14 foot boards tend to dominate the downwind lineup. But the reality is, a 12’6 can perform just as well and be easier to manage in the wind. We asked our friend Misako to take the 12’6 Dennis Pang for a run to give us some feedback for how a 12’6 can perform in the Gorge. Here’s what she discovered….
I got on the inflatable SUP band wagon this year and I’m actually asking myself why it took me so long. I love my inflatable toys! It’s true that the first generation of inflatable SUPs paddled more like a floppy inflatable mattress than a real SUP. But with the many improvements in the last couple of years, mainly in thickness (6” vs. 4”) and inner tension reinforcements, today’s inflatables are more rigid and have better shape, thus making them genuinely enjoyable to paddle.
In my search to find a SUP for surfing the Oregon coast I recently tried the Boardworks Infinity carver 9’10”. The board is marketed for “for bigger guys who are experienced SUP surfers looking to step down in size/length and step up their performance.” And, that is exactly what I was looking for.
A couple of weeks ago my good friend Tracy stopped by the shop for some warmer booties to keep her surfing addiction alive through the winter. She picked out some new boots, but then I convinced her she really ought to wear gloves, too. That wasn’t easy because Tracy despises how gloves feel and would rather suffer from the cold than have neoprene impede her paddling prowess. But alas, Tracy left with new booties and gloves and a pledge to report back on her new “session extenders.” Tracy is a straight shooter. If they sucked, she’d say so. (–Kim Rueter)
The first time I saw the Bark Appleby Race board it was easily passing me on the East side of Ross Island during a SUP race. My initial thought was, “Wow, that’s a good looking board!” My second thought was, “Why is that woman going so much faster than me when I feel like I am working twice as hard?” It was that day I realized the impact a good board for the right conditions could make and that my 11′ all-around SUP was never going to out run a true race board regardless of how hard I paddled. Not long after, I added the Appleby to my quiver and have been thrilled with it since.
In a hurry to replace a pair of blown out 8-year-old flip flops the day before I left on vacation, I grabbed the first black pair I found in my size on the gigantic wall ‘o flops at Gorge Performance. Flops are flops…right? Boy was I wrong. It seems not all quality sandals have to be upwards of $60 to please these piggies.
For years (30 to be exact) Gorge Performance has been a hardcore surf shop with an emphasis on stocking a ton of surfboards and wetsuits for men and women, and less focus on apparel. Sure, boardshorts and tees for guys have been staple items at Gorge, but not much for our surfer girls. Now that flatwater SUP – a sport not requiring a full wetsuit like surfing does – has firmly staked its claim in the Gorge board-dom, it’s only natural we expand our women’s clothing selection to include functional fitness apparel intended for paddling (and surfing, yoga, rock climbing,… living!). These items are meant to move, like you do.
Eyes. Brains. Yeah, they’re kind of a big deal. Fortunately, there is an amazing array of options for protecting our eyes and head while enjoying our favorite pastime on da hill. No doubt the selection of goggles and helmets these days can be a little overwhelming. Whether you are finally convinced it is time to protect your dome and you need to buy your first helmet, or you have to replace the goggle you dropped from the chair, the experts at Gorge can guide you in the right direction. Read More
The elves at Gorge Performance have been busy, but not with sleigh repairs, reindeer maintenance and toy making. When the guys at Gorge aren’t providing the best customer service in Portland, they are outside ready for the next swell, gust or dump. So who better to provide you with a little holiday shopping insight than the elves who ride and wear our products every day.