Blog of Sailing Pro Shop and all Things Sailing

Sailing Pro Shop's blog dedicated to sailing, junior racing, and everything one design.  
We are a company of sailors for sailors. 

Laser Performance C420 Product Spotlight

Friday, October 18, 2013


As a Laser Performance dealer, we offer the popular C420, also known as the Club 420. In 43 countries worldwide, it’s used as a youth development boat. In fact, it’s actually the world’s top training boat. If you’re wondering how safe it is, on a scale of one through 10, we give it a nine — it’s a very safe boat. In addition to being safe, it’s durable, light and strong. As noted in the Laser Performance brand’s tagline for this boat: “Young sailors get schooled and top sailors get challenged.” And they certainly do. Through using this sailboat, young sailors learn teamwork, trapeze, and spinnaker techniques that can’t be learned with single-handed boats.

The boat is 13.9 ft. in length with a mean of 5.5 ft. It has a draft that measures 2.95 ft., a mainsail area that measures nearly 80 ft., and a jib area that measures slightly over 30 ft. Its hull weight is 230 lbs. Its deck-mounted hardware is supported by tapped aluminum backing plates and it has toughened resin and plexus bond.

For more information on this boat, contact us.


Sailing Rash Vest Review: Gill UV Aero Vest

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Our Gill Sailing Rash Vest, UV Aero Vest is ideal for the trapeze sailor. This piece of sailing clothing reduces wind drag and eliminates the danger of snagging. It can be worn over a buoyancy aid, a trapeze harness, and other additional layers. It has four way stretch fabric for comfort and fit. Plus, it has 50+ UV protection.

What People Are Saying

“I like that it has opening stretches that fit around the vest’s Trapeze Harness. It’s a good, comfortable vest at an affordable price.” - Jill W, San Diego, CA

“When I’m sailing, safety is my number one priority. This vest certainly meets my standards for safely reducing wind drag and snagging.” - Gennaro S., Ft. Lauderdale, FL

“You want to know what I think about this vest? Comfortable, comfortable, comfortable! I’d recommend it.” – Alex B., Corpus Christie, TX

So there you have it folks. The UV Aero Vest is in fact a worthwhile vest to have. Do you own it? If so, we’d love to hear how you like it. Please head over to our website and leave a review or share your experience on our Facebook page.


Sea Thermo Pants Review

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Made from spandex and polypropylene — a perfect layering material, this piece of sailing clothing is an ideal base layer for a dry suit or being worn under Sea sailing pants. Sailors are not the only ones who find them suitable — fishermen, kayakers, hikers, bikers, and other people who enjoy the outdoors when it’s cold out, do too. They dry fast, have a water repellent fabric, are lightweight, and have 50+ UV protection.  

What People Are Saying

“One of my favorite times of the year to go sailing in my home state is in the fall, but sometimes it gets chilly out on the water especially during fall months. These pants help keep me warm.” – Lorena A., Margate, NJ.

“The Sea Thermo Pants are flexible and comfortable.” – Samuel D., Newton, MA

“They are lightweight and great for layering.” - William, Holland, MI

So, you don’t have to be sailor to wear these pants, but who wouldn’t want to be? Haha, just kidding. But really — these pants are good for just keeping you warm. Although they are snug, the black is rather flattering on most body types. Will they be on your wish list this holiday season? 


Spotlight On Sperry Sailing Shoes & Boots

Monday, September 30, 2013

Every sailor needs a pair or two of reliable sailing shoes and boots. In this blog post, we’re taking a close look at a pair of Sperry Sea Racer Shoes, the Sperry Top Sider Grip X3 Boot, and the Sperry Top Sider SeaHiker Waterproof Boot.

