Suppose you lived to surf. You grew up among the bountiful beach breaks of Brazil, paddling out to catch a wave at every spare moment. The ocean meant everything to you. Then one day, one second—in one fateful surge of electricity—everything goes black. You wake up in a hospital bed, and your arms are gone at the elbows.
For Jonas Letieri, this scenario is anything but hypothetical. He lost his forearms and hands in a freak electrical accident while volunteering at his church. But for Jonas, the accident didn’t become the debilitating curse many people might allow it to become. Rather, the young man with the infectious grin came to deem his plight a blessing. Ironically, shortly after Jonas lost his hands, he found SUP.
“A lot of people told me it’d be impossible to surf again,” Letieri said. “But my love for the ocean is so strong that nothing would stop me returning to it.”
Right after his accident, Jonas and his father, Roberto, started thinking of ways to get the avid surfer back in the water. Recognizing the difficulty in popping up on a short board, they settled on SUP and soon Jonas was using a modified paddle with rings placed on either side of the shaft. Progressing rapidly, Jonas took an impressive second-place at Brazil’s Battle of the Paddle in 2014. But the paddle design was imperfect, as Jonas still had to grip the handle at the top, and he often fatigued quickly.
Enter Quickblade founder Jim Terrell, who first met Jonas at BOP Brazil and was immediately impressed.
“At our coaching clinics we teach that you don’t paddle with your arms. They just connect your body to the paddle itself, and it’s rotation from the trunk and hips that should generate the power. Jonas proves this is true and is incredible to watch.”
When Jonas entered to compete in the Payette River Games last June, Terrell wasn’t the only one paying close attention to his performance. PRG organizers Mark and Kristina Pickard, who each year would choose a PRG competitor to sponsor, opted to donate their support to Jonas for 2015.
“When Jonas won his heat everyone was cheering their lungs out and was amazed by how he keeps his balance with this cross-stern back brace move while every other paddler fell,” Mark Pickard said. “The Kelly’s Academy kids he worked with got some valuable SUP tips but more importantly learned a life-lesson about overcoming obstacles. They just loved him.”
After seeing Jonas paddle again at Payette, a lightbulb went on in Terrell’s head and he quickly got to work in the Quickblade design lab. The Mad Scientist made Jonas a super-lightweight paddle with a u-shaped section that provides better comfort and leverage than the previous design, while also improving the placement of the shaft rings.
Terrell gave the prototype to Jonas’s countryman Kainoa Teixeira after the Pacific Paddle Games, and soon enough Jonas was out on the water with his Quickblade stick. He noticed an immediate difference while SUP surfing on downwind runs at Pero Beach and Praia Grande Beach, both mere minutes from his home in Cabo Frio.
“To go from having a paddle with uncomfortable metal rings to a custom model made by the best designer in the world is unbelievable,” Jonas said.
Terrell wasn’t the only member of the California SUP community who took an interest in Jonas. Since first hearing about the adaptive paddler, Anthony Vela, who had introduced Jonas to the Pickards and was determined to help him fulfill a lifelong dream of surfing in California. Vela split the travel costs with Jim and Lizzie Terrell and last week, Jonas arrived in San Clemente.
Jonas paddled with Vela and his Performance Paddling teammates and took full advantage of El Nino swells during several SUP surfing sessions. A visit to Quickblade gave him the chance to benefit from coaching sessions in the flume and enabled Terrell to make further adjustments to his paddle design. Then in was on to The Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge in San Diego.
“Hanohano was an amazing experience,” Jonas said. “Jimmie paddled next to me and Kai Lenny and Candice Appleby came alongside us to give me some tips and encouragement. I’m so grateful to Anthony and Jim for giving me this opportunity.”
The following evening, Vela drove Jonas to Hollywood, where he didn’t check out the stars on the Walk of Fame or try to catch a glimpse of the glitterati on Rodeo Drive. Instead, Jonas shared his story at Snowball Church. The impact was profound.
“Jonas does a lot to inspire me athletically and in the way he lives so exuberantly, but his testimony just floored me,” Vela said. “I cried tears of joy for about 25 minutes.”
Looking ahead, Jonas is exploring the possibility of teaming up with Vela for the Molokai2Oahu crossing. He also hopes to compete at the next Pacific Paddle Games, if sponsorships will allow him to do so. Regardless of what his racing future holds, Jonas is determined to get the most out of every day, and to continue paddling, skateboarding, swimming and all the other activities he loves.
“My life since the accident has been like a SUP race,” Jonas said. “I’m just taking one stroke at a time and trying to enjoy each moment.”
Another against-the-odds inspirational paddling story.
More SUP pros.
Here at SUP the Mag, we spend a lot of time perusing the web in search of the best SUP videos around. Some are great displays of paddleboarding talent while some are, well, not so much. But then there are the videos that make us want to jump through the screen and into the lineup. This is one of those videos. This short edit highlights conditions that would make any paddler drool: perfectly clean waves, glassy water and a gorgeous sunrise. So take a 30 second break from your busy schedule and daydream about SUP surfing paradise.
For another dreamy SUP surfing session.
