Sunday, February 15, 2015

2014 SUP Year in Review
St. John USVI June 2014 (Linda Point)

    Life being as busy as it gets left me without writing about my adventures for 2014. So a quick reflection of the past year and what's coming in 2015.

  January brought a cool adventure with the help of the Billy Lush Brand from Tennessee. I raced in a 24 hour Ultra-Skate in Miami at the Homestead speedway.  24 hours of skate boarding, well in my case land paddling. The board pictured below is called the "Orca".  It's an amazing board in the sense it allows a person to stand with his legs parallel under his hips.  Then you're able to land paddle on either side of the board with equal power, like stand p paddling on water.
    In 24 hours I managed to land paddle 211.7.  Out of 80 racers I ended up 5th becoming the first person to break 200 miles while using a land paddle. A claim I'l take.  I also walked away with being inducted to the esteemed 200 mile club.  At the time of the Ultra Skate in January I  was ranked 18th in the world for distance in the 24 hour races. pretty cool.  
To read  a full write-up check out the Billy Lush Blog

        My Crew: left of me is  Kenny Reed(Co-Owner Billy Lush Brand. Right of me is Good friend Daren Wolf


You can see the size of my board compared to everyone else (to the right)

   Next up came another 24 hour event. This time one created by me. I set out to claim the 24 hour flatwater distance record.  I found it fitting that I teach all my lessons for my business SupStlouis at Simpson lake in Valley Park, Missouri so Attempting the 24 our record on the same lake was great.  I after not ideal conditions with gusting winds, lightning, and rain I managed to paddle 95.6 hours in 24 hours.  Not too shabby for a guy from the midwest.  Although  I established a world record I till knew I could break 100 miles. Was to be continued in the fall...
 To read about the exploits check out GrindTV's article on my 24 hours 

                                                Board used for 24hrs: 14' Glide rocket  14'x25"
Setting up boards for SUP Yoga lessons at Simpson

   Next up brought me to the USVI (US Virgin Islands) in June. The Vertical Oar Guys J.P. Presare and Rafael Mercado brought me to the VI to team up with J.P.'s long time friend Chirag Vyas, Co-Owner of St. John Brewers.  With their help I attempted the first SUP navigation around St. Thomas and St John.  Leaving Cruz Bay I paddled west to St. Thomas crossing through Drake's Passage. I paddled the South side of the island and circumnavigated around and back to Cruz bay.   left Cruz bay and paddled around the north side and circumnavigated the island. After 33 hours and 57 minutes I cleared 71 hard earned miles battling 16-20mph head winds. For a full story check out Vertical Oar's write up
   Also  a very cool Video of the expedition: Drake's Passage video

                                                 Looking down at a bay from Linda point, St. john
Paddling across a channel fully loaded 12'6" Glide Quest with GSS coating

     August brought me to the OR (outdoor retailer) show in Utah.  Utah Being the home base for Glide SUP I had the opportunity to spend time at the factory with the guys and get to go to the industry's biggest Outdoor show. In Between the show we were able to enjoy some river time on Glide boards.

You never know what you'll see at the factory. Brian Flanigan and Shalee Booker doing Acro-yoga
Day 1 at the Outdoor show

One of the best things that happened at the show was me being introduced to  Zac Kaufman of Sawyer Paddles. I found a paddle company that's U.S. made and works with it's athletes. I went on a month later to use their TSR paddle to break my world record.

  September Brought me to Austin, Texas.  A good friend and sponsor, Casey Gotcher, owner of SUP Gladiator hosted me at his house over a weekend to paddle another 24 hour attempt to break my world record set earlier in May at 95.7 miles. Andy and Slim at Austin Paddle sports hosted us on their dock at Ladybird lake in Austin.  It was a good fall weekend with little wind.  I battled for 24 hours to make 101 miles in 24 hours. Not an easy task.  Here's the video of the attempt:

I was planning for a light season as I had to re-committ to family for 2104. It's a difficult balance of work, training, expeditions, and family.  At the end of the year I didn't feel I accomplished much, but Now it seems like a pretty good year to me.  Looking forward to 2015 I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do. But nothing could have told me that I would be eye balling a 750 mile race.  Yep, That's not a typo. 750 miles! And ow I've committed to it.  Entry fee is paid. Glide is building a custom board for it. Sponsors are being acquired.  More to come...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

24 hour Guinness world record still on May 10
Catalina island Expedition Postponed

May 10th I will still be attempting to set the Guinness World Record for "Greatest distance by paddle board in 24 hours, Flatwater".  What does this mean? Well I will be paddling at Simpson Lake in St. Louis, Mo in a 1.2 mile loop. Yup sounds mind numbing. But the reasons for it are That Simpson is a small lake that is woodlined and blocks the majority of wind when it's at its minimal gusts. Also it is the lake where I perform 80% of my business for SUPSTLOUIS my sup business.

