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2008 Kickoff - Season 11

I can smell it in the air! Our last few emails have really gotten things moving even before the season has officially started! We had a great turn out last weekend. Seems like people are pretty excited about this upcoming season!

For those not so competitive, skip down to the last section of this email. Everyone else, read on!


Due to our explosive growth the last few years, we have added two very capable coaches - Chuck Chang and Otto Jan. Gary Wang will be stepping back from coaching duties this season to focus strictly on whipping-ass as a paddler (you guys better watch out!).

Next time you see Chuck, Otto and Gary, please thank them for volunteering their time. I'm absolutely convinced that they will all be a huge part of LARD's future success. Extra special props to Gary for being the primary coach for our beloved Pink (LAPD) paddlers last year after Courtney had to unexpectedly leave us and introducing a lot of us to FARTLEKS.

Along the lines of coaching, many of you have commented that in the past there has been some inconsistency among the coaches when teaching technique. We have taken your comments to heart and to reduce any confusion with paddling technique this season, I have been designated the primary technique coach for the National team.


If you intend to paddle in the USDBF Nationals this July, we are requiring those paddlers that are interested to not only test, but to train, practice and race together.

Sunday - regular practice

These workouts are open to any LARD member regardless of if you are paddling in Nationals or not; however, the National team will have priority seating during the 7am-8am sessions.

Your participation falls under the subjective factors the coaches will use in National team selection.

As usual, we encourage you to bring out any potential recruits; however, we encourage you to bring them during regular practice time (9am-11am) only.

As we get closer to Vancouver, we will bump the extra practice to every Saturday and Sunday through Nationals in late July. In addition, the coaches are working on "encouraged" regional mid-week workouts throughout Southern California. More details to follow once the plans are solidified.

HPC will be assisting in putting together the on land workouts with the input of the LARD coaching staff (fyi - Dallas Robinson, an HPC athlete, has the fastest 60m time in winter track season and he's dangerously close to going sub-10 seconds in the 100m. He is considered a solid Olympic hopeful).

I'm sure there are many questions that need to be answered so start asking!

This season, I promise you that I will do everything I can to better myself as a paddler and coach. If I can do that, I will accept the consequences that result - whatever they may be. I owe this to every last one of you.


As you all know, as a whole, LARD is more of a recreational team than a competitive team. Although a majority of the emails thrown out this season by the coaching staff have been geared towards the competitive paddler, LARD still remains a recreational team. Bottom line is we are all out to have fun and hang out with good people. Where we place in a race doesn't matter. What matters is whether we performed the best we could. Nothing has changed. We have not forgotten our roots.


Never Surrender

Every one of you is just as much a part of LARD as any other LARD paddler regardless of what the stupid erg says. ;)

Together we are greater than the sum of our parts. We value every last one of you.

Thanks so much to you all.


Brain Freeze


Brain Freeze Practice

February 24th. We had already started our grueling training for Nationals earlier in the month, but it was the practice following our 10-year Anniversary Banquet.

Who wouldn't be pumped to continue training for Nationals and celebrating what makes this team so amazing?! The downside though -- it was raining, though that didn't stop the few, but strong. It was a small intimate practice with Coach Chuck sporting how to wear a PFD the right way (attach image), classic cameraman Phil to capture our intense practice, hardcore Dennis to implement some new paddling techniques (watch video), the lady powerhouse duo - Lori and Jeannie and of course myself. Maybe people think we're crazy for going out on a rainy day, but despite the cold there is a certain appeal to paddling in different conditions. Though bringing the boat back onto shore was sure a pain, but with the help of Ms. Dolly we eventually got her back onto the beach. Despite the lack of people, it didn't discourage us, but rather let us enjoy a day of paddling without worrying about all the other things that were looming ahead. Every year is a new journey, and this year had only just started.

-Megan Yeh (2010)