2015 SUP AWARDS MOVIE OF THE YEAR
2015 SUP AWARDS TOP MALE #1
HOMETOWN: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
SPONSORS: Mormaii, Art in Surf, ByPastor
-2014 Runner Up, Standup World Tour
-Current Rankings Leader
-Finished second in Hawaii and Tahiti, Standup World Tour 2015
-Got a pretty sick wave at Teahupoo on my SUP, really deep barrel on a good size wave!
Maintain my lead on the rankings until the final, and continue improving my surfing.
2015 SUP AWARDS TOP MALE #2
HOMETOWN: Paia, Hawaii
SPONSORS: Naish, Redbull, Hurley, Nike, Tag Heuer, Oakley, GoPro, MFC Hawaii, Berta
2014 SUP Wave World Champion, 2014 Vice SUP Race World Champion, Battle Of the Paddle Winner, Multiple big wave sessions at Peahi, 2015 Sunset Beach Pro Champion, 2nd place World Series Barcelona
To win the wave & race SUP World titles this year, win Molokai 2 Oahu, and ride the biggest waves in the world at Peahi, Jaws.
2015 SUP AWARDS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
2015 SUP AWARDS BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
HOMETOWN: Gold Coast, Australia
NSP, Quick Blade, Maui Jim, Olukai, UB Super, FCS, Vest Pac
2nd-place BOP 2014 Distance race, 2nd-place King of the Cut and Doctor West Australia, 1st-place Carolina Cup, 1st-place Mallorca (Spain), 1st-place St. Maxime (France)
To continue to enjoy traveling and racing. I want to once again try be very competitive and throw down with the guy bucks again. I want to help innovate and design race boards and paddling equipment more. Also, I want to teach others what I have learnt about paddling. Enjoy a balanced, fun life.
2015 SUP AWARDS BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
HOMETOWN: San Clemente, CA
Infinity, Bark, Quickblade, Maui Jim, Kona Brewing Company, Pualani Hawaii Swimwear, Sweet Waterwear, FCS, Mamma Chia, Winder Farms, PURPS
• 1st-place BOP Salt Creek Elite Race
• 1st-place BOP Brazil Elite Course & Distance Race
• 1st-place ISA World Championships Distance & Course Race
• 1st-place Surfing America USA National Sup Surfing Championships
• 1st-place Stand Up World Series Stop #1 Spain
GOALS FOR 2016:
My goals for 2016 are to maximize and achieve my full potential as not only a standup paddle athlete, but as an ambassador for the sport. I’m working hard to win both the Standup World Tour (Sup Surfing) and Standup World Series (Racing) world titles. With every stroke that I take, I hope to leave within my wake, the spirit of Jesus Christ, so others can partake.
2015 SUP AWARDS MALE BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER
HOMETOWN: Papenoo, Tahiti
F-ONE and Air Tahiti Nui
• 1st in Junior and Open Tahiti Stand Up Paddle Tour
• 2nd in the ISA in Mexico SUP category Junior
• 2nd in Air France Paddle Festival
• 2nd Standup World Tour Huntington 2014
• 1st Standup World Tour Huntington 2015
2015 SUP AWARDS FEMALE BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER
HOMETOWN: Dana Point, CA
Riviera Paddlesurf, Pualani Hawaii, SUP Gladiator, On it Pro, The Paddle Academy, Performance Paddling
• 1st-place woman Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race
• 2nd-place woman Race the Lake of the Sky 14-mile race
• Most inspirational woman award at Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race
• Completing the Carolina Cup.
• 3rd-place in the Santa Cruz Paddlefest
GOALS FOR 2016:
I aspire to make a positive impact on the stand up paddling community as a whole and convey to other athletes that anything is possible when you put your mind to it and believe in yourself.
2015 SUP AWARDS TOP EXPEDITION Presented by GoPro
PADDLERS: Jared Munch
A SUPerior Adventure – On May 20, 22-year-old Jared Munch set out from Duluth, Minnesota, on a mission to become the first person to ever circumnavigate Lake Superior by SUP. Averaging about 30 miles per day, Munch covered the 1,400-mile journey in just under two months and two weeks, landing in Lester River, Duluth, on July 29. He did it all alone, on a 14-foot SUP, packing a load of three large dry bags with food, camping gear and clothing on his bow. Camping most of the way, Munch spent most of his nights camped out on the Superior’s shores, with the exception of a few nights spent in the sanctuary of accommodations offered by friendly locals.
2015 SUP AWARDS TOP PHILANTHROPIC EFFORT
Dan Van Dyck and Standup for the Cure have had a prolific year. The 2012 SUP Award winner, SUFTC celebrated its fourth birthday in 2015 and has raised more than $520,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation including their most recent donation of $125,000.00 to the Orange County Affiliate from the Newport Beach, CA SUFTC. Standup For the Cure is headed to another event, November 7 in Miami.
2015 SUP AWARDS TOP FEMALE #1
HOMETOWN: Holmes Beach/Jupiter, FL
GoPro, Starboard, Glidesoul Wetsuits, Love Surfergirl Sun care, Wet coast surf shop, Cobian footwear
• SUWT La Torche Pro France champion 2014
• 1st-place ISA World SUP Surfing
• 3rd-place at the Payette River Games
• 1st-place Santa Cruz Paddlefest (sup surfing)
GOALS FOR 2016:
My main goal for 2016 is to train hard and push myself in order to unlock new levels in my surfing. Another one of my goals is to focus on competition. And, I’m really passionate about helping people and the environment so it would be cool to put some time into doing events that can help make a difference.
2015 SUP AWARDS TOP FEMALE #2
2015 SUP AWARDS TOP MALE #3
HOMETOWN: Pukalani, Maui
SPONSORS: Starboard, Dakine, Maui Jim, Rainbow Sandals, Future Fins
2014 Stand Up World Series overall champion, 1st-place in the ISA course race, 1st-place in the Euro Cup overall, 3rd-place for the ultimate waterman in New Zealand, 3rd-place in the 2015 ISA Distance
I want to win the World Series overall and hope to take out all the stops. Then of course the Molokai to Oahu World Championships and if the conditions are right maybe even set a record. I had a great time in Europe this year so that would be cool to go back for the euro tour and try to defend that title. I also really want to try to get more kids into the sport because they are the ones we need to get stoked. I would also really like to get out to Jaws more and get more waves out there both surfing and standup paddling.
2015 SUP AWARDS TOP FEMALE #3
HOMETOWN: Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
Lahui Kai, SUP ATX, Subaru
• 1st-place overall New Zealand Championships (4th Consecutive Title)
• 1st-place Air France Paddle Festival, Tahiti
• 1st-place Carolina CUP (3rd Consecutive Title)
• 1st-place Santa Monica Ocean Festival
• 1st-place overall Race The Lake of the Sky 1st/1st both races
GOALS FOR 2016:
To have as much fun as humanly possible, continue to develop my skill set, challenge myself in different ways and incorporate more of the other sports and activities I love to do.
