Issue 67

Stand Up and Deliver

Stand Up and Deliver

Photo: Pete Gauvin Founder of Yuba Bikes becoming a dominant SUP racer Story and Photos by Pete Gauvin If you’re keen on starting a bike company but want to be able to get out on the water at a moment’s notice, it’s hard to imagine many places better than the Sausalito waterfront. Benjamin Sarrazin doesn’t have to imagine. He founded Yuba Bicycles, which makes affordable cargo-carrying bikes, in 2006 and had the foresight to locate the small office and warehouse in the colorful harbor district on Richardson Bay. That’s convenient because Sarrazin is a standup guy, and a standup paddler, and when he stands up to go paddling, usually around midday, he doesn’t have to go far. Just a short ride on one of the Yuba bikes and he’s at Sea Trek Beach, ready to launch his 12.5-foot carbon Boga race board. When he’s done, he can strap it...
What’s Up with SUP Yoga?

What’s Up with SUP Yoga?

For athletes, the benefits go beyond the studio By Pete Gauvin Instructor Leigh Claxton demonstrates a Sirsha-asan, Sausalito harbor. Photo courtesy of OnBoard SUP It wasn’t until I met Leigh Claxton that I understood why yoga on stand-up paddleboards is not just some contrived, photogenic exercise fad having its 15 minutes. True, SUP yoga is the convergence of the hottest sport on water and the ever-popular big tent of yoga, but together they offer tangible and spiritual benefits that neither can offer in isolation. Claxton, owner and chief instructor of OnBoard SUP, a stand-up paddle yoga outfit based in Sausalito, expressed why floating on water is the perfect medium for reluctant and experienced yogis alike, and why outdoor athletes in particular should give it a try. “Balancing on a constantly moving object improves proprioception,” says Claxton. “When your floor, your surface is constantly moving around you, your body is constantly...
Fire and Water

Fire and Water

For elite racer Seth Springer, stand-up paddling helps balance his firefighting career Story and photos by A.J. Johnson Seth Springer’s enthusiasm is outwardly visible, his smile comes quick and when you get him talking about his passion, it doubles. That passion is stand up paddling. At a touch under 6 feet, he is athletically built, with his years of paddling showing in his powerful chest and large shoulders. Only his black hair keeps him from fitting every Southern California stereotype. A native of Westlake Village, straddling the Los Angeles and Ventura county line, now living in neighboring Thousand Oaks, Springer, 35, grew up just a few miles from the ocean. “I was on body boards, surfing and always by the water,” he remembers. “I did the whole team sports thing.” But he would return to the water he loves. Seven years ago, he discovered SUP and that was the end...
Learning the Ropes

Learning the Ropes

A ten-day “final exam” in the British Virgin Islands Story and photos by Kathleen Seccombe Graduating from UC Santa Cruz in spring 2011 wrapped up 17 years of education and left me with a yearning to do something “hands-on,” maybe a back to nature experience. To be honest, I wasn’t totally sure. Some people get their jitters out climbing Half Dome or heli-skiing. I decided to go with a ten-day sailing trip in the Caribbean. In my final year at UCSC, I took a sailing course from Rusty Kingon, the head of the boating program. I found sailing around the Santa Cruz Harbor in a 15-foot dinghy to be exhilarating, so you can only imagine my excitement when I heard Rusty talking about a sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands. The islands are world renowned as a “postcard” sailing destination. For the past four years, Rusty and his wife...
First Name in the Water

First Name in the Water

Jack O’Neill in his beloved 1956 Jag XK140, checking the surf at Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz. O’Neill Celebrates Sixty Years By Matt Niswonger • Photos Courtesy of O’Neill When Jack O’Neill opened Northern California’s first surf shop on San Francisco’s Great Highway in 1952, could he have possibly known what the next few decades would bring? His motivations at the time were pretty simple. He loved spending time in the ocean, but the coastal waters of Northern California were just too cold. As he put it, “Without a wetsuit you could only last about an hour on the best of days. Still, your teeth would start to rattle after about 20 minutes.” On the 60-year anniversary of the company that O’Neill founded on the premise of selling wetsuits, one can only sit back and marvel. The wetsuit was a game-changer for an obscure outdoor pursuit called surfing, and over...
Kauai Surf Trip

