Hamptons SUP Race Series Recap 2013

Hamptons SUP Race Series 2013 Recap

SUP and water sports in general got off to a slow start in 2013, in large part due to cold, rainy weather that stuck around right up until the 4th of July weekend.

This effectively put “on the water” training on hold for many folks on eastern Long Island. In fact, many athletes reverted to cycling, yoga, swimming and other forms of training to get ready for the SUP race season.


We did catch a break for the Race for the Bays, on Saturday, May 18th. Sunny skies and light Northeast winds graced the course, as 60 plus paddlers took off around a 3 / 6 mile course. Havens Beach and Northwest Harbor make for a great early season course providing shelter from our Spring time easterly winds.

In spite of the short runway for training, respectable times were posted in both the Mens and Womens divisions. Race Sponsors Werner Paddles and Surftech Paddleboards generously contributed great race prizes and raffle items which were greatly appreciated by all.


The weather slowly improved in late May and early June and local racers did get more time on the water and the Hamptons paddling stoke improved dramatically.

June 22nd, Beach Lane, Wainscott. 55 racers lined up to enter the surf and commence what would be the East Coasts first Surf Zone down wind SUP race. Racers stretched out on the soft sandy beach as the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Squad readied the course. Kialoa’s Marc Angililo and PR Timing’ s Greg Sauntners held the line and counted down the start and racers charged the surf zone and rounded the first turn Buoy to the East.

Guided by light Southwest winds and an incoming tide, racers stealthily got through the break and headed east paddling along East Hamptons beautiful ocean beaches.
Surf conditions were moderate providing a comfortable ride for racers as they worked their way down wind towards the finish south of the Promised Land. I do think some participants would have liked to see a little more push from the light West winds that graced our race. The course ended at Atlantic Avenue in Amagansett, close to 7 miles in all. The final turn buoy, set on a sand bar break, made for an interesting final leg and a few participants caught some sweet waves, providing for a super fun glide into the beach and finish. Sponsors Kialoa Paddles, Land Shark Lager, Vita Coco Water and Hobie Paddle Boards added a lot of stoke to this first ever event.

Main Beach Start FullRes

The summer soon kicked into high gear with some local racers venturing to Connecticut, Vermont and Cape Cod to participate in various regional races.

Just as we thought, it would be impossible to create any more Hamptons energy during the busy summer of 2013, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s “Paddle for Pink” was upon us. Special Guests Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece made quite an entrance the morning of August 17th greeting racers and local kids eager for an autograph and photo opportunity. With over 150 racers signed up to participate, the race start was split into two heats. One for elite (6 mile) racers and the other for recreational (3 mile) racers. It was great to see so many recreational athletes on the water supporting the good work of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of the Hamptons. After a lot of Hamptons fan fare the race was on with a hotly contested Elite Division. Up and Comer Taylor Resnik bested local favorite Scott Bradley(2nd place) to take first Place and Main Beaches own Lars Svanberg took 3rd. In the Womens Elite division Stepanie Schindler took first, Mary Scheerer second and local tri-athelete, Sinead Fitzgibbons third place.



Laird was an amazing M/C, paddling and offering encouragement to the recreational athletes and ensuring that a good time was had by all.

After the awards ceremony and some great prizes from Werner Paddles and Hobie Paddleboards, it was off to an amazing Hamptons Party at the home of BCRF hosts Richard and Lisa Perry. A special shout out to Maria Baum, for all her hard work networking and organizing this truly monumental event.

September was spectacular, delivering east swell and warm waters as the Hamptons mellowed into the fall season.

Columbus day weekend was soon upon us and the race for Ocean Rescue. This race has become a fall tradition on the east end with its amazing down wind course and stoke provided by paying respects to the local lifeguard crew that makes all our races possible.

The forecast for Race day advised 15 to 20 mph winds from the east /northeast and a course change was eminent. After running the course with Lars and Evelyn on Friday we were pretty confident that we could run the race from East to West. Numerous phone calls went back and forth to Ocean Rescue and after a fair amount of deliberation we were on for race day.

8am, Saturday, October,12th, 70 racers congregated at Eddie Ecker State Park to brave what would be 20-25 knot winds from the East North East. The East Hampton Ocean Rescue squad laid out the buoys, including an oversized Landshark Lager Buoy that would mark a portage site on Hicks Island that would lead paddlers to Nappeague Harbor, saving what would be a 1 mile upwind loop that would require paddlers to bang upwind at the end of a demanding race course.

