The 100/100 facebook training group is well into our third challenge with the thirty day marker coinciding with this weekend’s (Sept 13th) Chucktown Showdown in Charleston, South Carolina. There will be hundreds, thousands, millions of 100/100’s there! Ok, maybe only ten or twenty. One of the best things about the 100/100 is that when we go to an event, we’ve got friends. We take 100/100 pictures. We cheer other 100/100’s on. We drink and eat with other 100/100’s. It doesn’t matter if we won, come in last, are a pro, age grouper, team rider, or recreational paddler. We just “are” and it’s cool. We are diverse in who we are, where we live, our paddling experience, and what we ride. It’s all good. Let me introduce you to some of our challenge players…
So Who’s Your 100/100 Daddy (or Momma)
We have Barbara Link, of North Carolina, who’s brand new to standup paddling but has a background as an avid and experienced wind surfer and open ocean kayaker. Barbara just participated in her very first Standup Paddleboard race, in Kure Beach, NC, on a Jimmy Lewis board! Her goals; finish the 3 mile course, not fall in, have a blast. Check, check and check! Barbara’s enthusiasm as she gets into this sport is contagious. She’s out there E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y. She’s got the fever!
Then we have Kelsa Gabehart, who paddles everything. She paddles SUP, OC-1, and OC-6 (team of course.) She’s a rider and ambassador for Werner Paddles. I’ve seen pictures of her on a variety of SUP boards including Naish, BOTE Focus, SIC and Bark boards. Some of the events she’s SUP’ed this year are “the” M2O, Race the Lake of the Sky at Lake Tahoe, the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, the Carolina Cup in North Carolina and the Santa Monica Paddleboard Race in Southern California to name just a few. What the 100/100 really likes to follow is Kelsa’s OC adventures. Her OC-6 team just won the E Lau Hoe Race, 32 miles in 4:19!! That’s from Hawaii Kai to Nanakuli! Next up for them is the Na Wahine. We love that she rocks OC! Kelsa is also an open water swimmer, but hasn’t had a lot of time to fit that in lately.
Let me introduce you to Dave Merkli. Dave played football in college. Not little guy football, big dude lineman football. Dave just had a custom board by Palm Paddle Company made for him to fit his size. It’s gorgeous and wider at 30 inches, opposite of what so many boards are going to now. It’s interesting for us to see what a custom board looks like, who made it and what the specs are. We especially like to hear how it handles. Dave’s providing a different perspective on what kind of gear is out there, that it doesn’t have to be just stock boards or standard one-size fits all products.
We also have Chris Aguilar of Fin Film Company. Chris is a recent addition to the group. He works for Quickblade Paddles, Bark Paddleboards and Surftech. He is behind many of the online videos you see. His filmmaking talent is what entices us to dream, motivates us to get out there, give it our best; all the while having a vision of what we want to achieve while paddling. Chris has been a SUP paddler since 2009 having done Rock 2 Rock on a SUP before he even starting proning. He’s been prone paddling for 2 years now and just got a Bark Commander. He’s been training for and is going to do the 9 mile course this weekend at Chucktown on a prone. He’s in the paddleboard business working for some of the best sup companies on the planet, a filmmaking artist, SUP and prone paddler, and 100/100 member, he’s cool.
Susan and her son, Pleasant Ballenger, of South Carolina are literally traveling the world, paddling everywhere they can. Recently they posted a photo of themselves paddling inflatables on Lake Chemise in Germany, how cool is that! They are carrying 100/100 stickers and wherever they go they’re providing pictures kinda of like a little traveling 100/100 gnome. Their adventures show how international paddling has become.
Way up in the wilds of Wisconsin, we have Debbie Klapperich. I had no idea anyone paddled in Wisconsin! Now I know, Debbie does! Debbie paddles a BLKBOX board. Another brand I never heard of until she posted pictures. She’s been a recent contributor to Distressed Mullet with a race recap of a very foggy inland event, so foggy they couldn’t see the buoys! https://distressedmullet.com/2014/08/27/dispatch-from-the-midwest-from-deb-klapperich/ Debbie is also a cyclist, no one trick pony is she!
Taylor Mock, a team rider with Starboard, paddles OC-1, Dragonboat, C-1, sea kayak and sup. Talk about diversity! He’s put up some pretty cool videos and we all get to live vicariously through those. Most of us want to try any “vessel” that gets us out on the water, Taylor has already mastered them. He’s also ACA certified. Cool. Cool. Cool.
Sandy Mitofsky became a first time Race Director this last weekend. She put together the SUP Challenge at Carolina Beach to benefit the Ocean Cure, an organization dedicated to giving free surf lessons to medically fragile children and at risk youths and adults (www.oceancureinc.com). Sandy has been paddling for years and is a great promoter of the sport wherever she goes. Marathon running is another passion of hers. Paddling and distance running, she’s got a gift of endurance I think.
There are so many more 100/100’s that can and should be mentioned. There’s Cheryl Williams who is amazingly creative in her photo posts; John Ahern who is everyone’s cheerleader and motivator but now dealing with injury; Brad Hardee who just opened a business, Blueway Paddle and Surf, to share his love of water sports full-time; Kenny McGibbon who’s finishing off his first year of racing on his Bark 14’; Richard Klapper who tried prone but is going to stick with standup; and last but not least, Ruth Holland who tirelessly runs Special Olympic paddling programs and races. We even have paddling pups, like OBI, who belongs to Sloan Freeman but has figured out being on a flatboard SUP while his person is kiteboarding is THE.BEST.EVER.
We are the 100/100 Paddle Challenge Facebook Group. There are almost 300 of us, all working on one common goal…paddle. We are a product “test” group, a masters training group, and the best cheerleaders you’ll ever have. We might even have a secret 100/100 handshake. Watch for us at the Chucktown Showdown, we’ll be out in force and we will be awesome! We are your 100/100 Daddy (or Momma).