Peak Paddle Performance Podcast



Going deep with the worlds best to deconstruct achieving peak paddle performance


  • PPP Episode 36: Downwinding the Carolina Coast with Rod and Barry

    11/06/2021 Duração: 01h15min

    In this podcast episode I had a chance to connect with Rod and Barry of ThePaddleChannel. Rod and Barry have progressed from SUP to OC to SURFSKI and their YouTube channel documents, in full transparency, the trials and tribulations of their journey along the way. They are both super passionate about paddling and more so about downwind. Their videos bring a great perspective that should resonate with both new paddlers and those transitioning across paddling disciplines. Many of you may have heard of the Carolina Cup, which is one of the biggest paddle events in the US (possibly just behind the Gorge and Chattajack). This race is put on by the Wrightsville Paddle Club which is about a 45 minute drive North of where Rod and Barry paddle at Carolina Beach. Rod and Barry have an 8 mile downwind that they typically run starting at Fort Fisher and finishing at Carolina Beach or in the Carolina Beach Inlet. This run takes advantage of the the prevailing south/southwest winds that run throughout

  • PPP Episode 35: Bellingham Downwind, and Creating a Paddling Community

    03/05/2021 Duração: 01h19min

    In this podcast I'm joined by Reivers Dustin, who at 70 years old, is still every bit as passionate about downwind paddling as anyone I've met. Reivers is highly regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Bellingham surfski community. This story started out with my intent to explore the downwind paddling in Bellingham Bay. Anyone who has raced on the West Coast, knows that there is some serious talent developing in this hotspot and I was excited to learn about the paddling conditions that are making this possible. But in speaking with Reivers, I soon realized the story of Bellingham's success in creating a sustained paddling community, is much more than the downwind conditions. I'll leave the details for the Podcast/YouTube, but to summarize, I believe the five key elements in Bellingham are: An extremely welcoming community of paddlers who go out of their way to introduce newbies. This is supported by a simple but effective message board that greatly facilitates communication and open di

  • PPP Episode 34: Exploring Cape Town and Durbin Downwind Routes with Oscar Chalupsky

    28/04/2021 Duração: 01h19min

    It has been a long hiatus, but the Peak Paddle Performance Podcast is back in action. We're going to try out a new format where we find paddlers enthusiastic about sharing their local downwind routes for the world to see. We'll record via a Zoom meeting with screen share where the guest can walk us through a map view of the paddling hot spots as we geek out on all the wind and wave nuance they've discovered. Additionally we want to collaborate with and cross reference the great work being done by Lizelle Kemp and her team at Check out this link for all the downwind routes in SA, many of which Oscar describes in this podcast. In this first episode, we start with the legendary Oscar Chalupsky as he walks us through the iconic Millers Run in Cape Town SA. Oscar gives us a great sense of the overall Cape Town paddling scene and what to expect out on the water. He then heads north to give an overview of his hometown Durban, SA where the water gets warmer, but the surf and swell get

  • PPP Episode 33: Starting a Surfski Journey in Middle Age with Greg Greene

    31/10/2019 Duração: 01h01min

    In this podcast I sit down with one of the many dear friends I've met through Surfski Paddling. Greg Greene and I first crossed paths when we battled it out in my first surski race ever in Duluth, Minnesota. Although 20 years my senior Greg managed to take me at the line and despite that first encounter we've been great friends ever since. I wanted to bring Greg onto the podcast because he exemplifies what the surfski journey is all about. Starting the sport in his late 40s and in a town without a surfski community, he also represents a large portion of surfski paddlers in the US. While I want to say that Greg's story is that of the "average paddler" as you'll find out, he has had some incredible experiences that make him both the envy and an inspiration for us all. In this podcast we cover the following and much more: Attempting to paddle his first surfski, the SpeedsterMoving into a Huki and really taking off in the sportDoing the big races in the US including US Surfski Champs, The Gor

  • PPP Episode 32: SURFSKI on the Great Lakes with Nick Murray

    17/05/2019 Duração: 01h07min

    In this podcast, the tables are turned and I'm in the hot seat as Buzz Burrell (a long time endurance sports athlete and entrepreneur and new surfski addict) interviews me. We cover a wide range of topics from paddling the Great Lakes through the winter months, to trying to make a surfski business viable in a small market with a short season. Some of the highlights of our conversation include: Paddling conditions on the Great LakesRisks with winter paddling and how I try to mitigate themWhat I've gained from paddling a V8 for 6 months of the yearChallenges of running a surfski businessWhat keeps me going In the end, it was actually quite fun for me to be on the other side of the mic. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as Buzz and I enjoyed the conversation

  • PPP Episode 31: Calm Intense, Silly Songs, and Finding your Flow with Jasper Mocke

