Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How well do you really know people?

     This will be a tough post to read as it's a tough post to write.  When you think you actually know someone after 2.5 years of working with them and helping them and find out they are nowhere close to the the person they portray, it's pretty difficult, in this case devastating.
  Nate Dub aka Nate Waldera reached out to me in the fall of 2014 to ask for consultation on a 100 mile paddle.  He told me his story of military service as a sniper in the army, how his humvee blew up and he was the only survivor, how the ptsd from that incident and all the confirmed kills he had as a sniper was mentally destroying him.  Naturally, hearing his story i opened myself to him and told him I'd help him with his paddle and wanted to go along.
   He spent 2015 coming to St. Louis and paddling with me and lots of emails, phone calls, and texts. I got to know him pretty well or so I thought. Everything was a lie. He sold me his story. He con'd me. He sold everyone his story. He con'd everyone.
     Fast forward to the 2016 MR340 the end of July and that's when everything started to become unraveled for him and his true self came out. He was a different person than the Nate I had known. Edgy. Unpredictable. Distant. It didn't make sense.  Until the end of the race when he disappeared and I began to question everything.
   Seeking the truth came from speaking with Ron Abel, a legit military Veteran, and who was ground crew for the 100 mile paddle last year, and for Nate for the 340.  Nate admitted to Ron that his probation officer was calling Nate for the past week and Nate needed to come in and be booked.  The deep dark secret of Nate? Hes a convicted felon.  Which in itself is bad, but not all felons are bad people.  Many are able to make amends and move on in life and be good contributing citizens. However, In this case, he is a bad person.
 8/3/16 arrest 

  Following the Mr340 race when he returned home to Wisconsin he was picked  up and taken into custody for violation of probation. He was brought to jail where he currently is and will be for some time.
  Here's where it gets bad.  His original charge stems from a 2012 incident.  It's atrocious, but he was charged with first degree sexual incest of a minor. She was 6 years old.  He plead down to recklessly endangering safety. which as you read below is still a felony by law. In life there's a special hell for people like this.  Which in prison, he will live once the other inmates realize what he's there for. The  charges were reduced as he plead down.

original arrest in 2012

  It's extremely disturbing to find this out. Even more disturbing that I had this man sleep at my house several times over the years. I have a 6 year old and a 4year old that were present. Thankfully nothing happened to them or he would not have made it out of my house alive.  
   He had a 5 year sentence in 2012 from the case. He served a little over a year and received early release and the rest of the sentence to be spent on probation.

     I spent an hour on the phone with His probation officer this week.  He called me as part of an open investigation in Nate's case. He's also called others that were in contact with Nate. The violations of probation are as follows:
-can not leave the state 
      He traveled to NC, NY, CT, MO that we know of
-can not drink alcohol
    I've been with him while he was drinking. there's pictures on social media.
-can not sleep over others houses at all. No sleepovers with kids or women especially
violated it with me and as recently as 2-3 weeks ago with his girlfriend and her daughter and friends. The girlfriend had no clue.
- No smartphones
   definitely has one and has used it
-has to hold a job. was fired from his a few months back. didn't tell probation
and i'm sure there's more.  This is what the Probation officer mentioned

  If that wasn't bad enough, there's more.  Nate sold us all on the fact that he was a military vet with 8 years service.  He told the story of how he was a sniper and was on the watch list as he killed so many people while serving in operation iraqi freedom and operation enduring freedom. He also sold us on that his humvee blew up while all his brothers in arms in the vehicle died and him being the only survivor. He labeled himelf as a military vet with ptsd and needing a service dog to get trough life.
   The hard facts are he did serve in the military, but for less than a year. He was set for deployment but pussed out. He convinced a doctor he had sleep walking habits and mental illness. A easy out.  He never was deployed. Never saw action.  Doesn't have ptsd. Didn't lose his brothers in a humvee. Didn't kill people as a sniper.  
    His devious mind as a pathological liar went as far as adopting a dog (BO) and labeling him as a service dog to sell the vet with ptsd look. He paid $75 online to get a therapy dog certification.  He even got a tattoo on his arm that had his "fallen" brothers' dog tags. His family, when asked about the tattoo said it didn't make sense. They even  questioned it. It was all a con. He did all these things to try and portray the image of a vet with ptsd.  It was nothing more than STOLEN VALOR!  Which to me is as disgusting as him being a incestual pedophile that he is. 
  My grandfather served in WWII and my brother served in operation desert storm. I know them as military heroes. They know themselves as just citizens doing their country duty. That's how real military handle themselves. They're proud to have served, ask for nothing in return, and seldom talk about their service.

