Friday, January 19, 2018

First Tracks!

What you need to know before you hit the mountain.

Adventure Awaits! 
We were all beginners once. Virgins, never-evers, newbies, first timers. There is not one person I know, regardless of what they tell you, that started out as an expert.  We all have to start somewhere. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a beginner. It is OK.  You are trying something new. Be excited. Don't be embarrassed. Don't be scared.  Embrace it.
Snowboard Lessons! (photo: Whitetail)

Day One! Take a lesson. Yes, you can teach yourself to do just about any sport or activity. However as someone who has been trained as an instructor and taught windsurfing, snowboarding, and stand up paddling, I can guarantee a beginner lesson from a good instructor will make day one at any sport a lot more fun.  Just because your friend happens to be a good snowboarder, skier, paddler, surfer........fill in the blank, it does not make them a good instructor.
 PRO TIP:  Friends don’t let friends” teach” them to ski or ride. Go to a PSIA/AASI certified Professional instructor. You will have tons more fun and success and less frustration and likelihood of injury.
Our friend and Stand Up paddler Dave Wisniewski showing how it is done.   Dave is a  Senior member of the Board of Examiners for the Eastern region of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. (photo: Wiz)

So you have heard about the Capital Sup/ East of Maui Snow Day at Whitetail on February 10th. It sounds like fun, it would be cool to see all your SUP buddies this winter, but you don't know how to ski or snow board. No worries, that's OK, you can still join us.   One of the packages available includes a lesson. If you were paying attention above, you already know that a lesson is a good idea!
Cool, so now you've signed up for for the trip and lined up your rental* board/skis & lesson.
* (For those that don't need a lesson, East of Maui has rental snowboards available for $15 for the trip.)
PRO TIP: If you don’t own, the rental shops at Liberty, Whitetail and Roundtop stock very high quality boots, boards and skis. They tune the equipment for performance on a regular basis, boots are stored on a piping system to circulate warm air to dry the liners between use and they also rent all important helmets.

What else do you need to know? What other gear are you going to need for your first day on the snow?

The right gear is the difference between a good day and a great day. This was a GREAT day!   

Clothing.
Someone once said, "There is no bad weather, just bad clothes." This is especially true when it comes to snowboarding and skiing. Dressing correctly can make or break your day. Nothing sucks worse than being wet and cold. The key to playing the snow is dressing in layers.

Layering  L-R. Burton Expedition 1/4 Zip (base), Patagonia R2 Fleece (mid),  Volcom Stone Block Jacket (outer)


You want to start with a base layer. This will be the layer next to your skin. In the old days we called base layers long johns.  Even on cold days your body produces moisture.  It is important that in addition to providing some insulation that the base layer wicks and moves that moisture out away from your skin. Most of the modern base layers are synthetic and will do this. However your old cotton long underwear will not. It will get wet, stay wet, and then you get cold. No fun, and potentially dangerous.  Base layers are available in many different weights or thicknesses, from what some call silk weight to heavy expedition weight. For the majority of people, a set of mid-weight will be enough to keep them warm on all but the coldest days.
Most skiers and boarders wear just a base layer on the bottom, under their snow pants (more on pants later), but usually wear additional mid-layers on the upper body. Mid-layers provide extra insulation, and can be fine tuned depending on how much warmth you need. Like the base layers, mid-layers should not be cotton. Synthetic fleece is good, and many of us wear a lightweight down insulator. Wool is old school, but works well in both base layers or mid-layers.  Unfortunately, wool does not wick or dry quite as well as synthetics.
PRO TIP:  Cotton kills in the cold weather. It holds moisture from perspiration. That moisture can contribute to the chills at best and hypothermia at worst. 


You will need outerwear. Jackets and pants.  While some outerwear is insulated for warmth, the primary job of outerwear is to keep the outside out!  Almost any winter jacket you have will be OK for your 1st day on the snow. It will help if it is windproof and water proof. Dedicated snow jackets have a pit zips, snow skirts, goggle pockets, and other features that are really nice once you get into it, but on day one, you  will probably be able to get by with something you already own.


