Friday, August 17, 2012

Rando's Race questions

Rando's Race Questions

That was one crazy race. Here's some questions for you...
Rando: 1. For ultra distance flat water SUP (mostly lakes) do you think that carbon boards are the ticket? 

Shane: You'll definately save weight by a carbon board. But something to remember is long periods of sun and heat will warp carbon.  You almost have to put a skirt covering over the top to protect the board. 
 The most important thing about choosing a board for Ultra distance SUP is the board has to work for what your purpose is. I highly recommend trying out a ton of boards before you buy one. Any reputable dealer will let you demo a board before you buy.  Feel the board. Take it out for an hour paddle if they let you. if not, ask to rent it for an hour.  Load it down with your gear and paddle it.  Then ask yourself, can I do this for multiple days?

 Pau Hana made an 18' full carbon board for me for the TWS but when we sat down and looked at the race logistically, the 18' full carbon wouldn't work.  The carbon is brittle and it wouldn't be able to take 5 days of sun and lots of hits by rocks.  We went with the 14' crossfit by Pau Hana (fibergalss) and coated the bottom with Pau Hana's rubberized technology to absord a ton of hits.

Rando: 2. Is there anything wrong with a very soft rubber fin for shallow river stuff? Or is it ineffective on the total flats when you need better tracking? Is the ProTech fin you used flex much, or is it only the edges that give?

Shane:  It's all about the terrain you'll be in.  If you're in shallow, rocky rivers or lakes then definately go with a rubberized fin.  I used the 7":  Proteck Superflex fin from Surfco Hawaii.  It took alot of hits and rolled/folded over stuff. It worked well for the first 80 miles of the race. Then when the river got deeper I switched to a 9" Proteck performance fin also from Surfco Hawaii.  It's more stiff and is great for tracking while still being able to hit stuff and not destroy a fin.
When you're talking ultra distance play it safe and carry an extra fin or two.  They don't take much room and
are easy to swap out if the terrain changes.

Rando: 3. Have you ever tried the Seattle Sports Lashmate instead of the EZ Plug for attaching gear?

Shane:: I don't have any experience with the Lashmates. They look to be alright. I just don't know enough about them. 
I go with Surfco's EZ-plugs because I've used them for over 800 miles of racing this season and they haven't failed me. Plus they're $6.95 vs. the Lashmate's $24.95.  But I am interested if someone has used the Lashmate to fill me in what they think of it.

Rando: 4. Any experience with traveling at night with a GPS for navigation?

Shane: I used a Garmin E-20 for the Texas Water Safari.  It worked really well.  Saved my butt from making what would have been dumb decisions on cuts that I would have taken had I not had the gps.  A few weeks later I did a 63 mile race in Missouri and dropped the Garmin in the Missouri river.
I'd definately recommend a gps for Ultra distance.  it's super useful. Plus It'll tell you if you're dragging ass and need to stop to rest and fuel up with is average mph.

Rando: 5. Have you ever resorted to using kayak style double paddles in upwind conditions?

Shane:  I sold all my kayaks and canoes last year. Along with them all my double blades.  To me, it doesn't make sense to use anything other than a SUP paddle when on a SUP.  Worst case you can kneel down and choke up on the SUP paddle if you have to. personally I like occasional headwinds, they remind me how easy I have it when the weather is calm.

Rando:  6. Regarding your ankle swelling. Is that due to the many hours on the board that might happen to anyone, or is that something unique that you have experienced? 

Shane: In the hundreds miles of racing, the Texas race is the first time that the swelling has happened.  I wear compression pants that stop above the ankle.  then I wear Columbia's power drain running shoes that are under the ankle. The one exposed area not compressed in some manner is my ankles.  That's where the source of swelling  began and then spread as I took off my shoes, then later took off my compression pants.

If anyone ever has any questions or even wants to pick my brain on anything. Please email me @

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