Tag Archives: 101 surf sports

Pot Stills and Paddleboards ; On the West Coast part 2


Exploring the Napa Valley area is tricky, so much to see and do, choosing which winery to start at, a difficult decision for most I am sure, but not for us. We found the only winery with the 200 yr old pot still that makes rum, and we found it at 2100 feet above sea level.

Pot stills
Pot stills

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unfortunately Cali laws would not allow us to taste or purchase this rum at the distillery (but I will find some rum and bring it back for a proper review) we got a great lesson on the stilling process and tasted the wines they had to offer.

Moving on we spent 2 full days taking photosIMG_3646 IMG_3666

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and enjoying many great wine and food experiences.

Finally Wednesday  afternoon we headed down to San Raphael, for a windy Wednesday paddle board trip.

We headed out from 101 Surfsports


down a waterway into the Oakland Bay. We had a nice scenic paddle to the Marin Islands.




where we were greeted by Capt. Drew

Capt. Drew
Capt. Drew




the skipper and 1st mate of the Barbary Ghost http://www.barbaryghost.com/Boat-in_Paddling.htmlIMG_3794

for a boat ride back to the surf shop.

This was supposed to be a “downwinder” riding chop and bump surfing for a mile or so but as you can see IMG_3788the bay was flat and calm. Capt. Drew tried his best to get everyone a ride as he drove around for a 1/2 hr or so creating some bumps.IMG_3779

riding the wake
riding the wake


We got a good taste of the sup culture here learning about racing and bump and glide boards from our guide Derek and the rest of the paddlers on the trip. We also shared our stories of the reef and the  water culture we have on the Great Lakes.


Gidget tried out a Starboard touring board and a SIC Bullet.  Both stable boards that performed nicely in the light conditions we encountered. The Starboard just powered it way through the small waves while the Bullet glided right through them. None of that nose slap we get on our boards when the waves just start to pick up. I chose a trusty old Starboard Atlas, the big bro to the Big Easy.

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The nite ended with a sunset ride back to 101 sharing experiences and stories with our evening friends



Gidget Goes to San Rafael, CA

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. IMG_0328

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.

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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>>>>>>>

Ice on east end of Lake Erie (near Hamburg)

Ice on Lake Erie-Canadian shoreline near mouth of river

Peace Bridge, Niagara River

Well, maybe I will have to wait a little while!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gidget IMG_0409