For veteran women’s champion Candice Appleby and umpteen-X World Champion racer Kai Lenny, triumphant podium finishes are almost a commonplace experience. Even so, taking both sprint and long distance races in one fowl swoop at the Stand Up World Series’ closing event—the U.S. Open of SUP in Huntington Beach—is an exceptionally impressive task given the marquee of talented world-class race registrants. But that’s exactly what Appleby and Lenny did in Surf City last weekend.
On the men’s side, it was the usual suspects—Connor Baxter, Mo Freitas and Casper Steinfath— who gave Lenny a run for his pennies. Freitas, who last week narrowly lost the battle for World Champion of SUP surfing in the Huntington event, continued to bolster his campaign as one of the sport’s finest all-around paddlers, finishing second in Saturday’s 10 km distance race and third overall in Sunday’s sprint races. On the women’s side, the in-form Appleby secured her title leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.
Saturday’s 10 km distance race was graced with a formidable south wind that transformed the five, two-kilometer laps into a gauntlet of upwinding, downwinding and navigating waist-high waves in the surf zone. Lenny established a domineering lead early on in the Men’s race, applying his Maui-honed downwind skills to break away in the first lap and maintain an unrivaled lead to the finishline, and in turn the world title, despite the powerful upwind performance of runner-up, Mo Freitas. Behind them, a tight battle for third place ensued between Hawaii’s SUP phenom Connor Baxter and the Dane, Casper “The Viking” Steinfath. In the end, Baxter prevailed by a slight margin.
As for the women, Candice Appleby dominated. Period. Fiona Wylde and Shakira Westdorp, who finished second and third respectively, clung tightly behind for a respectable distance, but Appleby’s uncanny power outperformed and the title was hers long before she crossed the finish line.
A compact pool of earth’s top talent comprised the competition for Sunday’s sprint race—33 men and 11 women from the elite echelon of SUP racing. Conditions calmed from the day prior, lending a more even-keeled playing field for the spectator’s and competitor’s enjoyment.
Lenny consistently and mechanically won his way through heats on his way to the final sprint race, relatively at ease with the assured air of a man on a familiar mission, unstoppable.
Meanwhile, drama plagued the paddle of fellow title contender, Maui boy Zane Schweitzer, who last week finished runner-up behind 2015 SUP surfing champion Caio Vaz on the World Tour—the SUP surfing counterpart of the World Series. Schweitzer’s paddle buckled in the sand upon reaching the beach in his semi-final heat, so he ditched the broken blade instinctively to focus on the footrace to the finish. As inconsequential as it seemed, the move ended up costing Schweitzer, disqualifying him from his fourth-place finish and affording Jake Jensen the opportunity to assume the slot, followed by fifth-place finisher Lorenzo Bennett and a disappointed sixth-place contender, Connor Baxter.
For the women, again, Appleby reigned supreme by a substantial margin, synching a much deserved World Champion title upon completion of the finals. Behind Appleby, 17-year-old Fiona Wylde finished runner-up, thus claiming second in both races and further committing herself to the highest standard of SUP racing. A noble performance found a less expected but much deserved podium finish from American bronze medalist Lexi Alston. —MM
Join SUP mag and the majority of the aforementioned all-stars next weekend at the Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life, the largest and newest race of the season (with the largest prize purse in SUP history!). Register now to secure your spot in the big show!
Missed the early action from the U.S. Open of SUP? Check out:
Early rounds gallery and recap
Final rounds gallery and recap
The Unsure Future of the Stand Up World Tour/Series
Will we see Standup World Tour Competition at Huntington next year? Hard to tell. Photo: Greg Panas
This week, the Waterman League, home of both the Standup World Tour and World Series, published a post notifying the world that the Huntington Beach Pro would be the final surf event of the year and that the European and Moroccan events were cancelled. World Championships for the surf side were decided in Huntington over the last 24 hours, with Izzi Gomez claiming her second world title in two years and Brazilian Caio Vaz his first.
The news was a big blow to the fledgling World Tour/Series, but by no means was it the first time the Waterman League cancelled an event. The organization has a long history of fluctuating schedules and has rarely run a full slate of stops. This time, Waterman League founder Tristan Boxford is citing investment as the main reason for cancellations: “When you’re going to make a major change forwards you have to sacrifice short-term to get to the long term,” he told SUP magazine. “It’s a five-year plan and it will allow us to grow in the long term instead of taking short steps like we’ve been doing. Basically, there are a lot of big things happening, we need to keep our eye on the ball and push it over the line. Third party changes have been a thorn in our side these past few years. We’re making a small sacrifice now for a big gain in 2016 and beyond.”
Translation? Hard to tell. You never really know with Boxford, a talented orator gifted in talking his way through the difficult situations that have plagued his organization through the years. Basically, both the World Tour and World Series have long relied on local sponsors and tourism boards to fund their operations and help control costs on the ground. When those “third parties” pull sponsorship, which can happen at the last minute (and happened this year with the Brazil event) it leaves the Waterman League—Boxford’s umbrella business that oversee both the World Tour and Series—hanging out to dry.
That’s likely what happened here, leaving the future looking suspect for the Waterman League. Multiple athlete sources have told us they’re owed prize money from the event entity. And we hear these complaints on a yearly basis.
“I think most of the athletes are happy that it has become an ultimatum,” says Sean Poynter, who finished an even third at Huntington and is the WT’s lead athlete representative. “If the deal (Tristan is referencing) goes through, it’s going to be the best thing for the tour, for years to come, with increased prize money and bonuses for us and a solidified schedule, potentially the best year we’ve ever had. If not, then we don’t have a tour. I wouldn’t say there’s been dishonesty, but there’s been a lot of prospects of betterment that haven’t been fulfilled. We lose a little faith, but everyone is excited about the potential.”
This isn’t the only cancellation this season, as the Brazilian event was also knocked off the docket with extremely late notice, leaving many athletes holding the bag on plane tickets and reservations.
The Waterman League, and Boxford, have had a rocky run. He’s never been able to gain wide endemic support for his events. Whether that’s because those events are strictly focused on the sport’s elite or because the locations (Tahiti, Brazil, Europe) are too far-flung for most American-based companies to get on board with is not entirely clear. But that lack of support must have had some negative affects.
The Waterman League has also had a transparency problem. Boxford is usually veiled when addressing criticism. Instead of direct answers to questions, critics get responses that sound as if they were churned out of a public relations factory: “I’m being pretty vague about it right now because of the confidentiality agreements but it’s immensely good for the sport and the World Tour and World Series,” he said when pressed on potential sponsors for 2016, leaving athletes and other sponsors guessing as to whether the event entity will survive.
It’s been a carnage-filled year for the sport. Both the Battle of the Paddle and Payette River Games announced cancellations. Multiple European events were cancelled. Organizing events is tough business. The money is rarely plentiful, logistics can be an absolute nightmare and an event’s niche is extremely important to its success—does it appeal to the right people, at the right time, in the right place?
And to Boxford’s credit, the Waterman League, which started in the late-2000’s, had to fight through one of the most devastating economic downturns in modern history. Additionally, the League’s video program is one of the best in the industry and its events are followed by the top young talent in the sport like Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer and Sean Poynter—an obvious indication the sport is in desperate need of a solid world tour on both the surf and race side.
