Rubicon on lawn, TR-X2 hiding, like a Stealth bomber.....

Rubicon on lawn, TR-X2 hiding, like a Stealth bomber…..

Lately, I have a higher class of problems. How to transport my cool new toys? The INNO 446 standup paddle board (SUP) rack that a supplier claimed would work on my 4Runner will not fit, because the factory crossbars are too close to the truck. Luckily for me, David at REI Kennewick is helpful, knowledgable and friendly. REI in Kennewick and Spokane are two of my very favorite stores. They have a lot of cool gear. But their defining greatness lies in their people; they have great people who make our lives more fun! Thanks!

So now I have a great way to transport one board, with the potential for more. Putting multiple boards on one rig complicates matters a bit. Unless I get a trailer, which suggests a larger garage, thereby a new house. Whoa!

But I have two cool boards that look like fun! Some problems just need to be solved! Two rigs? Trailer? Move to a lake? But again, I digress.

This is like one of those confusing flashback movies. I wanted to try SUP, since I’ve heard great things about how fun it is and about the great abdominal workouts it delivers. I sense that I will really like it. I was convinced enough to want to buy a couple of boards to take to the lake this summer. Living in the north and facing the busyness of marathon training, the recommended “try before you buy” approach was ditched. So I’m risking a shaky approach, but it just may work out, if we get them to the water!

Via internet research, I decided on lake focused versions that could cut through chop nicely, tour well and deliver speed in our inevitable races. Remember how Annie and I are about competition. It even looks like my board could be a bit faster! My board appears to be slower, but I’m guessing I’ll still smoke Annie in races.

Since REI has my trust and their amazing satisfaction guarantee, as well as a large selection, I chose two boards at REI on-line, along with adjustable length paddles, personal flotation devices and leashes, if we tackle wild waters. As I continued researching, one of the boards sold out at REI.  So I ordered it from another source. Something prompted me to call them up, since their website hadn’t shown my board as shipped as soon as expected. It was because the normal shipping guy was away from work. So I talked with Jeff Morter from Paddle Surf Warehouse for a while. Why hadn’t I called around to talk with experts earlier? Anyway, Jeff sold me on a board that he was convinced was way better, more durable and considerably cheaper than the one I ordered. So I got the 12 foot 2013 Tahoe Rubicon, a board bag, an adjustable paddle, two dock/deck lock, plus a $52 refund, in the place of a Boardworks Raven 12.5 foot board.  I know there are many lessons here, so let’s hope I learned some of them.

The Tahoe showed up at my house last Friday. How exciting! Then came the “oh crap!” realization of the rack not fitting on my rig. Cool new toys that we can’t use? Just another spiritual growth opportunity! Have a little faith dude! On Saturday we picked up the Amundson 12 1/2 foot TR-X2. It’s carbon & bamboo design may be a hair faster slower than the Rubicon.  I guess we’ll see! David sold me two long Yakima straps with integrated cable and lockable padded cam buckles. They worked great, along with the Yakima tip and tail bra straps that I purchased earlier. I drove home through twenty-some mile per hour winds and the wing board rode beautifully. Later I found a website claiming that one guy transported up to five boards on one rig. So I’m searching for ideal padding to put between the boards.  I can either stagger the boards, due to the fins, or remove the fin from the bottom board. The weather is predicted to warm throughout this week, coinciding with my furlough day. What SUP?