What’s in your toolkit?

First of all, one ought to have a toolkit. If you’ve heard of the phrase, up creek without a paddle, you will understand that preparedness is the key to a successful paddle excursion.

My toolkit isn’t fancy, but it is practical. In fact, most of the items I have listed below I swooped up at a warehouse sale or goodwill. The links to Amazon are for illustrative /descriptive purposes only.

First pack a smile, some back up items and may the best paddle be with you.

  • Screwdrivers (flathead and philips) & Allen wrenches:  If you need to change out, put on or take off your fin, you will need to unscrew it from your board. Unfortunately, fin screws are not universal.
  • Pliers– For the unruly screws and fins.
  • Screw sets– size screws and plates in case you lose them or need to replace. Most sets are the following dimensions:
    • Phillips head, stainless screw, 6-32 x 3/4″
    • Stainless threaded plate, 1/2″ x 5/8″
  • Or you can try this!  SBS – “No Tool” Stainless Steel hardware… No tools needed, except sometimes a needle nose pliers.
  • Rope: Thin nylon cord rope to construct ties for your boards. You ties can be used for leashes or anchoring down weights.
  • Weights: 5lb dumbells work the best!
  • Bungies: Bungie cords come in handy for tethering boards together or even strapping teaching materials down to boards if you need to go out on a longer paddle.
  • Duct Tape: In the bad case you gouge your board, use tape to cover to avoid water in your board until you are able to repair.
  • Rail Tape: I recently started using this on the nose and sides of my boards. Folks seem to run boards up the shore and into docks like an old aluminum canoe. This helps prevent chipping and damage.
  • Epoxy kit– For board repair and up keep. I use Solarez UV Cure for easy quick repairs:
  • Box knife: To cut rope or bungies and even tape.
  • Extra Fins/Paddles:  And of course, if you are an avid SUP-er, you probably need an extra fin, paddle and leashes. They tend to go missing! My recommendations are:

Summer Summary: Finding balance on Independence Day, San Diego

July 4, 2015 we woke up in Sunny San Diego.  A bit of a pace changer from quiet, sleepy Minnesota.

View from my paddle board
View from my paddle board

Spent the am, literally running around Ocean Beach completing the run portion of our training for the Fat Cat Triathalon.  We could feel the energy.  People upon people were headed out to the beach putting their stakes in the ground for canopies and steaks on the grill for the big Summer Saturday party on the Beach.


By the time we got to our bike portion of the training, we could barely walk on the Mission beach boardwalk let alone bike there.  We have never seen a crowd like that before.

Santa Barbara Surf Museum
Santa Barbara Surf Museum


Ben, having lived there for 10 years, and I just a mere tourist, we could agree that this was a LOT of people.  I needed an escape.  We needed balance.  So we hopped on over to get a paddleboard and take off by the Catamaran on Mission Beach.   They offer a number of paddleboards by the hour, which is ultra convenient.


After just 5 minutes in the Bay, I could feel my heart beat return to normal and the zen pump through.  Taking a chaotic city and massive party perspective from a paddleboard is one of the most transforming experiences.  You really have to focus on your surroundings, your breathe and maintaining balance – which is very different from the claustrophobic feeling of being lost in the crowd.

A frazzled, crowded out girl
A frazzled, crowded out girl

SUP Yoga on Forest Lake – 8/23/15

supadvertCome challenge your balance and play on the the water before the summer is over! Kelli Carlson will lead you through some fun yoga move on the SUP board with guidance from Randy Johnson www.minnesotastanduppaddleandsail.com

Sunday at Lakeside Park, 95 East Broadway Avenue, Forest Lake

Class Structure
8:30 – 9:15am Mediation (optional)
9:15am – 9:45am Yoga Warm Up and Launch
9:45am – 10:45 am Yoga on the water

10:45am -11:00am Svasasana on the water, Namaste on beach

Register here –>
Check out the Yoga Hus class schedule from the website and select Workshops and you’ll see the SUP Yoga


SUP runners #NationalRunningDay

In preparation for the St. Croix Fat Cat, I’ve been running, padddling and o yeah- a little bit of that bike thing.  SUPrunCross-training is a challenge.  run_path I’ve come up with this simple 5 step routine for the next few weeks:

1. Run 5 – 6 miles, averaging about 9 min miles

2.  SUP yoga warm up:

a. Cat/Cow

b. One-legged down dog

c. A combination SUN B series using your paddle

d.  Looking for more warm up tips, try this from Backcountry

3.  Paddle sprint 1 mile, averaging about 13 min mile

3. Biking. WELL, this I need to work on.  8 miles in 35 min gives me a 2-3 min/mile average.

4. Yoga cool down, repeating step 2 on land.


I find all my muscles that have been in balance with strengthening and lengthening tighten up.  In particular, the hamstrings, calves and lower back are shortened.    That’s why I feel adding 2 parts yoga into your tri-fitness routines help keep your muscles in balance.