I looked for paddle boarders on the American river but didn’t find a one. The weather was warm with a hint of breeze to keep the fall leaves falling. Continue reading
It was the end of the week and time for a change. Not yoga. Not a walk in the forest. But steaming strong coffee and a session in the surf. Continue reading
You’ll find me at the beach, or thinking of the beach. Waxing my board. Looking at the surf. Deciding which break to ride. I’m a surfer, but I don’t say it out loud. Not like the guys who wear tan jeans, blue pocket tees and black low-top Converse All-Stars. They have tans with blond hair and cruise the boulevard with their boards hanging out the back of their mommy’s new station wagons. Most of them don’t surf. Those that do can’t stand up and turn. We call them hodads. Continue reading
Blogging 101 taught me that the name of the site and the site’s URL don’t have to match. That was great news. “WHAT SUP?” was my first choice for a URL when I started shopping for a name, but it was taken in all its forms. So I stuck with SUP Days, The Stand Up Paddleboarding Life, which really didn’t communicate my intent. So what is my intent?
Stand Up Paddleboard Surfing for Life is more like it. Not just for the rest of my life, but for life now, today, in this moment. I see the world differently when there’s surfing in my life. The pure joy of standing on moving water; the sound of a wave breaking around me while balancing on a board, is transcendent.
Once again, I’m getting into shape, working on my balance, keeping an eye on the weather, the surf, and my time. This evening I took a walk to the beach and got a shot of some rocks and watched waves.
It was chilly and windy and not right for me. The sun set and left a trail of light on the incoming tide. There might even be good SUP Surfing conditions tomorrow, or the day after.
SOPOSUP is what. We met the owner, Raf Adams, at his store in South Portland, just a few miles from the surf at Higgins Beach off Cape Elizabeth. After driving around Portland for a few days we realized that all you need is for the wind to lie down and there’s paddle boarding everywhere. There’s so much water it’s just nuts.
The store was stocked with surf, glide, and race boards. I was drooling over the lovely shape of the Focus boards. Raf told us about great October waves they’d had at Higgins.
This Higgins right was photographed by Dustin Turin and it makes me want to see the place on a nice little 2-3 foot day.
We bought a SOPOSUP T Shirt and the latest STANDUP JOURNAL then drove out to Cape Elizabeth to watch the very flat ocean and grab a pretty solid bowl of clam chowder.
I took a minute to stick my hand in the water. It was cool but not the high 30s that settles in during the winter. Raf told us he wore 7mm boots and wanted 9mm. He’s seen below on the Presumpscot in January 2013
Wish there were waves since SOPOSUP rents boards too.
There’s water. There’s color; a hint of winter in the sky. And there’s paddle boarding that might be a shade cool, if not down right freezing in the early morning light.
I bought my first pair of flannel-lined jeans to walk around the breezy streets, before an evening with writers at Longfellow Books. Tonight G.A. Morgan, author and editor, was in conversation with Kate Christensen, author of How To Cook A Moose.
The two were clearly connected to each other and embrace the people, the land, and the work ethic shared by Mainers.
G.A. discussed the second book in her Five Stones trilogy, Chantarelle. It’s a young adult fantasy whose setting was inspired by her childhood trips to the Acadia area.
She and I briefly discussed SUP and writing. She told me to check out Higgins Beach. It’s 20 minutes from our Portland home. There’s a paddle board shop close by. When in Maine?
D.A. Morgan, left. Kate Christensen, right
I started this post from the Fenway Park writer’s press box where sports writers craft articles about the Red Sox and their opponents. We’d just stood atop the green monster and heard how Ruth was sold to the Yankees back in 1912 for a stunning $100,000, then went on to set record after record while the Red Sox struggled. To this day some feel there’s a curse on the sox from that ill-fated sale.
Fenway fans are close to the action in this small, intimate ball park. I could be a Boston fan. I could live in Boston. There’s water all around the city, and waves in the winter just up or down the coast.
Among other Hollywood movies Moneyball, Ted, and Field of Dreams were partially filmed at Fenway.
With Donna’s new VESL SUP from Gordie at Primitive Surf and Sup lashed to the roof we stopped by Covewater Paddle Surf to check out a rental board for me. They had a nice Paddle Surf Hawaii 10-6 that I tried for the afternoon.
We drove straight to New Brighton. It was still, not a breath of wind and no waves. Not a wrinkle graced the surface. A torrent of birds flew in all directions. The sky held smoke from distant fires and blurred the horizon so we paddled toward the pier, a good mile away. Below there were thousands of anchovies. Slippery little slivers of life, dozens of whom skittered across the surface, made me wonder what predator lurked below.
There were two towhead surfers, maybe 10 or 11 years old, grooving on their short boards with fishing rods propped against gear boxes strapped to the front of their boards. One of them signaled it was time to move. The other pulled out a stringer of two or three nice little fish and plopped them into his box, then they paddled out toward the kelp bed. The shore was painted with bright-colored umbrellas against the pastels of Capitola’s coastal architecture. Beach bodies were wall to wall making the sound of late summer pleasure; splashing in the surf, sipping drinks, walking hand in hand.
We paddled past the jetty toward the pier where a band playing guitars and drums included a female singer who sang a tune that seemed to blend with the salt and cool water. We passed under the pier, gliding over the deep green water toward the tall ochre cliffs as a lone swimmer passed behind us swimming the length of the pier. We turned around and headed toward the kelp.