Archive for May, 2012

Stand Up Paddling in Maine – (VIDEO)

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Some beautiful May SUP cruising in Eggemoggin Reach, Maine!

Maine – Acadia Adventure Sailing and Instruction – Thorfinn Expeditions

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Sailing in Somes Sound

For summer 2012 our adventure sailing program is based in Bar Harbor, Maine on famed Mount Desert Island – home of Acadia National Park. Thorfinn, our unique and award-winning Presto 30, offers day trips and custom overnights/ expeditions for people who want to explore beautiful coastlines, learn technical skills, and experience high-performance sailing. Sailing expeditions can include coastal exploration; stand up paddle boarding, hiking, climbing and more!

Thorfinn is a one of a kind sailing program utilizing a purpose built expedition sailboat that can sail in as little as a foot of water, is easy to handle, and best of all – fast and fun. The boat is operating by USCG-Licensed Captain Thor Emory who is a lifelong sailor and experienced outdoor instructor/educator.

Experience sailing in one of the most beautiful parts of the world on the exciting Thorfinn!

Get out. Go wild!

Day Trips

We offer both pre-designed and custom day trips for individuals and groups. From 3 hours to a full day, you will enjoy an experience that takes you out of your everyday life. Here, even a few hours with the sun, the wind, and the water can refresh and recharge you like nothing else. Whether sailing around a bay, picnicking on an island, learning skills, or exploring a coastal community, Thorfinn provides an amazing sailing experience that maximizes fun, adventure, and skills. So come with us and take the helm, trim the sails and explore! Get out. Go wild!

Summer 2012 Day Trip Offerings – Bar Harbor/Acadia

For much of the summer we offer both open and custom day sails (3 hour sails and full day) – maximum of 6 participants. You can sail with others on a 3 hour sail or charter Thorfinn exclusively for your private group (1-6 participants and have the boat to yourself). Longer excursions can include an island picnic or explorations of Frenchman’s Bay, the Schoodic Peninsula and Acadia. We work with you to design the best day on the water.

Open Sailing – 3 Hour Sails

Unless privately chartered, Thorfinn sails three times daily with 6 spots available on a first come, first serve basis. This is a good option for an individual or couple who wants to enjoy an adventure sailing experience but does not desire to privately charter the boat. 3 hour sails start with a boat introduction/orientation. Once we depart the dock then we are sailing in minutes. Thorfinn’s philosophy is to get people involved. So you can steer, trim the sails, and learn new skills while you experience the world class sailing in Frenchman’s Bay and/or the Schoodic Peninsula and Sand Beach area of Acadia National Park. If you are already an experienced sailor then you can just jump in!

2 person minimum to sail Cost: $175.00 per person
Times: 11-2, 2:30-5:30
Max participants: 6

Private Charter

Thorfinn can also be chartered privately for 3 hour and full day sails. This option is perfect for an individual, group of friends, a corporate outing, schools etc. because it allows us to custom design an experience that fits your goals. From full day sails that stretch the mileage and include an island adventure to focused sailing instruction, we can handle any group and any goal.

3 Hour: $525.00
Times: 11-2, 2:30-5:30

Full Day: $950.00
Time: 9:45-5/5:30

“Our design team is in continual pursuit of unique, educational, and team-building experiences within the New England outdoors. As product designers, it’s extremely important to us to understand what a user may need in a particular activity. Thorfinn Expeditions did not disappoint! Our team was so impressed with the hands-on sailing education we got working with Thor. On a foggy New England morning, he quickly put us at ease with his laid-back demeanor and vast sailing knowledge that is second nature to him. It was amazing not only to be able to sail the boat ourselves, but to peel back the layers of sailing itself. Our time with Thor ended too quickly and with the promise of returning for another adventure together! Thank you, Thorfinn!!!”

Layla M. Shell
 –  Color & Trend Designer
 – The Timberland Company

Sailing Staff

Thor Emory

Co-Owner / Lead Instructor

Thorfinn owner and lead instructor Thor Emory is a life-long sailor, outdoor enthusiast, and passionate outdoor educator. Born and raised on the beautiful island of Mount Desert, home of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, he has spent most of his life exploring and leading groups in the outdoors all over North America.

For a decade, Thor worked as Senior Instructor/Captain, Staff Trainer, and most recently as Program Manager for the Outward Bound Sea Program. In addition to sailing (inshore, offshore, and racing), he has taught climbing, sea kayaking, backpacking, skiing, outdoor leadership and environmental ethics. Currently in addition to sailing, Thor is the lead SUP instructor for Thorfinn. He is ACA level-2 certified and can be found paddling the Maine Coast in all conditions all season long.

