Category Archives: gear we like

A gift for all our readers!

As many of you know Casey & I  & our friends at Wetsuit Wearhouse were able to set up a discount code this spring for all of our readers and now with the Great Lakes cooling off and winter sailing and winter surfing approaching fast, not to mention that the holidays are coming up like a close out set, Wetsuit Wearhouse is offering up a special discount coupon code (20% off)  to all The Reef Warriors for their Black Friday sale.

Great selection, Great service, Custom made wetsuits,

you can’t go wrong shopping at wrong at Wetsuit Wearhouse.

( A quick personal note, I purchased these womens-billabong-sealegs-ind_321x800      

for Gidget as a gift this summer and she loves them, so guys DON’T forget the water-woman on your list, Trust me these will be a hit.)

Check out the links below for all the important info.


Wetsuit Warehouse is having their biggest holiday super sale and wanted to give Reef Warrior readers a coupon to use towards anything on the site with no minimums or restrictions. Use code REEF20 to get 20% off plus free shipping on your order! Check out the entire Black Friday sale selection here: Get a head start on your holiday shopping now, or buy yourself a little something!”

Buffalo Board Company

After the race, Gidget  and Jim got to demo a few locally made, hand shaped boards from Buffalo Board Company.13133257_965450123569511_4962415127812205227_n

The first one she tried was the 11 foot yoga board. But we all know a Reef Warrior when there are waves (knee-high shore break) you have to surf. So surf she did.  Despite the shape of the yoga board it actually caught a wave before even attempting to really paddle on to it. It had great glide and amazing stability. The flat rocker and larger nose made the board want to pearl but the fact a yoga board could surf  was impressive. Seeing what she did on the yoga board, owner Brian quickly put the fin on the 10 foot board for Gidget to see how that one performed.14047335_1038999099547946_8139411877262140425_o 13987379_1038999106214612_2029993055429481769_o

The shorter length made turning to get on a wave a breeze. It did want to turn and was a bit tough paddling through the shore break but with a 10 mph wind and after a 6 mile race any board would be difficult to paddle out. Again this board turned very quickly to set up for the wave without losing any stability. The board did not accelerate on the wave but did provide good control.14047141_1038999296214593_1851871793177292706_o


Both boards would be great for anyone looking for that one board that can take you from flat water to feeling comfortable when the waves kick up. The stability (yes I keep using that word but I almost could not fall off these boards) would help anyone progress quickly and get them their first taste of SUP surfing. This just in time for windy season when Lake Erie waves are more prominent.

The slight increase in weight as compared to some other boards with a similar length should not deter anyone since I feel that adds to the boards apparent durability.

Jim dandy, being a man of few words had this to add,

I liked the yellow board (10′) you and Gail tried. I thought it was very stable especially the way it cut through waves on the way out. Maybe because of the pointy front. On small waves coming in it glided nicely and easy to keep it from pearling . I was not able to go left and right or down the line maybe cause the waves were small.

Thanks Jim your input is much appreciated!

For more information contact Brian at or check out their Facebook page! If you wish to try these boards Brian will be at the Buffalo Maritime Festival at Canalside this coming weekend.

Thanks to Buffalo Board Company for rounding out our day at the Buffalo Paddle Festival!

Come visit us here at Da’ Reef sometime!



Custom made wetsuit review

As many of you know I have always been short for my weight and never really liked squeezing into a traditional back zip off the rack wetsuit.


I tried a chest zip suit and had a difficult time getting in and out of type of wetsuit as well.

For many years I have missed early season and fall days of sailing and SUP surfing due to the lack of a good wetsuit, then it was suggested to try a custom made suit from Wetsuit Wearhouse and I am happy I did!

Just click on the custom suit link at the top of the web page and boom ! I was ready to order a custom made wetsuit.


The order form is super easy to fill out with all the needed measurements  and details.

The next step is to simply email it in and let the minions and wizards in the custom suit assembly labyrinth some where in Maryland work their magic. About 6 weeks later a great fitting suit is  arriving at my door.  I ordered a front zip 4/3 suit with zippers at the wrists. Wetsuit Wearhouse even added the  Reef Warrior logo! As with anything a good made to order product can cost a bit more than off the rack, but the difference in cost is off set by the quality and attention to detail.

