Spring 2013 Red Cedar River Surf Session

Surfs Up at Michigan State

Remi Surf
Matuli Team Rider Remi at Michigan State University
Thien on the Matuli “Made in 1 Day Board”

With flood warnings issued it was time to get the local crew out to surf some not so fresh water waves.  This is not a wave for beginners.  A shallow line of boulders creates a wave as swift water flows over them.  This “East Swell” only works when the river is at just the right depth and flow rate.  IMG_4602With all the submerged rocks this is not the place to use your best stick.  I met some very rad MSU students who were already on it when we got there.  It takes a while to figure the spot out but they were determined and got the hang of it!

MSUOur new Surf East Lansing Shirts are now available!Green Surf East Lansing


Spring SUP Training Plan

As the popularity of stand-up paddle boarding explodes so too does the number of races and racers. One of the best ways to stay motivated with your training is to sign up for a SUP race.  Committing to a race date provides a goal deadline, and a reason to train and prepare.

Step one:  find a race

Get Race Ready

In Michigan many of the lakes and rivers are currently covered with ice. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start your training early. Much of your power in paddling comes from your core. Having strong abs and a strong lower back is the first step toward being race ready. For most people a core workout consists mainly of crunches and other abdominal exercises.  The lower back, however, is just as important and is a key component for maintaining endurance, good form, and power.

Lower Back (spinal erectors) Workout:

Perform as many reps of each exercise as you can within one minute.  Repeat the series of three exercises 3 or 4 times.



  1. To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position.
  2. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for 2 seconds. You should look like superman when he is flying.
  3. Repeat until one minute has expired.

Tip: Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Remember to exhale during this movement. Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.

Variations: You can also perform this exercise using one arm and leg at a time or perform in the transverse plane. Simply elevating your left leg, arm and side of your chest and do the same with the right side.


Crossover Reverse Lunge


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Perform a rear lunge by stepping back with one foot and flexing the hips and front knee. As you do so, rotate your torso across the front leg.
  3. After a brief pause, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, continuing in an alternating fashion.
  4. Repeat until one minute has expired.



  1. With someone holding down your legs or holding onto the bench with your feet, slide yourself down to the edge a flat bench until your hips hang off the end of the bench. Your entire upper body should be hanging down towards the floor. You will be in the same position as if you were on a hyperextension bench but the range of motion will be shorter due to the height of the flat bench vs. that of the hyperextension bench.
  2. With your body straight, cross your arms in front of you or behind your head. This will be your starting position. You can also hold a weight plate for extra resistance in front of you under your crossed arms.
  3. Start bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping your back flat. Inhale as you perform this movement. Keep moving forward until you almost touch the floor. Never round the back as you perform this exercise.
  4. Slowly raise your torso back to the initial position as you exhale. Make a concerted effort not to arch your back past a straight line. Also, do not swing the torso at any time in order to protect the back from injury.
  5. Repeat for 10 – 15 reps.


Great Lakes Waterman and Paddle Board Innovators

Some of the most innovative Watermen came from the Great Lakes states.

Walking into Tom Morey’s workshop I was amazed with his prototypes all over the shop and hanging on the ceiling.  It seemed like, Tom, would dream of a new way to ride a wave  and make a prototype to make it happen.  Tom grew up in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Laguna Beach when he was 10 years old.  When Tom was 11 he was already placing in paddleboard races.

Surf Morey board
Photo of Matuli Team Rider Tom Chapman on a Morey board

I have a hand shaped prototype board made by Tom that is fun to take out in faster beach breaks.  It has an interesting parabolic shape design.

Tom is probably best known for inventing the Body Board.  Recently Morey has teamed up with Catch Surf of San Clemente, California designing the black ball beater boards that are getting very popular.

Green River Paddleboarding, Chicago, St. Patrick’s Day 2013

St Patricks day Chicago Paddle Board

It was Cold day for paddle boarding, unlike last years 70 degree St. Patrick’s day, this year celebration in the windy city Chicago was not as comfortable.  The Matuli boards were almost the same color as the river as it was dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.

The green river tradition started more then 50 years ago to spot illegal dumping into the river. 50 years ago plumbers would check buildings along the river for sewage using the dye formula, that turned green if sewage was detected.  After running through the pipes, the river would become green surrounding the buildings excreting the most waste.  Lets hope the water wasn’t green because of sewage.

Most people do not realize but the River flows from Lake Michigan, so the river downtown is fresh from the lake.

Green Paddle Board

Prevent a Drowning! It’s up to all of us to know how to

Prevent a Drowning!

It’s up to all of us to know how to

1) recognize when a swimmer is in danger of drowning

2) know what action to take to save the swimmer’s life.  