Known for his strong leadership skills, creative/humorous teaching style, and absolute commitment to safety, Thor has created Thorfinn Expeditions with the primary goal of providing outstanding water-based adventures. He has also worked as a commercial fisherman and as a professional ski patroller on both eastern and western mountains.

www.thorfinnexpeditions.com

info@thorfinnexpeditions.com

(207) 789-5115

Maine: Bar Harbor/Acadia/Mount Desert Island SUP with Thorfinn Expeditions

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Thor with Acadia in the background

The Stand Up Paddle Board scene in and around Mount Desert Island (MDI), Maine has HUGE potential. I am writing this post from the new Thorfinn Expeditions’ Bar Harbor basecamp which doubles as an office for our outdoor programs (sailing, SUP, multi-sport) and as a retail space for the best SUP gear available. We are really excited to operate on MDI (home of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park). The scenery is mind blowingly beautiful and water is everywhere! Driving around the area with SUP gear, I feel a little bit like an astronaut or an explorer. The sport is so new here that few people have done it let alone know what it is all about.I grew up on MDI and as an avid paddler (surfski and SUP) I can attest to the awesome beauty and diversity of paddling opportunities. From the big lakes/ponds (Long Pond is 6 miles long!) to protected coastline and open water (downwinders!), there is something for every ability, goal, and weather condition. There are a lot of active locals, summer people, and visitors here and it will not be long before SUP boards are commonplace.

I have spent the past several weeks running between our Midcoast location in Lincolnville Beach and the new Bar Harbor shop. Lately, my personal board of choice is a 2012 Hobie Elite 14. I keep it on the truck and I have been having a blast rediscovering MDI as a SUPer. I have spent a lot of time on the water here sailing, kayaking, and on my surf ski and now I have a whole new way to explore and have fun. Last week myself, and fellow Thorfinn staff member Hampton, had a great downwind run from Salisbury Cove to Bar Harbor in Frenchman Bay. It was gusting over 20-knots, the sun was out and we had a blast riding down the foaming wind chop. The backdrop of the mountains was stunning! I have also cruised down Somes Sound with a good tailwind, paddled from Otter Cove to Bar Harbor, and SUPed it up on Long Pond and Echo Lake.

Thorfinn has been cleared by Acadia National Park to teach on some of the freshwater in the Park and we will be offering guided ocean runs including downwinders in Frenchman Bay with sail supported return trips. The MDI landform has a lot of shape to it so there are a ton of options based on conditions. Generally our goal is to either find protection or get exposed so that we can ride downwind. Car shuttling is easy here.

It is fun to be part of the brand new SUP scene on MDI and we look forward both running great programs and pushing our personal paddling limits here. See you on the water!

-Thor

Hampton riding downwind in Frenchman Bay, Maine

Thorfinn Expeditions’ SUP staff are ACA (American Canoe Association) Level 2 certified. Thorfinn is a leader in Maine in SUP ocean touring.

www.thorfinnexpeditions.com

Gearing up for Maine Summer SUP – (Thorfinn gear guide)

Friday, May 25th, 2012

The rain has stopped, the sun is shining, and it’s time to hit the water. Maine’s glassy lakes, endless coastline and open-water, sea breeze infused downwind runs offer great SUP opportunities.

Paddleboarding interest has exploded globally over the past few years, and the craze is now hitting Midcoast and Downeast Maine. Everyone is talking about the sport, but it can seem difficult and intimidating to get geared up. While the simplicity of SUP is appealing, the gear choices are overwhelming. There are many different types of boards, paddles, PFD’s, and leashes — all tailored to different uses, athletic levels, and goals.

What follows is a basic overview of SUP gear. Included are suggestions for various types of paddlers that we encounter in our shop.

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Boards:

We carry four board brands (Tahoe, Coreban, Hobie, C4) that we use ourselves — brands that we think are best suited for Maine paddling. They are all quality companies and they offer a solid range/variation of designs. We carry both “surf” style all-around boards, and longer, more streamlined displacement hull racing/touring boards.

A Great Beginner’s Board: The Hobie DuraSUP is durable, stable, and easy to use. We teach on DuraSUP’s, as the molded polyurethane (plastic) construction makes them hard to break. A DuraSUP is a budget friendly board that can be used in all conditions by anyone and everyone. Perfect as a lake house board or one that will be dragged along our rocky coast. The DuraSUP can also be a great second board that your friends can try without messing up your carbon race board!

Pros:
Durable
Stable
Budget friendly

Cons:
Heavy
Lacks stiffness
Slow

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The All-Arounder: The Coreban Cruiser is an excellent all around composite board. It combines the stability benefits of a DuraSUP but with far better construction. It’s lighter, faster, stiffer, and aesthetically far superior. As the namesuggests, an “all-arounder” can be used for fitness, surfing, or cruising with kids and dogs.

Pros:
Versatile
Light
Well built (good looking!)

