27. September 2012 15:01
I added an Imagine Rapidfire to my stand up paddleboard quiver (if two boards can constitue a quiver). My original board is an inflatable board with a permanent fin on the back. It was a great starter board and does well on the lake, but wasn't great on the river which was my original target. So, as I told my wife, I needed a Rapidfire.
The Rapidfire is made out of molded plastic like a
whitewater kayak so it is super tough. It is also shaped a lot like a big kayak so it looks like it belongs in the river. I had high hopes the first time I took it out; and, I must say that it surpased my expectations. The thing is very stable and has the weight and shape to punch through rapids that sent me swimming with the inflatable board. Class III's are easily within my reach (an I am not a great paddler by any measure).
In my opinion, the Rapidfire would also make a great entry level board because it is so incredibly stable.
There are only a couple drawbacks to the Rapidfire and the plusses outweigh them by so much that I feel a little silly bringing them up. One is the weight: this thing is almost 50 pounds. That may not sound heavy but the awkward carrying shape makes it a bit of a burden if you are walking very far. I typically rig up a carry strap if I am going more than couple hundred yards. The only other issue I have is with the molded standing areas: don't get me wrong they make it much easier to stay on the board when a big wave kills your momentum - the drawback is they hold that cold water in little pools around your feet. I know, I am a whiner.
So, all in all, I'd give this board a 9.9/10 for anybody who wants to move into whitewater SUP. I look forward to trying out some more of Imagine's great looking boards including their high performance whitewater board: the Spitfire.
28. August 2012 17:19
We just got back from our end-of-summer trip to the Oregon Coast. The whole family (including the dog) went and I'd have to say this was one of the best vacations we've been on.
This time we took the 5th wheel trailer instead of staying in a hotel. I had only pulled the trailer a few times so the 12-hour drive had me a little worried. In the end, everything went smoothly and there was nothing to worry about except getting passed by multiple mini vans on the freeway.
We ended up staying at the Oceanside RV Park just outside Charleston, OR. Everybody was very friendly and we virtually had the beach to ourselves. It wasn't really camping since everybody was fairly close together and there were full hookups to supply water, electricity, and even cable TV if you wanted it. The place even had wireless internet so you could still get in some Partypoker if you wanted something much closer to Vegas than the penny ante game around the corner. I kept praying for some rain so I could play more but we got nothing but sunshine.
There is great crabbing off the rocks right in front of the beach. A three day license was only $11.50 and Oceanside provided free traps and bait. If you haven't tried crabbing, you need to. The kids love it and the adults feel like kids. Pulling the pot up is like Christmas every 10 minutes.
We also made the short 2 mile drive around the cape to Sunset Bay. That place is a must. We took a couple SUP boards and a small raft out into the bay and paddled along with a pair of harbor seals. The seals popped up all around us as we made our way out the main part of the bay and around to a secluded beach bordered by monster rocks and a couple sea caves. What a great day!
1. March 2011 11:43
Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) is one of the fastest growing water sports for a good reason: It is a blast!
I got an inflatable SUP board for Christmas. It is still winter here, but I have gotten out a couple times and I am pumped for warmer weather so I can get out some more.
My first trip was to Blue Lake, a geothermal lake in Nevada. I was there for some diving in January, but I through in the board so I could try out my new toy. The inflatable board is amazingly rigid. I felt pretty off-balance at first. I remembered people saying what a great workout SUP would be - they didn't mean because of the paddling, they meant the intense core workout from trying to stay standing. This is definitely a sport that anybody can do (at least at some level). I didn't look pretty, but I was able to paddle around the lake. It was like I was walking on the water!
Whitewater SUP is what really interests me in the long run so I had to try it out on some moving water. I knew better than to just jump into any actual rapids so I tried a calm, but flowing, stretch of the Snake. Even a slight eddy would seriously throw me off balance. The rivers are too cold for much practice so far, but I will be out early and often once it warms up. I've done some asking around and it sounds like there is a great stretch of Idaho's Payette that is frequently paddled by stand up people.
I have never surfed but have always wanted to, so I am also excited to take the board to the coast this summer and give it a try - I am hoping it will be easier since I will already be standing up.
I'll post some updates on my progress as it warms up.