SUP Women: Manca Notar
At 17 years old, Manca Notar has become a strong contender in the Women’s Standup World Series, placing atop the podium alongside names like Annabel Anderson and Angie Jackson. The beautiful young Slovenian has sweet smile but Manca is as focused as any European paddler on the world stage today.
Tell us about your background.
Thanks to my parents I've been involved with water sports since I was born. They were both passionate windsurfers. I did my first rides on windsurf in Dahab, Egypt when I was 6 years old. A few years later I started kiting. Slovenia actually doesn't have really good conditions for windsurfing and kiting. Therefore, when SUP came in Europe I fell in love with it, and even more, SUP encouraged my competitive spirit.
What’s the SUP scene like in Slovenia?
I have to admit that SUP is not really big sport in Slovenia at the moment, but I'm happy to see it growing. We have some individual racers, but not many SUP races. The majority of people are traditionally involved with winter sports.
Tell us about your training regimen.
My dad is also my coach and he always takes care of my training and he always makes it something special. I never visit fitness centers, all workouts I do are in nature. I always try to push my own limits and get better. Also, it's all about having fun.
You had impressive finishes over the past year at some high profile events and you’re 17. What’s it like being on the podium as one of the top standup paddlers in the world?
Yes, I'm 17. Standing on the podium among the best standup paddle athletes in the world is really an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I always feel honored and it's some kind of approval that I'm on the right way.
Where does your motivation come from?
I usually set myself a high goal, sometimes it’s too high, but I always work hard to reach it. And if I fail, I try to learn something new from it and I try not to repeat it again in the future. This high goal motivates me all the time. I think I’m inspired also by our Slovenian Olympians. They have done a great job this month, bringing home eight medals and that just gives me more power to reach my goal. But I know that I couldn't have done it without my parents, who are supporting me from day one.
Where’s your favorite place to SUP?
Actually I have two favorite places. The first one is my home. At home I train more on flat water and in cold conditions in wintertime, but I also wear bikinis in summertime. I love paddling on our lakes surrounded by Alps. Especially in wintertime it's really beautiful experience. And we also have seaside, which is also good for training. My second favorite place is Maui, Hawaii. I love doing downwinders and Maui is perfect place for it. I usually do downwinders with my Naish teammates, so I always learn something new. And the scenery is absolutely stunning.
Who would you like to race against in the future?
SUP is really fast growing sport and it would be awesome to have more young girls and guys competing from Europe.