Cons:
Surf shape = slaps in upwind chop
Slower than displacement hulls in touring situations

* Other boards to consider: Hobie ATR, C4 Classic

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Women’s Specific: The Tahoe Bliss has a displacement hull and a fine nose that cuts through waves and water. It is narrow, light, and easy for a woman paddler to handle. The Bliss is adorned with meditative graphics that will add to your SUP experience. The Rubicon is a less costly alternative that still sports a displacement hull. Displacement hulls are perfect for the waters of Maine as they glide through water and slice through chop like a knife through pumpkin pie.

Pros:
Displacement hull = long glide
Lighter construction
Deals well with chop

Cons:
Fragile
Not as “surfable”
Less stable

* Other boards to consider: Coreban 12’6 Alpha Race, C4 TGIF Pro Racer

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Athletic Race/Touring Board - We specialize in race/touring boards that move forward efficiently. Here in Midcoast Maine we can cover a lot of distance both on the big lakes and the open bays. 99% of the time you are paddling forward and having a board that slices through the water with little resistance and cuts through chop is really nice. It is all about the Glide! The two lengths are generally 12’6 and 14’. 14-footers are for larger paddlers. There is a wide range in stability, downwind capabilities etc. If you want to fitness paddle, go on long tours or race then these boards are worth the investment.

Board suggestions: Tahoe SUP Zephyr and Thunderbird, Hobie Elite, C4 V1 and TGIF, Coreban Sigma series and Alpha Races

Pros:
Efficient
Cuts through waves

Cons:
Not durable
Costly

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Paddles:

We carry both Quickblade and Kialoa paddles — two premier paddle manufacturers. A good paddle is just as important as the correct board. We teach with adjustable paddles and we suggest them for anyone who is going to share their gear. That way you can match the length to different folks. If the paddle is dedicated for an individual then get a fixed length paddle and spend the money on a good one. A high quality, light paddle makes a huge difference as the miles click by.

Paddles are usually made of fiberglass or carbon fiber, carbon fiber being the stronger, lighter, less flexible of the two. We sell full carbon paddles and we cut them to length.

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PFDs:

The US Coast Guard recognizes paddle boards as being no different from other vessels. Therefore, the same regulations apply. Stand up paddle boarders are required to carry a personal flotation device (pfd), and whistle, and a flashlight if out after dark. Our suggestions are wear either a comfortable Type III or a belt pack inflatable.  We carry Kokatat at Thorfinn, one of the best in the industry.

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Leashes:

Because paddle boards are much heavier than traditional short surfboards, an “SUP rated” leash is a necessity. A simple measurement is to make your leash as long as your board. That way, the board won’t hit you when you fall, but it will also be close enough that hopefully it won’t hit others.

Leashes come in two forms: coiled and flat. Flat leashes tend to drag in the water and catch seaweed. Coiled leashes prevent this and are less likely to get tangled. The coil leash is far superior for touring. Their only drawback is that they are unsafe in the surf because they spring the board back at you.

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Accessories:

Smart paddling outfits can include everything from wetsuits or dry suits and booties to non-cotton shorts and t-shirts. We recommend that you dress for the water temperature. Consider a good farmer john/jane suit and then a long sleeve neoprene/spandex top.

If you plan on paddling during a cold Maine winter, a drysuit is the safest bet. Your clothing choices should also correspond to your skill level. If you are inexperienced or new to ocean paddling in cold water then play it safe.

Carrying extra clothes, water, food, etc. can be tough. Some boards have bungee attachments or you can add them to your board. We usually wear an inflatable pfd and then wear a small camelback with water, food, and extra layers. For ocean touring then there is still more gear like a chart, gps, vhf, etc. It just depends how far you are going.

SUP gear is rapidly expanding and their is new cool “stuff” hitting the market constantly. Feel free to stop by our shops in Lincolnville Beach or Bar Harbor to learn more or contact us through our website: www.thorfinnexpeditions.com

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More about Thorfinn Epeditions SUP

Thorfinn Expeditions is an outdoor adventure/education business based in Linconville Beach and Bar Harbor, Maine. They are a full SUP school offering lessons, tours, fitness paddling, guided downwinders, and rentals. Staff is ACA level 2 certified and they like to paddle in Maine in all conditions – year ‘round. The retail shops carry the best gear available.

Epic 18X Sea Kayak Overview – (VIDEO)

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

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At Epic Kayaks, the primary goal is to turn people on to the true potential of kayaking as a sport. Epic boats and paddles are built to inspire paddlers, to entice them to explore and expand the boundaries of their abilities. To find out what the world’s waterways fully have on offer.

Lightweight, efficiency, speed and comfort; by strictly adhering to these principles, even when tradition may dictate otherwise, Epic has molded its sea kayaks and surfskis into record breaking, world championship winning, and even market changing products.

Believing these products compliment our business philosophy, we offer Epic kayaks and paddles to Maine kayakers who seek a distinct edge in their coastal touring and fitness paddling.  Come try one out!

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Thanks to George Kaiser of Economy Tackle in Sarasota, FL for the video overview of this great boat:

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