Core Commentary: Kyron Rathbone

kyron rathbone
Photo: Matt Burgess

Talking Tasmania and Tidal Bores with Kyron Rathbone

Kyron Rathbone, 34; Tasmania, Australia

So how did you get into standup in Tasmania?
I’ve ridden waves on various craft since before I could walk. I got into standup through mates that made it look too good to resist, plus it’s a great way to stay in shape. I sent an email to Fanatic asking for one board to be the first person to SUP Shipstern Bluff (a mutant big wave usually towed into). They said yes and have been helping me out ever since!

What’s the paddling scene like in Tasmania?
Tassie is cruisey for SUP. Everyone gets along and no one shies away from a party wave opportunity. The scene is exploding. Paddlers are everywhere, usually five-to-10 SUPs at the well-known breaks. Racing is huge now too. Every weekend there is a race in one town or another. More underground stuff though, people with passion who are not necessarily in it for the glory.

Are you competing much in SUP?
I have competed in a few of the state surf competitions this year. I actually ride a shortboard and paddle in laying down with my paddle under my chest then stand up and rip the bag on my 5’10”. They still haven’t got the rules figured out yet so anything goes.

Last year you SUP surfed a huge tidal bore on a river in Borneo (an Indonesian territory). How did that happen?
I got an email from a mad Frenchman asking if I would like to be the first to surf a crocodile-infested tidal bore through the jungles of Borneo after he apparently heard I surfed neck-and-neck with Great White Sharks in Tasmania. I jumped at the chance. Everything about it was surreal: 28-minute rides, chocolate-colored muddy water, the noise, the sheet-glass faces, crocs on the river bank and getting thrown from my board from a lightning strike so close I thought I’d traveled through time.

Are the waters of Tasmania pretty shark-infested?
Oh man, there are sharks everywhere down here. Last week my mate actually beat one off with his paddle. We see them most surf sessions, which is another reason I only really ride SUP now. No arms and legs dangling in the water.

Give us a perfect day for Kyron Rathbone.
Getting tubed/kegged/barreled/slotted/pitted/shacked till the cows come home. I want to keep doing what I’m doing and pushing new boundaries in SUP surfing here in my Tasmanian playground and the rest of the world… Yeeeeehaaaaaaa! —JC

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