At 9am we readied the line and announced that the first leg out to the first turn buoy could be done kneeling down on the boards, hence out of the wind. The starters gun sounded and the paddlers were off, banging into a stiff 20 knot headwind. Rounding the first and second turn buoy, racers fought to stay on their boards as they turned West and got into the downwind flow.


With sustained winds pushing 25 kts the downwind leg of the race was both challenging and very rewarding. Insane rides on honest 2 to 3 foot faces sometimes gliding 50 feet or more. As racers approached the Landshark portage buoy they enjoyed the longest rides of the day skimming over a beautiful sandbar located on the East side of Hicks Island. A quick portage over the island and we were in Nappeague Harbor, sprinting towards the finish, located at the lazy point ramp.

Michael Mignone of Westhampton took first pace in the Mens 14 foot division with Lars Svanberg in second and Taylor Resnick in third. Kim Reilly took first place in the Womens Elite division followed by Mary Scheerer and Marta Downine.

The post race party was held at the Ocean Rescue Dory Barn and a great time was had by enjoying a great Barbeque and beverages from Landshark Lager.


Thanks to all of our sponsors and participants and we look forward to the upcoming 2014 season.

Please visit http://www.mainbeach.com for more information about the Hamptons SUP Race Series.

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Fall Migration Striper Fishing

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The Fall Migration is underway on Eastern Long Island. Large schools of Sand Eels and Rain Baits are spread across Block Island Sound for literally miles.

Hungry Striped Bass, Bluefish, False Albacore and other little tuna are busting on the schooling baitfish.

An early morning launch through the surf is a thrilling start to any fishing adventure.

The sand Eel bite can be fickle and matching the hatch has been particularly important during the 2013 fall migration. Hopkins, Deadly Dicks and Cast Masters have been working well for light tackle anglers. Fly guys are using Sand Eel imitation patterns.

Rick Drew from Main Beach Surf and Sport guides anglers interested in fishing the fall migration and works with customers to build their paddling skills and confidence so they can plan their own fall migration fishing adventures.

Main Beach represents the best fishing kayaks from Native Watercraft, Wilderness Systems and Ocean Kayak.

Ricks picks for 2014 are the Slayer from Native Watercraft, the Ride from Wilderness Systems for single fishing kayaks and the Malibu II XL from Ocean Kayak for tandem fishing in surf zone waters, where a partner is required. Look for the Slayer propel in 2014 to raise the bar for peddle driven fishing kayaks.

Give a call or stop by the shop to talk kayak fishing and review the best kayaks available for fishing today. Main Beach Surf and Sport, 352 Montauk highway, Wainscott, NY 11975                        tel: 631/537-2716 web: http://www.mainbeach.com.

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2012 Fishing Recap – Fun Report

Sometimes you just never know how things are going turn out when you head out to do some fishing. This is a report from a pretty good stretch of fall surf casting and surfing.



Day 1

Started the day Monday at 5am in Wainscott on a piece of beach that had bait and birds the day before and nets were being set by a downeaster about a 1/2 mile off the beach. Baits and birds were still there, but no fish after 90 minutes of casting 3 different sections of white water. After a brief review of the dismal fishing and beach breaks in the area for sutfing, I parted ways with my Surfing partner, Ari at 6:30am. Well 0 for 2 is no way to start a 2 day fishing and surfing fall holiday, but thats how it started.

After a real breakfast back at the house in East Hampton, 8am, and a quick trip to the dump, I was off to the Meca at 10am, ran into some local MTK characters along the way, none of whom gave me an accurate report, not even a local tackle shop owner whos name will not be mentioned to protect the innocent. Stopped on Old Montauk highway to surf for a while, then headed to Ditch to check out more waves and see if their were any signs of fish. Ended up Surfing again as the waves were really good. After surfing, met another Mtk local who shared enough wrong information to now deduce what was actually going on.

At 4pm I headed to Camp Hero to stake out a spot and avoid the $8 fee. Walked to a nice Rocky Point break that was frothing white water, a southeast swell was rolling in against a southwest breeze. As I walked I noticed fish piled up on the beach and guys walking up the rail with fish in hand. I wondered if I had missed it as clearly there was a blitz or mega bite earlier in the day. I Settled in on a nice midsize rock on the southeast side of the white water where there was a narrow channel through the rocks which were perfectly visible in gin clear water.