Check out the perfect waves on tap in Morocco.
You know when you visit California (if you’re not lucky enough to live there) and your brain becomes obsessed with visions of magical cheeseburgers from In n’ Out before you ever even step off the plane? You head straight there upon landing order a double-double and almost instantly your tray full of goodness arrives. You lay eyes on that feast you came so far to enjoy, and it’s even better than you’d hoped. It’s perfect. You are 100 percent satisfied and you can officially leave the Golden State a happy camper.
That must be something like the satisfaction felt by every female athlete on the 2016 Standup World Tour when they arrived at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s fabled North Shore yesterday to immaculate overhead conditions for Day 1 of the Turtle Bay Pro, the opening event of the 2016 Standup World Tour. The ladies indulged as Turtle Bay served up picturesque Hawaiian visions for all three early rounds of Day 1 at the women’s surf competition.
Surfers took full advantage of the superb surf with a dazzling display of progressive SUP surfing. Safe to say, if Turtle Bay was actually In n’ Out, plenty of surfers opted for “Animal Style.”
Shakira Westdorp dropped the single highest score of the day with power-packed backhand surfing, earning a 9.33 and advancing into the finals unscathed. Two-time teenage World Champ Izzi Gomez also surfed in form and avoided the repocharge rounds alongside former world champ Nicole Pacelli as well as the fearsome-surfing sweetheart Fiona Wylde, all of whom plowed straight through to the quarter finals.
Day 2 arrived at Turtle Bay this morning with smaller surf on the menu, but still plenty of beefy Turtle Bay burgers to host the slimming pack of elite SUP surfers. After four worthy contenders went down in Round 4, including veterans Sophia Bartlow and Iballa Moreno, the Quarter Finals found space for no strangers to the World Tour’s late-rounds. Heat 1 saw current world champ Izzi Gomez take out last year’s Turtle Bay Pro victor, Caroline Angibaud, in a showcase of super-talented surfing. The next two heats played out in storybook form with Pacelli and Wylde dominating before a heated showdown between Mariko Strickland and Shakira Westdorp closed the Quarters with Westdorp continuing her winning streak into the Semis.
That winning streak was halted after a blow-for-blow heat between Westdorp and Wylde ended with judges awarding Wylde a 14.94 heat total to narrowly beat Westdorp’s 14.83. After an iconic face-off between current world champ Gomez and former world champ Pacelli, Gomez owned her crown, taking out Pacelli and moving on to meet Wylde in the prestigious Turtle Bay Final.
Undeniable similarities between the 2016 Turtle Bay finalists—both teenage champions, both American, both dominant SUP surfers and coincidentally (not that it matters), both blonde—made for a well-matched and passionate battle between Gomez and Wylde in the final round, adding fuel to the duo’s longstanding healthy rivalry. Gomez took command early on in world champion fashion with serious torque into her turns, especially impressive considering she only recently recovered from a broken foot. She took a considerable lead in the beginning and held it through the lull-laden 30-minute round. In the closing minutes, Wylde’s shot at salvation came in the final flurry of set waves. Wylde took the first for a long and well-ridden wave, but Gomez followed up with a noticeably riskier and more energetic approach. The heat was decided before the buzzer sounded with another deserved victory for the 16-year-old World Champion, Izzi Gomez .
An interview with SUWT founder Tristan Boxford on the future of the Standup World Tour and what’s in store for 2016.
Get stoked for the upcoming men’s season opener at Sunset Beach with a gallery and recap from last year’s Sunset Beach Pro.
More SUP competition.
Last week, we brought you a recap video to Painkiller Cup 2016, which was held in the tropical paradise known as the British Virgin Islands. Now thanks to SUP star Fiona Wylde, who just so happened to win the race, we get to see just how epic these islands really are from an intimate perspective. Warm water? Check. Awesome waves? Check. Beautiful scenery? Check. As you can see in this video, Wylde and her friends showed why the BVIs are truly a world-class SUP destination.
For more SUP surfing action from Fiona.
And in other corners of the Caribbean, meet American expat turned tropical SUP enthusiast, Kristin Cousins.
Sean Poynter and Ian Cairns will be hosting the second SUP n’ Surf Retreat on April 25-30. SUP n’ Surf Retreat is a luxury SUP surfing vacation in Mexican paradise with instruction from the ultimate pros. Hosts Ian Cairns and Sean Poynter offer personalized coaching to all levels of paddlers from beginner to expert. Guests will receive attention and input from Ian and Sean as well as the best local coaches.
The Sup ‘n Surf Retreat will provide you the space and comfort to enjoy your surroundings and your company in a premium setting. If you have any questions or needs our retreat concierge will be there to assist to.
Daily video coaching sessions and customized HD video highlighting your Sup ’n Surf Retreat experience with personalized coaching tips will be provided.
For more information, visit the SUP n’ Surf website, call Ian at (949) 632-7226 and Sean at (949) 607-7309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As you all know by now, SUP yoga is a big deal. At this very moment in waterways across the world, yogis are twisted into positions on their boards that don’t even seem possible on land, much less on the water. But for those of us who have yet to partake in this tone-transforming pastime, we may not understand the hype. Well luckily for us, the beautiful ladies in this video are here to give us a lesson.
