With a little planning and practice, stand up paddling can be a rewarding experience for both you and your fury friend!
Here are some tips to maximize fun and safety while out paddling with your K9 passenger:
Happy paddling and for more information you may want to check out this handy book for more information about paddling with your pup!
There I was, sitting in the middle of Lake Tahoe on a paddleboard, gasping for a breath, and I was unable to paddle my beautiful wife back to where we started.
Let’s back up a little…
My beautiful new wife and I just arrived in Lake Tahoe for our honeymoon. My wife has visited Tahoe many times before, and had a week full of activities planned for us. Our first morning there we decided to go to Meeks Bay and paddleboard around.
When I woke up that morning I noticed I was having a slight problem breathing. Lake Tahoe is 5000 ft. above my natural elevation, so the air felt a bit thinner up there. I chose not to mention it. So we packed up our beach gear and headed out to Meeks Bay.
Meeks Bay in Lake Tahoe must be one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The beach was made of this perfect sand, and I have never seen clearer water. After unloading all our beach stuff, I again noticed I was struggling to breathe, and again I chose not to mention anything.
So our spot on the beach is all setup, and we have this paddleboard. My wife and I jumped onto the paddleboard and set off around the lake to look at all the cool rock formations and the amazing houses.
At one point I found a really beautiful area to go swimming, and I decided to dive in and look around. The water was so clear that you could see forever underwater! I'm not sure if it was the temperature or the elevation, but I noticed I could not hold my breath underwater as long as usual. All of a sudden, after swimming for several minutes, I could not breathe, and I just latched onto the side of the paddleboard and gasped for air.
My wife and I were 20-30 minutes away from our beach spot at Meeks Bay, and I was in no shape to get us back there. But that was no problem, because thankfully we had a secret weapon! I climbed up onto the paddleboard, made sure my wife was settled in and hit the power on my ElectraFin.
The ElectraFin® is an Electric motor system made by Current Drives that can mount on any paddleboard. The motor can propel you along at a max speed of 5mph for 2 hours. With the ElectraFin® mounted on the back of my board, I knew we were going to be able to get home safe and sound.
A little while later we arrived back at the beach, and because the ElectraFin® did all the work getting us back, I was able to catch my breath and relax. I really don't know how we would have gotten back without the ElectraFin®, and I'm eternally grateful to Current Drives. I love the ElectraFin® because it provides me the assurance to know I will always be able to get home safely.
When you hear the word “Flex”, the first image that comes to mind might be some grunting bro sitting in front of a mirror at a gym, wearing a ripped tank top flexing in the mirror. No one wants to see that, bro! That being said, when Current Drives hears “Flex” we think “to flex and adapt to any situation”.
If you are not familiar with Current drives, we offer the Electra which is the first universal conversion kit to turn any normal standup paddle board into an electrically assisted paddle board. The point of this is to fight currents, strong head winds or go further and faster on your clean, silent, and electric paddle board.
Now, let’s go back to flexing. Here at Current Drives we wanted to make our Electrafin faster and more efficient. We wanted the ElectraFin to adapt and Flex to the users needs. Our solution was to literally make the Electrafin Flex! Well, kind of. Current Drives created a new advanced prop that can fold or collapse its blades, making it much more hydro dynamic. When the ElectraFin is off, or at a low speed, the new prop will fold back, causing a significant reduction in resistance compared to a standard fixed prop. As the speed is increased on the ElectraFin, the centrifugal force acting on the prop causes the blades to open up.
Basically what this all means is the new ElectraFin prop can flex and adapt to you - the paddler! When you want to turn off the ElectraFin and go on your own strength, the prop will fold in, resulting in less drag. When you want the Electrafin’s help, just increase the speed and the prop will open up and push you along your merry way.
If you are interested in finding out more about our new flexing prop, go to our website where you can learn more and purchase.
Summer is just around the corner and chances are, if you live even remotely close to some sort of body of water, you’ve heard of the growing craze of Stand Up Paddleboarding or “SUP” as it is often referred to in the industry. Water sports and activities are no longer restricted to traditional boaters and yachters, and SUP is one of the many ways to branch out.
SUP is an easy, cost-efficient way to participate in a variety of activities. Unlike boating that is often restricted to larger bodies of water, paddleboards can be taken anywhere. With boating there is a process of getting the trailer hitched up, launching, finding a place that is big enough yet not too crowded. With SUP, it’s simply grab and go - all you need is a paddle and board. This is a great way to experience diverse water activities from home on a regular basis or to take on weekend camping trips. Whether you prefer cruising with your SUP buddy (attachable beer holder), SUP yoga, fishing, racing, or the entertainment of a motorized paddle board, there are options for all needs and interests.
If you’re still questioning portability - yes, they are bulky enough that chances are they won’t fit in the trunk of your sedan. However, roof racks are inexpensive and easy to install. Another option, is now inflatable SUP’s. These boards collapse down to the size of a large backpack that are easily transported in the trunk of a car. To use, pull out a pump and fill with air, and you’re set. Whichever board you find yourself drawn to, Stand Up Paddleboarding is the perfect activity to add to your summer.
