August 16, 2012
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Road Trippin’

What have a bunch of the world’s best Stand Up Paddlers been getting up to the past week? For the elite Team Quickblade, including the likes of Jamie Mitchell and Chase Kosterlitz, it’s been a 24 hour road trip from L.A. to Oregon. All in the name of SUP racing.

First it was the gruelling 10 hour drive to Lake Tahoe for last weekend’s Ta-Hoe Nalu SUP Festival. The trip was worth it though, as Team Quickblade cleaned up and took the first five spots in the men’s and top three in the women’s 10 mile race.

But that was only the beginning; next up was the 13 hour joyride from Tahoe to Hood River (Oregon), the site of this weekend’s big Gorge Paddle Challenge. The road trip apparently descended into a Mad Max-style journey, as the fearless paddlers crossed unknown countryside with dangerously large amounts of SUP boards strapped to the roof and wide-eyed groms at the wheel.

Just some of the Quickblade crew that found their way to Oregon for this weekend’s big race are Jamie Mitchell, Chase Kosterlitz, Matt Becker, Candice Appleby, Anthony Vela, Fernando Stalla, Talia Gangini, Tucker Ingalls and Jim Terrell.

Though waiting for Team Quickblade at Hood River is Team Naish, who skipped the Lake Tahoe event and spent the week in Oregon preparing for the big race by enjoying white-water rapids, magic carpets and novelty-sized ice creams.

The Naish team includes SUP race stars such as Kai Lenny, Chuck Patterson, Jenny Kalmbach, Karen Wrenn and Kody Kerbox, who should give the Quickblade crew a good run for their money on the weekend. Throw in a few ring-ins such as Connor Baxter, Dave Kalama, Dan Gavere and a bunch of the world’s other top paddlers, and you’ve got one of the biggest and best SUP races of the year.

You can check back over the weekend for full results from the 2012 Gorge Paddle Challenge, but in the meantime take a look at the Instagram-powered road trip below…

(and remember you can always stalk follow the world’s best Stand Up Paddlers yourself, thanks to our uber “SUPstagram” photo stream)


// Click any pic to view the original on Instagram // 

Chase Kosterlitz headed up to Tahoe a few days early. Smart move. // @chase_koster

…because Jamie Mitchell tried to catch a last-minute flight, only to find it was over-booked and that the only option was a rush-hour escape from L.A. by car… // @jamie_mitcho

8 hours later and the champ was still on the road… // @jamie_mitcho

The view from the Team Quickblade house. // @chase_koster

Which one’s mine? // @mbeckerrr

Race day! // @jamie_mitcho

The champ won a nail-biter (check out the Tahoe Nalu results for more race pics) // @jamie_mitcho

Matt Becker and Jay Wild post-race // @mbeckerrr

This is what happens when you let groms like Tucker Ingalls behind the wheel… // @tgangini

Could fit at least another six on there I reckon // jamie_mitcho

Oh and don’t forget the paddles // @tuckeringalls

Chase and his crew in the middle of absolutely nowhere // @chase_koster

“Pray for us!!! @tuckeringalls is behind the wheel!” // @jamie_mitcho

13 hours later and the crew finally made it to Oregon. Downwind time! // @jamie_mitcho

Candice Appleby on her 2nd downwinder for the day //@candiceappleby

This is what happens when you trust groms to do the food shopping… just the essentials then? // @mbeckerrr

The official Team Quickblade fitness model calendar shoot // @jamie_mitcho

Meanwhile Team Naish flew into Oregon earlier in the week to prepare // @chuckpatterson

Chuck Patterson tackling the rapids commando style // @karen_wrenn

Kai Lenny could probably be white-water world champ as well, if he wanted to // @karen_wrenn

Water safety is a serious matter… // @kai_lenny

Chuck: King-of-the-Kids as always. // @karen_wrenn

The new 2013 Naish Javelin Magic Flying Carpet // @chuckpatterson

Naish’s stealth new Standamaran // @chuckpatterson

So THAT’S the secret… // @chuckpatterson