      I'm shooting for 100 miles. Not an easy task. This means that I will have to keep 4mph or above the entire 24 hours. I will have a crew there that will be handing me supplies and encouraging me the entire time. On top of the attempt it is opening day for my business. I will have my team performing lessons while I am out there paddling. 9am starts the paddling on May 10th. 9am May 11th concludes it. Temp wise I'm looking at 70 during the day and 50 at night, perfect conditions.
    During the event my team will be selling Live Love Sup bottles and wristbands that when bought gets a person a 1.5 hour sup lesson with it. Not a bad deal for only $24. (24 hour guinness attempt - $24 for the bottle, wristband, and lesson.)  I've donated my fleet of GLIDE SUP paddle boards for the day. All money Goes to Live Love Sup's Campaign:  Charity:Water - Live Love Sup . If you can't make it out on the 10th, you can still by the bottle and wristband for $16. I can ship it too.
  Check out Live Love Sup and see what they're ll about.

800 million people don't have access to clean drinking water. That’s 1 in 9 of us

                                        Here's the bottle and wristband

Why the Catalina expedition was postponed: The story

 As you know I have been planning on paddling the Catalina channel islands and touching down on
all 8 islands unsupported. There have been a ton of logistics and factors that keep changing the expedition. So I wanted to update you on the expedition, how it has changed, and where it's at to date. 
     The first obstacle came when I came in contact with an expert on the islands, conditions, etc and he advised me there was no chance of accessing san clemente and san nichlolas islands as they're military instillations.  Even paddling near them and you'll be met by boats and or aircraft to intercept you. Then there's the fact that those 2 islands have their own conditions separate from anything else.
     So I looked at a different approach and decided to paddle from the mainland to Coho and wait for the right conditions and then paddle to San Miguel where I would next paddle to santa rosa, santa cruz and anacapa.  Then to the mainland 100 miles and then paddle out to santa catalina, santa Barbara and then finish on the mainland.

  A day later san Miguel was closed by the military due to unexploded ordinances. The island was used as an active bombing range for wwII to the 70's

    Next plan was island explorations base camping off santa rosa. Later I found out camping was closed off on the island until august 15th.

    So on top of growing safety concerns and all the above, I discussed options with the team and I feel it's best to postpone the expedition.  As of right now a fall expedition is possible but may not be able to happen due to current obligations.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Expedition: 8 Catalina Islands

Expedition: 8 Catalina Islands



Through the fall and winter I've been asked what the next big adventure is.  While I always have a few in mind it has always been in the back of my mind to get to the west coast. The Catalina Channel islands consist of 8 islands somewhat clumped together in clusters.  To paddle continuously and touch down on all of them is something that no SUP paddler has been able to complete.
      I'm looking to start at Oxnard, Ca and touchdown on all 8 islands while covering 270+ miles to finish at Dana Point, Ca.
   So what makes this expedition different?  Well, I had to create Stand Up Guy standards for the expedition:
-Paddle the entire trip self-supported:
      I'll have no support boat. No way to refuel supplies, specifically water. I'll have to carry everything I'll need and be completely self reliant.  This created a ton of logistics to figure out. First it was what board will hold all the gear I need to sustain and survive 5-6 days of paddling 265+ miles.  Easy answer- such a board doesn't exist.  There really is no expedition board out there that can hold all the necessary gear needed for a trip of this magnitude to handle open ocean. So I went to the board wizard, Ken Driscoll, Head shaper at Glide Paddle Boards. What has emerged is the first of it's kind, the 15' Perrin Expeditioner. I'm working with Ken to build a board that has gear storage in all the right places (not just in back of your feet) and also physically can take a beating (Glide's patented GSS technology). The board is based off the existing Glide Quest, a 12'6" touring that is perfect to cruise on through rivers, lakes, and exploring.
(12'6" Quest)

Next is the Why?
     Over 800 million people in the world still don't have access to clean drinking water.
As an ambassador for Live Love Sup I'm honored to be part of a team that is making change happen in the world. The team has  raised $7,881 as of December 31st, 2013 and has helped build clean water well projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Peru. 100% of donations go directly these clean water efforts. 
      The creative minds behind the fundraising for this expedition came from Nick and Jen Yates, founders of Live Love Sup, and it came together in a very cool way.  Going outside of their normal apparel items they use to raise funds they came up wit the idea of a stainless steel water bottle. 