Last month we launched a promotion highlighting a kayak packaged with our ElectraFin drive system. This was not just any old kayak but a lightweight folding kayak manufactured in San Francisco by late stage startup, Oru Kayak.
We first tried an Oru Kayak in Seattle's Lake Union a few years back and were impressed with the design and functionality. The flat bottom section of the Oru Kayak provides an ideal mounting location for the ElectraFin Stick-on fin box, which uses VHB pressure sensitive adhesive to securely fasten to the bottom of the kayak. Installation is quick and easy and everything needed to attach your ElectraFin is included in this specially designed kit:
The result of this Made in America combo package is the lightest electric kayak in production which provides users with these key benefits:
1) Lightweight and portable. 44 lbs complete. OruKayak Bay+ is 28 lbs. ElectraFin is 16 lbs. Two kayaks and drive systems can fit in the trunk of a compact car.
2) Fast Setup. Kayak is setup within minutes and the ElectraFin can be attached in less than a minute for most users.
3) Hybrid System. Paddle as little or as much as you want. Just like an electric bike allows you to bike more, you are able to spend more time on the water doing more activities.
4) Evens out the playing field. Experienced paddlers and novice paddlers can go together and travel at a speed comfortable for both.
5) Reduced boundaries. Windy days don’t stand in your way, and the Oru Kayak cuts through chop and tough conditions.
6) Carry more gear: Carrying heavier and cumbersome gear is made easier with propulsion.
7) Stability. The fin increases the stability by acting as a keel and the inherent stability of the Oru Kayak makes for a highly stable ride. The battery mounts low inside of the hull.
You don’t have to choose between a conventional motor boat or paddle only watercraft any longer. With the ElectraFin® you can have a lightweight personal powered watercraft that doubles as a human electric hybrid. The ElectraFin® is not a replacement for paddling, but a complementary addition to any paddler’s arsenal.
Let’s first consider common challenges with conventional paddle boards. The difficulty of paddling over long distances, through windy or rough conditions can be discouraging for most. It is difficult for those not physically capable and inexperienced to get out and enjoy a touring experience and it can be frustrating for experienced and strong paddlers to go out with their loved ones/friends that have a hard time keeping up. Carrying gear for camping or fishing, doggies, and other passengers makes paddling much more challenging. Paddling is not as easy as it looks but it can be a rewarding experience to go places and get a great workout. You can also get a complete water experience without the hassle of the expenses and logistics of a full blown motor boat or PWC.
Motor/power boats sit at the other end of the spectrum of convenience and expense. Motor boats require fuel, maintenance, storage, trailers, and a convenient boat launch location making access challenging for most. They generally go fast and can travel many miles on a single tank of gas. There is a lot of convenience and enjoyment for users, however the financial burden of purchase and ownership can dissuade all but the full blown hobbyist and fisherman. You cannot get exercise with this option, and conventional power boats are responsible for point source pollution in waterways, causing damage to human health and the environment.
The same comparison can be made between conventional automobiles and bicycles. One option is low cost, efficient, for shorter trips and easy to own and operate (until you run into a hill, windy conditions, etc!) and the other is expensive to own and operate, fast, longer range, polluting and convenient (until you try and park for dinner on a Friday night!)
Photo Credit: StandUp PaddleBoard World
With the ElectraFin® you don’t have to choose. Just like an Electric Bicycle bridges the gap between car and bike, the ElectraFin® allows you to have a human electric hybrid watercraft with the convenience of motor power without the financial and environmental burden associated with motor boats. You can paddle as much as you want, or use the power system, interchangeably or at the same time. We don’t promote being lazy, we promote being in the outdoors with paddle power and silent electric motor power when you want it. We think having an electric boost makes it that much more fun to keep paddling day in and day out, through wind, with your family and favorite dog pals or for fishing and getting places.
Paddle Assist™ Benefits:
On SUP’s it is easier to stand with momentum. For new and experienced paddlers it can be challenging to maintain balance when not moving, with the ElectraFin® you can keep a more consistent speed.
Just like the Samsung lithium battery pack used in the ElectraFin, solar energy technologies have matured in recent years and can help you extend your time on the water and more easily replace conventional gas boat motors. With the expansion of solar technology for charging portable electronics we have also seen a huge influx of mobile solar charging devices which utilize folding and thin film roll-up solar cells. The efficiency of solar cells (the ratio of electrical output from the solar cell to the amount of solar energy the cell is exposed to) has also been steadily increasing. This allows users to reduce the footprint of their solar system while still obtaining the same power production as before. The ElectraFin solar charging kit is a plug and play solar charger which uses highly efficient and compact solar cells configured into a foldable travel kit. Each kit is comprised of 8 mono crystalline silicone cells which are wired together to output up to 45 watts of power to charge the 16.8 volt ElectraFin battery pack.
When considering if solar power is right for you and your ElectraFin kit, keep these things in mind:
Solar power is an environmentally friendly and fun way to charge up your ElectraFin battery pack, but it can also be really useful when camping or spending time in areas without easy access to a power outlet; A win-win for the environment and the user. With solar energy and lithium battery systems you can now have a lightweight and highly efficient motorized personal watercraft that is easy on the environment and your pocket book.