Select Page

October 19, 2007

By Devon Barker

Schedule- Saturday- Qualifiers, Sunday- Prelims, Monday- Semi-Finals, & Tuesday- Finals The team competition begins on Wednesday or Thursday.

I awoke at 5 am, 9 pm Mountain Time, this morning. I am so excited for the Worlds to begin. I am hoping to do an early morning workout before we have a photo session for the USA team sponsors followed by boat check in. The World Surf Kayak Association checks our boats for soundness and safety equipment. We have to have float bags in the stern and safety leashes on the bow and stern. The two categories are long boat and short boat otherwise known as International Class and High Performance. Most short boats have fins and the long boats must be at least 3 meters. I am competing in both divisions.

My biggest challenge in surf kayaking is knowing what to do when I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Maybe my biggest challenge in general in life?) This usually happens when I am trying to paddle back out to the break from the beach after riding a wave to the inside. When the waves are small to medium you can boof over them and paddle right out. I often think I can crest over the top of the wave when they are big and sometimes I can but if I miss judge I either pivot turn and try to take a hit from the whitewater and ride the wave back to the beach or I turn turtle. I will explain, “Turn Turtle” but my biggest challenge for today is knowing which to do in the crux of the moment. Turning turtle is going upside down right before the whitewater hits your kayak. It is a little like duck diving the waves as surfers do but a little different. I take a forward stroke to a roll under the kayak to the other side. Once under the water the wave somewhat passes and rolls you up. Sometimes it takes you for a tumble back to the beach but I have decided that this is better than the upright full on slam you get from the white water on your body and deck. I will report back after my morning session!

My friend Roberta Borsari from Brazil is here and surfing really great. We had a little down time yesterday so Erik and I took a walk with Roberta. We hoped to make it to the surf shop to buy t-shirts from the Billabong Pro surf contest but they were closed. We took some photos instead. I had my first phone conversation in Spanish with Luis Abando. He is on the Basque team and the main organizer of the event. I cannot wait to take Spanish lessons but I did understand that he was asking me to go kayaking. Luis speaks Basque as his first language. In addition to needing Spanish I also need to learn Basque. Here are a few words in Basque and the schedule for the week.

Basque Language
Ongi etori: Welcome
Adiskide: Friend
Agur: Bye
Bai: Yes
Egun On: Good Morning
Eskerrik Asko: Thank You
Ez: No
Gabon: Good Night
Hondartza: Beach
Itxita: Closed
Jaiak: Fiesta
Kaixo: Hello
Zabalik: Open
Bakea: (Bakio) Peace/haven of peace
Gernika Tree & Assembly House: essence of Basque Culture

Turning Turtle went well this morning. I am better at being a turtle going under on my right side with my left blade forward!



Click to view larger image

Devon on inside at Bakio

Click to view larger image

Erik & Roberta with Surf Kayak Flags

Click to view larger image

Roberta & Devon at Bakio

Click to view larger image

Symbol for Surf Worlds

Click to view larger image

US Surf Team

Click to view larger image

World Surf Kayak Poster