    21/03/2019 Duração: 01h18min

    Today's podcast guest may be best known as the younger brother of paddling legend Dawid Mocke, but Jasper Mocke is in every way a legend in his own right. Jasper is an incredibly talented athlete with several notable accomplishments including World Surfski Champion in 2014, World Champion in K2 Marathon 2014, and 3x Perth Doctor Downwind champion. You may also recognize Jasper as the star of many of the best surfski promotional videos Epic Kayaks has produced, whether it be breaking the Miller's Run downwind record or deftly maneuvering a V14 in big breaking surf conditions. In this podcast Jasper shares his wealth of knowledge and passion for the sport including, but not limited to the following: Jasper the prankster, stand up surfing on a surfskiGetting to watch Dawid as a junior and Oscar, Lee McGregor and the other legends as open ocean racing was just starting to evolveStarting out in the Guppie / K1 as a pre-teen before getting into a surfskiWatching the young kids now getting into surfski

  • PPP Episode 30: Michele Eray, You Regret More The Things you Didn’t Do

    10/02/2019 Duração: 01h28min

    In today's podcast I managed to catch up with Olympic athlete, coach, and co-founder of Paddle California, Michele Eray. I somehow coerced her into sitting still just long enough to record a great podcast session. The title of this episode and Michele's personal mantra says it all, "You regret more in life the things that you didn't do than the things you did". Michele takes her mantra quite serious and I'm certain you'll agree after listening to our conversation. We cover a lot of ground in this episode, below are just a couple of the highlights: Michele's early days of paddling in her home town of Plettenberg Bay, SA (see the video below to get a sense of how beautiful it is)Getting started in surf lifesaving and high school racingGoing to University to study bio-kinetics (Athletic Training / Physical Therapy)Racing the Berg River MarathonMaking the decision to give up her bio-kinetics practice and become a full time paddlerSeizing the opportunity to race for SA in the 2008 Beijing OlympicsFive years

  • PPP Episode 29: The Early Days of Surfski Racing with Oscar Chalupsky

    09/01/2019 Duração: 01h56s

    In early December the guys @CarbonologySport shared some vintage footage of the 1983 Port Elizabeth to East London (PE2LE) 4 Day Stage Race. It generated a lot of intrigue on Facebook, and I thought it would be great to sit down with Oscar and have him walk us through what it was like to race surfskis on the open ocean almost 40 years ago. We spend a large portion of the discussion on the PE2LE. But in classic Oscar fashion we also cover a host of other entertaining and educational topics including but not limited to: Oscar's first couple of times racing the PE2EL as a teenagerSurfski designs and construction in the early 80sPaddle design, length, and feather in the early 80s Gauging effort before the days of GPS and HR MonitorsPaddling the open ocean with no leashes, PFDs, or sunscreenNutrition and hydration strategies before the days of gu, energy bars, and hydration bladdersWhat has evolved for the better and what has proven the test of time Here is a link to the book Waterlogged by Tim Noake

  • PPP Episode 28: 20 Years of ERG Experience with Erik Borgnes

    05/12/2018 Duração: 01h13min

    Today’s podcast guest is good friend and fellow Great Lakes paddler Erik Borgnes. Many of you may recognize Erik as the guy who has dominated the Chattajack 32 race for the past several years. He has also contributed several great blog posts to the surfski universe including boat reviews, technique analysis, experiments in dieting, and a treasure trove of information on ERG training, which is our focus topic in this podcast discussion. It is always a great pleasure chatting with Erik and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that without Erik this entire podcast would not exist. Erik penned the first article I stumbled across back in 2005 that inspired me to figure out for myself just what surfski paddling was all about. Below are some of the key tops we covered in this podcast and further down are several links to different material Erik has published on the internet: The various ERG trainers he has used over the yearsThe modifications that he's done to his ERG to make it most closely resemble his s

  • PPP Episode 27: Safety in Extreme Conditions With Rob Mousley

    27/09/2018 Duração: 01h43min

    In this podcast episode we chat all things safety in extreme conditions with Rob Mousley.   Rob founded based out of Cape Town SA, which is well known as  the de-facto global website for surfski information.   It is probably best known for the forums which provide an excellent global dialogue on all things surfski related.   In addition to the forums there are boat reviews, race reports, and most relevant to our discussion today,  many excellent articles on safety. For the last decade, Rob has been very involved in the pursuit of safety in extreme conditions.   He has worked extensively with Cape Town's water rescue services known as the NSRI, covered several surfski rescues, and has studied and tested in real world conditions  a vast majority of the safety equipment on the market. In this discussion we discuss in depth the wealth of knowledge Rob has accumulated over the years.   I'm really excited to be able to offer this podcast not just beginners, but also to the experienced paddlers wh

  • PPP Episode 26: Crossing the Molokai Channel on a SUP, OC1, and SURFSKI with Jenn Lee