The suit is super soft and flexible for stand up paddling , sailing and windsurfing. It is plenty warm enough for the early  and late season 50 degree water of Lake Erie. My last wetsuit was a 3/2 that was way thicker and heavy and not very supple. What a difference!

The only downside was learning the trick to putting on the front load suit. It was a little tricky on the 1st couple wearings but as it became more broken in it certainly became easier. I will definitely suggest this option to anyone I speak with who may be a hard to fit size.

Thank you Wetsuit Wearhouse, you folks rock!

Don’t forget about the Reef Warrior discount, just use the code REEFWARRIORS15 at check out for a 15% savings.

Did somebody say “Rubber”?

Casey and I are happy to announce the The Reef Warriors have teamed up with  Wetsuit Wearhouse to help you, our loyal followers get some great gear, from a great shop, at low $.


By using coupon code REEFWARRIORS15 at check out Wetsuit Wearhouse will discount your purchase by 15%.



Here are a few words from the staff at Wetsuit Wearhouse.

Hey all! We are stoked to be teaming up with The Reef Warriors! Just to get a little familiar with us, we are a wetsuit specialty shop located in Maryland. Not only do we offer 25,000 wetsuits in stock daily, we’ve also got an amazing group of knowledgeable and helpful folks here. We offer FREE U.S. shipping and our return policy is super easy. For all things wetsuits, check us out here:




Wetsuit Wearhouse  is a great resource for the gear we need to stay warm throughout the year as we stretch out the season here in the Great Lakes.

 I have purchased hats, booties, gloves and a wet suit for Gail from Wetsuit Wearhouse.

I have missed many a late season sup surf session due to the lack of a good wetsuit.

             Since I am hard to fit body type, I am short for my weight, Wetsuit Wearhouse will be helping me with a custom made suit.

The custom design page comes with an order form where you supply your measurements and the pros at Wetsuit Wearhouse will build you a suit to fit.

I will keep you all posted as to the progress of my custom suit, and let you all know how well it fits and how warm and comfy it is. Stay tuned!

Please check them out at, You can live chat with an expert or call toll free at (866)906 SUIT (7848)

You will be happy you did !



SUP Paddle review: Black Project Epic Pro 95

Casey’s Blog:

It’s been a long time since I bought a new SUP paddle, and after lots of research plus breaking my current one. I pulled the trigger on a Black Project EPIC Pro 95 SUP Paddle with Med/Flex shaft.  I will have to say it’s very impressive. Obviously it is incredible light,(I really mean crazy Light) Resulting in a lot less effort just to paddle.  When I was digging in hard to catch waves, I could feel the instant power from the Blade, which impressively translated into a lot more board speed,  I have never felt a paddle transfer the energy directly in that way before. Pretty awesome cause I am catching waves even earlier now. Also I felt Zero speed wobble from the blade, it tracked straight, comfortable and predictable. I choose the Med/flex shaft cause that is what I like from all my experiences. I have had everything from super soft to very stiff.  I find it gives good damping which is good for my shoulders and back, but still gives good direct feel. The shaft on this paddle delivered on all those points perfectly. The shaft was a little slippery thou, and I am going to take a little sandpaper and lightly rough it up for a little more grip.

I really can’t find any negatives about this paddle. It’s by far the best paddle ever to be in my hands, But as always being the ultimate critic. I personally would like to see one with a 1in diameter shaft, I really prefer the small diameter shafts, I find them easier to handle during transitions, and easier to grip. Also, maybe an option for a tiny bit smaller square inch blade, these blades are so efficient it might beneficial, especially for a smaller lighter person.

Well to sum this up, If you are in the market for a paddle upgrade, I highly Recommend getting this one, and once you use this paddle for one session you will be kicking yourself why you put up with your old paddle for so long.   It is a premium paddle, That is made in the U.S.A. with the best materials (No China crap) and it is worth every $$$$.

Of Course I bought my paddle at were all the best toys are at, and all Reef Warriors get a discount.