Where you were born and where you live now?
Hal: Chattanooga TN, Signal Mountain TN
Dottie: Chattanooga TN, Signal Mountain TN
Kit: Chattanooga TN, Ringgold, GA/Signal Mountain TN
Marshall: Atlanta, GA, Signal Mountain TN
What is your occupation?
Hal: Engineering Manager for retail display company,Brown Industries in Dalton GA (get your magazine, salty and sweet snacks here!)
Dottie: Online, marketing, and brand strategy consulting with Hodges Consulting
Kit: Freshman in high school and lacrosse player
Marshall: First grader and Tiger cub scout
Where do you SUP the most?
Tennessee River in Chattanooga – mostly on the Chattajack course but also further up river above the dam and in adjacent creeks in winter. Watts Bar Lake. Trips to central Florida.
What board do you ride?
Hal: BARK 14’x26; 12’6″x27; Gladiator Hybrid fin.
Dottie: BARK 12’6″x26; Danny Ching FCS fin.
Kit: KM Compressor 12’6″x25″.
Marshall: Kid’s KM Compressor.
Corgis: Any board that’s going out, though the Surftech Universal provides the best full soft top catwalk.
What paddle do you use?
We are a 4 QuickBlade family 🙂
Hal: QB Kanaha Carbon 100 blade/79″.
Dottie: QBElite Flyweight Carbon 83 blade/71″.
Kit: QB Flyweight Carbon 83 blade/Adjustable.
Marshall: QB Microfly Fiberglass/Carbon 66/Adjustable.
Have you changed boards/paddles since you started? If so, why?
Wow, yes. We started with a single rec style board (SurfTech Universal 10’6″x30″), and fairly soon thereafter added a BOGA Classic Bamboo 11’x29″ and a BOGA Tsunami Race trainer 11’x28″. We still have and use these boards for casual outings and with friends and love them. Hal raced a season on a BOTE Wraith 12’6″x25″ and Dottie on the race trainer before moving to the BARKs. We started with composite adjustable paddles and a carbon Kialoa Monstera.
Where would you most like to SUP?
Places with aqua water, sandy bottoms, sting rays, dolphins, and on-water eateries featuring fish tacos and cold beer.
Best piece of SUP advice you’ve gotten?
Ride as many boards as you can, all the time even if you aren’t “shopping”. Boards evolve and you evolve as a paddler. Know what works for you, which is different for every person for different conditions and different needs.
Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while SUPping?
Hal: Getting bucked by a manatee (but stayed upright) paddling at twilight in Crystal River. Related, but different manatee: putting hand in water and having manatee approach to have belly rubbed (true story).
Marshall: Finding a camo hat on a Florida paddle trip “just like Indiana Jones'” that he still wears to this day.
Dottie: Paddling past monkeys on Silver River and having Tilley (corgi) not bark, but whine in fear and respect. THOSE THINGS HAVE FANGS.
Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)
Hammer Nutrition, hands down. Dottie is a sponsored athlete, having discovered Hammer back in her triathlon days, and the whole family is a fan. Standout products are Fizz for hydration, Perpetuem for long course, and Recoverite for post-workout/post-race. PS their Espresso and Huckleberry gels are the bomb – plus their products are natural and free of refined sugars.
Goals for 2015 – and did you accomplish them?
Hal: Race more fun races, hang out with SUP friends, improve Chattajack time, race CJ with Marshall onboard.
Dottie: Finish Chattajack in under 8 hours, and gain on women in my class. Crushed. It. Dropped 1:37 from last year’s time – see proudest moment below.
Marshall: Learn to tinkle on the paddleboard. Oh – and do the full Chattajack with Hal. Nailed. It.
Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)
Depending upon weather and locale. But. Coffee and snacks. Hot cheese dip. Fish tacos. Beer. Sangria. Hammer Recoverite.
Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.
What? We both love to cook for friends and family and host to do so. Endurance corgi cuddling. Hal has taken a shining to trail running and climbing, and Dottie loves photography and dabbling with videography, and recent inadvertent forays into designing graphics for our BARKs. Hal likes to play with guns and bonsai, but rarely at the same time.
Who do you SUP with most often?
Our family, our three corgis, and our local and adopted local paddle ohana, with whom we have perfected the art of pre-paddle shuttle setting, post-paddle refueling, and on-water fashion sense to a science. On lucky occasion, paddle friends from further afar meet us here or there or in between. We’ve even been known to host off-the-grid local races which may or may not have involved paddling and pellet guns.
What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?
A magical drone that would follow us around and film, magically knowing what shots I want and when. And, magically – they’d be perfect.
What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?
Hal: It’s hard to balance time between work, family, and training. You have to be creative.
Dottie: Overall confidence. Balancing training and stoke with training and stoke fatigue (Is that a thing?).
What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?
Hal: Seeing Kit win a medal (and a 12 pack, which she quickly handed over) at Stand Up for the Hooch. Proud father moment.
Dottie: Tie for the moment when I knew I was going to finish my first 6 mile race (2013) and this year’s Chattajack, where the most epic (and best dressed) women’s draft train in the history of draft trains formed organically and worked flawlessly and equally over a 17 mile stretch of the course. It was a moment where it felt like all of our training, knowledge of reading the river, the course itself, and tactical drafting skills came together in perfect harmony and with much laughter.
Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through SUP.
Through SUP we’ve made the kind of friends you can call up and hang out with even though you’ve never met in person. We’ve met the kind of friends that now come along on family vacations. We’ve met the kind of friends that know they always have a spot in our home. And we’ve met the kind of friends that provide on water perspective and sage life advice. Paddlers are just different – you start with a common bond and closeness and generally paddle people are reliable and solid folks. It’s true.
What’s your best SUP travel tip?
Don’t be afraid to chart your own adventure. Talk to locals in advance and/or folks who have been to certain areas, and create your own itinerary filled with what you want to do, on your schedule. Plan for changes in weather and contingency plans. And plan around food whenever possible.