Pants! Your jeans tucked into your ski or snowboard boots don't count. Even if it is your 1st day, you are going to need to borrow, beg, steal, or buy a pair of waterproof snow pants. A pair of snow pants is the single most important item to help you have fun in and on the snow.
686 Standard Pant $99.95 (photo 686)
If you are just learning to ski and especially snowboard, you will find yourself sitting and kneeling on the snow.  Chairlifts are often wet or snow covered.  All that stands or sits between you and a cold wet butt is a pair of waterproof snow pants.   And NO, it is not OK to wear your jeans under your snow pants! It is called "Riding Dirty" and it is not allowed, except possibly in New Jersey, in which case you would be Riding Dirty Jersey.  Seriously, get a good base layer bottom and a pair of waterproof snow pants.  Trust me! You can even use them walking the dog or shoveling the walk the next time you get a snowstorm.

There is so much going wrong here. Just say No! (Photo: Jerry of the Day) 



What else? Gloves! You are going to need a pair of waterproof gloves. Next to your pants, a pair of gloves is probably the 2nd most important piece of gear you need to go skiing or snowboarding. It is important that the gloves are waterproof. Dry hands are warm hands. Warm hands are happy hands. You want your hands to be happy. If you can afford it, buy Gore-Tex gloves. They are the best. Gloves vs mittens. Mitts are warmer. Gloves have more dexterity. Those little packs of hand warmers will help keep the fingers warm on a really cold day. Use your fuzzy gloves to drive back and forth to the mountain, but leave them in the car, they will be completely useless on the snow.



Another often overlooked, but very important piece a gear is your socks. Your gym socks or your ankle high running socks are not good snow socks.  An over the calf ski sock will not only help keep your feet drier, and thus warmer, they will also help your boots fit better and be more comfortable. Do not wear two pair of socks. If it is really cold, try a set of toe warmers. It is not a bad idea to have a spare pair of socks in the car  just in case you get your feet wet somehow.
 PRO TIP: Go against your intuition and how your momma dressed you as a kid. Thin is in! Synthetic or super thin wool. The boot will keep you warm, you will have good circulation and you will ski and ride better.
You can never have enough clean and dry ski socks! (Mark Tip )


Alright! You've signed up for a trip. You're gonna take lessons. You've got your clothing dialed in, and your ready to hit the slopes........but wait, there are sill a few more things you should know about. Protect your head. You are going to want a minimum of a beanie to help keep your head warm. The majority of skiers and boarders now wear helmets. Not only do they protect your head in a crash, they provide warmth.
We understand why you may not want to invest in one for day one, but we think helmets are a good idea and consider renting one if possible. Goggles! On a cold snowy day, sunglasses are not going to cut it. Goggles are warmer and by choosing different  lens colors, it can help you see better, especially in what is called low light conditions. Good goggles sell for anywhere between $100 and $250, but we still sell a decent goggle for $40. It is worth the investment. Face masks and neck gaiters are also good for extra warmth on a cold day. Try to avoid scarves or anything loose or dangling that might get hung in a chair lift.

Mitts, Hand warmers, Ballewrclava, Socks


Don't forget to hydrate, and I don't mean beer or alcohol. Yes, that little shot of Jack on the lift may feel warm, but it actually can lower your core body temp and make you colder.  Drink plenty of water and save the booze for apr├Ęs-ski.
 Don't be afraid to take a break. Listen to your body. You are doing something new and perhaps using different muscles than you usually do.  Leave a little in the tank. Most injuries come from being tired.
PRO TIP: Eat a big breakfast, hydrate. Keep a couple snack or energy bars in your pockets to refuel. 


Last but not least remember to have fun. Don't get frustrated. Sometimes it takes a couple times out before you start getting a feel for it. One of the best windsurfing instructors I know once said, "Mastering windsurfing is when you realize that you can't." Skiing and snowboarding is exactly same.  See you on the snow!
Aloha- MB
Special thanks to Dave Wisniewski for the PRO TIPS.

East of Maui owners Mark Saunders & Mark Bandy  

East of Maui carries a full line of snowboards, snow gear, and snow accessories. We have been helping our customers have more fun on boards since 1979. We can help you have more fun too!   

Friday, January 12, 2018

Happy New Year!


