A Key West Intermezzo

Gidget & I have returned, begrudgingly, from Key West after spending 6 awesome days filled with great music, terrific tasty food, spectacular sunsetssunset and lots of fun.

We certainly got our Jimmy Buffett on, with visits to Capt. Tony’s saloon, Sloppy Joes, and the Green Parrot. I had a cheeseburger in paradise at Garbo’s grill, a tiny (and I mean tiny) food cart on Caroline St. and of course had a drink at Louie’s Backyard!IMG_7013

The rich history of Key West blends in  nicely as the cruise ships of today cruise shipcan be seen from the tower where the wreckers watched for ship wrecks on the shallow reefs. The business of salvaging goods and lives were key to the area’s economy.

Earnest Hemingway

Hemingways home
Hemingway’s home

spent a good part of his life here and Key West helped create his legend, from his home filled with 6 toed cats, to his drinking at Sloppy Joes.

Not all of our travels were spent in bars,  restaurants, and museums, which would not make good journalism for a watersports blog now would it.boards

The keys are surrounded by nature and we took a stand up paddle eco trip through a mangrove filled bay where we spotted a nurse shark (I knew right away it was a nurse shark from the hat with the red cross on it)

mangroves DSCN1369 IMG_6978

The ecosystem of the mangroves is quite complex and simple at the same time. Our guide, Elio, did a wonderful job in sharing her knowledge with us.

Eco tour from reef warrior on Vimeo.

A sea slug and horse shoe crab were a couple of inhabitants of the area we got to meet close up, but I thought the Cassiopeia jelly fish were the most amazing sight, Thanks to the crew at Geiger Key Paddle Hut for this great experience.

We had hoped to get a few more paddle trips in but the breeze filled in for a couple of days so there was nothing left to do but rent a Hobie cat for an afternoon sail.

A vacation would not be compete with out a quest for local rums, and our quest lead us to Key West’s Legal Rum Distillery http://www.keywestlegalrum.comIMG_7070

The owner is Paul Menta who is a kite sailing, rum loving, waterman as well as a chef and restaurateur.

We tried all the rums available and brought a few home, a proper rum quest review will be fourth coming.

I need to send out one more acknowledgement and thank you to Shana Walsh of The Otherside boardsports.IMG_6975

A great little shop where Gidget bought a new, much-needed windsurf harness, Shana was of great help and answered all our questions. Check it out if you find yourself on Islamorada.

Key West and the Florida Keys are a great place, full of fun adventures and scenery, the natural beauty of the state parks,  from the nite life of Duval St. to the wild chickens of Key West, where if you look hard enough you may find the answer to one on life most perplexing questions, “Why did the chicken cross the road”

why does the chicken cross the road from reef warrior on Vimeo.


Good Luck Tanner, or Never trust a man with a helmet on his head!

Hobie Sailor and Windsurfing Phenom turning to the Frozen Surface!

Tanner Shepard, emerging sailing and windsurfing superstar, trades in his Chopper for a goalie stick. (yes a new sail and goalie stick do cost the same!) Considered to be a top prospect in todays OHL draft, Tanner has already earned ice time defending the net against current OHL players. But what will the North Bay Battalion think when they find out his off-season past-time is not golf!

AWT Hatteras Wave Jam top 4 Pro Finisher & Amateur Champion,       Casey Treichler,  breathes a sigh of relief that he will keep his throne as the  King of the Reef.cropped-dsc_0067.jpg

Casey stated “We needed some way to get that kid of the water, now without Sasquatch there is room for the rest of the big dogs out there!”


lou tanner wreck1

Lake Erie Hobie Sailing and all around beach legend, the Big Lou-huna is relieved to hear that his spare parts locker will not be diminished this year by the young man know to many as TannerSaurus Wrecks.

Lou’s wife, Gidget, will graciously take care of Tanner’s Hobie 14 and promises not stick it third batten high-unless she is crewing for Tanners younger brother, Ben.



Today is the OHL draft, and one of our young Warriors is among the top goaltending prospects. If he is drafted and chooses to play in the OHL it will severely cut into his Reef time, and his enthusiasm for all the watersports he participates in will surely be missed.

Best of luck today Tanner, may your dreams come true.

That sums me up!

Casey’s Blog:

Yup this image/quote pretty much sums up my life. I’ve been that way since I was born. Ya I am the one going left or I like to think Hitting the Lip!😊 I am the last person who should give advice, but Always think for yourself and never follow the crowd unless there is a dang good reason for it.

Voodoo child

Casey’s Blog:

Here is another “Rum works” project fresh out of the board room. I am calling it “Voodoo Child”.  A fellow Reef warrior came to me with his old windsurfing board. It was a well-made custom Rouge Wave freestyle wave, about 8’6” 90L was the spec on it.  A Good board with clean lines,  but it was set up and orientated for more for Bump & Jump action.  I think he had a vison one night, and woke up in a Rum sweat and said “must turn it into a wave board, I want to hit the Lip”.  So upon consultation with me in the Board room, were a couple bottles of Rum happened to be consumed. We came up with a sweet plan.

First thing was to make it snappier, which required turning it into a multi fin of course. A thruster Fin set-up was the call by adding a couple side fin boxes. I ordered a set of custom fins from CNCfins which are some of the most efficient and “dialed in” fins by far. This will make it real snappy off the top, along with good hold on the bottom turn, and of course with CNCFins.com it will be faster.  For the Second modification, I did my famous chop the useless pointy nose off the board dance. Re-foiled and reshaped the nose, and gave it a nice new stubby look.(My Favorite) Third and last modification was I moved the front straps “in” and “forward” to give it a true Wave set-up. This will really help add drive, speed and control on a wave.  I wrapped it up by fixing all the dings/holes and giving it a “Rum influenced” Flashy paint job! Plus new padz and straps of course. Final specifications ended up 234cm(7’8”)/63.5cm(25”)/84L.  It’s like this board has been re-born and is ready to shred.  Have fun with it G-Man, I can’t wait to see you Hitting the Lip on this creation, in true Reef Warrior Style of course.

Out with the old version, It had a good life!

Lake Erie Watermen & Women


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