Farewell to the Prijon Beluga

My trusty Prijon Beluga joined a new fleet today.  I’m somewhat sad to see her go but am happy she found a good home with a new paddler who appreciates her for what she is.

Before I said goodbye, I took one last photo of her next to the Cobra Viper since I realized I didn’t have that comparison shot.

CobraandBelugaThe Prijon Beluga and the Cobra Viper kayaks

I guess my boat liquidation sale has officially begun.

I need to make room in the garage (and I need to free up some cash) for something new.

Rivanna River: S. Rivanna Reservoir dam/Rio Mills Rd. to Riverview Park, Charlottesville, VA


I hopped on the Nelo 510 today to do a quick training run down the Rivanna River since the reservoir itself has an algae bloom that neither I nor my allergies wanted to deal with.

I paddled at a constant, brisk pace and captured my GPS trace and measured the distance at just about 8.8 miles and covered that in 1hr 25min.

It was my first fast run down the Rivanna this year since I did not participate in the annual Regatta/river race.

I passed many kayakers and tubers along the way and it was great to see so many people out enjoying the Rivanna.

The water was relatively low (the reading at Palmyra was ~500cfs) and I bumped a few rocks along the way, but the 510 performed beautifully through numerous rapids and there was plenty of water to have a great run.

The 510 is rock solid and might be my new whitewater boat.




Renpho Smart scale review

I’ve discovered a new product that is already blowing me away on its first day in terms of affordability and utility.

I just got my Renpho Smart Scale today and it links with an accompanying app via BLE to provide a variety of body parameters including body weight, BMI, BMR, Body Fat %, and muscle mass, among other parameters, using bio-impedance and it is FDA approved.

It cost me under $30 and I’ll bring you along with me on my journey to shed body fat over the next 8 weeks.  I’m backing off the weights in the gym and subsequently will go full-on NSNG next week and reduce my caloric intake slightly to get ready for my last couple kayaking races and kayak adventures for the year.

But first I will relax my diet and enjoy myself this weekend to see what happens.

So far the scale seems like an amazing tool for tracking my body progress.

And yes, I bought it with my own money because I researched the category and sought out this particular product so this is a completely independent and objective review.  I have no connection to the company or product whatsoever, but I am providing a link below through my affiliate’s account on Amazon should you wish to buy one for yourself.




My first day and initial measurement with my new smart scale

Buy the Renpho Smart Scale through my affiliate account on Amazon

Update 8/31/18:

This Renpho Smart Scale is simply amazing.

When you step on the scale all you get is your weight, which doesn’t seem special, but synch it with the app and a variety of useful parameters are available to you.

I’m 1 week into it and in the name of science I binged last weekend to see what would happen with my body and if the scale would detect any changes.

My initial weight was 178.8 and then I shot up to 184.6 over the weekend and now I’m down to 177 after starting strict NSNG (no sugars, no grains) on Monday.

I learned two things:

  1. It will take your body an entire week to recover from a bad weekend, assuming you get back to clean eating right away.
  2. This Renpho scale sees subtle changes and is a very useful and affordable tool for tracking body transformation.

I’ve said from the start of my fitness journey that I don’t much care what my weight is as long as I am gaining muscle mass and losing body fat.

Now I know with confidence that is happening.

This scale is a great way to get deeper insights over and above body weight.  It allows you to track weight, BMR, body fat percentage, muscle mass and more over time.

Below are some screen shots from my first week with the scale.




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Overview, weight, body fat %, and BMI tracked over 1 week with the Renpho Smart Scale

In short, I highly recommend this scale.  It is an incredible, affordable tool for tracking what is happening with your body.  As I write this it is selling on Amazon for $23.79 which boggles my mind.  Don’t just buy a scale, buy this thing.

I’ll check in with you again next week when I’m under 13% body fat.

# # #

Buy the Renpho Smart Scale through my affiliate account on Amazon

Low-carb Diets DO NOT Shorten Lifespan

De-bunking a recent story that was put forth by CNN.

Here is a link to the study.

“Both high and low percentages of carbohydrate diets were associated with increased mortality…”

So why the misleading headline?  And a study that simply asked participants to fill out a questionnaire and then try to link that to all-cause mortality rate?

Dodgy science, at best.

Fat: A Documentary

I cannot wait for this movie to come out.

I truly believe fat in the absence of carbohydrates is not a problem.

Low Carbs, High Fat #LCHF is my adopted lifestyle and it definitely works for my human performance during endurance events.

On to Richmond


This Saturday, August 11 is the Richmond Paddle Cup race with 2.5, 5 and 17-mile options to meet the skill and experience level of just about any paddler.  This race is the replacement for the James River Rundown.

I’ll be racing in the 17-mile race with my Nelo 510 and already know it will be no match for Paddling Buddy Dave’s Stellar SR, so I’m hoping to compete favorably with the other plastic skis that show up.

I got in a few paddling miles this evening after work on the S. Rivanna Reservoir but storms rolled in while I was out on the water so I got cut short a little bit.  That’s OK though, because I did not want to overdue it.  But I did get in 5.6 miles on an out-and-back.