   The organization "Proudly We Stand" he created was for him to raise money for vets with PTSD. The concept to me was great and I was happy to contribute both financially and emotionally.  I consulted him on the 100 mile paddle, made a documentary, and helped fund it. I want to make it very clear that I had no hand in this organization other than supporting it. Neither did Ron Abel.  We were merely 2 people trying to help another for  what we thought was a good cause. We even helped Nate raise over $7k for companions for heroes, an organization to help vets get dogs.  Sadly, I recently found out he pocketed the money and never gave them a cent. I apologize to all that donated to him. I had no idea this was the case. I donated to the org as well.
  Currently the case has been turned over to the wauwautosa police and he will be pursued for theft, grand larceny possibly. This should add to the current 5 years jail he is already looking at.  It won't replace the money he stole but he won't get to use it where he's going.
   Amongst the other lies he told me, his wife died of cancer years ago and his 2 kids are from a stripper he dated after college.  All a lie. She is alive and was smart enough to leave him 14 years ago. She leads a great life with her own family.  His second "relationship"  had the kids with him which ended in 2012 with the above incest charge. The kids are happy, healthy and great people.
  I have heard all sorts of variations of lies he has told others. Trust me, none of his BS is true. The probation officer confirmed he is a pathological liar.

     Going forward the people that were affected most have been a great support system.  I've taken this atrocity pretty harshly as I  attached my name on his events. However, Although Nate destroyed a lot of faith in humanity and betrayed us all. However, some good came out of it. I gained friends out of this that are good people. I keep up with Ron Abel from Wisconsin, he's a great guy, true military vet, and part of my team now. We talk weekly.  Brenda Herndon, out of KC. ground crewed for the mr340 and is in the same boat as Ron. Great friend and is running ground support for a 230 mi race i'm doing in the fall.  Dave Schultz, Deb Klapperich, and host of other Midwest paddlers were introduced to me through Nate.  So essentially I had to weed through the shit of Nate to find the candy corn surprises of friends.  I am most grateful for them and wouldn't trade them for anything.  

  I know I can't fix things or change how it happened, but I am working on repairing what has been done. We are working with the family of Nate and are planning to sell the Hobie custom sup he has and give the money to companions for heroes. Also I will be putting together a paddle in the spring to raise money for the charity.  I'll do it on lake Geneva and it will be open to all paddlers. 

I am very sorry how everything played out. But be certain of this, Nate Dub aka Nate Waldera is in jail and will be for quite some time, 5+ years.  He will never be welcomed in our circle again. The sup family is a strong and loving one. We will overcome what's happened and will remain a family and push forward.


Monday, March 7, 2016

2015 was the worst and best year I've had 

    How does one have the worst and the best year all in the same time-frame? The short answer is: spend 6 months training for a 750 mile race; get hit by a tree 1 week prior to your race, experience a severe concussion accompanied with short term memory loss; and then realize this is the best thing that has happened to you in a long time.  Let me explain.

After spending  5 years in an unfulfilling job as a parks maintenance worker, I decided to seek more adventurous employment and became a logger. Yes, a person who cuts down trees for a living. Big trees. Fifty to sixty foot trees.
     After six months of working this new lumberjack profession there came a particularly wet day where I found myself working on a hillside, cutting in wet, slippery conditions. As I'd done with any other tree, I made my notch cut on the side where I wanted the tree to fall, and then made my plunge cut, continuing to the rear of the tree. I felled it across the hill rather then dropping it downhill to make harvesting easier later. I walked uphill with my saw as the tree began, but I slipped and fell on the wet hillside and slid ten feet downhill away right back towards the cut tree trunk. As I slid, the tree fell on the hillside on a bunch of brush. What I didn't know was that under the brush was an already downed tree.  The tree I had cut landed and see-sawed on the other trunk.  As the top of the tree fell across the other trunk, it forced the base upwards - right where I was now standing.  BAM! The tree drilled me right on the 2 O'clock of my head/face catapulting my feet up over my head. I landed all crumpled up and had no idea where I was for a bit.  Once I came to, I hiked out of the woods and called a friend to come get me and drive me to the hospital.
                                                  (Happy to be alive in Alton Hospital)
     Although I optimistically believed I was still going to race 750 miles from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska in a week, the harsh reality of doctors saying I had a long recovahead set in.  After the adrenaline wore off, I began experiencing  headaches every day, and my entire body was wracked with pain. 
       Now on workers comp, I sat home idle.   6 weeks in to recovery my employer terminated me, Something I didn't see coming,  Funny how life goes. So a wrongful termination lawsuit ensued and yada yada, I now needed to find a job.
  I had gone from making great money outdoors, being in the best shape I've ever been in and getting ready to race the biggest race of my life to being unemployed, with horrible headaches and soreness, and now repeating myself multiple times to a day due to short term memory loss. My poor wife was very patient with me. It must have been like living with a 40 year old with Alzheimer’s patient. I told her about Dale Sanders 2-5 times a day. Dale, AKA the grey Beard Adventurer, is an 80 year old man who became the oldest person to paddle the entire length of the Missouri river source to sea If you ask my wife, she'll absolutely know who he is after she spent a summer hearing about him everyday from me.  