While SUP yoga incorporates physical challenges of balance and flexibility like traditional yoga, the freedom of being on the water invokes a more spiritual experience. Instead of being surrounded by walls in a studio, they are surrounded by nature. Naturally, this open environment is more conducive to a meditative experience that will truly calm the mind. But don’t take our word for it, these nimble yogis show you just how peaceful and beautiful the sport can be. Namaste.
When paddling in the ocean, marine life sightings are a pretty common occurrence. While it’s not every day you encounter a dolphin or whale, if you paddle enough it’s bound to happen. But even the most ambitious paddler might go his or her whole life without an encounter like this.
Here, one lucky paddler off the coast of Port Elizabeth in South Africa crosses paths with pod of 100+ (don’t bother trying to count them, trust us…) dolphins. If paddling with a pod of dolphins is not already on your bucket list, this video is sure to change that.
In case you need one more reason to love dolphins, we found out they’re Jimi Hendrix fans too.
Did you know Killer Whales are actually dolphins? See just how close another paddler gets to an Orca, alpha of all dolphins.
Penelope Strickland-Armstrong is no stranger to overcoming adversity—or being at the top of her sport. The elite New Zealand racer, also wife of accomplished Kiwi paddler, Armie Armstrong, battled sport-related injuries and a variety of illnesses as a world-ranked swimmer long before she picked up a paddle. When injury and illness pushed her into self-destructive behavior, Armstrong found SUP and with it, a new incentive for a healthy lifestyle. Three years later, Armstrong is one of the fastest female paddlers on earth. —Shari Coble
SUP: Tell us about your life before you found SUP. How did you come to paddling?
PA: I was a swimmer growing up and competed internationally for NZ. My last big competition was the World Cup in Hong Kong in 1997 or ’98. In the lead-up I suffered three broken ribs, which I tried to train through. At the competition I was diagnosed as having Strep. A , Strep. C, Tonsillitis, Glandular Fever and Anaemia.
After that I did nothing athletic till I took up SUP.
Through the next year I kept relapsing, ended up developing an eating disorder, and eventually gave up my dreams. I was self-destructive—I drank a bottle of vodka and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 15 years, right up to the point where I realized I was going to die if I didn’t change my lifestyle. I knew I had to find a healthy outlet; that is when SUP appeared. I like to think it was fate.
Within about a year of learning to SUP, you took third in the unlimited class at 2014 Molokai2Oahu, then bettered it with a second-place in 2015. What made you want to conquer one of SUP’s most infamous crossing so early on?
The M2O really stood out to me when I first heard Annabel (Anderson) and Armie (now my husband) talking about it. I let them both live at my house the summer I learned to SUP. They had both done the M2O the previous year and the way they talked about it just made it sound like such a great adventure, and such an achievement to even get to the start line. I have had an amazing team the last two years at Molokai, and I would be a fool to think that my results were my own. Even as a solo paddler, the Molokai is a team event.
What drives you to be a top SUP racer?
It’s always good to compare yourself to the best; it keeps you honest, but my drive really has nothing to do with competition and more to do with bettering myself. If I win a race, but it was easy and I don’t feel that I gave it everything, then it’s a hollow victory. But, when I finish a race and my body feels like there is nothing left to give—that feeling is like a drug!
You’re a skilled racer, whether competing in a downwinder, long-distance, or technical race. Which is your favorite?
My favorite is definitely downwind, and in particular, the downwind month in Hawaii. In saying that, my recent medical issues have really prevented me from doing more. For 12 months they’ve compromised virtually everything—stability, core strength, and energy levels. Seeing as that accounts for about 50 percent of the time I’ve been involved in SUP, I am really keen to see what my body can do now that I am on the mend.
Recently, after ‘ignoring warning signs’ from your body, you had surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. Can you tell us about the warning signs you experienced and how your performance has been affected?
The warning signs were all there, but I blamed everything: genetics, hormones, aging, sugar, etc., rather than admit to myself there was something medically wrong. The lead up to Sayulita was when I first noticed I couldn’t eat properly anymore, or, if I did I felt so uncomfortable I had to lie down. Hawaii was even worse: I had no energy, couldn’t eat and there was no wind for the whole month! My arms and legs got skinnier and skinnier, but my belly kept getting bigger and bigger, and my weight kept climbing no matter how “clean” I ate. When they removed it, it accounted for ten percent of my body weight, so it pretty much affected everything!
Once cleared for activity, what kind of training will you do during recovery?
I am still waiting for the ‘all clear’ from my oncologist, but should there be no further treatment required I can start paddling again in early February. It’s summer here in New Zealand and it feels like I’m in prison not being out on the water. The NZ Champs are on in February, three weeks after my intended return, so there will definitely be some cross-training to try and get ready for that, but you really can’t beat time on the water, so from February 4th I will be out paddling after work every day!