“Tristan is at his wit’s end,” Poynter says. “He’s had a lot of financial risk in all this and hasn’t been rewarded. None of us want to ever talk (negatively) about the tour. It’s the only legitimate world championship out there right now. But it can’t continue on like this.” —JC
More on the World Tour.
Caio Vaz, champion of the 2015 Stand Up World Tour. Photo: Greg Panas
It was a noteworthy weekend in Surf City U.S.A. for two of SUP’s most talented surfers—Brazilian powerhouse Caio Vaz and 15-year-old American Izzi Gomez—who claimed world champion titles during the U.S. Open of Stand Up Paddling, the final stop on the 2015 Stand Up World Tour. The surfers found victory in small and challenging conditions during the semi-finals at Huntington Beach, the second stop for the women’s tour and third for the men’s.
Vaz’s victory marks the return of the world championship title to Brazil, which last held it in 2012 when Leco Salazar beat out top American contender Sean Poynter and 4X World Tour champion Kai Lenny. This year, the title race came to a close when Vaz beat Poynter in the semifinals, and the only other title contender, Zane Schweitzer, was knocked out by Tahiti’s rising star, Poenaiki Raioha, in the second heat of the semis.
Vaz went on to surf the final with 2015 World Champion status, which he lost, giving Raioha the prestigious Surf City stop title.
2015 Champs Izzi Gomez and Caio Vaz interview with the Waterman League’s Tristan Boxford. Photo: Greg Panas
Gomez, who won yesterday in the day’s closing heat during the semis, returned to Surf City this morning to surf the final against Kauai’s Mariko Strickland, which she won to earn herself the title of champion of the U.S. Open of SUP.
Stay tuned for a full event gallery and recap.
Read about Izzi Gomez’s second world championship title.
Missed the beginning? We got you covered on the early rounds.
Caio Vaz, off the top and into the history books. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
Asked in Jupiter, Florida
Occupation: Blueline Surf and Paddle Co. Employee
I’d surf a 20-foot wave. Rapids are pretty cool, I grew up around them my whole life but I feel like nothing compares to the power of a huge wave. It would be incredible just to be part of it.
Occupation: SUP Yoga teacher
I would rather do the rapids, mostly because I’ve seen those waves. And they’re big (laughs).
Occupation: Nurse at Jupiter Medical Center
Given that I just started surfing and six-foot waves really mess me up and I grew up in Montana in the mountains and I’ve done a Class IV, I’d rather do that.
I’d rather ride a 20-foot wave because it gives you an experience that you’ll never forget. My brother, he would like to go down rapids because he likes the thrill of it.
Occupation: Physical Therapist
I’m kind of new to the surfing thing but I’d attempt the 20-foot wave if there were really good conditions. I think my skill level on Class IV rapids would definitely put me in the water a lot more than I would actually be on top of it. I might actually have a bit of a chance on the 20-foot wave.
Occupation: Elementary School Teacher
SUP surf a 20-foot wave, for sure, because it seems more manageable. Whitewater is totally intimidating unless you know how to read water like that. And I used to whitewater kayak in North Carolina!
This feature originally ran in SUP’s Fall 2015 issue.
What else is the Word on the Water?
15-year-old Izzi Gomez gets chaired up the beach after claiming her second consecutive world champion title in Huntington Beach. Photo: Greg Panas
For 15-year-old World Champion Izzi Gomez, the U.S. Open of SUP in Huntington Beach, California, is a prodigious stop on the Stand Up World Tour.
In 2014, Gomez achieved World Champion status upon her performance at the Surf City event, and after today’s semi-final, where she topped Huntington’s own Sophia Bartlow and watched as her only title rival, Candice Appleby, was ousted by Kauai’s in-form contender, Mariko Strickland, Gomez claimed her second consecutive world title before the final round of competition.
Gomez’s world title comes in the wake of the recently announced cancellation of the remaining two competitions on the Stand Up World Tour—the La Torche Pro France and the Mirleft Pro, Morocco—which shortened the tour, making the U.S. Open of Stand Up Paddle in Huntington Beach the season finale.
On the men’s side, tension remains high for the standing title contenders—Brazil’s Caio Vaz and Hawaii’s Zane Schweitzer—who face heats with the semi-finals and final to come tomorrow. The action starts at 7 a.m. PST, when Vaz takes on American powerhouse Sean Poynter in Heat 1, leaving Schweitzer to face the mighty Tahitian, Poenaiki Raioha, in Heat 2 before a men’s world champion is crowned. The only other man in the running for the title, Hawaii’s Mo Freitas, fell to Poynter in tough conditions during Round 3 this afternoon.
Expect a fierce battle for U.S. Open of SUP champion between Gomez and Strickland in the woman’s final following the men’s rounds tomorrow morning.
Tune in to the live webcast, and check back with SUPthemag.com for the announcement of the men’s champion, along with a full event gallery and recap.
Missed the beginning? We got you covered with our early rounds gallery and recap.
Izzi Gomez, waving the flag of victory during the semi-finals at the U.S. Open of SUP. Photo: Greg Panas
If you had the opportunity to paddle board with whales, would you take it? This SUPer didn’t even think twice at the chance to do so. With Australian water this clear and the friendly whales it’s so no wonder the paddler had no fear.
Watch more paddling with mammals videos.
Beau O’Brien, hardly working. Photo: Beau O’Brien
Jamie Mitchell. Travis Grant. Lincoln Dews. Jake Jensen. Kelly Margetts. Beau Nixon. There’s really no end to the freight train of beastly Australian male paddlers. Tack on 32-year-old locomotive Beau O’Brian and the Aussie SUP scene finds itself with no shortage of men to tow the line.
2014 was a breakout season for O’Brian. He finished a close second to Danny Ching in the BOP distance race, and reeled off a string of podium finishes in the US, on top of clinching second place overall at the incredibly competitive Australian SUP Titles and 2014 12 Towers event. He also beat Travis Grant at the The Doctor downwind race in Perth.
This year O’Brian picked up where he left off, representing mighty Team Australia at the ISA World Championships in March. He then took an impressive sixth in the Maui to Molokai contest. All these results came despite the fact that the Aussie battled several bouts of sickness early in the season. And that’s saying nothing of the daily rigors that come with working a full-time job while competing against the best SUP athletes on earth.
Like many paddlers, O’Brian is up early every day; he rouses to an alarm at around 4:30 am. After a healthy breakfast, he loads up his board, paddle and gear, and heads out to train with the Paddle Power Trainer crew at Currumbin Creek.
“I’m fortunate to have guys like Kelly Margetts, Lincoln Dews, Ben Tardrew & Jayden Jensen pushing me every day in training,” O’Brian says. “It’s usually dark when we start and I’m often knackered but we all have jobs to go to afterwards.”
After a hard, hour-long session, O’Brian bids the boys goodbye and heads home for a quick shower. Then the real toil begins. He owns a garage door and gate business and as a sole proprietor, the busier he is, the harder and longer his hours are.
“I install six to eight garage doors on an average day, but I have installed 10 a few times so I am able to compete overseas afterwards,” O’Brian said. “It’s a grueling and labor intense job, as the doors weigh between 80 and 200 kilograms [176 to 440 pounds] and I install them on my own. But to travel around the world for the major SUP races I have to work hard so I can afford time off.”