Sperry SeaRacer Shoe

As the official footwear of the U.S. Sailing Team, Zodiac Academy, the World Billfish Series, and the Shimano Fishing Tour, these shoes are reliable. One of our customers said “they help keep my legs steady. I think that’s due to the sticky outside of the shoe. I never worry about slipping on deck when I have them on.” What this customer is referring to is the shoe’s Hydro-Grip Rubber – a sticky outsole for maximum on-deck traction. These shoes also have Adaptive Wave Siping that disperses water underfoot which reduces slippage. They are complete with a full surface grab and grip for allaround performance. These shoes can also easily be wore over a dry suit because they have shoelaces that can easily be adjusted. I’ve also noticed that these shoes are pretty light. More information >>

Sperry Top Sider Grip X3

This sailing boot remains one of our best sellers, for obvious reasons. It’s comfortable, has ultimate traction, and offers overall great foot and ankle protection. The sole is flexible and sturdy. Its built-in GripX3 Technology delivers 360-degree traction for a more confident sailing experience in spring, summer, fall, and even winter. While I don’t recommend wearing this boot barefoot in the winter, you certainly could if you had to, as it’s a warm boot. More information >>

Sperry SeaHiker Boot GripX3

One of the first things I noticed about this sailing boot when I first tried it on was the zipper closure the boot has on its side. It’s an easy boot to get on and off. When you’re sailing on a dinghy or a big boat, you need maximum traction for peak performance. This boot offers that, as it includes GripX3 Technology, similar to the Sperry Top Sider above. The boot’s Hydro-Grip Rubber gives you that extra stability. The boot is also pretty flexible. More information >>

What’s your favorite sailing shoe or boot? Head over to our Facebook page to share.

WeatherFlow Wind Meter Review

Friday, September 20, 2013
We’re excited to announce – we’re now carrying a new sailing accessory – the WeatherFlow Wind Meter. We let a couple of our friends try it out and they gave the product glowing reviews.


The WeatherFlow Wind Meter is an anemometer that fits in your pocket. In fact, it attaches right to your iPhone, iPod, iPad, or major Android device and it’s easy to use. Just attach it to your smartphone and download one of its FREE apps for iOS or Android. It’s ideal for use by the general wind and weather-addicted sailor. While it’s not a scientific instrument, it’s designed to be better than any other handheld and pocket anemometer in the market. With an operating range that extends from 2 mph to over 125 mph, our reviewers have found it to be a valuable sailing accessory.

“I love that it’s compact and easy to use.” – Mike S., Newport Beach, CA
“A great product at a great price.” – Karen W., Anaheim, CA
“Easy to set up, easy to take readings. Love that I can take readings and easily share them with my friends on social media.” – Gary B., Tustin, CA

For more information or to order your product,  visit our website.

Gill Marine Gear Worth Checking Out

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hello readers, Art here — I’ve recently been getting asked a lot about our Gill marine gear. Several customers have asked me what my favorite products are and which I recommend. I have several which include a Gill PFD jacket, Gill trousers, and a Gill jacket. In no particular order, here’s what they are and why I recommend them.

  1. The Gill Side Buoyancy is first and foremost, US Coast Guard approved, which is always a big plus in my book. This PFD Jacket gives its user a lot of freedom to move around while still remaining comfortable. Also, it has a more unique design than many other PFDs.

  2. The Gill Wash Bag is plain and simple — just a really great bag. Two qualities I value most in a bag are whether or not it can fit all my things and how durable it is. This bag is both spacious and tough. Check and check. It’s not too big but is big enough to fit everything I need for a night out.

  3. In many areas, the weather is starting to get cold. The Gill i3 Polarclava is a great piece to have as temperatures decrease. It’s bound to keep your head and neck warm without being too bulky. Plus, it’s wind resistant and flexible. It can be used as a full balaclava or simply for keeping your neck warm.

  4. Another piece of sailing gear that is great to have with you on sailing trips as the weather gets colder is the Gill Pro Salopettes (Trousers). While it’s not going to keep you as warm as the Gill i3 Polarclava, it does a good job at protecting its users from wind and water. You can utilize its adjustable Velcro ankle closure for full weather protection.

  5. The Gill OS1 Jacket in my opinion is one of the best jackets in the market for bad weather conditions. Coupled with a fleece lined channel and ocean height collar with high, wrap-around faceguard, it’s bound to keep you warm. Plus, it’s durable and waterproof while breathable at the same time.

