Okay, so some of you know that it’s my brother that’s the inspiration for a lot of Hubris cartoons. He’s more outdoorsy than I am, but he can’t draw for beans. So when I get a chance to hang out with him, there’s usually a good chance that something entertaining is going to happen, and I’ll be the only one with the kind of art skills to exploit it mercilessly.
Northern Wisconsin, on a lovely lake surrounded by all manner of cabins and summer homes and all, he and his brother-in-law decided to find out if you could stand on a SUP and be towed behind a motorboat. They were kind enough to give me a turn at it.
The last time I’d tried to stand on anything being towed behind a boat was nearly forty years before. And before I started kayaking much, I was insanely creeped out by large bodies of water (or, more accurately, by what my imagination filled those bodies of water with). That time all those years ago, I learned to faceplant expertly, but I did not learn to ski.
So the chances that I’d do something worth photographing this time seemed pretty high. I figured I could knock out a tooth or something clever.
As it was, my brother said, “Remember to lean back”, which I also recalled being told when I was twelve, so I leaned back.
He didn’t say to wait for the slack to leave the rope, so I hadda climb back on the damned board. Fine.
I stood up. I leaned back at the appropriate time, and I skied along behind a boat on a SUP. I’m told we didn’t go over about 14 miles an hour. When you’re ON the board, though, and have no idea how long you might be there, 14 miles an hour feels pretty good.
I should have put more effort into crossing the wake, and making a show of leaving the board, but that’s what my brother and Doug were for.
For now, you have to look at photos of me not flying off a SUP and into that nest of Cottonmouths they spooked me with tales of back on that lake in 1977.
Then you can look at photos of my brother doing a wildly entertaining dismount.
Nice, right? Look at that form… that style… that weirdly pained expression on my face.
Now, watch this action… My wife (the photographer on this trip) had worked out with Jeff that he would ‘try to get horizontal before he struck the water’.