Started casting and on the 3rd cast a major strike and hook up, game on, big fish, big waves, good times. After about 5 minutes I can see the fish and it is probably a 40 incher. All of a suddon there are many fish 40 inches around me, in front of me, along side of me and behind me. A large set wave crashes in flooding the area around me, almost knocking me from my pearch and I now realize that my fish is behind me and my line is wrapped on rock, I try to free the line and it pops just above my first barrel. I am waist deep in water, stunned, by having lost, my complete set up, barrel, leader, teaser, snap, gibbs popper, a rig I tied and re-tied over 3 nights to get it perfect, shortening here, lengthening there. I am stripped naked and stunned! I look down the beach and guys are stirring and heading my way. I fumble to my back pack, trying to locate a replacement for my rig and quickly settling on an old white Creek Chub, grabbed the leader material and pulled out a length of flourocarbon and somehow, found a barrel swivel. While this frantic update is going on, this old dude nestles in next to me and hooks up on the first cast, he proceeds to land 3 fish before I am re-tied.. At this point I am sure that I am cursed and will be here all night wile my new neighbor has ruled the day.

I am re-tied, take a cast, then another, and then a missed strike, now I see fish every where in the wash, Mullet are exploding and fish are smashing there tails everywhere. Finally, I’m on! Nice solid fish, great fight, navigating the rocks, playing the waves and ultimately landing a 34″ / 18lb fish. After calming down from the last 30 minutes of complete Mayheim, I settled down and enjoyed some of the best surf casting you could ever imagine. My neighbor and I, “Fishy Pete” a veteran MTK surfcaster of 60 years, now probably eighty something years old and who can bearly walk out to the break, must of caught 5 or 6 fish each over the next 45 minutes. While releasing my last fish of the day a younger angler walked up and asked if he could step into my spot and kinda caught off guard by his etiquite I told him sure, I had just had an amazing session, he proceeded to hook up on is second cast. Needless to say, I left the beach after a moderate hike a little desheveled, but very happy.

Headed home at a reasonable hour for a good meal and some rest. Its amazing how much work goes into gearing up for these outings. After performing much more work on the tackle and gear then planned and coming to the realization that I did not have the lure that I really wanted for tomorrow it was off to set the alarm for 4am and to bed..

Day 2

Back to Camp Hero as the NOAA report was for fairly strong SW winds and continued SE swell through Tuesday, those fish will be pinned on that white water in the morning and I will be the first one on em. Get there at 5am sharp, ready to roll and hoof it out to the spot. 2 guys there right on the spot, hurling like mad men, no fish on the beach, bad attitudes. Come to find out they are late arrivals yesterday, PM, missed the bite and have been there since 10pm without a strike. Winds have shifted NW over night.

Take a few casts and realize it ain’t happening.. Move to other favorite spot in the area, not easy to get to, and bang away for 2 hours, Nada.. See 2 familar faces down the beach and walk down to comiserate the grim turn of events. Chat for 10 minutes and head up to the parking lot, while putting away the gear one of the 2 guys drives by and says Turtles. Drive to the lighthouse parking lot and walk down to the south side. Quite a scene with acres of bass out a ways and some small shore blitz’s to the far right and left and a ways off shore up the middle. I walk down the middle staying away from the 2 goups of casters and take a coupe of casts to no avail. Most guys on the beach are in a state of semi-panic, casting and retieving their lures at high speed, pretty funny.

All of a suddon a huge school surfaces in front of me and I am in the middle of a full on blitz. I cast and do a slow retrieve and snag a big bass which almost stripped all of my line, he gets free and I am now surrounded by 10 guys hurling and rapid retrieving to no avail, noone has hooked up as 1,000 bass are boiling within 10 feet of the beach. I cast again 25 feet off the beach and after 2 pops on a slow retrieve I am on. Now I am a little vocal and ask for a little room, trading places with my 2 neighbors to the left. One kook casts over my line, but he appoligizes, and makes every effort to loosen his drag and get off my gear without incident. After a few more minutes of fighting the fish, 33″/16lbs, a small wave rolled in and with its help I got the fish up on the beach. Taking a breath, I looked around as the boil slowed in intensity and moved off-shore, now 20 frantic anglers, were hurling and rapid retrieving as if in unison. Noone else has hooked up, except for one old dude down the beach, I look again and it is “Fishy Pete”.

