Sunday, June 1, 2014

Afternoon Downwind Delight

I'm still pumped from yesterday's downwind session on the Barbary Ghost.  Captain Drew took us out for his first Downwind SUP Safari of the season, and true to his reputation, he hunted down and delivered some bumps for us.

photo by Drew Testwuide
Six of us were along for the ride, starting with a warmup run heading northeast to Red Rock Island. Mixed conditions made it difficult to find glides until the end, but it gave everyone a chance to get their legs under them, get wet and warm up their smiling muscles.

Run two was completely different as wind speed doubled, wave size tripled and glide time significantly increased.  We were limited by our own energy, not lack of waves.  He dropped us in the lee of Angel Island for a good run towards Richmond.  Everyone did fantastic, catching bumps, handling the strong wind and looking out for each other.

I'm again impressed with my new ride, the Cali 14 from Focus SUP Hawaii.  For a pointy all conditions race board, it handles damn fine in mid-sized downwind conditions.  It catches them easy, has great planing speed and the nose releases predictably when stuffed underwater.  No surprises from this board and the secondary stability is impressive.  Loving it!

photo by Drew Testwuide
photo by Christine Schneider
If you're in the bay area, check out the Barbary Ghost and get on one of the next downwind safari's.  You definitely need the skills to enjoy the thrills.  It's a challenging environment so proper paddling skills are mandatory and quality equipment is crucial.

Thank you Drew, Nico, Marion, Craig, Christine, Gretchen and Janet for a fun afternoon!

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