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On the Road

World Paddle Info


Archive for June 2012

Ben Friberg Sets World Record Paddle On The Yukon-Sup Radio Show

Leslie Kolovich talks with Ben Friberg just 2 days after completing his goal of setting a world record paddling 238 miles in 24 hours down the Yukon River.  In this podcast Ben tells the story in detail from launch on June 26th to finish on June 27th!  Including, river conditions being slower in places he thought would be faster, going through rapids larger than expected, experiencing a sunset of a lifetime, and the huge impact his support team on the boat made for this trip.  He also tells us what foods helped him paddle on for 24 hours, but also through 60 miles of headwind, and the amazing wildlifethat presented themselves to the team that even the local people were amazed to hear about.

Ben talks about the town he is reporting from Dawson, like stepping back into the true last frontier during gold rush days with wooden sidewalks, and dirt roads.  Ben’s paddle down the Yukon, setting a record was a huge highlight for him, but also the experience of Mother Nature at her best!

Ben Friberg sets World Record 238 miles in 24 hours down the Yukon River

Enjoy the podcast now:

Rainbow Sandals Founder Jay “Sparky” Longley Sup Radio Show

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Join Leslie Kolovich as she talks with Jay Longley,  aka, “Sparky” founder of Rainbow Sandals.  Sparky tells the story of where he got the name “Sparky”, and his desires to make things that would last a long time and not just be another thing piling up in our landfils.

The conversation tells our listeners the process Sparky took in creating one of the best sandals in the world, producing 8000 pairs of sandals a day.  He also talks about his relationship with Ron House and Gerry Lopez, finding the sport of Stand Up Paddling, and creating the Premier SUP racing event, The Battle of The Paddle.  Sparky was recently named by the Standup Journal “Man of the Sport”.  In this interview Sparky talks about a moment at last year’s Battle that “kinda glassed him over” with the comments from a tearful woman on the beach.  Sparky feels it is very important that the Battle gives back to the community and always gives money to non profit organizations dealing with children, education of oceans and being good stewards of the environment.

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Sparky loves seeing the sport enjoyed by all around the world, and is thrilled with the prospects of it becoming an Olympic sport.   Enjoy the podcast with this very innovative and passionate man.

Sparky Longley and Rainbow Sandals BOP

Standup4GreatBear – A Must See ~SUP Radio Show

I had the opportunity to see this film on the big screen last night in British Columbia and was moved beyond words.  Please watch this poignant film and let me know how it makes you feel.  Lets all Stand Up together NOW! For more information, go to www.mountainsurfadventures.com.

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First Nations Sharing Traditional Teachings

Leslie Kolovich is on the road in British Columbia for World Paddle for the Planet with Bob Purdy.  Bob, his wife Sharon, and Jo Knight of Destintion Osoyoos took Leslie and photographer Joan Vienot to Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre for a special guided tour with Russell Podgurny.  Russell is a Cree First Nations dancer from Saskatchewan working at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in the Okanagan Nation.  Russell our eco spirit guide in this sacred place honored us by playing his drum and singing in traditional spirit.  Russell is a carrier of the drum, and his sound resonated through my whole being.  The most powerful of all the spirits is the water spirit.  It is the most humble of all spirits as it always goes to the lowest spot.  Listening to him talk about “the spirit” was so enlightening as a reminder of what “spirit” really is.  Enjoy this video, I hope it touches your soul like it did ours in that room.

The Starting Point Of 19 Hours On The Water~

I really had no idea what to expect for a 80 mile paddle.  When we got to the Penticton Marina, the starting point for the long journey for World Paddle for the Planet the sun hadn’t shown it’s face.  I was dressed in my Florida winter gear, Bob and Stefan both born and raised in the area were wearing board shorts, booties and hoodies.  The heavy mist was sprinkling on us.  The support boat was loaded with 3 coolers of food and drinks and extra paddles.  My thought was I’d paddle for as long as I could being that the longest distance I’ve EVER paddled was 7 miles and that had been quite some time ago. The water was calm, quiet and deeply smooth.  The three of us looked at each other and said “lets do it”.  We began the paddle gliding through the early morning twilight.  Those on the boat said we were so quiet they hadn’t realized we had gone past them.

I knew Bob and Stefan were going to paddle faster than I, and I said “please don’t wait for me I’ll see ya at the hour break”.  This left me alone on this big beautiful lake, alone with my thoughts, all senses heightened.  The comforting sound of the support boat in low gear behind me, the soft sound of my paddle pulling water made me feel like I for sure could do at least 7 miles no problem.

As the sky lightened, the rain started.  As the rain came down the water glassed even further making the rain just an added element to my sensual experience.  Rain was dripping off my cap, but it never got on my face. I looked to the water with each stroke, and felt myself becoming hypnotized by the liquid silver patterns the board was making as I slid on top of the water.

Before I knew it Bob was saying I had exceeded my personal best we had gone 7.5 miles.  I was feeling good, keeping a good pace so I decided to continue on with   Bob giving me encouragement, “Leslie you can do it just take it one hour at a time”. I have never had any reason to go further than I thought I could, this day I did.  Bob was inspiring, I surely could continue, my body was feeling fine, the water was perfect, the rain became music to me.  I paddled on.  Alone again with Bob and Stefan way ahead of me, the support boat maintaining a middle spot as to see us all, I began to talk to my dead relatives.  Maybe I should say my guardian angels, that sounds better?  I was emotional as my arms started to burn with each paddle stroke.  I was asking my angels if they were proud of me, and what I was doing, I thanked them for being with me and getting me this far not just on the lake, but in my life.  Ok maybe I was getting a bit crazy.  Tears were pouring down my face as hard as it was raining.  I started using my core to take some of the pressure off my shoulders and triceps, I was able to get into a groove and put a song in my head to keep me going, “Wonderful World” I only remember part of the words so I made up my own.  I do that often.  When I finally caught up to the boat for the scheduled break Bob and Stefan were already there they told me I just hit 14 miles!  WOW!  I couldn’t believe it.  I had no concept of time.  In my head I wanted to hit 20 miles consecutively so I drank my magic drink, coconut water ate half of a power bar and decided I would continue on.  Encouraged by Bob and the crew I paddled on!

The boat was ahead of me as my arms decided they could not move another stroke.  I went to my knees, trying to stretch my arms out in front of me, but my biceps and triceps were literally on fire.  I could barely grip my paddle anymore and I remember saying damn I’ve just got to stop now.  The boat saw me and turned around and came speeding to my assistance.  I had now gone 16 miles consecutively and thats all my body was up for at that point.  I was pretty happy with that more than doubled my personal best, but at the same time Im thinking, “Bob is going 80 miles 16 is nothing”.  When I got into the boat it was apparent I wouldn’t be paddling for a while at least. I couldn’t raise my arms!  If it wasn’t for crew manager extraordinaire John Anderson giving my arms a rub down I would have died right there!

Having a great support crew, the right nutrition, coconut water for sure, is crucial for an adventure like this.  I still had no idea what to expect for the next 15 hours of the day.

Stay tuned as this story continues…My pledge to the planet is to not buy plastic water bottles and use re-usable grocery bags!


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