Definitely, some of the best surfcasting I have ever experienced, hope it is a sign of things to come this season. See you soon.. RickOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Main Beach Newsletter Vol 1 Winter 2013

Introducing Paddlesports as a LifeStyle For 2013

We’re excited to start 2013 representing the best Paddlesport companies in the industry. Hobie, Surftech, Ocean Kayak, Liquid Logic, Global Surf Industries, Werner Paddles, Kialoa, Quickblade, Patagonia just to name a few. Living by the water on Eastern Long Island we are blessed with a bounty of paddling opportunities. I often think our local waters are greatly under rated when compared to other well respected paddling locations. Ocean, Bays, Inlets, Back Water, Down Wind, Salt Ponds, Rivers you name it we got it. Yes there are 4 paddling seasons in the Hamptons and each one has a special character and beauty. Many folks paddle only during our famous Hamptons Summer months and truly miss out on so many year round paddling opportunities. Stand up Paddle (SUP) has opened the door to the paddling season early for many folks and it is refreshing to see more and more people out on the water during the quiet seasons. Heck we even held a well represented Turkey Day Paddle Race, (cold water classic) this past November. 

Remember, it is important to dress appropriately for all watersports activities, particularly during the colder weather months. Wets suit and Dry Suit technology has come a long way with beautiful, light weight and stretchy suits being available at all price points. With Flatwater, Fitness, Touring, Racing and Training disciplines, SUP is leading the charge with the fastest growing watersport on the market. Kayaking is staging a solid comeback with strong family interest and a new interest in Kayak fishing offering a green and very nature friendly way of tackling the big ones. We usually stock a few beautiful canoes as well for the purests out there. Surf has always been the eminent domain of the hard core watersport athlete and that holds true today. Great sand bars and awesome point breaks define surfing on Eastern Long Island..

Paddles are key to any paddlesport serving as the engine to your craft. The new lightweight and superfast carbon paddles from Werner, Kialoa and Quickblade are game changers and have elevated the game of many local athletes and paddling enthusiasts. Fitness and flexibility training are important components of any paddling routine, working with a local trainer or signing up for some winter yoga classes are a great way to get ready for the upcoming paddling season. 

So many paddles and so little time. I hate to run, but I have to go work on rehabing a late season Knee injury and I am determined to be back in top form for our upcoming 2013 Hamptons SUP race series. Please stop by the shop for your personal paddle prescription or just to talk about your favorite local paddling location. See you on the water..


Wet Suits Versus Dry Suits

Cold water technology has evolved to new levels in recent years. Just when you think Wet suits are so stretchy and so comfortable and so warm that you would never consider a Dry Suit, someone comes along and introduces an insane dry suit. So what is a year round Hamptons water sports athlete to do?

First Question: What water sport are you considering ? Surfing, Stand up Paddling or Kayaking. Surfers primarily use wet suit technology for their cold water needs. The tight fitting, stretchy neoprene is well suited to the dynamic nature of wave riding and ripping, while dry suits may have too much fabric to handle bigger waves and the inevitable close outs and hold downs. Kayaking has typically been the domain of dry suits and semi-dry suits, but lighter weight, stretchy wetsuits can work. Stand up Paddling which brings the disciplines of surfing and paddling together can be well served by either Dry Suits or Wetsuits.

Second Question: Are you paddling on the Ocean or the Bay? When paddling on the ocean, we must accept the fact that we will be in the water nearly as much as we are on top of it. This coupled with water temps ranging from the low 60′s down to the mid 30′s dictate that we need warm, high quality protection when on the ocean. When on the bay, the calmer, protected waters of the local salt ponds and the peconic bay estuary, allow us to wear lighter weight gear. That being said we always must dress for water temperature, regardless of how nice the day is. High quality 3/2′s, 4/3′s and 5/4′s are commonly used on the ocean, while lighter weight 3/2′s paired with a paddling semi-dry jacket are common on the bay. A good quality dry-suit can be used in both environments.

