Tie One On… A Binding Tale Of Sup Love

Stand up paddle story By Steve West

From Standup Journal Magazine

If a tree falls in the forest, one might not hear it. When a big, clunky standup board lands in the street, it’ll turn more than a few heads. Nothing screams KOOK louder than the sound of fiberglass bouncing on hot pavement like a tuna in its last bid for survival. One tiny mistake (like forgetting to strap your board down) could send your dearly beloved to a loud, premature death. You don’t have to be in a forest to hear the shattering of your self-esteem. It rings loud and clear.

I once worked on a king crab boat in Alaska. I learned a few things out on the icy Bering Sea. Lesson one: big crabs have big claws. Lesson two: do not stand on the coil of rope when tossing the 700 pound crab pot overboard. The bottom of the Gulf of Alaska is filled with slow learners. Proud to say that I’m not one of them. Lesson three: make sure that really heavy things don’t slide around on the deck. I was the new deckhand. The greenhorn before me didn’t learn this lesson soon enough. Understanding some basic lashing skills would have prevented an out of control crab pot from smashing four of his ribs, causing some serious internal damage. Luckily we surfers only have to adhere a board or two to our cars.
I returned to the lower 48 with a pocket full of change and newfound ju-ju when it came to tying down objects securely. Wasn’t always that way. My cinching mojo improved through a long process of failure. These “setbacks” were usually minor in nature, but one occasion was outright catastrophic. I had perfected a strapless tie-down system using loops of bungee cord covered with bicycle inner tubes. Pull both loops over the board, attach to the cross bars, and drive away. Easy squeezy. Worked great for around town. I thought it was perfected. But two sailboards flying southbound right into oncoming northbound traffic…. To get the whole story and full experience subscribe here and get this issue hand delivered to your door.


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