Fort Walton Beach, Florida — Wednesday, February 3, 2016—BOTE, a leader in standup paddle board innovations, announces a new partnership with military veteran, Josh Collins, to raise awareness and funds for those suffering from TBI and PTSD.
Every day, veterans of the United States military are forced to cope with the lingering effects of injuries and trauma from their experiences on the battlefield. Many encounter the harsh reality that the treatments they are receiving are not effective, unavailable or too expensive. One man, Josh, is on a mission to change that reality by embarking on an epic journey to raise awareness for the needs of his fellow soldiers.
Josh is a Special Operations combat Veteran with multiple rotations to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, along with numerous other deployments around the globe in support of the War on Terror. Moreover, Josh is a wounded warrior with seven documented traumatic brain injuries (TBI) with loss of consciousness—four from explosive blasts, two by parachute landing falls, and one more from combative training.
After he retired in December 2008, Josh continued to support the military as a contractor both stateside and abroad. It was during an elite Special Operations training exercise in 2013 that he sustained another major concussion, complete with fractured nose, ribs, and cervical spine compression, putting him over the edge. “I began to ‘self-medicate’ heavily with alcohol until I was up to well beyond a bottle of hard liquor a day,” says Josh. This deathly combination of prescribed meds and alcohol not only tore his family and marriage apart, but it completely turned Josh into a different person. “I did not know my husband anymore,” his wife Tonia stated. “So I did every-thing I could to bring him and our family back to what we were, and that’s when I found the Task Force Dagger Foundation.”
Task Force Dagger Foundation (TFDF) is a United States Army Special Operations Command based organization dedicated to providing assistance to all wounded, ill, or injured members and their families. Established in 2009, TFDF is a federally recognized non-profit foundation that supplies emergency funding to those SOCOM service members and their families who cannot afford the proper care.
With their help, Josh was immediately taken to the James A Haley VA Polytrauma Unit in Tampa, FL where he underwent TBI therapy and after three months, was returned to his family where he was able to rebuild his marriage and life. Although Josh was beginning to reconstruct the foundation of his former life, he was still suffering from severe inner ear (vestibular) damage, right eye nerve palsy, and vertigo from a compressed cervical spine at two levels. After receiving more than a dozen surgeries to correct some of these problems, Tonia purchased Josh a stand-up paddleboard in hopes of getting him exercising again. However, Josh quickly found that it helped with more than just his physical fitness. In Josh’s own words, “Standup paddle boarding brought balance back to my life.”
Having departed for many missions in the military, Josh knows he is about to depart for one of the most important missions of his civilian life—helping other veterans in need. More than twenty two veterans a day are taking their lives, and this now accounts for more than ten times the number of casualties overseas due to lack of help and over prescribing meds for TBI and PTSD. In an effort to raise awareness of these statistics and help raise money for the foundation that helped save Josh’s life, he came up with a plan to make the longest journey ever paddled.
The expedition, now deemed, “Operation Phoenix” (OPPHX,) will help Josh to raise funds for the TFDF. His journey entails a four month long paddle that Josh will begin in March from Corpus Christi, TX to New York City, NY with rallies being held along the way. BOTE will not only be supplying limited edition Operation Phoenix boards for Josh to take on his four month long paddle, but they will also be supplying the same limited edition boards to be raffled off at the rallies and sold on their website alongside other OPPHX apparel. A portion of the profit for all OPPHX sales from BOTE will be given to the TFDF.
Success is something that most would find hard to define with this mission—there are many factors that can affect Josh arriving to his final destination—but for Josh “Success for me doesn’t mean making it to New York. Success is raising enough money to save more lives. Even just one life would make this all worth it. But I have not quit anything thus far in my life and I’m not looking to start now.”
To find out more about Josh’s mission and rally locations please visit: veteranvoyage360.com
To find out more about the Task Force Dagger Foundation, please visit: taskforcedagger.org
Buy OPPHX boards & apparel
Founded in late 2009 by Corey and Magda Cooper and Headquartered in Ft. Walton Beach FL, BOTE® is a stand up paddleboard brand. We are a lifestyle brand, we are racers, we are surfers, we are anglers, we are industry leaders and we are technical innovators. The technical innovations are what allow us to Stand Apart. From designing the world’s first fishing specific stand up paddle board to creating a new proprietary Chainmail™ weave, BOTE® continues to push our sport forward. These innovations allow our customers to paddle faster, further and with purpose. We are guided by our mission, “BOTE® Stands Apart through industry shaping innovation, fresh ideas and simplicity to create a product that defines a lifestyle”.
Despite cold weather on the East Coast and El Niño hitting the West, some fun SUP events and competitions are coming up this February. Whether you’re in racing-shape or struggling from off-season sluggishness, these lighthearted events give us an early opportunity to find our competitive rhythm and, if you’re up for it, race with some of the best in the world. Better start training! —Shari Coble
20th Annual Hal Rosoff Classic
February 6, 2016
Newport Beach, California
Paddlers from across California descend upon the Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) every February for the Annual Hal Rosoff Classic. The race takes competitors through Newport Beach’s scenic Back Bay and Newport Beach Harbor on a 4.5-mile short course and 5.5-mile long course, with spectators able to watch the start and finish from the NAC. Kids also have the opportunity to race a 1000m mini race in the Back Bay. The event is open to outriggers, kayaks, prone paddleboards, K1’s, C1’s and SUP, with proceeds benefitting the NAC junior outrigger program.
