Fast and Clean

I started my paddling career watching films of heroic paddling exploits on unknown white water rivers. In those days  the term “16mm film” was something everyone understood and many paddlers had at least an 8mm camera. They gave way to VHS tapes and DVD’s over the years and now there is an avalanche of kayaking footage on social media.

“Fast and Clean” was one of the early films available documenting the 1979 Whitewater World Titles and a great showcase for the paddlers, styles and equipment of the day. Worth a look even today if only for the fashions both on and off the water. See the link at bottom of page and find a nice comfortable chair to watch this 36 minute masterpiece. Maybe cast it to your smart TV for best viewing. There’s also a Trivia Quiz for viewers. You might also look up Director Russ Nichols to see his other works from that era.

It was an inspiration watching slalom paddlers in action and it spurred me on to paddle a couple of novice slalom competitions in Victoria, which was a mere 1600km round trip on a weekend. I think the long drive and the fact that I wasn’t any good, led me to look further afield in the kayaking realm to get my kicks. It’s probably why I started kayak surfing along our local coast and have spent much of my life sea kayaking and dabbling in other disciplines.

“Fast and Clean” it might have been then but nearly 40 years later it sort of “Slow and Grotty”. We still love the surf and take any opportunity to get out there in just about anything that floats.

So on the first day of Winter we found a rather Grotty looking wave and managed lots of slow rides. Any excuse to get out there and have some fun.

It wasn’t that big at times but Steve made the most of any wave

Steve used the small waves to find his limits

Steve found his limits a number of times. This time trying to perfect his back loop…Failed

Ian is enjoying himself or is he madly waving because he just saw a shark ?

Things happen when old paddlers get together in the surf. They play “Roller Surf”, gaining points if you can make the other paddler roll. The game begins when all are on the water and ends with the first serious injury or new drowning experience. It keeps everyone on their toes and looking over their shoulder !!

Ian scores a point on Steve

Michael reckons he’s on a winner with possible double points

Michael takes a small wave

Finds the bow disappearing

Then does a disappearing act of his own

Rodney “its my Birthday” Biggs slides another one right

Gets in a bit of a pickle

Inspects the bottom for a while

And then rolls back up with just enough breath left to blow out the candles on his Birthday cake

Well that was our first day of Winter. Hope you enjoyed yours as much.

And here’s  Fast and Clean. Thanks to Roy Farrance of Canoes Plus in Victoria who found the film for me. Roy was also the coach and organiser of those Novice Slalom events I attended, which just proves there are people older than me. Roy never slows up and is currently at the 2018 ICF Canoe Wildwater World Championships Muotathal Switzerland along with competitor Dita Pahl. Dita coaches and competes for the Canoe Plus Racing Team and is representing Australia. GO DITA 🙂

And our Trivia Quiz questions.

  1. Describe Australian Team special marching style
  2. What happened to the Australian C1 paddler
  3. Who was the now famous Kayak Educator paddling C1
  4. What river was the USA trials held on
  5. Name a K1 model being paddled
  6. Name a C1 model being paddled
  7. Name 3 paddle manufacturers you saw

Cheers and have a great Winter (or Summer if your in the other half of the world)…..Ian Pope

Desperate Friday

It’s Good Friday, first day of the Easter holidays. I wake with the dawn and peer outside to be greeted by a slight drizzle and heavy overcast skies. The forecast is for clearing weather after the last couple of days of SW winds. I’m hoping there will be a better surf today as I’m really getting DESPERATE to get wet.

I check the surf forecast which is not great, but it’s not bad either; sort of 1- 2 foot and lumpy, and being an optimist I believe it will get better. A quick text to paddler “Shorebreak Steve”, another optimist and we set up a surf paddle on the local coast.

Standing on the cliffs, the light rain has now stopped but the overcast skies remain. There is indeed a swell pushing in but the winds have left it lumpy and confused. How desperate are we ?…VERY DESPERATE. So playboats off the car, on with gear and down the track to the beach.

We had been hoping for some good waves so practice a few “Ocean Playboating” moves but more likely today will be a bit of fitness training.
We do manage to catch a few small waves in the lumpy conditions

Ian gets on a smallish wave

At least it’s good practice

Steve manages a few good rides for the morning.

It’s a little crowded at times with both of trying to make the most of each wave

Steve decides to “get out the way”

Small but sort of clean waves as the wind and tide drop

Of course you have to keep your eye on the sloppy waves otherwise you might just get a little wetter than expected

Steve is capsized by a small wave he didn’t see coming

Yep. That was refreshing !!

