my paddling stroke every time I paddle with Ludo, so this clinic has something to offer for all Whatcom Paddlers, even the more experienced paddlers in town.  We will have video feedback during the clinic as a tool to help improve your stroke and will have running video review during the bbq – hey, some of the video might end up in the film festival!  Come out and support us getting a youth program going in town and refine your technique with this spring paddling clinic.
Hope to see you on the water!
Check us out in the April S2S Newsletter

Bellingham Community Boating Center2012 Community Boating Center Paddle Challenge and Kayak Technique Clinic
May 12th/ 900-1130/ Community Boating Center, Bellingham Bay

ALL PROCEEDS GO DIRECTLY TO THE CBC YOUTH PROGRAMS WITH THE GOAL OF GETTING AREA YOUTH IN BOATS IN A SAFE AND STRUCTURED ENVIRONMENTLooking to kick your paddling into high gear before the 2012 Ski to Sea?  Haven’t been in a kayak for a while and want a quick spring paddling tune-up? The Bellingham Community Boating Center is offering a 3-hour kayak technique clinic with local kayakers David Jacobson and Ludovit Tatos on May 12th from 9:00-11:30 followed by the Paddle Challenge Race at 1pmThe clinic will looks the fundamentals of kayak paddling by focusing on stroke technique with the goal of making you a faster and more efficient paddler. Open to all paddling levels and types of kayaks, this clinic will focus on breaking down stroke technique to the basic elements- rotation, catch, power transfer, and exit- and look at subtle nuances which can help to maximize your power and speed. Video feedback will be used during the clinic to give real-time feedback to paddlers.  After the clinic, put your new technique training to work by racing with the CBC at the Paddle Challenge with a post race BBQ. All proceeds from the paddling clinic will go towards kick-starting a local youth paddling program at the Community Boating Center.  Special ‘Ocean Paddlesports Hotspot’ prize will go to the fastest boat on the water!

About the Coaches:
DJ comes to surfski paddling from a long background as an international whitewater slalom competitor and a former US Center of Excellence Development Coach.  He spent 10 years training and racing whitewater slalom in North Carolina has been hooked on surfing surfskis since moving to Bellingham in 2008.

Ludo Tatos, learning a paddle while growing up in Slovakia, was a Slovakian national sprint kayak competitor in the k-1 racing division. He now paddles surfski and enjoys racing in the local PNW circuit.  Ludo brings a wealth of knowledge to the clinic with his world class k-1 background!

Whether you’re a local paddler looking to improve your kayak stroke or a weekend warrior looking to improve you A-game, this clinic will give you tools to improve your paddling experience

Clinic: $30

CBC Paddle Challenge Entry: $30

Please RSVP to to sign up for the clinic.  Registration for the CBC Paddle Challenge is available here.

All proceeds support Youth Programs at the CBC – come out and support getting youth in boats while improving your paddling technique.

Blaine Pedlow
Executive Director
Community Boating Center – Bellingham, WA
(510)206-0003 mobile
(360)714-8891 office

Early Season Gorge! Better then Hawaii?


Wild and windy at Swell City

We thought we might be pulling the trigger a little early this year with sneaking out of town for a quick four day gorge trip and were prepared to be content with hammering out some flatwater distance, chasing the Sternwheeler, checking out the Stergeon at the dam, and doing all the hiking we never get to doing during the windy summer months, but then the wind started blowing. Day one gave us east winds with some warm up mini-waves to surf after paddling upwind for an hour. Day two, today, west winds were 15-25mph with strong gusts and big erratic waves. The surfing was not the glassy smooth giants of the summer with more chop and less uniformity to

the waves,  but there were some big rides out there for sure.  The 45 degree water temp felt refreshing though I don’t know if swimming would be a good idea this time of year. For today’s run from Draino to the Hatchery,  I’d give the waves a strong 8/10 on the DJ surf ‘o meter.  Fenn Swordfish was the boat of choice on the water, great speed, stability, and overall solid performance in the 6-8 ft mixed conditions.  Local kiters have their fingers crossed that the summer will be a repeat of last year with above average snowmelt headed towards the Columbia River. Licking our chops to come back when it’s windy and warm in July, but thinking we need to squeeze in a July high water trip..  Looks to be another epic season at the Gorge!  Sounds like there will be a good crew setting up shop and chasing waves at the Gorge during July leading up to the #1 surfing race in America – THE WILDSIDE!

Spring surfing @ Swell City



Austin Kieffer

Twenty-three year old whitewater slalom kayaker Austin Kieffer is less than one week away from Olympic Team Trials which will be held at the US Whitewater Center outside of Charlotte, NC.  Competition is guaranteed to be fierce in the k-1 division as the elite top ten scrap it out for the lone Olympic spot.  Although this is not his first Olympic trials,  Austin represent the new younger generation of racers in the upcoming competition as they line-up against veteran national team members gunning it out for the coveted National and Olympic Team spots.  With a decade of training and racing under his belt, he is know well within the racing community for his incredible work ethic & dedication to his sport. Austin has been able to juggle the rigors of training and related travel requirements while being an honor student at Davidson College, a feat which has required him to burn the candle on both ends. I had the privilege to coach him as junior in Asheville, NC and it was obvious from his drive during after school workouts that he had set his priorities at a young age.  Austin’s whitewater background as also transferred easily over to surfski paddling. Last August at US Surfski Champs, I had the privilege of racing surfski with Austin, who blast past me in the final thirty minutes of of the race with two weeks of surfski paddling under his belt.  Though Austin is peaking for three days of two explosive 80-90 second races next weekend, he has already committed to switching gears in July and spending three weeks in a surfski in the Columbia River Gorge leading up to US Champs in San Francisco.   Enjoy the action shots of Austin as he completes his final training regiment in preparation for trials and follow full Olympic selection results online.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.