Race fee: $25 single race; $30 both races
While island sites such as Maui or the Bahamas may come to mind, for those looking for a different type of wilderness, Norway offers magnificent landscapes as snow-topped mountains surround emerald-green lakes. Meanwhile, lush vegetation and cascading waterfalls give paddlers a view unlike anywhere in the world. While tropical paddling locations may get all the hype, the allure of nature is everywhere and Norway is no exception.
More of an island person? This edit of paddling in the Bahamas is sure to leave you drooling.
Check out this Norwegian SUP expedition.
Mother Nature’s rowdiest prodigal son—El Niño—has been fussy this winter, throwing gale-force tantrums in his trans-oceanic bathtub and splashing up constant swell for a grateful community of SUP surfing rubber duckies. El Niño’s late-season tissy-fits are faring phenomenally for surfers in the Hawaiian Islands, and particularly for the big-wave hellmen and women at Maui’s Pe’ahi, which has been pumping prolifically as of late.
So prolifically in fact, that we, the media makers mainlined to the industry’s hottest new images and updates—the majority of which involve Jaws these days—must make a confession. Quite frankly, we’ve noticed ourselves growing a bit bored of Pe’ahi’s big-wave mania (Ed note: we say that with the utmost respect, regard and admiration for this awesome monument of our sport, and for the men and women who charge it).
Don’t get us wrong…We’re not bored in the sense that Pe’ahi’s freakish surf and surfers are anything less than remarkable in our view. But bored in the sense of that old saying (which we’re editing to suit our intentions): “For every beautiful (wave), there’s a (paddler/surfer) who’s bored of (surfing) it.” Or, in our cubical-confined staff’s case, paddlers/surfers tired of mind-(surfing) it via internet edits.
Admittedly and regrettably, we’ve been teetering on the verge of taking Jaws for granted as of late. Of being bored with the best big-wave on earth, and under-appreciating our oceanic provider’s most generous offerings…How spoiled we must have been.
That is, until the above edit came across our desks. An edit so invigorating, so purely energetic, depicting some of the most ballsy, bodacious and bad-ass big-wave SUP surfing we’ve yet to see. An edit displaying what are being called the “biggest waves ever paddled into standing up.” An edit with SUP surfing so undeniably awesome that not only is our enthusiasm for Pe’ahi reinvigorated with unprecedented appreciation, but that whenever a new Jaws edit graces our inboxes, we’ll be frothing to press play with more fervor than ever.
Here at SUP, we keep our ear to the water for the latest, greatest and gnarliest in our sport. And right now, Jaws is the latest, greatest and gnarliest in our sport. So press play and bear witness to it all: the prowess of the pioneering hellmen and women who blaze the trial of big-wave SUP progression. The death-defying drops on what are likely the “biggest waves ever” standup paddled. And as you bear witness, pay homage for the fact that Pe’ahi keeps pumping. Carry this appreciation with you always and we guarantee, you’ll never take another Jaws clip for granted. Especially when El Niño’s in the picture.
Stay tuned for a full gallery and interview with SUP photographer Eric Aeder, who was in the water for these sessions, coming this week.
More big-wave SUP.
Welcome to the 2016 EuroTour, home of the best stand up paddle races in Europe. The EuroTour was established in 2015 to bring together the top races and paddlers in Europe, with a goal of unifying events and making them more accessible for racers with logistical support. Europe is home to some of the most enthusiastic paddlers in the world. There was a common need across the continent to bring the local paddling communities together, to help grow and unify grassroots events and help them move to the next level.
This year in addition to all of Europe’s most iconic races, we have a few new comers starting with Oporto, San Sebastian, Croatia, Finland, Noli (Italy) and finally rounding off the season in the Hawaii of Europe – the Azores. Hitting 9 countries for 13 races over the start of summer this year’s battle ground for the EuroTour championships really is the best Europe has to offer.
After it’s inaugural year being a huge success – running on the back of some enthusiastic volunteers – the tour has developed further, with dedicated full time staff to ensure complete coverage of the races and attendance at all events. A new website www.eurotoursup.com is the hosting space for information on events, athletes, rankings and all things EuroTour. And, importantly, improvements to the transport logistics to help racers get their equipment between races; including the ability to carry more boards and an online booking system for racers to reduce all those last-minute headaches that no athlete likes.
While the tour plays host to the best paddlers in Europe and many of the World top athletes, the events are set up to encourage participation from all paddling backgrounds. Races include amateur and junior divisions for both Women and Men (please see individual events for more information). As part of the growth of the EuroTour we particularly want to encourage development within the Juniors age group. We are looking to reward those champions with equipment prizes to help further their paddling prowess including boards, paddles and other gear.