8-8-18_GPSShort, 5.6m mile workout on S. Rivanna Reservoir and Ivy Creek

We’ve had a lot of rain here this summer so there were a lot of leaves on the water and I got tired of watching the normal splash of my Nelo 510 amplified by the leaves that continuously got stuck on the bow so I took matters into my own hands when I got home.  Armed with a heat gun, some scrap wood pieces and a couple clamps, I sharpened the bow of my boat a little bit.  I hope to make it at least a little bit less splashy up front.

Modifying the bow of my Nelo 510

I hit the gym the past two nights after work for light workouts and other than a softball game tomorrow night I plan on taking it easy and resting until Saturday.

Come on out and paddle on the James with us on Saturday!

The Pittsburgh Paddlesport Championships at the Three Rivers Regatta, 2018


I took some vacation time with the family last week and managed to get on the water 3 times.

The first couple outings were in and around Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA where I explored Misery Bay and the nearby lagoons and then out into Presque Isle Bay in my Nelo 510.

I paddled 8-10 miles each time keeping up a brisk pace in order to get in some quality training miles.  Presque Isle Bay also provided me some bigger waves and chop than I’m used to so I gained some experience and confidence with boat wakes and waves hitting me from different directions.

Presque Isle, Erie, PA and a GPS trace of my actual out-and-back

Then at the end of the week I shifted gears and and got ready for the main event: The Pittsburgh Paddlesport Championships, a kayak, canoe and SUP race in downtown Pittsburgh.

Once again our friends at Performance Kayak, Inc. organized the race in coordination with the American Cancer Society and the EQT Three Rivers Regatta.  The organizers did a fantastic job with this first-time event and I have full faith and confidence the event will get bigger and even better in the future.

I grew up north of Pittsburgh, about 20 miles north on the Allegheny River, so it was a bit ironic that my issued race number was #28 as my hometown is ~ 20 miles away–north on PA Route 28.

This race was especially exciting to me since I was back home racing downtown in the city I love.

Racers preparing at the starting line right next to Heinz Field

I raced in my Thunderbolt-X kayak and as such, was placed in a category with some elite paddlers and surf skis.

The racers took off from a starting line near the fountain at Point State Park and we paddled two laps on a 3-mile course, laid out to paddle upstream on the Allegheny, then down to the Ohio, up the Monongahela and then back down to the Allegheny River at Point State Park.

Rinse and repeat.

20180806_022125The race course, launching from Heinz Field and starting at Point State Park

Before the race I was chatting with spectators on land and was unaware of the time so the actual start of the race caught me a little off guard and I once again started near the back of the pack but worked my way through the main pack fairly quickly and made good progress by the time we hit the Ohio River and I was passing some of the top 10 near the USS Requin submarine.

The biggest challenge of the race, in my opinion, was crossing the Ohio River because the wind was blowing slightly and it created upriver chop that hit the right side of our boats, so I was forced to take shorter, choppier strokes than I would have preferred in order to brace and steady myself.  But then once we got to the other side and paddled upstream, I found I was able to actually catch and surf a few waves.

I was very excited the whole race and tried to look up and appreciate the beauty of the city.  Spectators were gathered at Point State Park and cheered us as we paddled by and that gave my spirits a huge lift.  There was another cheering section at Heinz Field so yet another boost from the crowd, which is an environment I’ve never experienced during a race.

It was great!

I managed to take 5th place overall amongst solo paddlers, and 3rd in my division which was one notch down from the ultra-elite, Unlimited division.  I was very happy with this performance.  I was the first true kayak across the finish line with nothing but surf skis ahead of me.

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Overall it was a great experience and I’m able to share my video with you below.

But before I do that, I must thank everyone who supported me through sponsorships/donations for the American Cancer Society.  Together we raised $551 for ACS.

I especially want to thank 10th Life Kayaking and Paul Luc for very generous donations.  What they did was inspirational.

So check out my video below and enjoy the ride!

PS – And my nutrition for the race?  I ate the Meat Omlette from the Gateway Grill at 7am, had nothing but water during the race, and did not need to eat anything until my drive home at 8pm.


A shout out to Paul Luc Music


I’d like to send out a HUGE thank you to Paul Luc for supporting me and the American Cancer Society in my upcoming kayak race in Pittsburgh, PA on August 5.

Paul has said that all proceeds from merchandise sold at his online store for the next two weeks will be donated to the American Cancer Society via my race fundraising page.

I met Paul a couple years ago when he was playing a gig in Nashville at 12th and Porter and we were both quite surprised to discover after we started talking that we are both from the same small town outside of Pittsburgh.  It was a weird coincidence.

Since then I’ve become a fan of Paul’s and have both his Bad Seed and Tried & True albums.

So go ahead and buy some of his music and merchandise and discover him for yourself knowing you are supporting a good cause at the same time.

See you in Pittsburgh on August 5 for the Pittsburgh Paddlesports Championships.