    24/08/2018 Duração: 01h11min

    In today's podcast we connect with Jen Lee to hear the story of how she crossed the Molokai Channel in a SUP, OC1, and Surfski all in one season.   If that isn't impressive enough, she only started surfski paddling two years prior and conquered the channel on a properly big day. Jen is an accomplished water woman, but the message she's passionate about  delivering is that anyone can achieve this with the right attitude, dedication to training, and the right boat (hint - Jen did the Molokai in a V8).  We cover a lot of ground in this podcast including the following: Jen's background in athletics, starting as a downhill ski racer in Lake TahoeMoving to Hawaii to become a surf instructorThe cross over from downhill ski racing to SUP paddlingCompeting at an elite level in SUP racingJen's first introduction to surfski paddlingHow it feels to cross the channel in a SUP versus an OC1 versus a surfskiHow the different craft handle different conditionsWhat is common and what is different in paddling SUP, OC1, an

  • PPP Episode 25: Getting Amped for The Gorge Downwind Festival 2018 With Carter Johnson

    28/06/2018 Duração: 38min

    In this podcast episode I catch up with Carter Johnson, Race Director for the Gorge Downwind Festival.   In just four years this race has become the single biggest downwind event in the world.   With 750 participants, featuring equal numbers of Outrigger Canoe and Surfski paddlers, plus a good contingent of Stand Up Paddle Boarders.   But more than just a race, this has become a week long festival celebrating paddling, downwind, beer, Rivers for Change, and loads of camaraderie. In this episode Carter provides some interesting insights into how the race has evolved and what to expect for 2018.   We touch on the following key areas and much more: Beyond race week, growth in the downwind paddle scene throughout the summer and Carter's downwind retreat compoundA breakdown of the number of racers signed up this year across the different paddle disciplines as well as where they are coming from geographicallyHow the Gorge Downwind Festival may ultimately bring surfski paddling the recognition it deserves in t

  • PPP Episode 24: Chasing Bumps with Cory Hill

    22/05/2018 Duração: 01h08min

    In this podcast I have the opportunity to sit down with one of  the best surfski paddler in the world right now,  Cory Hill aka Chill Hill.  Like most surfski paddlers, Cory is incredibly humble and seems mature beyond his years.   Balancing relationships and a full time career,  Cory does an unimaginable  job competing at the very top of his game.   We have a  casual discussion covering a range of topics  as I work to extract what makes Cory tick and how he does it.   I can’t claim to be anywhere near the level Cory is at, but I felt that I really connected with his philosophy on life, paddling, competition, and what makes him tick.   I found it especially interesting to hear him describe the stories that can crop up in his mind both while racing and while working his day job.   I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did   Just a brief sample of the topic areas we covered:   Cory’s start in Surf Life Saving and a detailed discussion around what exactly the sport entailsWhat drew Cory away from

  • PPP Episode 23: Learn to Love the Load with Ivan Lawler

    09/02/2018 Duração: 55min

    Today's podcast guest is the legendary Ivan Lawler.   Ivan is regarded as Britain’s greatest canoe paddler of all time, and many argue the world’s greatest marathon paddler. Ivan has also been recognized internationally for sportsmanship when in the 1990 world championship he and his partner stopped to wait for the Danish team who were having rudder trouble They could have won, but instead finished in second place by one second. Those who know Ivan, would not be at all surprised by this. Following his competitive years Ivan has given back tremendously to the sport. He was recently elected president of the British Canoeing Association and is Chairman of the Elmbridge Canoe Club where he has coached across the spectrum from new kids to world champions. Ivan has only recently caught the surfski bug. Many of you will recognize his voice as the commentator at the Gorge Downwind Champs and the Surfski World Championships in Hong Kong. Ivan has also become a legend with his hour and 15 minute forward stroke ma

  • PPP Episode 22: Oscar Chalupsky Provides a Recap of the ICF World Surfski Championship

    05/12/2017 Duração: 37min

    In this podcast we catch up with Oscar to get a front row view of the racing at the ICF World Surfski Championships in Hong Kong (check out the link for great live footage)  and the infamous Doctor downwind race in Perth, Australia. This is a relatively short podcast at just over 30 minutes,  but as usual, it is always very informative to catch up with Oscar and get his perspective on the racing and the conditions.  Beyond just the race discussion, I jumped at the opportunity to pick his brain for some tips and tricks to successfully paddling a tandem downwind, which is something that can be very humbling and challenges many of us.  We also chat briefly about plans for the 2018 TC SURFSKI Immersion.  Below is a short recap of key topics: The week leading up to the ICF World Surfski Championships, a key item of note is the number of countries represented,  I believe roughly 27, which speaks to the global growth of the sportRace conditions through the course and Oscar's strategy to optimizeA detailed desc