To increase participation from the worlds best athletes the EuroTour is working closely with all events on tour to attract the best pool of talent from the sport. As a novelty for 2016, Elite athletes that placed in the Overall Top10 for EuroTour 2015 Women & Men as well as athletes that are currently placed Top15 Women & Top30 Men in the Sup Racer World Rankings will receive personal invites from EuroTour with free race entry to all events.
But perhaps the biggest highlight for racers both pro’s & amateurs alike is the fact that all 13 events take place in some of the most idyllic locations in Europe. All have much more to offer than SUP racing, making them ideal venues for a fun weekend that the whole family can enjoy.
The EuroTour 2016 leaderboard will again be based on Sup Racer World Rankings (the most unbiased system in the sport) with no set points for events this year’s edition. This means that every event weight percentage will be calculated based on participation levels from the Top ranked athletes for both Women & Men.
Everyone at EuroTour is very excited to get the 2016 season underway and can’t wait to show you all the improvements we have put into this year’s edition. Our friends at supracer.com sum it up best “Whether you’re an international athlete, a hometown hero or a first time paddler, the EuroTour is for you.”
Tour manager Belar Diaz : “We are really looking forward to this year’s edition of the EuroTour. We’ve had a fantastic response from the events that participated in 2015 and have had overwhelming requests from new events wanting to join us for this race season. There’s a lot to look forward to with some fantastic locations and we’re thrilled to offer this to the riders.”
At a glance the 2016 EuroTour calendar looks like this:
Six Bridges SUP Race
SUP Race Cup
Iberdrola Bilbao World SUP Challenge
San Sebastian Paddle Tour
SUPer Challenge Porec
Happy Summer Namur
St Ives Bay Celtic Cup
IV Sieravuori SUP Masters
Noli SUP Race
São Jorge 2 Pico/SUP Channel Crossing
For further information contact email@example.com
Dolphins are among the smartest animals on the planet next to humans, and some would argue they’re even smarter than some humans. They have emotions, learn from each other, and most importantly, they have fun. Observation has even shown that dolphins participate in surfing, playing catch, tag, and even playing with humpback whales. So it’s no surprise that humans have a strong affinity with the playful aquatic counterparts.
In this video, a paddler gets some bonding time with a friendly pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins just off the coast of Laguna Beach, CA. The dolphins swim alongside him and even turn around at one point to look at him. One has to wonder if these dolphins are fond of the paddler, or if they’re just Jimi Hendrix fans…
Watch this paddler go surfing with dolphins.
This paddler gets a little too close to an orca whale.
The 2016 Painkiller Cup took place this past weekend in the British Virgin Islands, featuring teams of three competing against each other on a 14-mile run from Trellis Bay on Tortola Island to the famous Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke Island. The picturesque beach bar finish-line is located in a small tropical cove surrounded by palm trees, a white sand beach and turquoise water. It gets its name from sailing tourists whose only means of getting from their boats to the beach (and bar) is to swim, thus causing the dollars in their pockets to become (you guessed it) soggy…unless, of course, they’re standup paddlers. But we digress. Point is, Soggy Dollar is a spot for every paddler’s bucket-list.
As for the race itself, paddlers last weekend faced 20 MPH crosswinds, which made things more difficult than anticipated. When it was all said and done, Team Freedom City Surf composed of Quintin Chiapperino, Fiona Wylde and Kieran Grant were the first to make it to the bar, err, finish-line with a time of 2 hours and 44 minutes. After the race, the paddlers were all smiles, exchanging stories, buying rounds, and some probably even pulled out a few of those famous soggy dollars.
Check out the action from last year’s Painkiller Cup.
For another tough race in paradise, relive the 2015 Bora Bora Ironmana Liquid Festival.
Ready, set, go! Cleats, balls, lacrosse sticks, pads, bats, tennis shoes, jerseys, snacks, lawn chairs, sunblock, dirty laundry, repeat. This is life as a full-time mom with three kids embedded in the world of team sports. In the blink of an eye, the weekend is gone…every weekend.
As a trainer and parent, I enjoy seeing my kids participate in team sports. But I feel the benefits of individual sports are often overlooked; especially lesser-known ones such as outdoor adventure sports, of which SUP is a prime example.
“Is standup paddling a sport?” asked my daughter Sky on one of our paddle adventures. My heart sank when I heard this. She never thought of paddling as an option for her to pursue as a recreational school sport. The ones that popped into her mind were the usual team sports plus rite of passage activities such as dance and gymnastics. Outdoor adventure sports like paddling, surfing, kayaking, and rock climbing hadn’t crossed her radar. She was exposed to these sports with me, but they were never the talk at the lunch table, or even a consideration at school.
Team sports have clearly been integrated into most scholastic environments and they do provide benefits. They’re reward-driven and foster cooperation, strategy building, social skill development, responsibility, commitment, team spirit and pride. They also require a large amount of coordination, leadership, and coaching.
On the other hand, individual sports are intrinsically-driven, meaning they are done for their own sake. The self-motivation required in sports like SUP can be an extremely powerful tool and life lesson. Athletes are solely responsible for their own success or failure, and they learn quickly to be more self-reliant and confident. Their athletic skills also develop quicker because training is tailored to their specific needs.