Beau O’Brien, working hard. Photo: Beau O’Brien
Once the last garage door is hung, it’s time to play. “If the wind is honking I call my mates, grab my (board) and head out for a downwinder,” O’Brian said. “We paddle between 12 and 30 km [7.45 to 18.6 miles] depending on the wind.”
If the breeze isn’t playing ball, O’Brian heads to The Pilates Pad for a tough session. Despite his intensive job, he focuses on strength and balance exercises that have boosted his SUP performance and kept him – knock on a very large piece of cedar – injury-free.
Following the downwinder or Pilates session, O’Brian has certainly earned a substantial dinner. A typical choice is sushi, a chia bowl or a chicken salad, with more coffee. During and after training he uses Hammer Nutrition products such as HEED, Perpetuem and energy bars to keep him going through long days and to help with recovery.
Once O’Brian is finished with dinner, he usually spends a couple of hours prepping doors and gates for the next day, filling in business paperwork and updating his social media feeds. Even his so-called “downtime” is active. “When I’m not paddling or installing doors I enjoy working on renovations on my house, going for a surf and heading to my girlfriend’s parents’ farm,” he says.
Every pro paddler puts in a lot of effort but if there was an end-of-season award for the hardest worker, it’d be hard to argue with the Currumbin Creek champ getting the hardware.
More Pro Activity.
More Beau O’Brien.
Surf City, U.S.A.—The U.S. Open of SUP is underway in Huntington Beach, California, where the world’s best SUP surfers are battling for a World Title at the third and arguably most monumental stop on the Stand Up World Tour. After warming up with trials over the weekend, contenders are currently working their way through Day Two of the main event, which you can watch live compliments of the Waterman League.
Trials commenced over the weekend with 43 male competitors battling for just four open spots in the 36-man main event. With surf hovering in the knee- to waist-high zone throughout trials, contenders capable of critical performance surfing in small beachbreak conditions were the dominant force. The boys from Punta Sayulita, Mexico—Fernando Stalla and Felipe Rodriguez—appeared right at home in the modest surf, along with upcoming 16-year-old Australian powerhouse Harry Maskell and flow master Colin McPhillips. In the end, the finals saw McPhillips take on Hawaii’s Riggs Napoleon, the American Kieran Grant, and Sayulita’s Felipe Rodriguez, with Rodriguez taking the final and entering the main event as the top seed out of trials.
Main Event: Rounds One and Two—Men’s
Round One opened with an early upset when Felipe Rodriguez carried on his winning spree with the round’s highest scoring heat total—a 15.5—sending established World Tour chargers Mo Freitas and Noa Ginella into the Round Two repocharge. 2012 World Champion Leco Salazar dominated his heat along with fellow Brazilian, Caio Vaz, meanwhile Sean Poynter and Daniel Hughes put on winning performances for the Americans. On the Hawaiian side, Zane Schweitzer, Bullet Obra and Kai Lenny advanced directly to Round Three with impressive heat wins.
Meager wave conditions for the Round Two repocharge were met by a 6-foot high tide and onshore wind, rendering chance a critical factor in the determination of advancing surfers. Interestingly enough, the Hawaiians dominated the small Huntington surf during the repo with Riggs Napoleon, Kody Kerbox, Bernd Roediger and Mo Freitas all advancing to Round Three. The final heat of the round between Australia’s Keahi De Aboitz and South Africa’s Justin Bing saw the highest scoring heat and the closest contention, as Bing advanced with a 15.76 above Aboitz’s 15.33.
Main Event: Round One and Two—Women’s
Tour veterans Candice Appleby, Nicole Pacelli and Lara Claydon all won their heats and advanced directly to Round Three, hardly a surprise given their historically dominant careers on the World Tour. More shocking was the performance from Japanese tour newbie, Yuuka Horikoshi, who’s display earned her the fast track to Round Three and sent current World Champ, Izzi Gomez, into the Round Two repocharge. But Gomez wasn’t fazed, and went on to beat out Caroline Angibaud and win her repocharge heat. That sent Angibaud packing—call it payback for her victory over Gomez in Turtle Bay.
Look out for updates on @SUPthemag social media and stay tuned for the full gallery and recap at the end of the event!
More Stand Up World Tour.
A gorgeous sunset sweeps across the sky in Tiburon, CA. Photo: Kyle McCann
Tiburon is a small and beautiful historical California town located on the shores of San Francisco Bay just 15 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. This coastal getaway is home to wild natural beauty and expansive views of Angel Island, Alcatraz, and the famous San Francisco city skyline. The town also features excellent restaurants, interesting boutiques and a vibrant and active waterfront.
This former railroad town boasts three yacht clubs, frequent ferry service to and from San Francisco, and easy access to Angel Island, a California State Park. Residents and visitors to Tiburon enjoy sailing, power boating, fishing, kayaking, and in recent years, standup paddleboarding.
After delicious brunch on the bay-side deck at Sam’s Anchor Cafe (27 Main Street), launch your SUP from their public dock, hang a left (watch out for incoming and outgoing ferries!) and meander along Tiburon’s wild waterfront. For more experienced paddlers, dare to cross the sometimes challenging Raccoon Straits to spend the day on and around Angel Island, checking out its rich history dating back to the Civil War. Brave paddlers can circumnavigate the island and get a good 5+ mile workout and a panoramic view of San Francisco Bay. Be sure and check the tides before heading out on the bay, as the strong current can be tricky, and it’s recommended to attempt this on a flood tide.
For those who are interested in a slower pace, make a right turn out of Sam’s and spend a peaceful afternoon in Belvedere Cove, just outside of the San Francisco Yacht Club’s breakwater, taking in the views of Mount Tamalpais, the Golden Gate Bridge and some of the most lavish homes in the country on Belvedere Island.
In recent months, this coastal town has exploded onto the SUP scene with the launch of Tiburon-based SUP manufacturer Desolation Outdoors (www.desolationoutdoors.com) and the Tiburon Waterfront SUP Regatta, held bi-annually in the spring and fall, attracting amateur and professional paddlers from around California. Frequent paddling events are held around the bay making Tiburon an excellent jumping off point to enjoy this paddlers’ playground.
More Urban Paddle Guide.
Contributed by Marissa Miller
Urban Paddle Guide Info
Welcome to the 2015 Urban Paddle Guide presented by SUP ATX! Our mission was simple: build an online resource for padding in towns and cities across the United States. Every urban area has unique places to paddle and with your help, we found out where many of those were! While the contest may be over, this was one of the many entries that showcased a hidden gem in the SUP community.
Who says you need an ocean—or even a wave—to surf? Thanks to SUP, surfers are able to ride water on rivers, behind boats, in lakes and in gorges. Where ever there’s a bump rolling through water, a SUP can be surfed. For surfers living in lands sans oceanic coastline or without wave-generating bathymetry, the wakes of tankers supply bumps as appealing as any. Here, a talented wake SUP surfer takes to the Rhine—a European river that begins in the southeastern Swiss Alps and ends in the North Sea in the Netherlands—for a single ride that lasts longer than all the waves in your last ocean surf session combined.