What are some of your favorites? Share them with me on our Facebook page.



Sailing Terms Worth Knowing

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hello curious sailors. Whether you’re new to sailing or have been sailing for years, there are some sailing terms that you should know, and some that you may want to know for kicks. Grow your sailing smarts with these terms. Important terms have an asterisk in front of them.

Ahoy: Ahoy basically means “hello”. It’s used to greet or say goodbye to other sailors. Sometimes it’s used as a way to get attention.

*Aloof: To steer clear.

Bagglywrinkle: A soft covering for obstructions to help reduce damage to sails. 

*Buoy: Pictured below is what a buoy – an anchored floating device may look like. Buoys are often used as navigation marks or to signal hazards.

*Bow: The front of the boat.

Castaway: You may have heard this term before from the 2000 movie Cast Away. Castaway in terms of sailing simply means “a discarded person”.

Escutcheon: A plate on a boat where the boat’s name is written.

*Helm: The helm has to do with steering the boat. It’s a boat’s steering mechanism.

*Jibe: A type of sailing maneuver. Changing the direction of the boat and bringing it through the wind.

*Point of Sail: The point of sail is known as the sailing position. 

*Stern: The back of the boat.

*Tack: This is an important term that has two meanings: to change direction specifically by turning the boat through the wind and the course you are on relative to the wind, as the ASA defines it.

For even more terms, visit the American Sailing Association’s article Sailing Terms Everyone Should Know.

Best Places to Sail

Friday, August 09, 2013

Sailing gear... check. Sailing clothing... check. Sailing safety... check. Now, where to sail? Here are five places from the West Coast to the East Coast that we highly recommend taking your boat out to in the near future.

San Francisco Bay

1. San Francisco Bay
On the West Coast the San Francisco Bay area is a prime location for sailing. Thanks to a great climate, you can sail it anytime of the year. The winds are consistent and suited for sailing comfortably. The scenery is always beautiful and there are plenty of shore side docks and support to accommodate your needs. Some of the best schools for sailing are located in the San Francisco Bay area so sailing in this area is especially favorable among students. The layout of the area and the consistency of the wind make it a favorite by many long-time sailors.

2. Between San Diego and Santa Barbara
South of San Francisco lie the beautiful cities of San Diego and Santa Barbara. The waters between these two West Coast cities are prime locations for coasting around slowly or racing at top speeds. The weather is accommodating to sailors who want to sail during any season. There are plenty of harbors and docks. Plus the area’s large bodies of water will often make you feel as if you have the water all to yourself.

Boothbay Harbor

3. Boothbay Harbor
If you reside in or are planning on visiting the East Coast, we highly recommend you take a trip up to Maine and sail around Boothbay Harbor. Picture this: 3,500 miles of coastline filled with pristine sailing waters, plenty of coves, and plenty of harbors. That’s what you get when you sail Boothbay.

4. Newport
For many sailors who reside on the East Coast, Newport, Rhode Island is a popular sailing destination. The sights are plentiful and there is no lacking of service on the seaside. Newport has deep-water harbors, a large bay with easy access to the ocean, and a wind that carries you quite comfortably no matter what the season is.

Biscayne Bay

5. Biscayne Bay
Heading further south on the East Coast is Biscayne Bay located in Miami, Florida. It has some of the most beautiful waters for sailing. With 35 miles of water from Miami to Key Largo, this area is one of the most serene places to sail. The waters are smooth, the temperatures are comfortable, and the breezes are fair. Don’t be surprised if after making a sailing trip here, you feel refreshed and renewed.

Did we miss any of your favorite places to sail? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know what they are and why. And remember, for all your sailing clothing and sailing gear needs, visit our online store.