There is no “I” in team but there should be an “I” somewhere. In the U.S., 20 million kids sign up yearly for team sports but almost 70 percent quit by the time they’re 13. Additionally, merely three to seven percent of all high school athletes go on to play sports in college. Nevertheless, team sports generally remain the first thing that parents look at when considering an extracurricular activity for their children.
Meanwhile, outdoor adventure sports have advantages that extend beyond those for the participating athlete. They offer parents and siblings the opportunity to actually participate with their young athlete in the activity. While it’s important for family to attend games and cheer for their children, actually joining them in the activity is conducive to stronger family bonds.
Team sports can also be costly, especially when it comes to traveling and club sport teams. For a family with three children, it can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 a year in fees and gear just to participate. Purchasing gear for outdoor adventure sports may hold an initial investment, but they also provide undeniable lasting benefits. Standup paddleboarding, winter mountaineering, climbing, and mountain biking can fill a weekend with fitness challenges for parents, while their tiny athletes hones their own skills. It’s a perfect way to weave fitness into a parent’s busy schedule while still allowing the kids to refine a craft.
Outdoor adventure sports are as much a lifestyle as a fitness activity, and many such as standup paddling also have cultures and communities for kids to identify with. Team coordination, coaching and natural ability aren’t required to participate. Groups and instructional classes can help with skill development, while competition and racing can help gauge success. It can keep the entire family active, healthy and developing good behaviors to follow throughout life. Not to mention, playing in nature’s backyard also instills environmental awareness in children, something our world desperately needs.
Since 2007, Casi Rynkowski has been living her dream training athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and those who want to live a healthier lifestyle. Her passion for outdoor fitness exploded when she launched her business, exposing clients to the idea of fitness outside the gym box. Surfing, standup paddling, climbing, ice climbing, winter mountaineering, hiking and riding became her new training ground in New England. Her clients not only found new ways to cross-train outdoors, they found new passions for life. Casi is also an ambassador for BIC Stand Up Paddleboards, Werner Team Padder, Virus Action Sports Gear, MTI Adventurewear, Reflekt Polarized, Adventure Medical kits, Astral Shoes and Seattle Sports Co.
Jeffery Spencer—A 14-Year-Old National Champion
Pro Activity with Noa Hopper—The Life of An Ultimate Renaissance Grom
More SUP Groms
SUP in the middle of winter isn’t for every paddler. And SUP in the middle of a snowstorm…really, is that for any paddler?
Thomas Oschwald isn’t just any paddler. He’s a die-hard dedicated to paddling no matter the fury of the flurry. Here we find Oschwald in a scenic and snow shrouded sanctuary we assume must be somewhere in his homeland of Switzerland. He bikes through the snow with an inflatable on his back until reaching a pristine lake, at which point a storm fills in and the snow begins to fall. Not one to be discouraged by a little pow, Oschwald takes a long and leisurely SUP through this winter wonderland.
Let this serve as a reminder that A) with the right attire and safety gear, winter can be among the most spectacular seasons for SUP, and B) whining isn’t warranted…your local paddling spot could be a whole lot colder. After all, you don’t see Oschwald complaining, do you?
Another snowy SUP adventure in Europe.
Check out snow surfing on Lake Superior.
Here we find a group of friends touring the beautiful coastline of Croatia. While their boat’s great for relaxing, the crew needs something smaller and more maneuverable to access the crannies of the coastline. That, of course, is where the SUP comes in. It allows them to explore the area’s cliffs, shoreline and spectacular water tunnels. It’s yet another fine example of SUP’s capacity to expand our opportunities for exploration and take us where no other vessel can.
Paddle Croatia’s inner waterway on Baćina Lakes.
Try out Italy’s sea caves and water tunnels.
SUP surfing in Rhode Island during the middle of winter is quite simply, cold. The water temps dip into the high-30s, but that doesn’t stop these paddlers from getting out there and enjoying some glassy waves. Plus with the icy temperatures keeping the fair-weather folks out of the water, these paddlers are treated to as many rides as they can handle. The conditions may not look as inviting as Kona or the Bahamas, but these Rhode Island paddlers aren’t worried about that. They’re just looking for some solid swell, and that is exactly what they found.
For an even colder SUP surfing session, check out Lake Michigan’s surf scene this time of year.
Don’t like the cold? Stay in shape with these SUP-inspired fitness tips.
Word on the Water is our chance to pick the brains of the SUP community for insight on the state of SUP—past, present and future. For every issue, we ask a handful of standup paddlers from all walks of life to muse on a topic related to the sport. The result is an amalgam of perspectives and musings that we publish and share with the community at large in hopes of inspiring thought and dialog about our favorite pastime.
For our Winter 2015 issue—on newsstands now—we asked a group of spectators at the 2015 U.S. Open of SUP in Huntington Beach to share their thoughts on the future of SUP, specifically, where will SUP be in five years?