  What's creative about a water bottle?  As 800 million people don't have access to clean drinking water, you and I do.  This doesn't mean we can neglect other areas of how we can make an impact. So forget that plastic water bottle that you'll use once and throw away. Purchasing this bottle gives more than others clean drinking water, it lessens our footprint and gives future generations a cleaner earth. 
   How's the bottle connected to the expedition?
The bottle sells for $16.  Live Love Sup is also donating one of their bracelets with the bottle. $8 of the sale goes towards to manufacturing costs. The other $8 goes towards Charity;Water.  My goal is to sell 100 of these bottles. and the math on that is $800 total to raise. 
 So the connection - 8 channel islands, $8 raised per bottle, $800 goal (100bottles).  There is also an option for straight donations as well. 

(Live Love Sup wristband)

  This will be the scariest expedition to date for me.  As most of you know I'm a river guy. You see they have these big fish out in the ocean. And these fish have lots of teeth. They scare the crap out of me.  If something goes wrong It will be a while before help can get to me. With one of the stretches being 70 miles island to island there's a lot that can happen.  I did loads of research on sharks and found only one true human made deterrent by an Australian based company called Shark Shield. It's an electronic unit proven to deter sharks.. The unit will be my only safety against these monsters of the sea. The science is fascinating behind it.

  So what could make this expedition more difficult besides paddling 5 days straight, day and night, sleeping an hour a night while being self-sufficient?
       May 10-11 I will attempt to set the men's Guinness World Record for "greatest distance by paddle board in 24 hours."  This means I will paddle for 24 hours straight here in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri from 7am may 10th to 7am may 11th. Then board a plane at 9am and fly out to California. The next morning on May 12th I will begin the Catalina islands expedition.

                                                   Your support is greatly appreciated!

And as always, if there are companies out there looking to help out through sponsorships, please contact me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

(1/20/14 )
24 hour Ultra Skate
Stand Up For Raelyn
So here's the scoop on the 24 hour Ultra skate:
    On 1/20/14 There's a longboard race "pushing" the board in a traditional skate style.  They are letting me in racing via land paddling.  I'll  be on my Billy Lush board using a Perrin-Elite carbon paddle. The world record was set last year at 261.8. My goal is to reach 300 miles and change skaters thoughts of Land Paddling.
24 hour Ultra race:

rom the race website -"Skate a little or skate a lot, it's up to you. How far can you go in 24 hours? Set a personal best or go for the World Record!"

Join the Century club- 100 miles.
Make the Elite 200 group- 200 miles (only 20 members world wide)
Become the World record holder - 261.8 Male -186.9 Female
(**Stay with the story. You'll see how SUP leaders of communities fit into the equation**)
  Here's the reason why this race has become personal to me.  Just a couple weeks ago I talked to a fella in California who I have never met. Our topic of conversation that brought us together, his daughter Raelyn. Her story is something that hits home for every parent. It moved me as a dad and having a daughter myself.
    Greg is a sup person. He is Ohana. I didn't really know what that was until this year when all my stuff was stolen from me in the Florida Everglades challenge. When I was at my lowest, My Ohana took care of me. Now it's our turn to take care of one of our own.
 Here's what Greg (Raelyn's father explains about his daughter,
"Raelyn was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in Feburary 2012 at age 2 ½ and is currently undergoing monthly chemotherapy treatments at CHOC (Children’s Hospital) in Orange County. In addition, she takes daily chemotherapy pill, steroids and other numerous medicines that helps fight infections and other side effects from the chemopherapy.
Recently Raelyn has developed steroid psychosis which is an rare side effect from the high doses of steroids that she takes to increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy.
I only see the “daughter I had before her diagnosis” 4 to 5 days out of the month. There are not adequate words to describe the behavior that we see due the steroid psychosis."

As you can imagine, this has taken a toll on the Beckler family in many ways.  The medical bills are immense. Greg (Raelyn's father) stepped down from his job to be Raelyn's full-time care taker. They've had to move a couple times. It's alot to take for a family.

*** Here's where YOU SUP LEADERS are standing up for Raelyn. In the next couple weeks I want you to create an event. It could be anything. SUP, Skate, Hike, Walk, anything. Recruit people for your event.
    Here's the idea: Let's say you're in warm weather still like my friends Paige and Brian with Hooked on Sup in Florida (they've already agreed to stand up for Raelyn). You can do a 10 mile fun paddle. Get 10 people to attend. each person that comes to the event pledges $1 per mile. At the end of the event the Host/Sup leader collects the funds and mails it out to the Beckler family. $100 closer to paying medical bills. Get it?