Wanna give wake surfing a shot? This step-by-step video tutorial aught to get you started.
On September 19th, the 3rd Annual Chucktown Showdown brought together paddlers of all ages in the waters surrounding Charlestown, South Carolina. What went down was a fun, family-oriented race that raised $2500 to support the South Carolina Special Olympics.
However, the race wasn’t all fun and games for paddlers who faced water conditions that were less than optimal. Strong side-winds produced choppy waters with a few clean bumps. Despite the challenge, paddlers still enjoyed the event and finished with smiles on their faces.
The event had something for everyone and featured a plethora of divisions and different races. In the end, Jeramie Vaine and April Zilg were the standout victors. Vaine took home the win in the men’s elite category, while Zilg became the women’s three-time, undefeated 12’6 harbor course champion.
The fun didn’t end after the race though. For paddlers of age, the final event of the evening was a bar crawl called “The Shem Creek Shuffle,” an event all paddleboard racers can appreciate.
More event coverage.
I flew to Juneau, Alaska in late-August with my 14-foot iSUP and lightweight camping gear. I was there to paddle the Inside Passage—the fabled network of passages that weaves through islands off Alaska’s Pacific coast. My float plan was “no plan;” I arrived with a few itineraries in mind that might unfold depending on the weather. Late August in Alaska can be fickle with rapidly changing conditions.
Hundreds of miles of paddling options are available in Alaska’s Inside Passage. Based on the weather forecast, I decided to paddle from Juneau to Skagway, a 100-mile route of remote coastline with glacier views. Six days would be all I needed for this route. Light south winds and cloudy conditions were in the forecast.
The forecast was wrong. Heavy rain, wind and building south seas allowed me to cross to Shelter Island from Auke Bay as a downwinder with 50lbs of gear and food tethered to my board. I was shooting for a forest service cabin nestled in the woods. By the time I reached it, a Coast Guard zodiac caught up with me. Somebody had called them concerned about why a paddleboarder would be out in such stormy conditions. I tried to convince them I wasn’t being reckless…paddleboarding is uncommon here. SUP touring is virtually unheard of. I was wearing a drysuit and hipbelt PFD. That alone seemed to assure them, and after a bit of discussion, they allowed me continue.
Rain and wind persisted. Then, as if out of a dream, the weather became spectacular on the third day. Sunny, warm and windless. The drysuit, which I would wear both on and off the water as paddling gear and rain protection, was stowed. I made many miles in lake-like conditions wearing boardshorts and sunscreen. Humpback whales, orcas, dall porpoise and sea lions were my distant companions.
Camping along the way, I found myself bedding down in a mixture of rocky beaches and forest. Having the cabin the first night was nice. Tent and tarp is typically my shelter and would be the rest of the way.
Tides are extreme. Low tide exposes dozens of yards of rocky beaches sharp with barnacles and mussels. High tide can flood the forest. Knowing where to camp above the tide line is crucial. Recognizing bear habitat is equally important. Both brown and black bear live here. I avoided any spot that had spawning beds or signs of dead fish. Gravel bars and rivers are out of the question. In the end, I was able to avoid any negative encounters with tides or bears.
On the fifth day, I crossed through the Chilkat Islands where the calm winds grew gusty. Significant winds and big seas in this area had recently stopped a cruise ship from going to Skagway. Though I could have pushed on to Haines, I landed early in the afternoon to enjoy mountain views at a beautiful camp. Rain began again overnight. More importantly, seas developed with gale force winds from the north. I was shut down. A gear-laden board is impossible to paddle against a headwind. Typically summer winds in the Inside Passage are from the south. Summer was gone.
For the next two days I was tent bound and restless. I communicated with my wife with a Delorme InReach. Cell reception turned out to be rare along my route. She informed me days of north winds were to continue without reprieve. Decisions had to be made. I’d run out of food in that time, but have plenty of water. Should I wait it out? Should I flag down a boat when I saw one? There is a trail from the end of the Haines Peninsula that accesses the road. Should I lose ground and paddle south to that point?
I decided to paddle back south to access that point. I had hoped there would be some protection from the winds in the lee of the peninsula. At worse, I’d deflate the board, pack up, and portage the seven-mile trail. There was no protection from the wind, but I did find a good camp near the trail. Prepared to hike, I was pleasantly surprised when a charter boat pulled up in my cove. My wife Angelique had made some calls and arranged for an Alaska Adventure tour to check on me. I accepted the offer for a ride to Haines.
Though I had planned to paddle into town and then continue another day to Skagway, I was happy to enter Haines on the charter. Afterward, I took the ferry back to Juneau and spent the last few days of my two-week trip hiking in the mountains and paddling at the Mendenhall Glacier.
Paddling is supposed to be challenging. Part of its reward is the destination. But mostly, the rewards come from experiences along the way, exhilarating and humbling.
Paddle with Paul on a solo expedition down the Baja Peninsula.
More Field Notes.
One Exercise Workout: Kettlebell Swing with Olympian Sean Pangelinan
When it comes to an efficient, total-body workout, the kettlebell swing is arguably the Mac Daddy of all exercises. It combines the power of the deadlift with the explosiveness of plyometrics and Olympic lifts. KB swing competency requires head-to-toe motor control and recruits all the big muscle groups — quads, glutes, lats, etc. — in one dynamic sequence. And rather than wasting your time on all manner of “core” exercises, you’d be better off spending some time getting to know the ins and outs of the KB swing.
More than just a strength training exercise, the kettlebell swing is also analogous to SUP paddling, as you can’t have an efficient and powerful stroke without the ability to hip hinge explosively. In this week’s video, Olympian, SUP pro and co-founder of San Diego’s The FitLab Sean Pangelinan shows you how to get your swing on. As always, start light and get a coach or training partner who knows their stuff to observe and correct your form.
Below are a few additional tips on form from the man credited with popularizing the KB swing, Pavel Tsatsouline. Dive deeper for more information on the KB swing and other exercises like the kettlebell snatch on his website.
Tip: Add the kettlebell swing to your fitness regiment along with this simple series of exercises from the fitness guide in SUP‘s Summer ’15 issue, on newsstands now. To make sure you have the energy and nutrients to complete your workout, try incorporating some of these healthy high energy foods to your pre-workout diet.
Want more? Check out parts one, two and three of the One Exercise Workout series.
Just take a look at shelves full of pre-workout supplements at your local GNC and you can see that people are paying lots of attention to preparing for exercise (even if many of these products are nutritionally suspect). While many waterman and women still need to enhance their warmup, coaches and trainers are getting better at having their athletes prepare for SUP sessions and land-based workouts.
Yet, very few of us are dedicating the same amount of headspace to what we do after getting off the water. If you go out and paddle hard, then just stop, you are short-circuiting conditioning and strength gains, compounding movement issues and preventing your body from optimally restoring and repairing itself. We recently shared some tips for cooling down and mobilizing after training and racing, which should be your first step in improving recovery. We also dropped some knowledge on rehydration and refueling. But what should you do after the acute recovery phase is over? Here are a few tips you probably haven’t heard yet:
1) Switch Off Those Screens & Beware of LEDs
We stare at our phone and tablet screens all day, so why on Earth do we do more of the same when trying to recover at night? The blue light from mobile devices, TVs, etc. inhibits good quality sleep by messing with melatonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for making us drowsy. However, screen exposure tells the brain to stay awake and that it’s not time for the rush of melatonin needed to sleep.
