Rob, Chris & I have a new challenge on the horizon, so this week marks the point where I've deigned to try once again to get my fitness back to levels required for the rigours of long distance sea paddling.
I do this by getting out on my ski & doing short, sharp interval sessions, 'cheating' my way to decent cardio & strength conditioning using the limited time I have available for paddling that isn't work related.
Yesterday was day zero, a new marking point to lay down some times, heart rates etc & give me something to measure & hopefully improve against. Our respective fitness programmes for the North Reef trip produced great results and it's good to have a successful template to work back over. Based on yesterday's effort it's a nice low marker point to begin from!
More time on the ski means becoming reacquainted with the self rescue skills that are necessary for safety. Hands up, I'm no great practitioner of the surfski remount that has been so nicely described on Surfsi.info HERE. I find the sidesaddle re-entry easier in really rough water so have practiced it over the past couple of years at every opportunity.
Then Oscar Chalupsky made THIS neat video a month or so back showing his preferred technique, which is something of a hybridised version of the two wider known methods.
I gave it a go yesterday after an hour of pushing hard along the glassy waters of the Bay, so I at least had fatigue to escalate the challenge, and it is a cracker. Next test is out in some rough water, but the method is so flowing & stable I can't imagine having any dramas out at sea either.
Ski paddling is attracting a much wider demographic since the launch of the Epic V8, and anyone that buys a ski from us gets a very stern talk about making sure this remount technique is mastered before any solo or challenging paddling is undertaken. I still consider myself essentially a ski-paddling beginner, and from this perspective I can heartily recommend Oscar's way, it's instinctive, effective & surprisingly simple.