“Everybody says it looks cool,” he said, “but most people can’t stay on the thing for more than a few seconds. It’s almost like being on a slackline. The muscles in your legs are always working to balance. It really cuts through the water, but you can’t relax if you stop like you can on a regular board. A racing board wants to move. Stability comes with forward motion.”
Standing up has an advantage over kayakers who sit closer to water level — you can see down into the water.
“I saw some big water movements from very large fish,” he said, recounting his wildlife sightings on Pend Oreille. “Above that, the moonlight behind my back was epic! The blazing orange, smoky sunrise, too.”
Boat traffic was virtually nil until the last stretch near Sandpoint and most of the boaters kept their distance, he said.
“Early morning is so quiet and absolutely peaceful being in the middle of that big lake in the dark and moving along with human power.”
Since he first paddled the 20-mile length of Priest Lake in 2017, he’s repeated the trip “a bunch of times,” he said. He’s also paddled 100 miles of the Pend Oreille River from Sandpoint to Boundary Dam in segments.
“I think my next big trip will be over 30 miles on Priest Lake from Coolin to the north end of Upper Priest Lake,” he said. “And I have my eye on paddling the length of Lake Coeur d’Alene, although avoiding boat traffic may be harder there than on the other big lakes. Boat waves don’t knock me off, but you have to wait for them on a narrow, tippy racing board.”