Boardsports School & Shop Blog

Boardsports School & Shop Blog: January 2009

Chronicles of our fun windsurfing, kiteboarding, and stand up paddling events, demos, and bbqs around the San Francisco Bay Area

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jane and the boys! SUPper Club Tour 1/17/09

Jane and the boys - Brad, Tony, John, Derick, Jane, and Peter. Kurt joined in too...and he and Peter were the only two that had gone stand up paddling before yesterday's tour. Our paddle spanned 5 miles to and fro the southern end of Crown Beach and the Elsie Roemer Bird Santuary.
We turned around at the Bay Farm Island Bridge, the longest drawbridge in the country.
The weather was ideal with temperatures in the 70s and clear blue sunny skies. With the warm weather, all the first time SUPpers went sans wetsuit, and they were glad they did as they all had to take their shirts off to stay cool!
We spotted 2 leopard sharks on the tour. They are harmless and gorgeous as they swim along in the shallow water. Brad said the one he spotted was nearly 6 feet long. Yikes!

More SUPper Club tours to sure to join our SUPper Club on Facebook.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SUPper Club Tour Sat 1/17 2 hour paddle south end Crown Beach

This weekend's SUPper Club Tour is down the south end of Crown Beach Alameda to the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary and back.
The paddle takes about 2 hours and is from 1pm-3pm. This tour is open to all and does not require SUP experience. The cost is $39 and sign ups are recommended. Call or email us.
Jane & Rebecca

Monday, January 12, 2009

Perfect Conditions for our 1st SUPper Club Tour

Our 1st "SUPper Club" Tour was a total blast this past Saturday in Alameda! We had perfect weather...clear blue skies and temps in the mid 60s.

Here are some of the highlights>

The day started out with a private lesson for Sabastian and his dad George. They were going to join the tour, but his dad wanted to try stand up paddling before making a commitment to paddle for the tour route of 2 1/2 miles. Since George has taught downhill skiing, he was being quite modest as he picked stand up paddling up quickly and kept his hair dry! We paddled down to Crab Cove and back and they both got a great workout. Good job George! I think Sabastian is hooked too - he really liked the vantage point of standing up on the board so he could view the gorgeous beach, the East Bay hills, and see deeper into the water.
We then pulled out all of our stand up paddle (a.k.a. SUP) boards to prepare for the crew departing at 12:30. This was our co-ed crew and included 12 of us in total. Mike and Sally joined in on their own SUP boards, and we had a few join by kayak as well. Jesse brought along his GPS so he tracked our paddle tour at 2.3 miles. The tide was ebbing so we got a nice pull through the canal...then had to paddle against the wind and tide to make it back to the beach. That was the section that kicked in the core workout! My arms and legs felt it that night!!
Group photo opp before we depart....many in the group were first time SUPpers so we included an intro lesson on paddle stroke technique and body stance. Despite a bunch of newbie rookies, the group stayed dry the entire way!
Crab Cove in the backdrop. Crab Cove was a major beach amusement area from the 1880s through the 1930s (called Neptune Beach and thought of as the Coney Island of the west). It included a roller coaster, salt water spa baths, baseball competitions, and the invention of the snow cone! Once WWII rolled around, the military took over the land for training purposes (the current Crab Cove visitor's center was the infirmary). After being turned into a state beach in the 60s, it's now a marine sanctuary and there is some fine bird watching. Two of our tour paddlers, Bob and Mike, were able to point out some Grebes, Buffleheads, Sandpipers, and Oyster Diggers. The Oyster Digger is my favorite - please dig some oysters up for us!
Oyster Digger
Very adorable! I wish I could take this little one home! Is my bathtub big enough?

You know you are getting old when bird watching starts to get really appealing!
Here is a site for identifying some of the birds you can spot in and around Crab Cove.

Making our way into Ballena Isle Marina...sun is shining, the weather is sweet!!
The boats and houses along the canal are pretty lux. How about walking out your back door and jumping onto your SUP board...or better yet your 30 ft sailboat! Check out this condo for of the homes we passed on our paddle.

At high tide, we have to duck under this bridge to make it through. The tide has a 10 foot range...going from a negative 2 ft low tide up to a postitive 8 ft high tide.
We had the ebb tide pulling us out of the canal...making for an easy glide...we didn't even need to paddle through this part!
San Francisco in the backdrop...and Tim as our tour SAG (support and gear) paddling in a kayak at the rear to make sure everyone was safe and sound!Thanks again Tim! He was even giving out paddle tips when needed :)

Will and Aliza pausing for a photo this January in California?

We're rounding the bend and paddling back to the shack, against the tide....just before the wind kicked up and gave us a run for our money! That is where most of our calories were earned! Good thing we had the bbq to return to...I was ready for that cheeseburger in paradise!

Our 2pm tour was SOLD OUT and turned out to be all LADIES! Are those bikinis?

Jesse helps all of the ladies launch their boards. Rebecca (far left) guided the ladie's tour. Aparently this group was not really into the bird watching...they were all a bit younger!
Hey, which way is the canal?
Carrying the board is really easy alone, but effortless with an inchworm troop!
Rebecca and Susan basking in the sun at dusk....returning just in time for our summer in January BBQ complete with burgers, dogs, veggie burgers, and chicken. We can't wait til our next SUP tour...stay tuned for dates and times.

Join our "SUPper Club" on facebook


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SUPper Club Launch Tour & BBQ - Ballena Isle

We are launching our "SUPper Club" with a tour of Ballena Isle in Alameda this Saturday, January 10th. Our paddle tour will depart from our "Shack" on Crown Beach in Alameda. This is a great first time paddle adventure as it's only about 1 1/2 miles and takes about 45 minutes to complete. We will pass by Crab Cove, a nice sanctuary offering many differnt species of pretty birds. Will make our way into the marina and pass through the canal up through to the north side of Ballena Isle and back around to the beach.

We will have 2 tour departures, one at 12:30 and one at 2pm. Sign ups required so send us an email or call to sign up. The cost is $29 which includes SUP rental and bbq. If you have your own board, the tour is free and you can join the optional bbq for $10.
We hope you can join us!
Jane & Rebecca

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Join our new Stand Up Paddle a.k.a. "SUPper" Club

We have set up a new "SUPper" Club on Facebook to connect SF Bay Area Stand Up Paddle enthusiasts. Local SUP members can post their favorite paddle sites, their unique paddle stories, or plan group SUP events. Stay tuned on Facebook for our upcoming Stand Up Paddle tours (you can bring your own board or rent one from us) or simply join to keep current on a fun and rapidly growing new sport!

Jane & Rebecca