Lovely location for daily paddles

Lovely location for daily paddles

Morning ride on glass

Morning ride on glass

I love the ocean!  The sights, sounds and even smells evoke a range of tranquility or excitement anytime I visit the coast.  I doubt I would ever tire of it. I was raised with the Pacific just across my front yard with 8,000 foot mountains three miles behind me.  After time, the mountains evaporated into the landscape but the ocean never ceased.  Unfortunately, I now live a bit further from the deep blue than I prefer.   In spite of my geographic challenges, I have a great deal to appreciate on the water in my area as more and more land-locked surfski paddlers are finding out.   

Although most interior paddlers will engage in the occasional motorboat wake chasing and weather consulting in search of some manner of “surfing”, the fact is that unless you live near the Great Lakes, we just don’t get what our coastal brethren have in spades---waves.

So what keeps me coming back day after day to flat boring water?  Flat boring water does.  My morning paddles have become a moving meditation. It’s not that I can solve complex algorithms or even organize my (lack of) finances while I’m out there.  Therein lies the point; I don’t deal with typical daily hardships.  The smooth glide across the water becomes the purest release I can find.  Maybe it’s a metaphor for how I want the rest of my day to feel.  I find the purest form of mindfulness that I have experienced; liquid Prozac.   

As I focus purely on the endless quest for an efficient stroke, the placid morning water allows for some real disconnection.  Gliding along as though on a magic carpet ride, I often find my surroundings tend to fold into the total experience; as though a multitude of stimuli are happening simultaneously without process.

At the end of it all, I’ve found that this has become my favored experience on the ski. I wouldn’t say that this won’t change someday; it probably will, but for the present time I definitely have an appreciation for it.

Republished and shared from Surfski News.



The world is outside the front door. My experience with home ownership has been akin to wearing a ball and chain.  I’ve always said that if I could get away with living in a box I would happily do so in order to keep life simpler and allow for more freedom to experience the world from a different perspective. 

Enter the surfski. 

I’ve spent my time in gyms and still occasionally will have a momentary lapse of reason and join one of the local weight shacks.  It never takes long to realize that I’m throwing away my money.  Oh sure, it starts out with great intentions: maybe I’ll work my core, or build this or that, lose weight or gain strength. Without fail at the end of the prescribed period of time, I still have all the same, er “attributes” as when I started.

As I look back over my life, the times that have had the most positive effect on my health and body have come as a result of being involved in a physical endeavor.  As an added benefit, these endeavors have resulted in much more than just the added enhancement to physique and health.  They have resulted in amazing experiences, some with major life changing implications. Often, the experiences have also left behind a skill set that continues to enrich, protect,  or in some cases, open new doors.

On a surfski, I have already witnessed a myriad of sights completely alien to me in my pre-aquatic life.  I’ve watched my body increase muscularity in ways that the gym never could duplicate, all while simultaneously seeing my weight drop to levels close to my high school years, and meeting many unique and interesting people who share the same love of the surfski.

I recently put together a very conservative estimate of a long distance paddling race:

1 paddle stroke= 10 lbs of force. 60 SPM X 10 lbs of exerted force= 600 lbs per minute. 600 lbs per minute X 60 minutes = 36,000 lbs of force per hour. 36,000 lbs per hour X 5 hours of non stop paddling = 180,000 lbs.

The best part of all is that being on the surfski doesn’t “feel” like exercise at all. Maybe that’s why it works so well!