   Thank god for Stand up paddling! Scrambling for a job that was low impact and outdoors limited me to, well... not much. Afterspending some time trying to figure it out I decided to work with what I had, and focus solely on what had been my second full-time job,  SupStLouis ,  my ever-growing  paddle boarding outfitter business. Fast forward the summer season : SupStLouis had an amazing season that provided my family a great income, allowed me to work a flexible schedule to spend time with my kids, and fulfill my dream of working full time in the SUP business.  I was starting to make progress on my recovery.  My 40 year old temporary Alzheimer's lessened and physically the headaches decreased.

                                                    The Dream office. Working on a beach

                                                              (The old gal that hauls)
                      (At a ripe old age of 20, the van needed a lot of love before becoming the main                               hauler for supstlouis  Her previous years were served as a church van then a carpet van.)

                                                           (The overstuffed truck. )
                                                      We run 2 fleets for our 2 locations

Here's the Bad side of my year.

  So if I was able to fulfill my dream of going full time SUP then why was it such a bad year (besides the head injury)?  Here's the dark side of the year.  The SUP season  ended in  September and now I was truly unemployed. However, I had enough money from the business to sustain me a while.  Post-season there's always a bit of summer withdrawals, but 2015 was different.  Everything was different. The reality of not pulling off the 750 mile race I trained 6 months for, not having a job, not pulling my weight for my family and not being in control of my life set in.  in. Sitting idle at home, I fell into
a very dark place. I spent two months depressed, alone at home. I didn't want to do anything. I spent my days on the couch, unable to motivate myself to do anything. The only thing I looked forward to was heading to my basement to drink alone and watch Netflix at night after my wife and kids were in bed. I ended up drinking away two months, causing my life, and the quality of life for those around me to suffer.
  My depression and drinking culminated on Christmas Eve when I decided to drink a half bottle of Gin while watching Trailer Park Boys.  Not thinking right, I picked up my mother in laws' car keys and started to drive the 200 yards out of her subdivision to a bar that was in walking distance. Before I even made it out of the subdivision, I received several texts from my wife, asking me to come home.  I reluctantly went back to the house and went to sleep. Her insistence, and that decision, probably saved my life.king me to come home.  I reluctantly went back to the house and went to sleep (a decision that probably saved my life).
  The following days lead to many talks and one hardcore conversation with my wife.  She drew a line in the sand and told me I needed to make a choice: The family or the alcohol.  Never in my life have I been punched in the nuts so hard! Until that moment, I hadn't realized how far I had fallen. The depression and drinking had taken away the one thing that had kept me going: my family. It rocked my universe to think of not having my family with me.

Here's the good side

 As I write this, March 2016, I haven't touched alcohol for 2.5 months. I can't spend more than 30 minutes on a couch, and if I'm in the basement watching Netflix I'm standing on my Paddle one SUP Ergometer getting some training paddle miles in.  I work as a Substitute teacher for all levels elementary, middle, and high school.  And most important, I have my family. 
  Subbing allows me to take off for meetings regarding SupStLouis.  I get to continue to work in the SUP field as I'm teaching.

    Currently I'm prepping for the 2016 SUP season. I have a couple of big paddles scheduled, Nothing I can mention now except one that involves that 80 year old I mentioned earlier, Dale Sanders (and yes he'll be on a SUP).  For the Business,  On top of our 2 current lake locations,  I've acquired 9 additional  contracts for pool SUP yoga with local recreation departments. I'm working on a concept of manufacturing boards here in St. Louis with a new local SUP brand that's 100% made in the USA.  

                  And Last year wasn't all  bad. Some good happened. a couple highlights would be:

                                               Boone adopted us in August and became an 
                                           amazing friend and running partner (He got big)

                  In May I bought a 1971 VW bus that was pulled out of the woods In Jackson,MS
                                                              It sat there for 16 years
                             It's slowly coming back and will be part of Supstlouis this summer 


                                              And spent some on water time with my family

So the year was the worst due to getting hit by a tree, having memory loss, suffering through depression and alcoholism and almost losing my family.

And The Year was the best that It indirectly lead me to follow my goals and to pursue one of my dreams of Full time SUP. 

Going forward I've made and will be making a lot of changes.  I've parted ways amiably with my sponsors. I left  Glide SUP to pursue other options.  They are a great bunch of guys with a great product and I enjoyed my time working with them.  We still keep in touch. 
      I've become  less focused on promoting others with a national presence and more focused promoting companies with a local presence. I feel I need to focus on the Midwest more and promote what's happening locally. 

   I look forward to sharing my continuing journey with all of you.  Thank you for your past support and and for the days to come.  In the words of the great Missourian Mark Twain, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do..."
   I don't regret how life has happened for me. It's lead me to where I am now, mistakes and all.

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.