Recently, I was on a trip to visit family in Concord CA. As always before I go I try to check out opportunities to get on the water. I was lucky to stumble upon a Jimmy Lewis SUP demo at 101 Surf Sports in San Rafael, California.
Along with my sister, Valerie I headed out to try some boards. Tom greeted us and told us a little about the shop, showed us the dock and provided paddles and lifejackets before we went out.
Joe and Derek helped us onto the boards, dock starts are something Reef Warriors are not used to! They were very knowledgeable about the boards and were interested in learning where I paddle and in general SUP opportunities on Lake Erie.
The Blade II, the Sabre and the Slice proved to be nice boards with great glide and control on flat water. Each is more of an open water race board than what I normally paddle. While a good board, the Sabre was a little too good at what it does and does not fit my need for a versatile board. At first I thought the Blade II could be my next board for when I wanted to travel greater distances yet still enjoy a social paddle, but then I rode the Slice, (can anyone say tax return spent). The guys remarked how well this board performs in rough water. This is a great feature since we never know what we are going to get on the lake.
In trying a board more similar to my Starboard Blend, I was guided to the 11’0 and 10’6 Cruise Control. The 11’0 was ok but the 10’6 for me had much better maneuverability without losing stability. This would be fun to try on the reef.
It was great to talk with Joe and Derek who were familiar with various other boards including the Blend. We were able to discuss the advantages of the different boards. They were able to compare shaping and construction and reminded me about Jimmy Lewis’s history of board making and the quality construction that goes into his boards.
We also just discussed the sport, how it is growing and how much fun it is to share it. We talked about that balance between finding the right board for you and still having something that you can share.
Speaking of sharing the sport, while I was paddling, Valerie, a true novice, went in to talk with Tom about gear. She was excited to find someone who encouraged her interest in the sport without being too technical or too pushy. She also appreciated the info about local paddle spots and women’s paddle clubs in the San Francisco Area.
If anyone is in the Bay area and looking for a new board (many to choose from right in the shop), looking to rent some gear or just looking for info about SUP and local waterways this is definitely the place to go!
Thanks for a great afternoon guys! And know I cannot wait until I get back to my home bay and go for a paddle>>>>>>>
Well, maybe I will have to wait a little while!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!