Freestyle Mariner Watch

Friday, August 09, 2013
Freestyle Mariner Watch

The Mariner Watch by Freestyle is a must have piece of sailing gear for both men and women sailors. Prime features of this sailing watch include a true race timer that has unique beep alerts to signal countdown is approaching zero and an automatic start after completed countdown. For calm seas or high surf waters, men and women sailors who own this watch depend on its waterproof design when the sea splashes water onto them. In addition to this sailing watch being durable and reliable, it’s fashionable and fits the smallest and largest of wrists. Plus, it’s comfortable and lightweight. Sailors who have less than perfect eyesight especially appreciate how easy it is to read — it has a large digital screen with a night vision backlight. At Sailing Pro Shop, this watch is sold in several colors: black/orange, black/blue, red/black, and white/yellow. For more information on this sailing watch, visit the Freestyle Mariner Watch Product Description on the Sailing Pro Shop website.

Zhik ZKG Shoe

Friday, August 09, 2013
Zhik ZKG Shoe

The Zhik ZKG Shoe was originally designed for grip and performance on deck, but it has some street cred and with them on, users can do any marine activity. The shoe combines a deck shoe with a dingy boat. It has a perforated neoprene upper and is perforated with holes that help the shoe breathe, drain, and dry fast. The shoe’s high grip rubber sole keeps users connected when it’s wet. This is not the most supportive shoe on the market but it gets the job done and is fairly comfortable. Since there’s no tongue toward the top of the shoe, when you put a pair on, you won’t get blisters. Popular features of this shoe include: it’s lightweight, flexible, and available in a variety of bright colors.

At Sailing Pro Shop, these shoes are available in grey/blue, grey/red, black/grey, blue/blue, and pink/grey. For more information on them or to order your pair, visit the Zhik ZKG Shoe product description on the Sailing Pro Shop website. When ordering, keep in mind that they run small.

Sailing Safety Tips

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

You have your sailing clothing on, your boat stocked (as best as you think it should be) and you’re ready for a trip out to sea - or so you think. Could you have forgotten something?

A report by the U.S. Coast Guard stated the top 10 known primary contributing factors of recreational boating accidents for 2012:

  • Operator inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  • Improper lookout
  • Machinery failure
  • Excessive speed
  • Navigation rules violation
  • Alcohol use
  • Force of wake/wave
  • Weather
  • Hazardous waters

More than 100 of these accidents resulted in death and several hundred resulted in injuries that could have had a great chance of being prevented had sailors followed proper sailing safety tips.

Think you’re fully prepared to take on that great big body of water? Be certain and have safe and enjoyable trip by following these sailing safety tips.

Always wear a life jacket.
Almost seventy one percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, almost eighty five percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket (U.S. Coast Guard).

Life Vest

Check the weather.
If conditions are expected to be hazardous, reschedule your trip for a better day. If you’re out on the water when the weather suddenly and unexpectedly becomes hazardous, seek harbor right away.

Tell someone about your planned trip.
Let a trusted source know:
  • The estimated time of your trip.
  • The names and contact information of all who would be joining you.
  • The type of communication the boat has.

Above tips taken from a Sailing Safety Slide Show written by avid boater H. Dan Hill.

Get a sailing education.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety website, many boating safety courses are offered various counties for all types of recreational boaters and for boaters of all ages. Familiarize yourself with sailing and the way of the water by taking a boating safety course.

Check your gear before you sail.
Don’t leave the dock until you can answer yes to each of these questions:

  • Are my personal floatation devices in good condition (free from tears, discoloring, sun rotting, and moisture)?
  • If my vessel is more than 16 ft. long, do I have an additional throwable device aboard?
  • Have I packed a basic toolbox with all the tools I need for my boat?
  • Have I tested my navigation and anchor lights, steering, tilt/trim, blige pump, and the marine radio?
  • Do I have a fire extinguisher aboard that works and is easy to access? Do my passengers know where it’s located?
  • Do I have a flashlight, spare batteries, and first aid kit?
  • If a bobbin has been installed on my life jackets, is it still valid and not expired?

Most departure tips taken from the Hiawatha Valley Sail & Power Squad. View the non-profit’s printable Boater’s Pre-departure Checklist.

Limit your alcohol intake. 
According to the American Boating Association (ABA), boating while intoxicated is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. If you’re operating a boat and you have a blood alcohol level of just 10 percent (approximately one to three beers), you are ten times as likely to be killed in a boating accident as a sober boater. Know your limit.