Third Question: What is your paddling season? Are you are summer only water sports participant? Do you participate in Spring and Fall? Are you a hard core year round water sports athlete? Summer only athletes will typically require a lightweight wet suit for any of the 3 most popular local watersports. During May, June and July a  3/2 mil wet suit is used by many surfers and stand up paddlers. Kayakers may use a 3/2 or a paddling jacket with pants and booties. Early May can still be chilly so make sure you are properly protected. During August, Spring style Wet Suits with short arms and short legs are popular with surfers, while stand up paddlers and kayakers may require only a Neoprene rashguard or UV top. Spring and Fall things start to get interesting with more waves sessions, amazing paddles and downwinders. Higher quality 3/2′s, versatile 4/3′s along with semi-dry suits are best for spring and fall watersports. Come winter all bets are off, heavier 5/4 or 6mil wetsuits and full dry suits are your best bet for warmth and safety.

Now after all that groundwork, we can discuss the pro’s and con’s of drysuits versus wet suits.

Dry Suit Pro’s: In spite of all the improvements to the flexibility of wetsuits, I still find dry suits more comfortable. Whats better than getting into your long johns, smart wool socks and then slipping into a beautiful Gore Tex Dry Suit. I find dry suits have a great range of motion in the shoulders and that is probably why they have been popular with Kayakers for the past few years. While some of the earlier Dry Suit models resembled something out of 20,000 leagues under the sea, some of the latest models are very stylish and super comfortable. The Soul Dry Suit from Ocean Rodeo is a great choice, buit for SUP and Kayaking. The Soul has a built in jacket with detachable hood which protects the zipper and really helps retain your heat. The jacket also has hand warmer pockets and an opening in the front to attach a tow rope, inflatable pfd, or kite harness. The suit’s plastic zippers never leaked and were easier to open and close than those of other suits. The Soul was flexible, comfortable, and was less baggy than most suits which also made it easier for swimming. Retail on the Soul is $849. As an option to a full dry suit are Semi Dry tops and Semi Dry Pants. Immersion Research offers the Zephr Jacket and the Zephr Pant for Men and Women. The Jacket is priced at $149 and the pants are $129. 

Dry Suit Cons: A high quality dry suit is a fairly expensive investment, however, if comfort and safety are high on your winter paddling priorities, I would suggest you consider a Dry suit for your requirements. In the surf zone some dry suits can be a little baggy and make it tough to swim when caught inside.

Wet Suit Pros: A wide variety of wet suits are available at a wide variety of price points. There are truly wetsuits for everyone at every price point. Wet Suits are very fitted and stretchy making them excellent choices for surf centric activities.

Wet Suit Cons: If you have too light or too heavy a wet suit for the activity and conditions your are undertaking, one can get chilled or over heat. It is imperative to have the  correct wet suit for your activity and conditions. Some people find it difficult to get into wetsuits. 

Hamptons Surf Scene Post Sandy

Hurricane Sandy may be the greatest natural disaster the Mid Atlantic region has ever faced. The Jersey shore, New York City and the Western South Shore of Long Island bore the brunt of this massive storms fury. Catastrophic damage and loss of property have over whelmed many inhabitants of long standing coastal communities. The severe environmental damage continues with enormous amounts of untreated sewage and polluted runoff pouring into the bays, inlets and coastal surf zone waters of Western Long Island and New Jersey. While the visible damage to Eastern Long Island was considerably less, many local residents experienced fairly severe erosion and flooding to their properties. Extensive tree damage, lost power, gas shortages and related challenges plagued our community for several weeks. Subtle environmental damage to local wetlands, ground water, bays and estuaries due to extensive flooding has happened and should be addressed by local municipalities.

As people come terms with the severity of this event, winter waves are enticing people back onto the water. Fortunately, the Hamptons have enjoyed relatively clean water and enough beach to get to your favorite breaks. Don’t get me wrong, the local beaches were scoured hard and the protective berm of Sand Dunes have been severely diminished. Ocean front homes stand in jeopardy and low lying communities like Montauk village are frantically working to protect themselves from future storms. 

If one can find a silver lining in all this, there are some decent sand bars that formed after the storm passed to our Northwest. After a relative shortage of good breaks through out most of 2012 the year is ending up strong with good breaks and some decent swell.

We are optimistic that 2013 will be a great year for surf. The beach breaks are working, the water is clean and the line ups are uncrowded for the time being. Stop by the shop for a current report or update and best wishes to all those working through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.. Image

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Autumn Downwinders

Some people might say that I am crazy spending time with my boss on my day off, but when we are mapping out a special down wind paddle, I have to say Lars is right up there with the best of them. Planning a great down wind paddle requires leadership, teamwork, good equipment, knowledge of your local waters and basic paddling skills.

