Saturday, January 1, 2011

Highlights of the 2010 Stand Up Paddle Season in Bend, Oregon

stand up paddle boards Bend Oregon
Where else could you attend a Bob Dylan
concert on a stand up paddle board 
but in Bend, Oregon?
On the first day of this sparkly new year, I find myself reminiscing about many memorable moments of the 2010 stand up paddle season in Bend, Oregon – the picturesque, fun-loving town that Chip and I are so happy to call home. Here are a few memories that stand out in my mind:

Attending the Les Schwab Amphitheater summer concert series on our stand up paddle boards. Nosing into the Reeds to sit and listen to great music with great friends. No better concert seating than that in my book. And free! Dancing atop my board and making it bop to the beat of Say Hey (I love you) by Michael Franti and Spearhead. Bare Naked Ladies, The Steve Miller Band, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan. Pretty chilly for Bob. I had to keep paddling to stay warm and couldn’t quite feel my feet as we ran across the grass to our car, but it was worth it just to be able to say we heard Bob from our boards.

Moonlight paddles on warm summer nights.

The King and Queen of the Lake Race series at Elk Lake. So busy with the shop we barely had time to eat, yet glad we made it out for every race. Witnessing that competitive glint in so many first time racers’ eyes. SUPBend team rider Isabella Barna smoking the competition (including her dad) on a custom Kialoa race board by Dave Chun. Taking time to escape out into the middle of the lake afterwards to enjoy the spectacular scenery and crisp, clean mountain air.

stand up paddle boards Bend Oregon
Bend local and surf legend Gerry Lopez
 racing on the Deschutes River.
Wednesday night races on the Deschutes River. Herds of paddlers darting by floaters on inner tubes, inflatable rafts, air mattresses, and numerous other flotation devices. Watching surf legend and Bend local Gerry Lopez (a dude my father has spoken of with reverence for as long as I can remember) breeze by much younger paddlers with ease.

Introducing the sport to new paddlers during the many free demos we offered. Marveling at how all-inclusive SUP is. Paddlers of all ages and walks of life connecting with nature, getting great exercise, bonding with friends, and having fun.

stand up paddle boards Bend Oregon
The incredible Judy Shasek during
her 10-lap stand up paddle
"Karmathon" on the Deschutes River.
The incredible Judy Shasek and her 10-lap stand up paddle “Karmathon.” To celebrate her 10th anniversary of being declared cancer-free, 61-year-old Judy paddled 10 continuous circuits of the Deschutes River, from the spillway to the Healy Bridge Rapids and back, wearing 61 ribbons inscribed with the names of 61 others affected by cancer.

Golden colors lining the shore during fall paddles. River critters popping up to say hi – beavers, otters, muskrats. The ducks and geese who tolerate us so nicely. A family of deer calmly approaching the shore for a drink as we pulled our boards out of the water one lovely night.

To our paddle surfing friends, we wish you many empty lineups, offshore winds, and dry tubes in 2011. To our flat-water pals, may your new year be filled with calm winds, glassy water, and sunny skies.

These are the memories that stand out in my mind. We'd love to hear about what stands out in yours. Click here to tell us about your stand up paddling memories from 2010 and goals for 2011 and be entered to win T-shirts, hats, and other fun gear!

1 comment:

  1. Gerrty Lopez is a living legend. It's so cool to see someone so famous in the surfing world be so friendly and so humble. He also has a very deep philosophy about surfing, and it's influence on ones life. Read his mission statement for SRF (Surf Realization Fellowship) at, and you will "believe."