Rob Mousley

Durban Racing...

Monday, 26 February 2018 15:43 |

Durban, South Africa: The Marine Surfski Series is an annual set of 10 surfski races that use the light of the Durban summer every Friday night from the first week of January to the middle of March.

Run by Barry Lewin at the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club in Durban, the series has been run since the 1990s and is an institution in the surfski community.

In 2018, the series has been hit with some extreme weather which sadly caused some cancellations, but it's evenings like the one in this video that make it all worthwhile.

And the quality of the video is outstanding!

Click here for the race report

Matt Bouman wins FNB Series in Durban

Saturday, 24 February 2018 15:06 |

Durban - Veteran ocean racing ace Matt Bouman signalled his dominance of the 2018 FNB Surfski Series when he powered away to win race seven, the Boland Surfski Challenge, presented by Marriott, and the 2018 series title in tricky conditions on Friday evening.

Mocke Miller's Run of the Season

Friday, 23 February 2018 07:08 |

21 Feb, 2018 - Yeeeeha!  I turned towards the whoop to see Jono Niemann came shooting past, spray flying…  The back of my ski lifted and I took a couple of hard strokes to accelerate onto my own wave…

When we met in Fish Hoek to load the surfskis onto the Miller’s Run Taxi, it was to find a veritable sandstorm; the weather station at the club said the wind strength was averaging 30kt, gusting 40kt.  Twenty minutes earlier, it had peaked at around 48kt…

Wind

Wind strength reported at Fish Hoek Beach Sports Club We were on the water at about 16h45.

As we drove up to Miller’s Point, the sea looked wild – but in a good way; the swell wasn’t outrageously big and you could see the sets moving in lines.   In the bus, mentions of “Looking good” and “Personal Best” started to be heard.

At Miller’s Point, conditions were perfect.  As usual, the wind wasn’t as strong here – but it was still strong enough that we’d be catching good runs right from the start.

The beauty of paddling in a very strong wind is that you can push over waves that normally stop you – so you can maintain speed and create longer sequences at higher speeds than normal.

Mocke Miller’s Run of the Season

I was delighted when the competition was announced: register as many runs as possible between the beginning of November and the end of February.  Prizes for the fastest runs in each gender and age category; for the most runs; for the best video… 

The Miller’s Run (can anyone not know this?!) is a short, 11.6km-11.8km – depending on where you finish – downwind run from Miller’s Point to Fish Hoek, here in Cape Town.  Whenever the southeaster blows (and that’s probably 2 out of every 3 days in summer) the Miller’s Run beckons.

When we got together for this particular run it was in the knowledge that this was probably the last run of the competition – the forecast was for much lighter winds the next day.  So the team was amped right from the start.

And the video really speaks for itself. 

Fast Conditions

The conditions – small swell and strong wind – were ideal.  When the swell is big, it tends to become confused and it’s difficult to link runs efficiently. 

In the end nearly half the group beat their Personal Best times.  I beat mine by over half a minute. 

What a rush!

Wake-chasing in Cape Town

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 15:20 |

Nauticat is a steel-hulled 21m catamaran used by Drumbeat Charters to take tourists from Hout Bay to Duiker Island (aka Seal Island) to view the seal colony there.

She travels at 14-15kph and the wake that is formed by her hull runs at a flatter angle than single hulled ships - and are much easier to ride.

On this day, the ocean was relatively calm and I found myself hardly paddling at all.

My buddy made a cock-up of it as Nauticat exited the harbour; she turns sharply and you have to slow right down to stay on the wake.  He lost his balance and swam in front of the appreciative audience...!

 

South Africans Mocke and Nixon win in the Canary Islands

Monday, 19 February 2018 16:59 |

"The Europeans have caught on," laughed Jasper Mocke. "We used to be much quicker than them at the start, but we had six or seven boats dicing in a sprint to the first turn buoy!"

Ivan Lawler - Technique Masterclass

Friday, 16 February 2018 11:30 |

Clearly I'm late to the game; this video was posted in March 2017 and has been watched over 51,000 times as at February 2018!  But if you haven't seen it; it's very highly recommended for anyone who wants to improve their technique...  