It’s not just technological devices that can hamper rest and recovery. Recent research suggests that LED lights also put out a high amount of disruptive blue rays. Try switching out those LED bulbs for non-LEDs that offer a warmer, colored glow, like orange. It could make a big difference in your sleep cycles.
2) Chill with Some Cold Water
It always feels horrible when you rinse off in icy water under the beach shower, right? Nevertheless, once you get over the early discomfort you feel refreshed. While it is good to spend a few seconds in this way, you can gain greater benefits by getting into an ice bath or cold shower for a longer period. Exposure to cold water resets your nervous system, helping you get out of the sympathetic “fight or flight” state and into parasympathetic recovery.
Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine also found that spending at least two minutes in cold water triggers from the brain’s “blue spot” (locus coeruleus) to release noradrenaline, which counteracts the effects of depression. Chilly baths and showers may also boost testosterone production, which is crucial for muscle repair and growth. Of course, if you want to be like Laird, then you can cycle heat (steam sauna or a hot bath) with cold (ice bath, cold shower) to dial recovery up a notch.
3) Sleep in a Cool, Dark Room
There is nothing better than getting under a nice warm duvet, is there? Well, it turns out that yes, there actually is. That something is sleeping under lighter covers in a cool room that’s between 60 and 67 degrees. Sleeping in a chilly environment boosts metabolic function, leading to better fat utilization and increased calorie burning at rest and the next day. Plus it lowers cortisol, the stress hormone that keeps you in a constant state of high arousal and encourages fat storage and stress-related illness. Slumbering in a cool room also reduces the risk of diabetes, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
In addition to being cool, your sleep space should be dark. As previously discussed, light exposure decreases melatonin production and alters sleep cycles, so you need to eliminate it. Keep tech devices out of your bedroom, get some blackout curtains and consider using a sleep mask. Your zzzs will thank you.
More tips from Paddle Healthy.
The Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life has quickly become the most anticipated event of the year. And not just for pro paddlers. Thanks to the West Marine Demo Zone, the PPG’s are the perfect place for the beginner-to-expert paddler to try out new shapes from the industry’s best brands.
Along with free demos, the PPG’s are offering an array of free clinics to hone your paddling skills. Here’s a rundown of the clinics—and clinicians—you can plan on attending at the Games, October 10-11 at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California.
SUP Yoga presented by BOGA SUP (9 am)
Boga Paddleboards specializes in SUP Yoga and they’re bringing their best instructors to Doheny. Meet at 9 am Saturday and Sunday to learn the intricacies of SUP Yoga. Depending on conditions, you’ll get your practice started in front of the venue or paddle a short distance to calm water. If the swell is too large, we’ll host the clinic in the grass at the north end of the beach. Boga SUP will offer 10 yoga-specific boards for the clinic on a first-come, first-serve basis. So get there early or bring your own board to stretch out on.
Stroke Clinic by Riviera Paddlesurf’s Rob Rojas (12 pm)
Rob Rojas, one of the best stroke technicians in the business, will be on hand both days at noon to help you hone your paddling stroke. Rojas is a gifted distance paddler and will dish out tips to get you familiar with—or help you refine—the use of the paddle.
Intro to Surf Clinic with Laird SUP’s Chuck Glynn
Does she have priority or do I? Is this a good place to try SUP surfing? Should I be in my surf stance when I’m paddling for a wave? These are all legitimate questions, and all subjects Chuck Glynn will touch upon during our Intro to Surf Clinic. Learn how, when and where to catch your first wave on a standup board or get hints on how to improve your surfing. Glynn will be on hand Saturday and Sunday at 11 am to get you dialed in the surf.
Details, Details: Clinic reminders will be announced over the loudspeaker Saturday and Sunday. Please bring your board and paddle, or a demo, to the clinic (Boga SUP will be providing 10 SUP Yoga boards). To participate in the West Marine Demo Zone, bring a valid photo ID or credit card with you and register at the West Marine tent, leave your ID or credit card as collateral, and receive two West Marine Demo Zone cards (board and accessory). Give those cards to your favorite brand and demo their products! When you return their products, they’ll return your cards. Return both cards to the West Marine tent to retrieve your collateral. Enjoy!
More about the West Marine Demo Zone.
At SUP the Mag, we love animal videos as much as anybody. Except instead of adorable kittens playing with yarn, we prefer the wonders of marine life. Thanks to adventurous paddleboarders throughout the world, there are more great videos of our aquatic friends than ever before. So today we proudly present to you, a pod of dolphins doin’ the deed. Yep, you read that right.
This past weekend, a (lucky?) paddleboarder off the coast of Stone Harbor, New Jersey came across several dolphins in the middle of love-making. So did he give them privacy for their intimate moment? Not exactly. He pulled out his camera and shot this video for the internet to enjoy. But the dolphins don’t seem to mind; actually they appear to be showing off. Perhaps they’re exhibitionists.
Fair warning: be careful at home, this video is rated R for mature paddleboarders only.
More dolphins (less love).
Sure, summer’s officially given way to fall and the welcome weeks of unobstructed rays may well be behind us for now, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up our favorite accessories. After all, shades are applicable no matter the season, both in style and practicality, especially on the water where the elements are intensified. Here are a few of our go-to options from a review in our summer issue to get you through fall, winter, spring and beyond.
$100 • ARNETTE.COM
Vintage cool comes in the form of polarized lenses, rubberized body and light weight. From your convertible to your board, you’re good to go.
$119 • ZEALOPTICS.COM
The Idyllwild offers full-wrap protection and polarized lenses in a light-weight package thanks to a multi-layered resin build that takes years of abuse from even the most active outdoors-woman.
$60 • KOMONO.COM
Light weight, comfortable and at home on the beach or in the city, the Urkel provides a throwback look for your inner hipster.
Dragon The Jam
$180 • DRAGONALLIANCE.COM
Dragon’s most popular pair of sunnies lives up to its rep with retro Euro-sport styling, large fit for maximum comfort and 100 percent UV protection. Did we mention they float?
$140 • OAKLEY.COM
Rubber synthetic keeps the Turbine on your face when you’re wet, full-wrap polarized lenses protect your eyes for long days on the water and impact-resistant lenses protect from scratches and shattering.
$100 • VONZIPPER.COM
The Dipsticks are made in Italy so you know they’re cool. The hinges are corrosion-free so you can live in them at the beach. And the nose pads and temple patch reject slippage.
More sunglasses for fun on the water.
Vital summertime gear.
Photo: Mini Cunha Margareth Lagace, Facebook
Compression clothing is popular among athletes like standup paddlers and runners because of its alleged athletic advantages, which claim to be similar to the effects of a massage. Brands selling compression clothing attest that wearing the apparel provides a variety of other benefits, including increasing performance, improving recovery, and even preventing injury. However, there is a lot of controversy over whether compression clothing is actually effective, or just another trend. In this edition of Paddle Healthy, we’re dispelling the confusion and giving you the real facts on compression clothing.
