Standup Journal sits down with Brent Allen of www.brentallenoutside.com about this day.
Brent, thank you for sharing this video with us, it must have been such a magical experience. Where were you when took this video?
Pescadero Point, which is the Big Wave Surf Break Ghost Tree on the fringe of Stillwater Cove in Pebble Beach, CA. Also considered Carmel Bay.
Do you paddle here often or was this a chance encounter on a random location?
I live in Carmel by the sea, CA and have logged a lot water time in this location over the past 7 years. We have lived in Carmel since 2002 and I had never seen but a couple of whales this close to shore. I had been out of town and was surprised to see this large group of humpback whales staying and feeding over a 5 day span. FYI the next day after shooting this video they where gone.
How many whales did you see?
I estimated 20, until I watched the footage several times over, did I really grasp the amount of whales in the water. If you look at the horizon of the video you will see spouts going off like the Bellagio in Vegas.
Have you had any other close encounters with whales before?
I had seen whales at a distance while surfing over the years and been within maybe a 100 yards once at Spanish Bay, but nothing that came anywhere close to this.
On a different note, how did you get into standup paddling?
I have been racing in endurance sports since 1994 which always included open water swimming. I have coached in multi-sport since 1997 and have conducted over 100 USA Triathlon camps and clinics. After creating many water safety plans over the years I could see the value of using standup paddle boards for water safety in open water swims and events.
It was the perfect tool in the open water, almost like a moving pool deck. So I approached Surftech in Santa Cruz in 2008 with some ideas, John Griffith (the general manager at the time) met with me and the rest is history. John had been very successful with Quick Silver and Fox prior to Surftech and was open minded to creating new niches.
Why do you standup paddle?
Having competed in a cross section of most endurance sports such as all distances of triathlon including 2 ironman distance events, mountain bike triathlons (Xterra), ultra running 50km – 50 mile, 24 hour adventure racing, mountain bike, road bike, open water swims etc…I simply migrated to ocean sports and have invested the last 10 years on all things ocean/water.
At 50 years old I can say being in the ocean is nirvana for me, no doubt some of the most incredible experiences hands down I have had in life. I can not imagine not living at the ocean now.
Having a vast experience in both land and water sports…what is on your essential gear list?
Having worked in the sports industry since 1997 I’ve been given an unusual opportunity to test and use a lot of products in many different environments around the world.
In my opinion the gear has to be the best, but I place a higher value on dealing with good people and companies that make a difference. These are ones that fit the mold:
- Clif Bar
- Kialoa Paddles
- Elemental Herbs
- Thule Racks
- Nixon Watches
- Rainbow Sandals
- REVO Sunglasses
- Rinsekit – Pressurized, portable shower
Randy French no doubt created one of the most innovative companies in surf and standup paddling. Surftech provided me many levels of support over the years. The boards I gravitated to under the Surftech umbrella included: Randy French, Robert August, Joe Bark, Gerry Lopez and Bob Pearson.