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» Time for an 'update'...
December 21, 2011 at 03:59 PM
By: Pete Fontaine
» you are a great writer for a young kid.
August 13, 2011 at 12:15 AM
By: PIerre Armand
» Wow
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By: Rotorhead
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May 16, 2010 at 12:14 PM
By: Pete
Bernd 5.13

15 Year old Bernd Roediger Stand Up Paddling Hookipa May 10th during a late season North swell. Second edit. SUP only.


Posted: May 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM
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A New Season

"I know its sounds kooky but this is a big deal for me. I have officially left Naish."—Bernd Roediger

This summer was kind of slow and really quiet and muggy air swept through the valley of Maui and created kind of a sluggish mood around the whole island. All of my friends felt the same thing, it happens every year but this year really was a boiling point. Everyday on the water was different, in a sense it was wrong. But it’s starting to change; the first swell has come in for the official start of the wave season. The tempo is picking up and the island seems to be waking up after a long slumber. Now the air is different, more crisp and fresh, there is static in the air. When you walk down the street its colder, when you look at the sky its bluer. The muggy air is gone, replaced with pure energy. Everyone is more excitable now; the first north swell of the season has hit the north shore, our shore. Everyone’s music is a little louder; everyone’s cars are a little cleaner. Maui is becoming a scene again.

   But that is not the only change for me this season, something new is coming around that hasn’t gotten me this excited in years. Because of this change I sail with more energy, I put more power into my sessions, for longer periods of time. I’m constantly flowing with new ideas, like years of pent up energy has suddenly released in a flood of vision! I know its sounds kooky but this is a big deal for me. I have officially left Naish.

   It’s a decision that we have been contemplating for awhile, but it’s not an easy decision for sure. We have always had good experiences on Naish and so it was hard to leave. I think the good thing is that I am coming away with really good feelings about Robby and the team. I’m lucky as a kid to not have the business side of things to really think of, I have only the fun trips and amazing sessions of surfing and windsurfing here at home. But in the end I have ideas to cultivate and directions that I want to follow now that will make me who I am in the future. That for me is why I left Naish; it was simply time to follow a different path.

   It was like this summer’s doldrums, I was just in a stalemate with everything Naish and something had to change. I had so many ideas that seemed to be different than what Naish had. I wanted to just break out and start out on my own again. I wanted to be free and creative like when I started almost eight years ago. Back then I was a seven year old with a wild imagination and sense of determination to do so many cool things in windsurfing. It was time to get back to that.

  So I left Naish. At this point am at a crossroad, with nearly infinite paths to follow. I remain independent; currently I’m testing Goya’s new four-batten Banzai sail. I am open to trying anything and so the excitement is beyond words. Right now I could go in a bazillion different directions with my athletics, its so exciting to have this kind of freedom again. Mark Angulo is shaping me a new windsurf board, it’s the first custom windsurf board I have ever had. He’s also going to make my stand up board, which I think we are both stoked to work together on insane projects in the future. Every time I go on the water it is electrifying, the feeling of being completely free to just sail again, incredible. Off the water I can’t stop drawing sails and boards, I keep doodling just to see if once I can get a graphic I would want on a board. Maybe someday you’ll see me on board with a poorly drawn dragon on the bottom but you know what, it’ll be my poorly drawn dragon and that is what is so exciting!

Posted: September 15, 2011 at 10:40 AM
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Time Warp on the Wave

" was on this trip that I discovered stand up paddling is capable of time travel!"—Bernd Roediger

     Before any trip that I go on, my whole family will look at the travel dates and itinerary to make sure that we are all on the same page and not confused with what is happening and when.  But on my trip to Japan I was still confused!  For one you start out your trip with a 7-hour flight to Tokyo forward in time.  You fly across the Pacific, over the International Date Line, and across into tomorrow!  You only travel 7 hours but you lose 19 hours in total when you reach Japan.  Figuring out how to add 19 hours to your clock is difficult, try thinking about it like Japan is 5 hours behind, but tomorrow!  Weird huh?  The really trippy thing was when I left Japan.  I woke up in Tokyo at around 7:30 A.M. on Tuesday and ate breakfast with Marosan, the head of Naish Japan.  Then I flew out, crossed the Date Line again and arrived in Maui at 7:30 A.M. on Tuesday and ate breakfast with my parents.  So even though I spent the whole day in Tokyo, and traveled 7 hours on a plane, I actually went back in time…

     It was on this trip that I officially went insane with juggling time differences; but it was also this trip that I discovered stand up paddling is capable of time travel!  That’s right time travel; this whole trip has been one trippy episode of the Twilight Zone after the other.  The best example was my session after the Nalu Surf contest.  We left the contest and headed further down the coast to Omaezaki.  When we reached Omaezaki the whole city was shrouded in fog.  The mist really gave a creepy, disconnected, feeling to the whole town.  On the water, the same fog created a bit of a phenomenon.  When Osamasan, Isasan, (both representatives for Naish Japan) and I went to go surfing at this cool break along the road the fog drifted in.  Before I had even put my fins in, the beach had gone from clear blue skies to complete gray all around.  The three of us now wondered if it was safe to go out.  If we couldn’t see the break from the beach, we wouldn’t be able to see the beach from the break; that would make it easy for one of us to get separated and lost at sea.  Then a set came in, we couldn’t see it, but we could hear it crashing somewhere…  With a kind of “well I’ll go if you will” attitude streaming between us, we finally worked up the courage to go out.  We promised to always keep close watch over each other and to call out if separated.  So we walked out over the massive beach that lined the mysterious coast of Omaezaki.  Marosan, the head of Naish Japan and my guide for this trip, was standing on the beach with friends to make sure his temporary responsibility didn’t get swallowed into the mist!  He asked me again if I thought this was a good idea.  “Mon Dai ni,” I told him, which means "no problem" in Japanese.  But I wasn’t so sure that everything was going to be peaches and Guri Guri during this session. 