What if you're in cold weather like Holly Evans in minnesota with Wai Nani surf and paddle tribe. She's Standing up for Raelyn.  It's pretty cold in Minnesota if you don't know. But She's figuring it out. She's creating an event for 1/20/14 to stand for Raelyn.

Here's the kicker: Stoke Radio is helping out and and promoting this event!  (more to come)

Your event needs to take place on 1/20/14 MLK day as I will be racing the 24 hour race. Make sure to film the event. I'll be putting together a video of my exploits which includes yours from the day.

Email me at if you want to Stand up for Raelyn and be a leader for more detailed information.

Friday, July 5, 2013

It's official. I've found a new team!

A new era begins with Glide Paddle Boards!
    Yesterday marked our day of independence as a country as it marked a freedom and triumph personally.  After making the choice to leave my last board sponsor this past April I had decided to ride out the season independently without a new board sponsor. This was the plan.  
Yet , fate stepped in and thought differently. Or should I say Erin from Supconnect decided to change the game (very much appreciated).
    I had messaged Erin and asked if Supconnect could help promote Expedition: Iron Athlete (a 640 mile expedition starting July 20th).  As ususal, she said they'd be happy to. As she read my blog I sent her with the expedition info she messaged me back and asked, "Are you without a board sponsor?"  I explained to her the situation and she replied with ,"You need to check out Glide."
As I was in the process of researching the company I received another message. This time form Ken Driscoll Co-founder of Glide and VP of Design, stating "Erin form Supconnect thought we might be a good fit for each other". After a few conversations later with Ken Driscoll, Scott Knorp (VP of Operations) and Ken Apperson (VP of Marketing for Glide) I signed on as a Team  Rider for Glide.

     Here's why:
*They make all their boards In the U.S. and have their own factory in Utah - All U.S. sourced materials
*They're river people - And yah, I'm a bit of a river person myself
*They created Glide Surface Shield - an indestructible coating. People have witnessed their boards being run over by a car and walloped with hammers and mallets and coming out unscathed. -perfect for conditions on the river I put boards through. Can you say Texas Water Safari 2014?
* After the first conversation with the guys I felt at home. Down to earth, good people
Can you do this with your epoxy board? Didn't think so.
Glide's exclusive Surface shield technology makes boards bomb proof!
 So as I move forward with the Glide team I have a fellow Midwesterner helping us out, Matt Campbell out of Oxford, Michigan with Blk Box Surf.  With the time constraints we have for the Expedition, Matt has taken on the task of building the Unlimited SUP that I'll be using on the expedition.  Out of the 3-4 top unlimited shapers in the country Matt was my first choice. He's been in the biz a decade and knows design. His knowledge and design is top notch.
The board stands out a little in his shop! 17'8"x24.5
Here the board's bottom is finished

So with 10 days left of training before the expedition, everything's falling into line.  I feel strong at a bold 171lbs. My cardio is way up and mentally I'm focused. My Expedition team is together and ready to roll.
Land Paddle: Billy Lush Brand
 I also want to thank and welcome my newest sponsor for the expedition, No Coast Stand Up.
 Take a listen to my interview with Katie G. Owner of No Coast on Stoke Radio last week.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Iron Athlete Expedition update

Iron Athlete Expedition update
540 SUP miles
100 SULP miles (stand up land paddle)
3 states ( NY, MO, IL
7-8 days
Starting July 20th
   As training progresses so does finalizing logistics and sponsors.  I've been fortunate to have Some key sponsors step up and support me. It is impossible for me to accomplish this expedition without the right people involved. Can't tell you how happy I am to have these guys and gals on the team.
My title sponsors:
                                                                      Shaka Surf
Based in Saugatuck Michigan. Co-owner Elizabeth Burns was a client of mine last year for my business SUPSTLOUIS. Well, she caught the SUP bug and it built up inside her. She bought a board this year and went out with her friend. Over casual conversation she said to her friend, "Why don't we start a SUP business here (michigan)." So they did! They are officially open. Their website is under construction but you can find them on Twitter @shakasurf1

Billy Lush Paddle Sports 
 Based out of Knoxville, TN these boys didn't hesitate to be part of the expedition.  They're all about paddle sports and are heavily involved in the community not only in Knoxville but nationally. They were just in Oregon last week! They offer SUP 101 classes, paddle fit, sunset tours, and run a meet up group, and sales. Check them out here --> billylushbrand
     When I told them I was land paddling 100 miles pulling a trailer to carry my inflatable SUP and gear, they told me they had the board for. And did they. One hand crafted in Tennessee U.S.A. 
The "Orca" 
 Now there's no trailer needed. The Orca will carry it all!
Crew Update

