Eleven feet MEANS eleven feet.

31 07 2010

This morning, at 7:30 a.m., I was happily paddling around Kent Lake, taking in the view from my long board.  In the early morning hours, the lake was serene and despite the cloudy skies, it didn’t rain and it wasn’t even 70 degrees yet.  I paddled to my heart’s content, which happened to be about two hours, before heading home.  To understand why this morning’s paddle was such a win for me, you’ll need a little background info.     

An 11-foot paddle board will not fully fit in the interior of a Ford Escape.  Not with the passenger and back seat down.  Not after any amount of wishing or praying and despite otherworldly levels of optimism.  An 11-foot paddle board will fit inside a Suburban – somewhat illegally – but with all doors and windows closed.  I don’t drive a Suburban though.  I drive a little blue truck-with-dreams.     

I had so much fun stand up paddle boarding (SUPing) at Silver Lake over the Fourth of July weekend.  So two weeks ago, after much a little contemplation, I decided to invest in my own board to enjoy some SUP fun a little closer to home.      

As a result of that one decision, I learned some very interesting lessons:     

  1. An 11-foot board doesn’t look that big on the internet, but eleven feet is really stinkin’ big in real life.  If I had a clone that could somehow balance standing up on my head, that would be about 11 feet.  That would also be ridiculous.  Or ridiculously AWESOME.
  2. Never “eyeball it.”  Based on my sophisticated visual calculations, an 11-foot long board will fit inside a truck with dreams.  Based on reality, it will not.
  3. I’m pretty handy when it comes to installing stuff – if “stuff” refers to roof rack cross bars and a ratchet system that will hold an 11-foot long board to a truck with dreams.
  4. I’m not as handy with a hack saw, but I do own one now.
  5. There’s more than one way to skin a cat use a hex wrench.
  6. Always have a plan B.  And C.  And D, just in case.

Everything, as it so often does in my life, worked out in the end.  I managed to find bars and racks to transport the board and install them.  As advertised, the system provided a rock-solid grip on my board at speeds up to 80 mph (I used an INNO brand surf and kayak rack system if you were wondering), which was great considering I had rehearsed several worst case scenarios in my head that all ended in chaos, property damage and jail time.     

In addition to the lessons I outlined above, I also learned that 67 degrees is too cold for John to be coaxed into a rental kayak for some paddling fun with his one-and-only.  He did manage to capture my clumsy launch on a video that features some shots of my behind from the most unflattering angle imaginable.  Dear John, thanks for that.  I am not ashamed of the board on my roof – or the junk in my trunk.  After my epic first paddle, we spent a good part of the afternoon working on my softball swing and the Tigs are currently up by four.  Considering the lead up, I’m chalking up today as a success.     

In this photo, one can clearly see that my 11-foot board is considerably longer than the interior of my little blue truck-with-dreams. Whatever. Don't dwell on that. Check out the awesome rack job.


Funny little side note for anyone who thinks Squirrel and I don’t look stupidly similar: Squirrel received the following text this morning from a co-worker who has never met me: “I saw this girl clearly ur sister this morning with a board on top of her truck. I looked at her and said OMG this has to be chelsey sister.”  So either we look alike or Squirrel’s coworker saw saw me and thought, “You know what idiots with long boards remind me of?  Chelsey’s family.”  Your call I guess.




2 responses

31 07 2010
Gwen Kato

I should have joined you Dani…I’d have kayaked, been in front of you with the camera…but, not sure you would ‘want’ your camera in a kayak with me :-)!

1 08 2010

I finally got to finish reading and saw the video. So cool!!!! Loved John’s commentary.

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