We start with selecting the route, which may take place the day prior to or the day of the paddle. This process can be as simple as stating that we are going from Beach Lane to Nappeague Lane along the ocean beaches at 1pm, or as complicated as pouring over charts and maps for what seems like hours, in order to cobble together the perfect course.

In order to pull off a great down wind paddle you will need certain conditions to be in place. Wind, direction and speed, swell direction and size, as well as, tide direction, in-coming or out-going must all be considered. My personal favorite is southwest winds, westerly swell and the start of an incoming tide along our south shore beaches. These conditions offer beautiful pealing waves that carry paddlers effortlessly along the beach.  Conditions can change after you have set your course so make sure you check the marine weather forecast right before you depart.

When selecting your downwind paddling route, take your time and start with entry level routes with a duration of 45 to 60 minutes (4 to 6 miles). These routes will introduce you and your group to the downwind experience in a positive manner.  Not unlike running a marathon it is easy to de-hydrate or bonk during a long paddle (i.e. over 60 minutes). Once you get the feel for the gentle push and glide of small wind swell,  practice efficiently catching  waves and maximizing the glide afforded you. Learn the area surrounding each paddle, subtle sandbars and changes in currents will impact your paddling conditions. There are some really fun intermediate level down wind paddles to be had all over the Peconic bay estuary

Once the paddling route is selected the roster of potential paddlers is reviewed. Down wind paddles or Down_winders require a combination of paddling skill, endurance and a passion for adventure. Some of our Hamptons paddling routes and conditions are perfect for new-comers to downwind paddles while other local courses will challenge the most seasoned waterman or women. The western Peconic bay is perfect for beginner to intermediate down wind paddles, with Noyac Bay and Northwest Harbor being popular choices. The Eastern Peconic Bay, Gardiners Bay and Block Island Sound all offer great intermediate paddles while the south shore ocean beaches rock out the most advanced paddlers. Our annual Montauk to Block Island charity paddle is the pinnacle of Eastern Long Island paddles. Visit http://www.p4h.org for more information or to sign up for next years paddle.

A good downwind paddle is one of the most fun and exhilarating outdoor activities that you can partake in. In addition to being fun, downwinders provide participants with a great workout. Core, Cardio, balance and strength are all tested during a good downwinder.

The equipment checklist is key for any down wind paddle. The board of choice is a high quality 12-6 or 14 foot touring / race board. At Main Beach Surf and Sport we favor the Bark Dominators from Surftech and the Hobie’s Raw Race boards in 14 foot lengths and the Candice Appleby Race and Lahui Kai’s in 12-6” length. NSP, Coreban and Corevac also offer excellent boards. A good carbon paddle from Werner, Kialoa or Quick Blade should be used as well. Always wear a leash and have a PFD on your board or person. Fall is a great time for downwind paddling. A light weight 3/2 wetsuits or a farmer john/jane bottom with a neo-top, in addition to, some 3 mill booties are all you need in order to be safe and comfortable during your paddle. On some warmer days you may get away with boardies and a rash guard. Main Beach Surf and Sport has a complete selection of Stand up Paddling gear in stock. Stop by any day 10am to 6pm to learn more about gear for down wind paddling.

Visit http://www.mainbeach.com for more information on stand up paddle gear.

With our route selected, our crew chosen and the correct gear pulled for the conditions at hand we are ready to set out on the paddle. Take time to warm up and do some dynamic stretching(mild strectching) prior to getting on the board and taking off with the wind. Also, make a trip plan with all paddlers. This may involve a resting place a mile or two out on the course, or a bail out point if some has equipment trouble. Having paddlres buddy_up is also a great idea., possibly pairing more experienced paddlers with beginners or first timers.

Once you shove off, its game on. The wind and waves will start to carry you along the prescribed route. Timing is key to catching wind swell and maximizing the glide afforded. Take is easy and focus on form. While initially you may catch fewer rides, as you get off-shore and into open water you will be able to catch rides consistently and start to work on connecting multiple waves. You will find yourself moving back and forth on the board in order to get into certain waves (moving forward) and maximizing glide (moving back) on others.

