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SOL Paddle Boards in Sitka, AK

Sitka SOL July 20, 2019
Each year, around July or August I venture home, north to a small island smack dab in the
middle of the Alexander Archipelago. Sitka Alaska is not only home to the largest national forest in the
United States (the Tongass) but is unparalleled in it’s unique rugged beauty. So away I flew, all the way
from New Mexico and who better to tag along than my SOL Jah paddle board! Originally I had grand
plans of 1 st descents down epic untouched rivers, but as soon as I arrived the tides were the lowest of
the month and I couldn’t resist doing some free diving, harvesting and ocean exploring.
The adventure started with an easy paddle around a gorgeous inlet known as Herring Cove.
With the sun shining I took a few laps to get used to how the Jah felt in the ocean. For being so small, it
handled amazingly and took on the waves like a champ. I took it out again to see how it faired in less
protected waters. Even in the 3 foot swells of Sitka Sound, I felt comfortable and capable (you just have
to avoid thinking about orcas).
Amidst hikes, dinners and berry picking I found time to take a camp trip. My girlfriends and I spent a
weekend at a US Forest Service cabin where my little paddle board served as our dingy between shore
and the main boat. The Jah was originally designed for surfing, whether it be river or ocean. It’s a 7’ long,
6” thick, quick response, agile board. This is to date the shortest board I’ve ridden and it proved to give
me a great workout and a huge smile. If you know anything about Alaskan’s, you wouldn’t be surprised
to find out we did some bush engineering and wake boarded it off the back of our 15 ft. Boston Whaler.
The Jah is not only exciting, but practical!
I hit Alaska at the perfect time, we had extreme low tides and great weather, not to mention
amazing friends and family. I got to use a new toy in the cold waters of Sitka, the adaptability and size of
this paddle board made it excellent to travel with and more fun than I could have imagined in the cold
Alaskan waters. Thanks to SOL and Johnny for hooking me up with a great little travel companion that is
as strong as it is fun! It won’t be the last time I #travelwithSOL.
 Photos by: Florence Welsh, Darren LaDuke, Chayse Ramero
Paddlers: Maury Hackett,  Danielle Duin, Rachel Ulrich

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