     Massive shore break pounded the beach at the river mouth in which we had walked along to get to the ocean from the lookout point.  Marosan was already almost out of sight.  When we got to the water’s edge Isasan launched first, a head high wedge dredged and pitted up towards him like an attacker coming out of the mist, he paddled and stroked out and over the wave until he was out of sight.  Visibility was only 25 yards now.  Osamasan went next, “Good luck Osamasama!” (The name suffix “sama” being a term of great respect in Japan, but more just a play on Osama’s name for me!)  He smiled at me, ran through the break, and disappeared in the mist.  Finally I went, the elements closed in around me as I plunged into the water.  The fog felt closer than ever now, the water splashed and reeled at me, its cooler-than-Maui temperature sent shivers through my skin.  Then a wave came out of the mist, hurdling whitewater towards me.  I had no time; I got two strokes in and impacted with the wave head on.  The whitewater flung into my eyes; I cleared them and for a second I thought I could see two figures standing in the distance.  I paddled hard to their position, making it clear from the whitewater that had ensnared me before.  I paddled hard, breathing heavy now, completely shrouded in mist, completely alone.  I shouted out to Osamasama and Isasan and heard a return cry from two men in the distance.  My gusto grew as I heard their voices and it wasn’t long before I could make out their shapes and then I was within feet of them.  I passed through one more curtain of fog and entered a clearing.  A circle of clear air about fifty meters around circled us, and behind us was the beach, barely visible on even the clearest of breaks in the mist.  I turned around and found a break in front of us, it looked like there were some head high waves coming through, but just then something stirred the fog on the outside.  A large shape rose and fell in the distance, just beyond the circle of visibility that we sat in the center of.  “Maybe we should go back,” someone said.  Too late, right before our eyes an over head set came rushing out from the fog, just a few yards in front of us, completely hidden until now.  It rose and threatened us out of nowhere and then came hurtling towards us.  Osamasama was deepest; he took it on the head, completely unprepared.  I was lucky to be in the right place.  I caught the wave late and turned hard down the line, Isasan was paddling out and the wave broke, whitewater shooting me out towards him, I buried the rail and turned back right down the line again.  I turned and tried to hit the wave, watching as the gray wave blended in with the gray fog; but then a little bit of white broke through and I could make out the lip now, I hit it and made a satisfying yell! 

     More waves came, and my friends and I caught waves for what seemed like forever.  We never saw anyone else, on the water or the beach; we were in our own little world, completely cut off from time and space.  That is how I realized stand up, and surfing in general, is capable of time travel.  It is the times that you experience when the world seems to stop, when everything and everyone around you seems to hit the pause button and you can forget about the worries of the day, and surf.  Its when you catch a wave and nothing else is on your mind, its when you surf so passionately and so aggressively that your emotions pour out onto the water and it feels like the world stops to watch.  That’s how stand up paddling is like traveling through time.

     Finally I went in.  “Back so soon Berndchan?” Marosan asked as I came off the water, “Oh!” I breathed, “Haven’t we been out for ages?”  “No Berndchan, only about 20 minutes.”  That was weird; I could have sworn we were out for longer than that.  It felt like at least an hour.  Finally I asked if he ever saw any of us.  He replied that he never saw even any evidence that we even caught a wave.  “Are you sure it was over head Berndchan?”  I looked back now and saw that the sea had calmed and the waves had gone back down again.  The fog had cleared to reveal to all the spectators that it was flat.  But I had been in the fog, I had seen those waves, and I can’t help but feel like I had been there for longer than just twenty minutes…


Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:31 PM
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"That's the power of the Home Depot!"

Posted: July 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM
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This summer has been pretty flat with lots of wind, perfect for stand up racing. Everyone and their grandpa has been paddling down the coast on whatever stand up boards they can find; race boards, long boards, short boards, whatever! I am pretty stoked with my new board. The 2012 Javelin is designed as a flat water board, but with its narrow shape and low nose rocker, it is an incredibly efficient board! Especially for a smaller rider, bigger guys have problems with it but at 100 hundred pounds I can still paddle in over head seas! With its constant speed and efficiency, this board has given me the tools to unlock my racing potential.  
     Having a new board that I can really go fast on has inspired me to train harder, longer. Now I am really working hard to be in a strong racing condition for the upcoming races. Other Maui racers are paddling everyday too; a lot of them are training for upcoming races and channel crossings as well. A bunch of Naish riders have been through here this summer to train for their own events. The last few days we have been paddling with Karen Wren. She currently lives and trains in Hood River where she can flat water train in the winter and downwind train in the summer. She is really focusing on perfecting the right lines to take down the coast for different runs. Karen will be competing in the Naish Paddleboard Championships, where there should be a pretty strong Naish presence!  
     The Naish race isn't the only event that everyone is training for. There are several channel crossings, that I will unfortunately miss, that are the focal point for racers specializing in the unlimited class. For everyone else there is the Battle of the Paddle California which is going to be big event for every competitive paddler across the country. I will be competing in the BOP and the Naish race as well as the Gorge Paddle Challenge later in the year. With all of these race events ahead, I am pumped to train and try to eek out as much speed as possible!

Posted: July 2, 2011 at 09:33 AM
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