  • PPP Episode 21: Gorge Downwind Champs with Carter Johnson

    20/10/2017 Duração: 44min

    2018 Gorge Downwind Champs Registration Opens Nov 1st In today's podcast we welcome back Carter Johnson,  the affable and infamous creator and director of the Gorge Downwind Champs.   In this casual chat we recap highlights from the 2017 Gorge Festival and discuss lessons learned and improvement plans for the 2018 event. If you've been to the Gorge, then you know what its all about, and I'm certain you'll be excited to hear from Carter about the plans for 2018.   If you have not yet experienced the Gorge Downwind Champs I highly recommend listening to this podcast to get a great understanding of what its all about.    Some of the items we cover include: Plans for more live bands throughout the weekPlans to keep the beer tent open laterA firm and detailed schedule of the various beer tent presentations and discussions published in advanceDedicated volunteer teams responsible for each of the key aspects of the event (i.e. lots of delegation so  Carter isn't running around like a mad man)A better system

  • PPP Episode 20: A Journey to the Top with Austin Kieffer

    05/10/2017 Duração: 01h10min

    In this podcast I get a chance to chat for the first time with the great American surfski champion Austin Kieffer. In just 5 short years, Austin has gone from paddling a surfski for the first time, to battling it out for podium finishes with the greatest paddlers in the world. He is now a force to be reckoned with and a podium contender in any of the biggest surfski races in the world. In this podcast we cover the story of how the last five years unfolded.  Austin is both candid and eloquent in describing the journey. I am certain that you will absolutely love this podcast as much as I enjoyed recording it. Austin’s story is both fascinating and inspirational.  He has a knack for articulating of the art of downwind paddling and the science of training (stolen from his website tagline).   In roughly an hour we cover the following key elements in Austin's journey: First introduction to the world of white water kayaking at age 11What whitewater training entails at the Olympic Development levelWhat transfer

  • PPP Episode 19 – All Things Cadence with Dr Brendan O’Neill

    14/09/2017 Duração: 01h31s

    In today’s podcast we sit down with Dr Brendan O’Neill the Chief Operating Officer of Vaaka Cadence based out of New Zealand.    Brendan grew up in competitive kayaking starting at the age of 15.  He competed at very high levels in the UK during his peak years and then transitioned into coaching.   As a paddler, coach, and Doctor of Sports Medicine, Brendan found his true passion exploring the realm of physiology and related metrics to drive optimal performance.   This is a great discussion centered around the benefits of training with real time cadence and distance per stroke feedback.   And specifically how to both drive continuous improvement in your paddling as well as find the sweet spot where you operate most efficiently.  Some of the key topics we cover include:   The very beginnings of the Vaaka Cadence sensor and how it was used in the lead up to a very successful 2012 Olympics for the NZ teamWhy cadence can often be a better metric to focus on than heart rate or speedWhy power is a challenging m

  • PPP Episode 18 – Surfski 600 Revealed with Boyan Z

    24/08/2017 Duração: 43min

    In today's podcast we catch up with Boyan Zlatarev of the Tarifa, Spain Surfski Center.   Boyan recently executed a spoof on Social Media known as the Surfski 600 Project.   The goal was to get the attention of the paddling community and ultimately drive a mindset shift into how we view the capabilities of boats that have traditionally been labeled as  "beginner" craft. While the feedback and support was overwhelmingly positive, there were some who were not thrilled with the spoof. In this podcast we go deep to understand what was behind the inspiration and motivation for Boyan to do this. "Stability before Ability" is a term first coined by Oscar Chalupsky and while many of us have been preaching it solidly for a few years now,  Boyan felt there was still more that could be done.   In addition to the stability discussion, comes the discussion around recognizing that surfski paddling is not all about racing and statistics, and we should all do more to attract and welcome those who simply want to be o

  • PPP Episode 17: A Return to Structured Training with Sean Rice

    13/07/2017 Duração: 01h04min

    Today we connect for a second podcast with the red hot Sean Rice. Sean may well be the fastest surfski paddler in the world right now. He started off the year with a win and course record at the Amsterdam Waterland Marathon, then took his first win at Molokai and just recently won the Nelo Summer Challenge. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a win this weekend at the the Canadian Surfski Champs and next weekend at the Gorge Downwind Festival. Below is just a highlight of some of the key topics we cover in this 1 hour conversation: Relocating to the UK and getting back to structured trainingThe difference between being K1 fit and Surfski fitBreakdown of a week of training for SeanWorking with Haylie Nixon, doing paddle specific training &  gym workSean's favorite cross training activity and whyRacing the Amsterdam Waterland Marathon as an unknown and getting the victory and course record.  Here is a link to the very short but well done video Sean mentionsSean's first ever Molokai win (choosing a good line

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