Join Standup Journal photographer Glenn Dubock on a journey into the heart of the Pacific Paddle Games 2017 on Doheny Beach as Glenn highlights and celebrates the athletes and individuals that make this sport GREAT.
Glenn and his brother, John, are on the ground from sun up (or should we say ‘sup up’?) at Doheny State Park taking the course day’s temperature, snapping iconic photos and reporting the day’s news.
Welcome to PPG 2017 Doheny Dispatches #1: The Sands of Time Shape Doheny Beach, written and photographed by Glenn Dubock.
Pacific Paddle Games 2017: The Sands of Time at Doheny Beach
I remember well the winter of 1969. Long before the term El Nino was coined, a horrendous string of storms raked the Southern California Coast. The torrential rains that battered the inland mountains found their way down the rivers and streams to the outlet by the sea at Doheny State Beach. Orange County still had orange fruit groves back then and I recall the beach being littered with thousands of them as whole orchards were swallowed up by the raging floodwaters on the way to the ocean.
Today’s Doheny State Beach and the Games therein
Today I see the fruits of the sup industries’ research and development scattered before me, ready to be tuned up. The equipment used by the most casual amateur racer here for the Pacific Paddle Games this coming weekend is light years ahead of what I saw here just a few years ago.
The perfection of technique has grown exponentially too. It’s just not enough to be fast on the water – you have to be fast on the sand here because that is where this race starts and ends.
There are no giant swells predicted for this weekend but everyone knows it just takes one tiny gift from the surf gods, one little salt water bump to take advantage of to nudge you ahead of the racer churning just inches away.
Doheny Dreams: Game ON at the Pacific Paddle Games 2017
So the sands of Doheny will sound their familiar squeak under the feet of the best standup paddlers on the planet in the next few days. Awards and trophies will be given out, hard-fought buoy battles recounted and the roar of the crowd shall be heard.
The perpetual trophy should go to Doheny Beach – for this place has remained as a gathering place through all the storms and has stood as witness to all our progress.
Let the Games begin!!