Watching an experienced down wind paddler scream along a favorable course is truly poetry in motion. Imagine catching multiple waves in succession, gliding along efficiently, sometimes-cruising 100 yards or more on a good run. Remember to keep an eye on your paddling buddies and make sure you are staying on course. Not everyone on the paddle will always be doing as well as you are.  Also, subtle wind shifts can alter the direction your board is pointing in. Make directional adjustments early in the paddle as the longer you go, the harder it is to make corrections.

Once back at the launch site it is always great to take some time to stretch and cool down. Bring a hoodie, towel, sweat pants so that you can get into some warm dry clothes and enjoy some stories about the paddle.

Hobie and Bark race boards make excellent choices for down wind paddles. Stop by Main Beach Surf and Sport in Wainscott and plan out your first down wind paddle today..

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The Hamptons Stand Up Paddle Race Series – 2012

The Hamptons SUP Race Series enjoyed an amazing first year hosting 4 World Paddle Association sanctioned races. Supporting local charities like the Peconic Baykeeper Organization, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue and Paddlers for Humanity. By all accounts the support and participation for the races was overwhelming. Racers from near and far brought great stoke and enthusiasm to each event of the 2012 race calendar.

The 2012 season started with the Race for the Baykeeper, located in historic Sag Harbor. The morning of May 19th, we set a 3 mile triangular course into beautiful Northwest Harbor. Short course racers completed one lap, while the Elite long course racers made two loops around the course. The conditions were challenging with moderate Northeast winds, serving up upwind, crosswind and downwind conditions. The somewhat protected waters of the western Peconic Bay provided the perfect location to kick off the season. NSP Paddleboards and Kialoa Paddles were our great Co-Sponsors for this race. It was very special to have sponsors that would make gear available to racers looking to try the latest boards and paddles. Kialoa team paddler Scott Bradley came away with 1st place in the Mens 14ft long course and Main Beach’s own Rick Drew took first place in the Mens 12-6ft long course.  Local girls Jessica Bellafatto, Mary Sherer and Evelyn O’Doherty took top honors in the Womens 12-6 long course. A great video of the race is available to view at “http://mainbeach.com/stand-up/hamptons-sup-race-series/”.

The second race of the season took us to Fresh Pond Landing in Amagansett in support of the “Paddlers for Humanity” Domestic Violence initiative. Gardiners bay in 15 knot northeast winds is no picnic and even the best racers were challenged, some knocked from there boards by tricky currents and stiff North winds off of Cartwright shoals, not often seen during the mid summer doldrums. Hobie Paddleboards and Werner Paddles were our co-sponsors, with the crew from Team Werner paddles cleaning up taking first (Patrick Bromel) and second (Will Rich) place in the Mens 14 foot long course, 1st place in the Mens 12-6 (Johnny O’Hara) long course and 1st place in the Womens short course(Carol Choi). Many participants were able to demo 2012 Hobie paddleboards and the latest race paddles such as Werners new Grand Prix paddle.

A fun kids race took place after the Main Event and prizes were awarded to all of our junior participants.

Early August brought us to North Haven and the Estate of Lisa and Richard Perry where a charity paddle for the Breast Cancer Research foundation was held. The high bluffs of North Haven Point were the backdrop of this challenging race course. Stormy conditions threatened through out the day as race preparations were made. The race went off into strong Southwest winds and a shorthened course of 4 miles and 2 miles respectively. In a tight finish, Main Beach team paddler, Lars Svanberg, took the top spot just beating out Justin Dirico. Werner Paddles Team Rider, Mary Sherer took first place in the womens long course with Jessica Bellafato a close second place. All paddlers were rewarded with a satisfying finish in the toughest conditions of the season. A beautiful post race party followed the race and a tremendously sucessful fundraising effort for the BCRF was realized, raising upwards of $700,000 dollars. The spirit of Stand up Paddling was exemplified by courage of several Breast Cancer Survivors some of whom participated in the race and others whom spoke of how SUP provided a form or therapy and a healthy outlet during their treatment. A true testament to the power of SUP.

All of the races that comprise the Hamptons SUP race series, along with, various swimming events and tri-athalons across Eastern Long Island are all supported by the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Squad. These wonderful men and women volunteer their time to keep so many people safe, train junior life guards and back up the East Hampton seasonal lifeguards as needed, performing life saving functions year round. It was only fitting that we choose to make them the benefactor of our final race of the season.