Bob Pratt, retired East Lansing Fire Marshall and co-founder of the                                    Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project                                                                                             with Joe, Chris & Mike Matulis at the Matuli PaddleSurf exhibit, March 1, 2013,          Quietwater Symposium at Michigan State University.
Bob Pratt, retired East Lansing Fire Marshall and co-founder of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project with Joe, Chris & Mike Matulis at the Matuli PaddleSurf exhibit, March 1, 2013, Quietwater Symposium at Michigan State University.


Bob Pratt gave an important presentation to ‘a standing room only’ crowd at the Quietwater Symposium at Michigan State University.  As we move closer to the season of pool parties, lake swimming and boating adventures, it is important to become educated about what to look for and how to respond to water emergencies. Here is a summary of some of the information that Bob shared.

Critical Information for Preventing Drowning Deaths

  • People do not recognize when a swimmer is in trouble.   The phenomena of drowning does not attract attention. Most people think that a swimmer in danger of drowning will be waving their arms and shouting out for help.  Wrong!   Swimmers who are in the trouble cannot flail their arms.  If they reach their arms out of the water, they will immediately sink under the water.  Instead, they try to grab the surface of the water, and they can’t yell because they are gasping for breath. Humans automatically slip into what is called an Instinctive Drowning  Response.   Many people would look at such a swimmer and think that he or she is playing, but this swimmer is in serious trouble.    You can learn more about this by viewing the following video:  http://mariovittone.com/2011/07/video-of-instinctive-drowning-response/


  • Keep a close eyes on your children when they are swimming.  Sometimes parents may get distracted by other activity in the area, but drowning can occur within twenty to forty-five seconds of getting into danger.


  • If you are hosting a pool party with children, use the Watch Card system to ensure that all swimmers are being observed. Make a Watch Card (index card, exc.) and give it to an adult who is willing to accept the responsibility of keeping an eye on all of the swimmers.  If the Watcher has to leave the pool area, the card should be given to another competent and willing adult.  This strategy will prevent drowning accidents.


  • If you see someone in danger, you should grab something that floats and then head out into the water – a small cooler, a life jacket, a paddleboard, a boat cushion, etc.  (It’s a good idea to always pack a floating device when you head out to the beach.)  Making a rescue is very difficult if you don’t have some kind of floating device. 


  • Put your own safety first.  Too often a would-be rescuer is not prepared to make the rescue (lacks floating device, strength, swimming ability, etc.) and finds him or herself in a losing battle with waves and deep water.


  • Wear life preserver every time you are on your watercraft.  People who wear a life jacket have a less than one percent chance of drowning is they fall into the water


Bob demonstrated the use of a Belt Pack Personal Floatation Device that can be worn around the waist.  It does not restrict movement and , in case of an emergency it is easily inflated by pulling the ring that triggers the release of CO2 from a canister. Most people do not wear a lifejacket when boating.  They keep it on the deck and they think that they will be able to put it on when they are in the water.  Bob explained that trying to put a life jacket on when you are in the water is extremely difficult.

  • Standup Paddle Surfboards are considered watercraft so you have to have a Personal Floatation Device onboard. If you use your Stand Up Paddleboard at night, you need running lights.  Standup Paddleboards are very good devices for rescues.  The victim can rest on the board while being towed to the shore.  Surfers and SUP surfers can be make a big contribution to drowning prevention across Michigan and in the Great Lakes. 

Looking to get envolved? The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is an excellent resource for learning about water safety.

Quiet Water Symposium 2013

Best water dog ever

I had a ton of fun at QWS this year.  I wish the event was longer so I could see everything. We got to show off some our our new technology and designs to everyone who stopped by our display.

Paddle Board Demo

We set up our new race board on mats to give those interested in SUP a chance to try out paddleboarding and receive instant feedback with a video comparison of their form to expert paddlers.

Paddle board biomechanical instruction



Hand Made Wood SUP


Making our “SUP Simulator” as realistic as possible we even included some interactive projected  water and fish!

It was really fun seeing all the other local watercraft builders.  I was really impressed with Gerald Cole’s wood stand up paddleboard.

Playing with the fish

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and see you in the water!Sup Dog

Standup For The Cure 2013


This years standup for the cure is set for May 4th, 2013.  The event is to raise awareness and funds for the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Newport Dunes is the perfect location for this event.  I helped out at last years Paddle Party, at the same location, and with the live music I know this event is will be a blast.  Just don’t let the tide pull you under the bridge with it!  More info at http://www.standup-for-the-cure.org.   I hope to see you there.


Don’t Blackball Surfing in Indiana

blackballI have had some of my best Lake Michigan surf sessions in Indiana.  Right now Jim Arnold is trying to pass a bill that would blackball the whole state of Indiana when there are waves, making it illegal for swimmers and,surfers to be in the water.  Jim Arnold is a Democrat and with a Republican super majority I’m not sure if this will pass.   I think more Public Education and an educated Lifeguard service would be a much better way of solving the drowning problem in Indiana.

South Lake michigan