Gail Kotowski from Guilford, Connecticut. We’ve worked with gail with Wavzcap, her neoprene caps made for paddling and surfing. She is another Banh Pho Surfboards and Crispy Noodle SUP paddler and surfer, paddling both 12’6″ and 14′ Crispy Noodle boards. We always look forward to seeing gail at paddle events and Surf Expo, reading her posts and comments on Facebook. Gail is another one of those foundational pillars of our paddle community keeping our sport and community healthy and solid.
Favorite place to paddle
It is impossible to name a favorite.. have several! Both sides on Long Island Sound (CT and NY) , Wilmington NC, Puerto Rico and am now exploring the east coast of FL
Probably the Great Peconic Race (GPR) because it is on Shelter Isle, directed by Linda Cirigliano and I get to see all my NY tribe. The conditions are challenging, the music/food and scenery rock. The camaraderie of house sharing makes it special. Have to also say the Newport Sup Cup , which was the first race I ever did and learned to paddle with 20 knot winds on da nose!
What is your favorite paddling moment and why?
Probably the 2nd day race of the Lobster Sup Cup, a 15 mile challenging race from Camden to Rockport,Maine The last 2 miles, I was neck and neck with a 26 yr old male..and I beat him. My friend Kevin Woodin coached me those last 2 miles! After I finished, I of course vomited, but was so happy that I sprinted to the finish!
Do you have a bucket list event?
A downwinders on the Hood River, or to paddle with whales in the Galapagos ! and of course have to see icebergs in Alaska!
What are you grateful for?
I am grateful that I can Sup, my 68 yr old body can no longer run or downhill ski ! This sport allows me to exercise hard and compete. The friends I have met have been so supportive and encouraging, especially during the past 2 years, as a caretaker for my husband who passed from brain cancer and my adjustment to living alone.
Advice or tips for paddlers?
Listen to your body, if something hurts , strengthen it before pushing thru the pain. It is useless to compare yourself to other paddlers, set goals that you are comfortable with. My racing goals are don’t fall in, come in last or puke and to beat my last time. Paddling in the gnarly stuff makes you better!
Do you have a favorite charity?
I grew up surfing and am most comfortable in the water. We need to protect our waterways from pollution . When we paddle, we should always leave our playground better off than when we entered it..
Please like my Facebook pages! Wavzcap, the Mahalo Matchmaker and Artandfiber. My plan is to retire from the practice of law and paddle and create Sea inspired art!