Kauai Surf Trip

With Mia’s surfboard in tow, our surf instructor leads us into the calm waters of Hanalei Bay. Kauai makes an excellent family surf destination, but beware of the dreaded “departure blues” Story by Matt Niswonger • Photos by Cathy Claesson We were trying to make our flight home. Leaving the island of Kauai was proving to be a huge pain in the neck. Mentally exhausted, all we wanted to do was return our rental car, for god’s sake. Bodies pushed to the limit by ten days of sun and waves, we had somehow managed to stuff all of our muddy clothes and gear into the suitcases and make it back to Lihue Airport. Our flight was leaving in 55 minutes. We thought we were golden. We thought wrong. The rental car agent wrinkled her nose and told us that she wouldn’t take our car back. “There is a $300...
Ultimate Descents

Ultimate Descents

From source to sea on California’s rivers By Haven Livingston Galen Licht descends the South Yuba River. Photo by DarinMcQuoid This year, two groups have embarked on ambitious journeys to travel the length of 17 California rivers from their headwaters to the sea. For one group the journey is about sharing adventure and pioneering the exploration of their own backyard rivers. For the other, the focus is to connect people with their water source, and understand river systems as a whole. Few rivers are known or understood in their entirety. It is human nature to only see what’s in front of us and forget that the up and downstream waters are a connected continuous body, veritable veins of the landscape. Luckily, it’s also human nature to explore and share our findings. Explore Six Rivers and Rivers for Change are two groups that hope people will benefit from their explorations, whether...
How I Learned to Love Lake Tahoe

How I Learned to Love Lake Tahoe

From a kayak, writer overcomes jaded view of Tahoe as mere tourist trap By Leonie Sherman Photo by Daniel Kangas Ever since I first saw Lake Tahoe I have considered it a sacrifice zone. A glorified strip mall where over-fed tourists come to gamble away their disposable income and flaunt their coordinated ski outfits. A hive of casinos and palatial mansions, roads crawling with RVs, water congested with powerboats. A backdrop for the same vacation photo taken by millions of visitors who never stray further than a half mile from their vehicles. Until I dragged a kayak into the startling clear waters one sunset in June. My partner and I envisioned a sunset paddle and full moon rise before making camp. We left Santa Cruz hours later than anticipated, and rather than sleep in the car and wait for morning we bravely pushed off into the fading day. Once...
Water Torture

Water Torture

With his proposed Tahoe 360 is ultra athlete Jamie Patrick pushing himself too far? By Matt Niswonger & Photos by Brian Hayes Photography Photo: Brian Hayes Photography, brianhayesphotography.com Endurance athletes usually make light of the pain involved in long distance running, cycling, and swimming events. In fact, many competitors engage in a friendly competition to see who can be more gross and outrageous about it: “Both feet were bleeding during my last marathon. My socks looked like wound dressings!” But anyone who has ever competed in a real distance event knows that this retrospective humor is just a socially acceptable way to handle a difficult subject. When pushing your body feels more like torture than anything else, the reality of the situation shifts. Granted this pain is self-imposed, but our will can push us beyond typical thresholds of discomfort until it borders on self-inflicted torture. At this point, the...
Beer for Hydration

Beer for Hydration

Searching for the elusive answers on why that post-run beer is so satisfying By Derrick Peterman Visit a brewpub around the finish line of any running race and it will likely be full of giddy and a few gimpy runners celebrating with a post-race brew — ‘carbo-loading and fluid replacement’ some will justify their indulgence with a wink and a smile. Runners aren’t alone. Kayakers, rock climbers, mountain bikers, and skiers also have a proclivity for cracking open a cold one or two after a day of play. It seems beer follows outdoor sports so naturally and effortlessly, one can’t help wonder if there’s some sort of mysterious cause and effect going on, something more than just the pleasure of cold beer to parched lips and the relaxing effects after physical stress. So I asked myself a couple questions: Does beer have critical nutrients the body needs to recover from...
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