September 11, 2013
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

The Battle Of The Paddle Shore Break: It’s Kinda Gnarly

Battle of the Paddle

17 days and counting… 17 days and counting until Danny Ching and Annabel Anderson will defend their Battle of the Paddle Elite Race crowns against the likes of Connor Baxter, Travis Grant, Kai Lenny, Candice Appleby and Jenny Kalmbach. 17 days and counting until the world of Stand Up Paddling turns their attention to Doheny State Beach at Dana Point, California for the world’s biggest and most competitive SUP race.

There are also 17 days and counting until we get to see more of this: Battle of the Paddle shore break carnage.

While the Hammer Buoy provides the carnage out on the course, the shore break throws up plenty of epic photos of its own. While Dana Point usually has pretty mellow surf, the shorey is, due to the steep incline of the beach, kinda gnarly. Even when it’s half a foot out the back the shore break can throw up 3 ft of serious board-breaking, fin snapping, legrope tangling power that knocks even some of the most seasoned of paddlers off their boards.

Case in point:

Battle of the Paddle shorebreak

Two of the fastest women on the water, Brandi Baksic (orange visor) and Jenny Kalmbach (green top) eat it in the shorey after finishing the BOP Distance Race last year (big thanks to OnIt Pro for capturing this awesome moment…)

Or this one…

Battle of the Paddle shorebreak

This shot from the always-on-it Harry Wiewel highlights perfectly just how much the BOP shore break can jack up at the last second. Check out the guy still standing on his board (center of the shot with the stripey boardies) – he’s at least four feet higher than the guys. And just look at the nose of his board (the black & white one), it’s virtually suspended in mid air, just waiting to crash down onto the sand (which, by the way, is full of stones and feels super soft when you land – sometimes your legs literally sink as if it’s quicksand). The ding repair shops do a roaring trade post-Battle…

Or my favourite: “The Look Of Horror In The Moment Before Impact”

We saved the best for last. Beautiful.

The Battle of the Paddle shore break – it’s a thing of beauty really… (pic by Harry Wiewel)