In closing, remember this (from the National Safe Boating Council) to help you remember the above tips -
Know your …

  • Boat
  • Equipment
  • Safety devices and PFDs
  • Alcohol limits
  • First aid and emergency procedures
  • Environment (area and weather)

To update your sailing gear or purchase new sailing clothing, visit our website.

Zhik Deckbeater Shorts Review

Monday, July 01, 2013

Every sailing clothing collection needs a pair of reliable, rear protecting shorts. In steps … Zhik Deckbeater Shorts. These sailing and hiking shorts take a bite out of sitting on a rail and long sessions in the water. They can be worn under your shorts or over your wet gear. To help you stay cool — especially during hot summer days — these padded shorts are breathable. Plus, they’re fast drying, so you won’t have to worry about hanging a wet pair of shorts around the house for long.

Made with spandex that is UV50+ and has 7mm neoprene padding, these Deckbeater Shorts are specifically contoured for comfort. Hike harder with Deckbeaters. These shorts also feature flatlock stitching and a ZhikTex rear panel.

To learn more about these shorts, visit our website

Zhik Deckbeater Shorts

Sperry GripX3 Waterproof SeaHiker Boot 4 Review

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Sperry GripX3 Waterproof SeaHiker Boot 4 is one of the most supportive dinghy boots that we offer for male and female sailors. When you demand dry feet while hiking hard on a dinghy (sports boats or bowmen), you can depend on this sailing boot.

Unique features of this sailing boot include: Adaptive Wave Siping™ channels that disperse water underfoot to reduce slippage on wet and dry surfaces, Hydro-Grip Rubber that delivers maximum safety and traction to enhance agility, and Sperry Top-Deck 360™ that provides a WP rubber upper featuring an internal layer of 2mm neoprene. Since no foot is exactly the same, this boot offers gusseted side-lace entry for a customized fit plus red plastic laces. These boots run big. When ordering, women should order one and half sizes below their normal shoe size.

“The Sperry GripX3 Waterproof SeaHiker Boot 4 is a favorite of mine. From support with the laser hiking strap to the running bow, I’d recommend it to any sailor.” –Paul D., Newport Beach, CA

To learn more about this boot, visit our website.

SeaHiker Waterproof Boot

Spinlock Deckvest 5D 170N Pro Sensor Review

Monday, July 01, 2013

From Spinlock, comes the latest award-winning piece of sailing gear – the Spinlock Deckvest 5D 170N Pro Sensor - a life jacket harness. One of the things that makes this life jacket a favorite among sailors is how lightweight it is. Many of our customers have said it’s very comfortable, which can be credited to its ergonomic sculpture. Perfect for offshore sailing and night time sailing.  In fact, Art, our dedicated staff member and a sailing veteran said this is the most comfortable and inflatable harness he has ever used. 

It’s available in three sizes: size one is 60cm – 90cm, size two is 72cm – 125 cm, and size three is 100cm – 150cm. This vest is equipped with a unique water sensitive activation system. Only water flowing upwards on the vest will cause it to activate. Additionally, a manual only firing head is available. For more information, on this deckvest, visit our website.

Spinlock Deckvest 5D 170N Pro

We're moving to Newport Beach!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We're very excited to announce that our physical store will be moving to Newport Beach and open for business on January 28th. Along with the move comes a larger space that creates more opportunities to expand and grow our business. We are also excited to embrace our new local community and continue to do our part in growing the sport of sailing! 

Our new address will be:
885 West 16th Street
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Also, come see us in-store in Long Beach before the move for an additional 50% off already marked down clearance products.

Thank you for your continued support and see you out on the water!
Team Sailing Pro Shop

So-Cal Optimist - SoCal Series #3 at CBYC

Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Southern California Optimist  -SoCal Series #3 - CBYC 

Author: Nina 

We saw it all this past weekend: warm sunshine, blankets of fog, and moments of rain. The weather forecast was calling for one thing and as usual the other came in. I think one of the biggest challenges we face in racing is weather. We can tune our boats to a science. We can outfit ourselves with the most technical gear. We can practice, talk tactics and strategies. We can train over and over.. In the end we study the moments, apply our science and observe those around us while watching for those shifts and headers. 