 It is hard to believe that another New Year is here and we are already a couple weeks into it.
What a great couple of weeks it has been for snowboarding and skiing. With the extreme cold weather, our local resorts had the snow guns cranked up and the snow conditions have been really good. Many of  you only know us for summer boardsports, but we also sell snowboards and other snow and cold weather related gear in the winter.  There has not been too much paddling going on since the waterways around Annapolis have been pretty much iced up since just after the 1st of the year.  Enjoy the cold weather, take advantage of it and hit the mountains.

Frozen Waters 1/6/18 

There are lots of  events coming up in 2018 for the local SUP community.
In the immediate future we are partnering with Capital SUP on Saturday Feb 10th for a day of fun on the snow at Whitetail.  Details coming soon!
 The East of Maui/Eastport YC Chesapeake Challenge is scheduled for July 14th. Our friends at Mantra Fit are  hosting the PaddleFit Games on June 24th, and The Bay Bridge Paddle is on the books for June 2nd. There are tons of social sup events in the works too. 

I tend to live in the moment, and look towards the future, but  I did take  a quick look back at some of the highlights of  2017. What a great year it was!  

SANTA PADDLE

We wrapped up 2017 with our Annual East of Maui Santa Paddle. Close to 40 stand up paddlers and a few kayakers, dressed in festive attire,  joined Santa as he paddled around Annapolis and handed out holiday treats along the waterfront. It is always a fun day and a good way to wrap up the season.

Merry Christmas    (photo: Deb Stipa) 


PADDLE FOR PUERTO RICO


In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, I had an idea to get a few friends together, go for a paddle, throw $20 bucks in a jar and then send it to someone in Puerto Rico to help them recover from the hurricane.
That idea grew beyond my wildest dreams. Before I knew it, I had prizes being donated for raffles and auctions from friends, the SUP industry, and people I  didn't even know. The support of the community was mind blowing and heart warming.
I could and should devote an entire blog  thanking everyone for their support of the event.
IT WAS AMAZING! THANK YOU ALL!
Paddle For Puerto Rico   (Photo: Deb Stipa)
On Sunday October 15th, 119 people came out and braved a cool, drizzly day to paddle. After an safety meeting by me,  and short talk from former Puerto Rico Attorney General Jose Fuentes, we got a first hand report on the conditions in Puerto Rico from a long time friend and customer Drew Koslow who had just returned from aid and relief efforts on the island. 
Mary Howser form Team Starboard and Capital SUP lead a fast paced 6 mile paddle, while most of us paddled a more leisurely  3 mile lap.
 Nice Overhead Photo by Brian Meyer 
Upon returning to the beach we wrapped up the morning with an auction and drawing for the raffle prizes.
The event raised almost $5800! The funds were then donated to Ridge to Reefs and to SupportPuertoRico Strong. Thanks again to everyone that came out in support of the event.

Labor Day! 

Labor Day marked our 1st anniversary in our new location. 


We love our "new" home  in the Woodbridge Center, and we want to thank all of  our new and old customers for your business and support.  We celebrated Labor Day with a trip to Assateague.  Not much going on in the wave department, but we all caught a few on our stand ups, and had lots of  fun talking story on the beach. 


Labor Day Fun. Ponies & Surf  (photos:Sarah)

 2017 East of Maui / Eastport YC Chesapeake Stand Up Challenge

On July 8th, along with our host  Eastport Yacht Club we held our Annual Chesapeake Stand Up Challenge . 

The race start.  (photo by Spinsheet Magazine) 
We had 151 registered racers competing on 3 courses. The weather was great, and the competition strong. Unfortunately, several of the lead racers in the long race did not honor a buoy on course the correctly, resulting in a protest, and the subsequent disqualification of many men and women paddlers. As the acting race director, it was a very difficult situation, and I found no joy in having to make that decision. Everyone of the disqualified racers while extremely disappointed , accepted my decision with great sportsmanship and class. I want to thank them for that, and their support.  We are looking forward to the 2018 event, but racers, please go around all the buoys on the correct side this year :)       

FUN!