We see top athletes like Annabel Anderson, Georges Cronsteadt, Brennan Rose, and Candice Appleby wearing compression clothing during races. While these hardworking athletes train and prepare, we can’t help but wonder if their apparel assists their performance. Early studies found that athletes wearing compression clothing while exercising at their maximum level experienced a reduction in blood lactate concentration, and were positively-influenced psychologically. While both a reduction in blood lactate concentration and a positive psychological mindset can help improve performance, it is unclear as to what degree the compression clothing affects those factors.
Another study found that muscle oscillation is reduced in athletes wearing compression clothing. This suggests it also helps reduce injury during exercise or explosive-based movements because it improves proprioception, which is an individual’s sense of body position. Thus, the assumption is that compression clothing should promote an increase in muscle and movement efficiency, and a decrease in energy consumption. Yet another study on individuals wearing compression clothing (specifically on their lower-legs) during activity found that responses varied greatly depending on the individual.
The claims for benefits of compression clothing extend beyond performance; other studies report that when compression clothing was worn post-exercise during recovery, some athletes saw a reduction in muscle swelling, and experienced an increase in blood lactate removal. Body temperature also increased and perceived muscle pain diminished when athletes wore compression clothing during recovery, both of which could be due to increased circulation.
When it comes to staving off soreness, studies suggest that symptoms related to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) were also reduced when compression clothing was worn during recovery. Another study found it supports the recovery of maximal strength and power as well.
The bottom line: While scientific studies do suggest compression clothing has many benefits for athletes’ performance and recovery, in most cases, we found that further research is needed to understand just how effective it really is. As always, it is best to consult your personal physician and do your own research before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle.
More Paddle Healthy here.
Get in shape with our SUP Fitness Guide.
On the heal of the Italian Boot, in the Strait of Otronto at the base of the Adriatic Sea, Polignano a Mare is the quintessential Italian city on the water. From the rustic ships to the quaint cliff side houses to the sea caves that stretch underground beneath the city, this is a bucket list paddling paradise you never knew you needed to visit.
Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
A Winning Nutrition Strategy for the Pacific Paddle Games
2015 has given us one of the most competitive SUP seasons to date, with several major races – including those at the Payette River Games, Carolina Cup and the Columbia Gorge Challenge – decided by razor thin margins. The difference between a podium finish and a near loss can be the result of many variables, but nutrition and hydration should not be among them.
To help contenders for the Pacific Paddle Games stay on top of their intake, we asked Dr. Stacy Sims, adjunct faculty member at Stanford University and the founder of Osmo Nutrition, to come up with a blueprint for hydration and fueling before, during, between and after the course and distance races at PPG 2015.
Days Before PPG
When it comes to keeping body water levels high, you simply can’t wait until race day. When the body is running low on fluids, you’re going to have to fight harder to maintain adequate hydration during exertion. Similarly, if your body’s sodium stores are already depleted, they’re going to get drained even more during competition.
That’s why it helps to put a pinch of sea salt in your drinking water for at least 48 hours before the first race. The sodium helps your body better absorb the fluid, as it’s at the right osmolality. You should also be eating clean so that you’re body isn’t fighting to purge itself of artificial ingredients.
Morning of PPG
As you’ll be burning a ton of extra calories at PPG, you’re going to want a large breakfast that’s a balanced mix of complex carbs, healthy fats and protein. One option is oats with berries, nuts and a small spoonful of coconut oil. If you usually drink coffee then go ahead and have your morning cup of Joe, but avoid sugary, high caffeine “energy” drinks as they’ll make you jittery.
In terms of hydration, keep putting a pinch of sea salt in every 20 ounces of water to top off body water levels. If you eat early, have a carbs-plus-protein snack 45 minutes to an hour before the race, such as a banana and a handful of nuts.
During the Course Race
If you’ve been pre-hydrating correctly in the hours and days leading up to PPG, you won’t need to go overboard with hydration during the course race, particularly as it’s a short event. Sipping salted water should be fine during the race, but do your fueling on the beach beforehand.
After the Course Race
After the first race it’s time to replenish lost electrolytes again. If you don’t have an electrolyte-enhanced drink on hand, reach for water with a pinch of salt again. You’ll also want to ingest 20 to 30 grams of complete protein. As time is of the essence and rapid digestion a necessity, a protein shake is the best form factor. You’ll also want some carbs to restore glycogen levels before the distance race.
During the Distance Race
As this is a longer race, you’re going to want to put an electrolyte-rich solution in your hydration pack. This should also contain a small amount of glucose to keep your blood sugar levels up, or you can pop a couple of glucose tabs. If you just drink water, it will sit in your gut until you pull in sodium to put it in the correct osmolality range for absorption.
On the flip side, if you consume too much sodium with your fluids they will also stay in your digestive system until more water gets pulled in. Both inadequate hydration scenarios have a high metabolic cost and will drain your energy, as well as impacting body water and sodium levels.
After the Distance Race
Done with the distance race? Then it’s time to again drink an electrolyte recovery blend or salted water, and to take in another 20 to 30 grams of complete protein. Not only does this boost acute recovery, but it extends your window to better absorb protein at dinner for continued muscle replenishment.
It’s also wise to include water-rich fruit such as tomatoes and watermelon in your post race meal, as these will top up glycogen levels and enhance re-hydration. And make sure you consume another protein-rich meal within three hours of going to bed, which your body will use as fuel for recovery during sleep.
More nutrition tips for racers.
Register now for #PPG2015.
Chris Hamm is his hometown’s biggest fan. “San Clemente is the best,” he says. “It’s got the best surf, the best weather, the best people. I want to make sure it’s a good place for a long time.” Spoken like a true politician, which, by the way, Hamm is. The firefighter felt passionate enough about this surf village an hour south of Los Angeles that he ran for mayor and won, in 2012. “I don’t ever want to leave,” he said. Hard to blame him: Judging by his ride, San Clemente is in good hands. –Joe Carberry
1. Hobie SUP Raw Custom. It’s 7’4” x 25” x 3.5” with a thruster setup, Futures fin boxes, epoxy/carbon mesh construction. Stringer-less. I use it around here as most of the breaks aren’t critical and you can use a little more paddle power. It performs like a shortboard. You can generate speed, come off bottom and crack the lip like it’s a foot-and-a-half shorter.
2. Hobie Hybrid Carbon Paddle. I’m not super into paddles so I use what Hobie’s got. It’s light, durable and the handle that Hobie makes is really comfortable.
3. Reclining Backpack Chair. They don’t manufacture these anymore. I’m doing my best to bring them back. It doubles as a table. It goes everywhere with me. There’s nothing like a nice nap after a long surf session before you paddle back out.
4. Secret Stash Box. It has a cast-iron grill in it, cooking utensils, epoxy, tools, and a tow strap. It lives under a deck I made that covers the bed of the truck. I got the whole setup from Lowe’s for 200 bucks. It’s three-quarters inch plywood covered by indoor/outdoor carpet and double-thick padding. I can put boards underneath and sleep on top.
