Catching Up with Nikki Gregg – Part 2 by Glenn Dubock

Nikki Gregg disbatches Part 2 Glenn Dubock
Nikki Gregg disbatches Part 2 - by Glenn Dubock

A Downwinder and A Dunking – Metaphors For The Life Of A SUP Pro
By Glenn Dubock

Global Partner

Nikki Gregg has settled in quite nicely to her new found home on the Central Coast of California. She has connected with Ken and Sandi Twist, owners of The Paddleboard Co. in Morro Bay, folks she describes as two of the coolest people she has ever met.  That is saying a lot coming from a globe trotter like Nikki who has been such an ambassador for our sport for so long.

Nikki Gregg Morro Bay stacks Glenn Dubock
Finding friends in new places, Nikki Gregg explores the waters of Morro Bay, CA. Photo by: Glenn Dubock

Friends in Morro Bay

My chance to meet Sandi and Ken and get the nickel tour of their prime retail location is quickly followed by the chance to record all 3 of them in a downwind paddle from the dock that is steps away from their shop.  Typical of Morro Harbor in the afternoon, a north wind is competing with an opposing out-going tidal flow- a tricky situation that Nikki knows all so well because she has called Hood River Oregon her home in the past.

Nikki Gregg Morro Bay The PaddleBoard Co Glenn Dubock
Nikki’s smile has always been infectious. It’s great to see her back on the water with Ken and Sandi Twist of The Paddleboard Co. in Morro Bay, CA. Photo by: Glenn Dubock

Into the Wind

Opposing forces- many things pulling her in different directions, rough waters, serious setbacks – these are all challenges on and off the liquid landscape that have confronted Gregg in the past few years.

People tend to think that the life of a traveling sup guru/pro is all easy strokes down current. Nikki is not one to complain but she makes no secret of the fact that she has learned some hard lessons on the inequalities of being a woman on the business end of trying to make this lifestyle yield a reasonable paycheck.  I feel comfortable asking Nikki some deep questions – her honesty is as refreshing and it is revealing.


Nikki Gregg Morro Bay Glenn dobock
Nikki Gregg finds her stride and her people up in Morro Bay, CA.   Photo by: Glenn Dubock


All these questions are pouring through my head as I race down the narrow bay road to meet up with them at the pre-arranged haul out point called Windy Cove.  The first thing I notice as they round the bend for the home stretch is that all three of them have huge smiles on their faces – the look that sharing such special moments in such a unique place makes those facial muscles deny any argument from the rest of your tired body.

Nikki Gregg Morro Bay Harbor mouth Glenn Dubock
Strong and steady, whether into the wind or down with the current, paddle boarding has so much to teach us about life on land too. Photo by: Glenn Dubock

Windy Cove and a Good Dunking

My camera and I can’t get enough of this place – I beg them for a photo session up at the mouth of the Morro Bay Harbor entrance in the fading light of the day.  There is not a hint of resistance from anyone.

The wind has reached gale proportions and the shadow of the famous Morro Bay Rock is looming large as they launch from the spit of sand beneath the iconic power plant towers.  After negotiating the wicked mid-channel turbulence, Nikki decides to step off her board and explore the sand spit only to be confronted by her board rolling like a tumbleweed from the wind before she can wrestle it back onto the water. Soon after, she gets tipped by the wind and gets a brutal cold water dunking-including her cell phone.

Nikki Gregg Boga Paddleboard Morro Bay Glenn Dubock
Pioneer sup sportswoman Nikki Gregg knows how to manage the currents and tack into the wind, reminding us that inner strength comes from challenges overcome and peace well earned. Photo by: Glenn Dubock

Finding her Way

I have my phone out, ready to call the Coast Guard rescue line but I can see through my telephoto that smile and a calm, persistent stroke is still there, even if Gregg is soaked and shivering.

Nikki is a survivor – she has been dunked and clawed her way back up to the surface.  She currently has no sponsors, no contracts – and I get the feeling, for now, she is enjoying the freedom that brings.  We will talk about that and go for an exploration paddle of this amazing area tomorrow.

Stay Tuned.
Next up – The Back Bay and Q & A

— by Glenn Dubock


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Glenn Dubock, Assoc. Publisher/Photo Editor – Santa Barbara, CAnHis voicemail message at Santa Barbara’s Cottage Hospital says Dubock is the media services coordinator, but that’s just his day job. He is one of the preeminent watersports photographers on the scene today. Growing up in the West Coast surf culture and getting in on the ground floor of the windsurf and kitesurfing boom days, Dubock’s impactful coverage began even before he extensively photographed the ’84 Olympic Games. Glenn’s images depict a deep knowledge of the sport. In 1985 he shot the first cover for California Boardsailor, our mag that would eventually become Wind Tracks. “Dub” is about to celebrate his 30th wedding anniversary with Kathy.