In addition to all the individual events, we had a lot of fun in 2017. We spent a lot of days on the water, paddling with old friends, and paddling with new friends. We paddled places that we have never paddled before.We watched sunrises and sunsets from our boards.  We even closed the shop one Sunday and  all of us went to Nitro Circus, and saw hometown boy Travis Pastrana do his thing. That was fun.
The Circus came to town! 
 We love having fun. When have been helping people have more fun on boards since 1979. Holy cow, that's 39 years!  That is a lot of fun. We can help you have more fun too!     
Tuesday Social SUP


Aloha -MB 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

We are the East of Maui Guys!

L-Mark Saunders         R-Mark Bandy


Funny thing happened the other day. I had dropped my girlfriend off at BWI, and was on my way to go mountain biking on my day off.  I stopped in Glen Burnie to grab a bagel and the guy in line next to me goes, "hey, you're the Stand Up Paddle Guy". Turns out he had bought a board for his wife from us a year or so ago. We chatted for a few minutes and I headed down to Bacon Ridge for my bike ride. Just as I came out of the woods, a couple guys came over to check out my bike. One of the guys looked at me and goes "hey, you are that Snowboard Guy", to which I replied, "yep that's me".

East of Maui is different things to different people. To some of our customers, we are Windsurf guys. To some we are Surf, to others we are Snow.  We are Stand UP, and we are Skate.  We wear many hats.
Mostly we are Mark Bandy and Mark Saunders, two guys that love boardsports, and love sharing our experience and passion with our customers. There is nothing better than hearing back from a customer how much fun they are having on the gear that they bought from East of Maui. Hearing about their last surf or their next snowboard trip. Hearing about exploring a new cove on their stand up paddle board. We don't just sell the stuff...we live this stuff.   We can help you  live it too.
Aloha-Mark B




Thursday, October 27, 2016

We have Moved!

COME VISIT OUR NEW SHOP!



After 21 years in the Festival at Riva Center, locally owned and operated East of Maui Boardshop has moved to the Woodbridge Shopping Center at 2444 Solomons Island Rd in Annapolis. 

We are so stoked to be in a locally owned center with other locally owned businesses like Candles Off Main, Dukes Golf, and Basmati Indian.


The Festival had been a good home for many years, but the construction and remodeling of the center over the past 3 years had a huge negative impact to our business. The management and the California owners of the center, American Realty were non responsive to our requests for advertising co-op or rent reductions. We are so happy to be out of there, and be leasing space from a local landlord. We can’t wait to show our customers and the rest of Annapolis our new home. 




 



Thursday, July 21, 2016

oops! we forgot we had a blog!

I received a note from a customer/friend that this blog has not been updated in a while. In fact it hasn't been updated since March of 2015! In all honesty, I had forgotten the shop even had this blog.
In this fast paced world of instant gratification, tweets, facebook accounts and sound bites, does anyone take the time to look at something for more than a few  seconds, much less sit down and read a blog?
The shop has been SUper busy since that last entry in 2015.   Stand Up continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and we continue to work hard helping our customers buy the right gear.   Rest assured while we may not be writing about it, we are paddling every chance we get. We live it, we breath it.
Like most people, I don't have time to write (or read) a thousand words right now.....so for the time being, I'll let this photo I took down in the Outer Banks speak for itself. After all a picture IS worth a thousand words!   Aloha-MB

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Winter that just won't quit

According to the calendar it is Spring. 

March 20th.
1st Day of Spring? 

Not so much looking out the window

Still, by picking and choosing the right days and wearing the right gear, I have been managing to get some days on the water.
Windy Day on Back Creek

They Ospreys have started to return. Perhaps a sign that Spring weather is finally just around the corner.

Ospreys off of Greenbury Point

Cold sessions have been the norm. Can't wait 'til I can just throw a pair of trunks on and go. Soon perhaps.
March Dawn Patrol

See you on the water.  Aloha- MB


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Winter of 2015

The Winter of 2015 has been a tough one for Stand Up Paddling on the Chesapeake Bay.


Sarah out on January 4th.
A good start to 2015
Paddling into the fog.
January 18th
January 20th
Ice out in the Bay


A mild early February Sunday

....and then Winter set in! 


February 17th!



Frozen Severn River
...and it stayed for a while


March Madness
A thin film of ice still covers the Harbor

.....maybe Spring is around the corner



March 16th, and finally no signs of ice!