The coach is Ivan Lawler.  Ivan is a renowed British canoeist; he:

  • Specialised in marathon paddling, winning five gold and two silver medals in world championships in a career that spanned 1988 to 1989
  • Won a silver and a gold medal in K2 sprint medal in the 10,000m in 1989 and 1990 respectively
  • Competed in three summer Olympics in sprint.
  • Now owns and operates the company Ultimate Kayaks, selling boats (Epic Kayaks and Nelo) and paddles.  He also coaches and provides insightful and entertaining commentary at marathon and surfski events!

Peak Paddle Performance Podcast

I heard about this video on the latest Peak Paddle Performance podcast, which I thoroughly recommend.  The podcast is hosted by Nick Murray who runs TC Surfski in the USA.  Click here for a full list of the podcasts - they're also highly recommended and comprise a series of interviews with the likes of:

  • Oscar Chalupsky
  • Carter Johnson
  • Austin Keiffer
  • Sean Rice
  • Boyan Zlatarev
  • Pat Langley 

...and many more.  They're all entertaining, they're all instructive.  Download them from the website, or subscribe to "Peak Paddle Performance Podcast" wherever you get your podcasts. 

Now watch the video!

Ze Caribbean Race - Oscar Chalupsky Interview

Saturday, 10 February 2018 09:33 |

"Fortunately the camera died for the last 5km, because I was cursing..." said Oscar Chalupsky. "It was flat, hot, headwind… and I was blown!"

Miller's Taxi Conquers the Miller's Run!

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 08:29 |

"It was an adrenalin rush and I can't wait to do it again…" said Vinnie Cicatello. He'd just completed his first ever Miller's Run, in the back of a double surfski with Oscar Chalupsky.

Fenn Swordfish S Review - First Looks

Monday, 05 February 2018 15:54 |

As I shot down the face of the run, spray flying, I spotted the next dip in the water over to one side. A touch of the rudder pedal, a slight lean and the surfski turned towards it; through the dip and a neat curve in the other direction and I'd shot around the shoulder of the wave, accelerating again onto the next run. A crazy thought ricocheted around my brain: What was it that produced this feeling of extreme pleasure? Adrenalin? Endorphins? Dopamine? All three? Whatever it was, the feeling of playing with a new boat definitely added to it.

Catching Waves with the Big O

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 09:37 |

A few days after winning "Ze Caribbean Race", here's Oscar coaching a couple of paddlers (including his boss) on downwind technique.

I've had the enormous pleasure of paddling a number of times with Oscar in doubles on our beloved Miller's Run downwind route here in Cape Town, and I can say with all honesty that it's been a revelation and inspirational every time.

As you can see (and hear, as he barks at his pupils!), Oscar's basic mantra is to paddle early and stop paddling early and work with the energy of the waves.  On many other occasions (although he doesn't mention it in this video) he's described taking a couple of "explosive" power-strokes to get onto the run.  

Don't try to catch every run

When I paddled doubles with him, I was astonished at how many waves he didn't take: he has an uncanny ability to feel whether the wave is the right one or not.  If not, he lets it roll under him, taking the next one (or the one after that).  But more often then not, he then pops back over the one or two that he discarded, making up the distance and more.  This kind of skill takes time in the boat to acquire - at the beginning of a downwind career, the novice tries too hard, fails to get over too many runs, using too much energy - but you learn over time how to use the least amount of power to catch the run and then to milk it for all the energy it contains.

Scanning

Another of Oscar's mantras is too keep scanning 45 degrees either side of your course, looking for the next dip in the water, or the next shoulder of the wave in front.  Frequently he'll steer a kind of S-curve, turning left or right, keeping the speed up, before turning back onto the wave.  

If you ever get the chance to ride doubles with Oscar (or any of the other top downwind elites), don't hesitate!  You'll learn more in five minutes than you can imagine - and you'll be inspired to get straight back out to try it for yourself.

Latest Forum Topics

Impala's Avatar

Interval training, good or bad? (10 Posts)

47 minutes ago

Getting lost (9 Posts)

14 hours 1 minute ago

Surf-ski rental in Copenhagen, Denmark (6 Posts)

19 hours 46 minutes ago