5. Hobie Dos Huevos. It means double egg and it’s a super-fun all-around board, perfect for mushy waves. It’s really buoyant and has a tail that’s wide with tons of volume. It forces you to really engage the rail.
6. Gallon Jug. Before I surf I fill it up with hot water, put it on my dash and it absorbs heat because I painted it black. I have a hot shower when I’m done.
7. Fender Bass. I’m learning how to play bass. When the surf is really bad, I have a mini-amp hookup with headphones so I can sit down on the beach and jam out.
8. Hanging Rack. I hang all my suits. Underneath I have a wet drawer where I also keep wax and extra fin keys. I put wetsuits in there on the way home.
9. 2009 F150 4-Wheel Drive. I love this truck: it’s got a 6.5-foot bed and a quad cab. That specific year, the quadcab was six inches longer than standard. Great for road trips.
Tituoan Puyo leading the pack at the 2015 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships in Sayulita, Mexico. Photo: Greg Panas
Titouan Puyo was born on a small island in the South Pacific and lived on a boat sailing the world in his early, formative years. That’s why the New Caledonian has made such an impact in downwind and distance: he was raised reading the water. He’s won both distance races at the French National Championships and the ISA Worlds (2014) and put on strong performances during the Euro Tour this summer. Still, he’d drop everything to surf a deserted reef pass near home with his friends.
Talk about New Caledonia.
I live near a beautiful lagoon on the World Heritage list. It offers a great playing field. The trade winds are always blowing so downwinders are easy to organize, safe and super-consistent. The coast is almost in the same axis as the wind. Surfing is more complicated but really good. There are passes with a right- and a left-hand break, but far away from the coast. There’s only one beach break, two-hours drive from the capital city, Nouméa.
So your upbringing was pretty unique?
I was born on a small island in French Polynesia. I lived on a boat, sailed with my family in the Pacific Ocean and when we lived in a house the sea was never far away. But I learned what I know about ocean sports in New Caledonia. I started competing young, but in va’a (an outrigger canoe with no rudder). It kept me from hanging around the neighborhood and allowed for travel. I started standup paddling in late 2012, at the beginning for fun and to complement my va’a training. It all started when I won the French championship in late 2013. Today I’m more SUP, but when I’m in NC I go back to paddling va’a.
You have to travel all over the world to race. What are your thoughts on where the sport’s at?
It goes too much in all directions. I’m new to it, but already feel a 13-foot board length would be better instead of 14’ and 12’6”. It would be much clearer. And there are many events. There are times when I don’t know where to go. But that’s normal, like us athletes, the organizers learn and grow with the sport. One day we will be in the Olympics.
Okay, offseason, run us through your perfect day in New Caledonia.
It’s never the same. I wake up, eat breakfast, train by swimming or jogging and get on the computer (to talk to friends in France). When I’m in NC I often eat lunch with my mother. In the afternoon, when the wind picks up, I’m downwinding. In the evening I join the boys for training va’a. And if my buddy calls, and the surfing at the pass is on, everything is canceled so I can spend the day surfing. But that doesn’t happen often enough.
This feature originally ran in the Fall 2015 issue.
Reviewing new gear, and particularly new boards, is at the core of what SUP magazine does. We take pride in providing objective, useful input to you, our readers, and seeing as our staff is comprised primarily of gear geeks, board junkies and paddle fanatics, we’re pretty much the perfect guys to do it.
Board reviews give us an excuse to get out on the water on the most relevant gear around, from state-of-the-art touring boards, to high-performance surf shapes, to the fastest race boards in show. We run them through the gamut of testing and come out the other side with honest, thorough, helpful insight to assist you with your next purchase. And we call this “work.”
Click the following links for our takes on four boards from our Summer 2015 Issue.
Extremely rigid without the tippiness or added windage of a thicker board.
A board built for fishing, expedition paddling or everyday touring.
The BIC SUP SOFT-TEC’s wide size makes it the perfect board for yoga, fitness and beginner paddlers.
The tail on the Pau Hana Viper is the best part; it makes it easy to step forward and glide in flat water and step back to increase stability in the chops.
This review originally ran in the Summer 2015 issue.
Reviews on reviews on reviews.
The past three year of the Payette River Games have been a blur of good times and stiff competition. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll hear of PRGs. Photo: Greg Panas
In one of many unsettling news releases to hit the industry this year, founders of the Payette River Games—the premiere river SUP event widely adored as one of the most progressive, well-organized and exciting events in standup paddling—announced today that the event will be put on hold for 2016 due to lack of appropriate funding.
“We want the competition flame to continue at Kelly’s and we believe we have the perfect venue to hold world-class events,” event organizer Mark and Kristina Pickard as well as Nikki Rota wrote in an industry wide release. “We just can’t be the financial engine to do it anymore, nor can we commit the extensive time it takes to pull it all off.”
While the announcement comes as a blow to the standup paddling community, it is by no means surprising that the PRG’s founders are unable to foot the bill indefinitely for the expensive event. The Pickards nearly single-handedly funded the unprecedented $50,000 prize purse and orchestrated the event since its inception in 2013. They earned little to no financial reward in hosting the Games; their support stemmed from a passion for paddling—both kayaking and SUP—and the community of enthusiasts they uphold.
The Pickards, also founders of the venue where PRG took place—Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade, Idaho—provided an invaluable service for the industry by supporting the most progressive whitewater event on the calendar and garnering international attention for a realm of the sport that was otherwise generally overlooked by the world-wide community. In the three years since the inaugural PRGs, the competition evolved from a small, niche, grass-roots river event into one of the most famous and highly anticipated events on the paddling agenda. A few months ago, the 2015 Payette River Games became one of the few SUP events to be nationally televised, appearing on CBS Sports and garnering national attention for the burgeoning realm of river SUP. With fair warning and more than eight months remaining until the scheduled date of the 2016 Payette River Games, the Pickards wrote that they are open to people using their park to continue an event there.
“We are hopeful some entity takes ownership of it and we encourage any race organizer or group that is interested in holding a whitewater event at the park to approach us,” they wrote. “We will gladly consider allowing you full use of the park for free.”
This news comes in a spate of cancellations in 2015 from the Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle to the Standup World Series events to Germany’s SUP World Cup.
2015 Payette River Games full recap and gallery.
SUP magazine coverage of past Payette River Games
Last week we brought you a video of a couple who got a little too close to killer whales. This week, we bring you a video of an encounter between two standup paddleboarders and group of dolphins. The difference? The dolphin encounter got physical.
Two friends were paddleboarding off Hermosa Beach when they encountered several dolphins swimming and surfing the waves. But this seemly friendly encounter took a dangerous turn when one of the dolphins jumped out of the water and directly into one of the paddlers. Thankfully both mammals came out of this encounter unharmed.
For a more peaceful encounter, check out this video to see what it’s like to share a wave with a dolphin.
Looking for a place where it’s just you, your SUP and some dolphins? Here are some of our favorite SUP getaways.
Copyright © 2015 The Enthusiast Network. All rights reserved.