Tsunami Rangers Go Inflatable

by Nancy Soares on July 13, 2015

by Tsunami Ranger Commander Michael Powers

Editor’s note: Thanks to photographers Rob Cala and Dave Norket, as well as our own Michael Powers, for the photos!

TRs Steve and Tim breaking the wave barrier
TRs Steve “El Rey” King and Tim Sullivan breaking the wave barrier

On a day with moderate winter surf conditions, three of the senior Rangers – Steven King, Tim Sullivan and Michael Powers – and long-time friends of the Rangers Rob Cala and Davey Norket, converged at Moss Beach in northern California to test out a new inflatable Advanced Elements double kayak. The boat was one of AE’s “advanced frame expedition” boats that come with a unique zip-in deck with inflatable cowlings and spray skirts. Michael was considering using the inflatables for his upcoming multi-day paddling expeditions along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and along the remote southern coast of Cuba.

Landing in rocks and surf: check!
Landing in rocks and surf: check!

Rangers King and Sullivan launched the boat from a little beach surrounded by the rugged and rocky coastline of Moss Beach, a favorite haunt of the Rangers for past paddling escapades. A short distance north of here was where Powers photographed Eric Soares, Jim Kakuk and Misha Dynnikov punching through surf and rocks for the cover of their book EXTREME SEA KAYAKING. Just to the south was infamous “Sniveler’s Slit”, where Kakuk crashed face-first into the rocks while attempting to surf into the Slit during the making of the Rangers’ first serious film effort, THE ADVENTURES OF THE TSUNAMI RANGERS – viewable now on VIMEO at:    https://vimeo.com/39383078 .

Surfing: check!

Surfing: check!

During this latest Tsunami adventure the Advanced Elements inflatable kayak performed surprisingly well, even though AE designer/owner Clay Haller probably never envisioned his boats being subjected  the punishing conditions of surf zone paddling for which the Rangers are well known. Even with repeated punching through breaking waves, capsizes, and surf landings over rocks, the AE boat and the Rangers survived without a scratch – which was much better than many hard-shell boats have fared at the hands of the Rangers.

Kodak moment: check!

Kodak moment: check!

Bring us you hard shell, your inflatable, your whatever and we’ll try it out! We’ll surf it, crash it, and maybe you’ll get it back intact. Or maybe not…

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Reef Madness 2015 – The Madness Continues!

by Nancy Soares on June 22, 2015

by Tsunami Ranger Commander Michael Powers

Editor’s note: Thanks to TRs Michael Powers and Jim Kakuk for the great photos!

The Invitation

The Invitation

Winter storms pretty much destroyed our beloved kayak ramp and access to Miramar Beach out front – so for a while a race this year seemed impossible…

Half of this ramp was wiped out in the winter storms

Half of this ramp was wiped out in the winter storms

But by popular demand, the ramp was rebuilt and the race went on! Here is John Dixon getting the Advanced Elements SUP he won for placing first in the Tsunami Rangers race on Sunday. He paddled the 7 mile course in an Epic V7 (an incredibly fast surf ski-type kayak made in South Africa), in a record time of 1 hour and 2 minutes.

TR John Dison picks up his first place prize

TR John Dixon picks up his first place prize

As TR John Lull’s band The South City Blues Band was AWOL (the drummer was out of town) we had a great new band this year, King Cajon & The Country Gentlemen (www.kingcajonband.com)  to play for the after party.

The pre-race talk and warning

The pre-race talk and warning

Another exciting development – NBC TV filmed the race with their dronesEveryone was excited to see  footage of the kayaks charging together into the Miramar surf on television. Then after the race, the drone cameras documented the party (next year be sure to wave, you might be on national TV!) The award ceremony was climactic when a $1200 Advanced Elements “Stiffy” SUP wwas be presented to the winner of the race.

TR Steven King arrives in his Tsunami X-15 as TR Michael Powers and the NBC drone look on.
TR Steven King arrives in his Tsunami X-15 as TR Michael Powers and the NBC drone look on.

Here are some photos to give you a sense of how this year’s event shaped up:

Gentlemen (and ladies) start your engines!

Start your engines!

The arrivals:

Neptune's Ranger Bill Vonnegut represents

Neptune’s Ranger Bill Vonnegut represents

We’d never had one of these before:

WTF???

WTF???

Tsunami Rangers, as always, represented!

Commander Powers and his paddling partner the intrepid Bob Stender land smoothly

Commander Powers and his paddling partner the intrepid Bob Stender land smoothly

And of course, TR John Dixon in his epic Epic:

TR Dixon wins!

TR Dixon wins!

Next year I hope you’ll join us at the best kayak race and party on the planet (okay, I’m biased, but you know what I mean!)

Sea Gypsy joy

Sea Gypsy joy

 

 

 

 

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Ocean Survival Swimming – Part 4

April 20, 2015

ShareEditor’s note: Well, we’re back to subject of ocean swimming. This is the final part of our four part series on Ocean Survival Swimming. Eric wrote this a long time ago (witness the references to the “common” practice of paddling solo and also to buoyancy compensators) but he never deviated from his opinions on this […]

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November 24, 2014

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Ocean Survival Swimming – Part 2

November 3, 2014

ShareEditor’s note: After a short break to talk about the TR retreat and the newest Ranger, we return to the subject of Ocean Survival Swimming. This essay by Eric Soares is published as is. It’s opinionated, funny, and informative. Enjoy. STAY WITH THE BOAT An old mariner’s maxim. This rule is true in most boat […]

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Tsunami Ranger Retreat 2014: A New Ranger!

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ShareCaptain Kuk: When Eric and I first came up with the idea of a kayaking team in 1984 we wanted to have a system for rating the skills of the paddlers that we planned on inviting to join us. Eric proposed that we use naval ranking. Having been in the U.S. Navy he was familiar […]

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