The forecasts help us plan for one thing and here in Southern California we find ourselves crossing our? fingers hoping that it holds true. Once you get on the starting line you instantly connect to the moment. The planning and preparation is all for this moment.

In the end it becomes survival of the fittest. The winning formula is formed from whomever raced completely focused, while replaying the voices of their coach in their head, while working each puff at every single possible moment, staying focused and observant. Each of these second defines who we are as a sailor. It's more than just crossing your fingers and following your buddies around the buoys and hoping that you make it their first.  It's about applying your experiences from practice and races, listening to what your coach tells you, all while remembering to be completely open and observant of what is happening on your race course. As a young sailor you are trained by commitment and repetition. 

Parent dedication is a huge factor in youth sailing. We have parents that drive their kids 4 hours to practice on weekends. Others  like Caden's parents who are anchored for life to the sea. They are a family who made the decision to embrace this sport as their lifestyle and dedicate themselves to providing a healthy way of life that enriches them together as a family. We also see parents who are out on the race course hooting and hollering for our kids and do all they can to be there with cookies, to boost moral in between races,  in the pouring rain.

Opti sailing is more than a sport. We are challenging our children to compete on the biggest playing field on this planet. They are learning the importance of being prepared for anything at all times. There are huge life lessons to be learned from the sea. We are a family of sailors and we are here for you just like others were here for us when we were taking our first puffs in our sails. You are a part of a community that gives back constantly. Whether it's with advice, stories and tricks of the trades for you to pass on to those after you. It's how we keep this lifestyle alive it's how we keep it going. It's how we make our community bigger and better so we can get out on the water and race hard and feel the freedom of the wind in our sails. 

Sail Fast

Racer Interview with Caden Scheiblauer

Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Racer Interview with Caden Scheiblauer,
11yrs. Old
Santa Barbara, CA
Opti Championship Fleet

Q & A with Nina Aviles

Q: How long have you been racing Opti's?
A: Ive been racing opti's for 1 year and 3 months

Q: What do you like the most about racing?
A: Knowing that your racing against some of the best kids in the world. I have a competitive spirit and love competition.

Q: What's your favorite brand in sailing gear and why?
A: That's a tough one. I would have to say Zhik and Harken. Zhik because they make quality gear that looks cool and Harken because they make quality stuff that doesn't break.

Q: What is your personal favorite piece of gear and why?
A: My JBlack Sail!

Q: Who's your mentor?
A: Jimmy Spithill and Russell Coutts

Q: Where is your favorite place to shop for sailing gear?
A: Sailing Pro Shop

Q: Do you know who Paul Larson is?
A: Ummmm...isn't he the guy that broke the sailing speed record?!

Q: How much time do you spend online browsing for sailing stuff?
A: Half my weekends. The other half Im working on my boat or watching America's Cup sailing.

Q: How many times a week do you practice? Whether it's on the water or thinking about different strategies and tactics.
A: 9 hours a week

Q: If you could sail on any boat what would it be?
A: AC72

Q: Do you mind sharing what's on your Christmas list?
A: Oh wow.. Well I have most of what I need and I know Im lucky to have more than most kids. hmmm .... I do like the new blue Gill sweater. I would also like a pair of SuperWarm Pants and maybe a drysuit.

Q: Can you share with us what it was like competing in the Midwinters in New Orleans? I know this was your 1st regatta with more than 200 boats. What was the starting line like?
A: It was amazing and intense. It was such a great opportunity. I learned that having a good start was important. I also learned how important it was to sail in clear air and have clean lanes. I also learned my limits of what I can do. I've learned that I can be right up there with the big guys.

Q: You did great today do you think it had a lot to do with your learning experience in New Orleans.
A: Yes

Q: If you could change something in the sailing world what would that be?
A: I'd like to make the opti class bigger on the west coast.

Q: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
A: I want to be an America's Cup sailor. I would tell my parents your the reason I'm sailing and thanks for supporting me.

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