Yes. We are DESPERATE for a good clean surf but it seems it will have to wait until another day.

HAVE A GREAT EASTER HOLIDAY

Celebrate the Solstice

It’s the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. That day of the year when we know that things will only get better; the days will slowly get longer giving us more time to go paddling. Of course if you’re in the Northern hemisphere the only thing that you have to look forward to is the coming of the rain, sleet and snow.

Two of our “gentlemen” paddlers, Steve and myself decided to “paddle in the solstice” with a quick surf session at our local spot. Fortunately for us the surf was very gentle today which was in keeping with our character, however we certainly had a heap of fun.

You will notice that Steve and I actually put on a “shortie” wetsuit to protect ourselves from the cold, something that you northern hemisphere paddlers probably only break out in mid summer 🙂

The video is short and the surf was small, but I’m sure you will get idea.

Happy Solstice
Ian……PaddlingSouth

Friday Fun

Friday; the last day of the working week for some and others just another day on the calendar. The sun is shining, the breeze is pleasant so decisions need to be made. I could have slipped over to the lawn bowls rink for a few ends; although they banned me because of my “over-arm” action. I could have spent the day in the garden, except I’ve done my 2 days gardening for the year already, so it was definitely hit the waves time.

Robyn, our photographer, Steve and myself strapped the surf kayaks to the roof and set off for a quick fun paddle. The view along the local coast showed some nice wave sets coming in and quite a few surfers in the water.

Looking south along the coast

We were quickly into a few waves with Steve demonstrating his ability to take off on the most steep part of the wave and sometimes make it through to the green section, although not all the time.

Steve takes off steep and fast

Sometimes a steep and fast take off works….but not always

Steve saves himself again

Ian going hard on a nice green wave

The waves were interesting to paddle with continuous sets coming in, making it hard work just to get out the back. Of course not all things went to plan all the time and there were a few got dumpings that made sure your sinus cavity was clear.

Steve tries a 360 maneuver and ends up doing a back loop.

Sometimes things can get a little crowded even with just the 2 of us paddling for a wave.

Steve ready to drop in as Ian tries a steep take off

Ian goes down the line and then…..

I think that one hurt a bit

Occasionally you get trashed by one wave, rolling up to get the same treatment again

Ready for another smashing wave

But it’s all smiles as we head for home.

That put a smile on his dial

Coffee shop bound

Just another Friday morning…… PaddlingSouth,

He who dies with the most toys wins !!!

He who dies with the most TOYS wins !!! or maybe it’s He who has the most FUN wins !!!.

I’m not really sure which one is true but I think that I am having a bet each way. Maybe it’s the competitive streak coming out in us older paddlers. They say that when you get to a certain age you tone down the “competitive streak” in your personality. Maybe that’s true for some, but it seems not true of some “PaddlingSouth”. Even if we cant compete at a high level anymore or have the stamina for ultra marathon journeys we still want to WIN.

When riding road bikes we would never consider drafting someone for miles and then attacking as the finishing line approaches or ganging up on someone in the final sprint. There would be no competition for the best wave when surf kayaking or the last pasty at the cafe. Well maybe sometimes; OK ..ALWAYS.

But there is one area that I try to have a clear lead and that is TOYS….and here’s another one for the toybox.

My new toy....Mega Surf ON

My new toy….Mega Surf ON

After years of paddling all sorts of surf and WW kayaks in ocean surf I recently acquired a Mega Surf ON. This is a great craft for just having fun, but is still a solid performer having the same hull as the Mega Bullitt kayak. My old bones are just loving it.

Mega Surf ON

Mega Surf ON… out for a quick surf.. it was only a tiny swell but we still had FUN

Small but at least they were clean

Small but at least they were clean

Like the new hat ? Not really a toy but my new Ocean paddling Hat from our local kayak shop stays on in all conditions, even when rolling in the surf. Have to be Sun Smart with temperatures around 32° C.

Of course I’m not the only one having fun in the surf.

Steve in his new toy

Steve in his new toy

I’m not the only one with a passion for new toys. Robyn our hard working photographer, is the owner of a new Fatbike. 5″ tyres and lots of gears makes it perfect for zipping along the beach with her camera, tackling the sandy tracks in the northern arid lands and superb fun along the 4WD tracks.

Two FatBikes on the beach

Two FatBikes on the deserted beaches at Robe, South Australia.

He who dies with the most toys wins !…if I’m not winning then I must be a close second.
Have Fun…Ian