 For the 100 mile paddle portion of the expedition I recruited Kelly Kasten. She's one of the few Die hard SUP'rs around St. Louis paddling through winter with me. This year she started racing with a 10 mile race in march and most notable a 28 mile race in Tennesse in April. Then in May she raced a 20 mile race in Chicago. Always the only girl to take on these long races, I can relate to the pressure she has to succeed.  She's tough as nails and will make a perfect crewman.
Then for the MR340 paddle portion I scored an old friend who has been crewing for athletes for the past 3 years, Denise Damon, I've known her since about 2006 and have been on many paddles with her back when I used to sit and paddle.  She's an outdoorswoman that is an ace at crewing. She loves that dog Andy too.
Then for the toughest portion. Land paddling 100 miles while carrying all my gear and then SUP'ng 100 miles carrying the land paddle. I was trying to figure out who would be the right person for this although I already knew who I wanted.  Dwayne Vanhoose. This guy is a one of a kind. An endurance athlete himself he knows the game as an athlete and as a crewman. He was my crew for my first big race in 2011. Watch it here -->Stand up Guy - The documentary
 So as crew for this portion he will be riding his Bike with me as moral support. This portion is literally 10 minutes from his house so I left him with no excuses to not come along.
 Couldn't be happier to have him on. He's one of my truest friends in life.
So the wheels are turning. Now all I need is a board. So far this is what I have:
If there are any companies that would interested in sponsoring the expedition, please email me at

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A new direction

A new direction
 Following my 400 mile Florida everglades challenge, I took some time to spend with family.  A lot of time with family.  They definitely deserve it after all I put them through. 
     Post expedition I was fortunate enough to be offered my own show on   Stoke Radio called "The Distance". It's on Wednesdays at 11am, 4pm, and 10pm cst. Then Thursday on the it's available on demand
Then April 27th came and I raced in the Vol80 in Knoxville, Tn. A race organized by my friend Charles Goodson. A truly scenic race of 80 miles in the smoky mountains, For 80 miles I finished the race in just over 18 hours of paddling with 14 hours being rained on.
  And now as May ends, I am about to embark on yet another monster of an expedition.  Friends are calling it the Triple crown. I call it the Iron athlete. Regardless of what it's called it's going to take heap loads to pull it off.  Not only the feat itself, just making it happen. You see, I have only one sponsor this year, Werner Paddles . They provide me with paddles, support, promotion. They've helped me since 2012 and I am very thankful to have them. Yet I am left without any major sponsors. I have no board sponsor so I am left to procuring my own board. 2 weeks ago I had to put a deposit on a 17'6" unlimited custom SUP to be built to my paddling style and body type. Not an easy task given my situation. Yet i will find a way. That is not the message of this blog.
Here It is:
                                                                      “Iron Athlete”
      On July 20th I will toe the starting line of the 100 Mile paddle(  It is a 2 day staged race that starts 75 miles north of New York City. On day 1 I will race against other elite SUP athletes and complete the 60 mile leg of the race. Then day 2 (july 21) I will complete the final leg of 40 miles aiming to finish 1st in the SUP division. (100 miles total distance)
     That evening of the 21st I  will drive approximately 24 hours back to my home state of Missouri where on the evening of the 22nd I will attend the safety meeting for the MR340 race (  It is a non-stop race 340 miles on the Missouri river from Kansas City to St. Charles.   On the morning of the 23rd I will yet again toe the starting line of this 340 mile race. I will compete against 350+ canoes, kayaks, surf ski’s, and other SUP racers. I aim to finish this race in under 60 hours therefore racing straight through july 23,24,25,.
     Then the evening of the 26th I will begin a 3rd expedition, one that has never been attempted before.  I will land paddle 100 miles of Illinois roads while towing a SUP behind my skateboard.  At the end of the 100 miles I will then attach the skateboard on top of the paddle board and SUP 100 miles down the Mississippi river to end at the Arch in St. Louis. This portion will be done unsupported.
     The entire experience will be filmed as a documentary titled, “Stand Up Guy – Iron Athlete”.  It will be an experience that will redefine the possibilities of stand up while promoting  Stand up sports.
   I am seeking sponsors that wish to be part of this journey that will gain mass exposure through the documentary, online articles, and print edition magazines.  Sponsors will received their logo on the SUP during all events as well the logo can be on my race jersey.  Sponsors that are product sponsors as well will be highlighted throughout the documentary with the use of their product as well as High res pictures made available to them for promotion purposes.
If there is anyone that has potential sponsors or connections please let me know.  I will have to do some fundraising for this to happen but it would be great to have some sponsors step up to help too.
More to come