A fall classic was in the making as the day dawned to moderate temperatures and brisk West Southwest winds. The race course was set into imposing Block Island Sound, running from West to East along the water trail bordering the North side of Hither Woods State Park. As race time approached the beach was lined up with a fine quiver of race boards from SurfTech, Joe Bark, 404, MHL, Hobie, Super Race boards, PJB and others.. Co-Sponsors Surftech and Werner Paddles provided great prizes and both sponsored entrants into the race.

Tensions ran high as a tricky water start launched 67 paddlers into the boiling current of the Lazy Point Launching ramp. Rounding beautiful Hicks Island paddlers eased into a great westerly flow that provided for an insane downwinder. Races connected wave after wave, dancing from front to back on the boards, for almost 6 miles putting smiles on the faces of all participants. Experienced down wind paddlers benefitted from long rides and glides on the challenging wind swell conditions. Paddlers new to down wind conditions quickly learned as their fellow racers rode by them with grace and efficency. As we reached the last turn buoy into Montauks fort pond bay, racers found themselves pointed into a stiff Southwest wind. Battling upwind, racers completed the last leg of the race finishing on the beautiful shoreline of Eddie Ecker state park.

Main Beach Team Paddler Lars Svanberg followed by James Rothwell and Scott Bradley took top honors in the Mens 14 foot division. Werner Paddles team paddlers Kim Reilly, Danielle Deforest and Mary Sherer were on the podium for the womens 12-6 division. Four junior paddlers under age 18 completed the rigorous course and clearly showed the future spirit of SUP.

Everyone enjoyed a spectacular catered buffet following the race and a few even tried a special glass of beer from Montauk brewery.

Keep training and paddling during the off season, Spring will be upon us before you know it! We are thankful to everyone who made the Hamptons SUP race series successful and look forward to a great race schedule in 2013. Look for new race formats and courses next year including a Surf Masters Challenge and an Elite race to Block Island. Please visit “http://www.mainbeach.com” for the latest information on the “Hamptons Race Series” for 2013.

Paddle Hard, Be Safe!

The Main Beach SUP Race Team


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Why I Paddle?

Why I Paddle?

I paddle for the amazing sunsets and spectacular sunrises that grace my outings. I paddle for that first wave, that first glide! I was hooked so hard that I went out paddle surfing for the next 30 days, until I could actually say that I was not a kook. I paddle for the great friendships that I enjoy during my paddling adventures. I paddle for that old Grumman canoe we launched through the surf again and again until she finally broke in two. I paddle for the thrill of the pursuit and the joy of the catch during my fishing adventures. I paddle for that first sip of Chai tea after loading the up the truck on a cool autumn morning. I paddle to train hard and get the best work out available in the great outdoors. I paddle for the time I was lectured by my instructor for not wearing my PFD during my first open water crossing to Gardiners Island. I paddle to get away from the pressures of work and family and enjoy quiet time in my own space. I paddle for the river trips, when we flipped our boats in the rapids, and our camping gear dumped everywhere from here to kingdom come. I paddle to race and challenge myself to be the best that I can be. I paddle for the thumping sound of pounding surf on the south side beaches while I try to get to sleep. I paddle to learn from the best in the paddle sports industry and continue to evolve my personal paddling journey. I paddle for the time we launched a leaky Dory boat into the icy bay in December and as she sank like a rock we scrambled back to shore like a bunch of frozen, wet surf rats. I paddle to experience the perfection of the most amazing down winders along our beautiful ocean beaches, gliding along the shoreline on peeling Southwest swells. I paddle to teach and share what I have learned in over 40 years on the water. I paddle for the time my board blew off the truck and floated down gently on the shoulder of the road. I paddle to seek out my own surf breaks and ride countless, off shore waves with no one else in site. I paddle to try out the latest gear, the best boats, boards and paddles, whenever I can. I paddle to spend time on the water with my lovely wife and family. I paddle for the countless wipeouts, shore slams, chute bumps and injuries that come from a lifetime of extreme water sports. The pain of these injuries is nothing compared to the drudgery of not being on the water. Mostly I paddle for fun and to feel young at heart. Perhaps the most compelling reason that I paddle for these days is to enjoy the hot shower, healthy meal and warm bed that awaits me after a rigorous and rewarding day of paddling.

Paddle Hard, Be Safe.





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