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Occupation: Full-time SUP mom to Giorgio and Izzi Gomez
Board design is going to get smaller and smaller and we’ll see it move more toward a shortboard style. Everybody will own a standup paddleboard because anyone can do it. Hopefully we’ll see it make its way into the Olympics and into the Pan American Games.
Hometown: North Shore, Oahu
Occupation: Elementary school students
Kalani: It looks like it’s going to be big. Guys are going to be really good, and maybe they’re going to make better tricks, like an air backflip 360.
Kainoa: I think there are going to be different boards. Maybe wooden ones.
Hometown: Sayulita, Mexico
Occupation: Professional standup paddler
In five years I see it becoming one of the main watersports—catching up to shortboard surfing. Professionally, it’s going to become very serious. As a professional athlete, it’s going to be hard years to stay on the top.
Hometown: Hermosa Beach, California
Lakes and oceans will be full of standup paddlers. I think every surfer will have some sort of standup paddleboard in their quiver. The current generation of surfers in their 30s and 40s are going to start moving over to standup and there will be another boom.
Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
Occupation: Pharmaceutical Company Director
The equipment will become cheaper and more young people and even older people will start practicing more. In Brazil, it is popular to practice in rivers and small lakes. This is good because you can have the sport in countries where not everyone has contact with the ocean.
Hometown: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Occupation: Residential Contractor
Surfing is on the table to be in the Olympics in Japan, so I’m hoping that in five years standup will be there as well. SUP surfing, open-ocean racing, flatwater racing—any of it has potential to make the Olympics.
What else have you heard on the water?
Oregon is a paradise for river SUP with countless rivers twisting and turning through beautiful scenery and tall trees. The Lower Deschutes River is certainly no exception and is a favorite among the whitewater crowd. You can paddle for a 100 miles down the river and encounter everything from quiet flatwater to demanding class III rapids. Paul Clark is one of the best when it comes to the “Lower D” as evidenced by this drone footage. He maneuvers his SUP over drops and through rushing rapids without wiping out. The added motivation to stay dry supplied by surrounding snow caps and frigid water may have helped him stick his runs. But we’ll go ahead and chalk it up to skill anyway.
Learn about Paul Clark’s 100-mile expedition on the Lower D.
More river SUP.
Standup paddling is one of the great ways to get up-close-and-personal with wildlife. But what happens when that wildlife decides up-close-and-personal isn’t up-close-and-personal enough? What happens when the animal you’re stealthily pursuing by SUP decides its his turn to play the pursuer?
Lukas Reilly was out for just another pleasant afternoon paddle when a full-grown Orca rose from the depths just beneath his board. At first sight—thanks to the stereotypes and stigmas associated with the mammal’s moniker alone, “Killer Whale”—the common assumption among viewers is probably something like, “Woah…This dude’s about to get munched.” Watching the giant whale (actually a dolphin) chase Reilly down and nibble on his board, doesn’t exactly assuage our anxiety…
What happens next? See for yourself.
Another unbelievable Orca encounter.
Ever seen a dolphin body-slam a SUP surfer? Now’s your chance!
Yesterday we brought you a time-lapse edit of paddling in the Bahamas. Today we swing to the other side of the pendulum with a slowed-motion SUP surf session on Hawaii’s Big Island. These two vids may sound polar opposite but one overarching quality renders them both relevant to you—both reflect a dreamy escape in an island paradise.
Thanks to some superb drone footage, here we witness the bliss of surfing in Hawaii. Peeling overhead waves, clear blue water, and weather warm enough for paddlers to rock boardshorts. For those of us who don’t live in an island paradise, boardshorts in mid-January are little more than a dream. But that doesn’t stop us from living vicariously through videos like this.
Craving more Hawaii? Here’s an epic edit of Izzi Gomez shredding on the North Shore.
For more SUP drone videos.
A lot of us tend to go big over the holidays, enjoying bellies full of scrumptious treats and festive cocktails that are too good not to down. But, it’s time to toss those last lingering boxes of sweets, rid the fridge of overindulgent leftovers, and get back on the healthy track. Instead of letting unhealthy holiday choices haunt you, focus on starting with small changes—like snack habits—that you’ll be able to maintain now and throughout the remainder of the year. Here we look at a few options for smart snacks from brands that focus on nutrition using whole ingredients you know. —Shari Coble
A little hydration, some organic greens, and enough chia seeds to pack a day’s worth of omega-3s, the Chia and Greens beverage line by Mamma Chia is like vitality bottled up, but with surprisingly refreshing bursts of flavor. Low in calories, yet packed with 7 grams of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, calcium, and about 4 grams of protein, the makers of the original Chia Squeeze Vitality Snack are giving us more reasons to ‘seed our soul’ with four flavors in their new Chia and Greens line. With invigorating blends like the Joyful Greens’ ginger and lemongrass, or, the Grateful Greens’ kale and mint—plus all of the nutritional benefits—we’re singing Mamma Ch-ch-ch-chia’s praises.
Known for their nut bars, the crew at KIND has mastered the ability to jam whole ingredients and flavor into healthy little nut bars, but now, they’re doing it with non-GMO and gluten free granola bars in their Grains Bars line. Striving for health and taste, KIND uses a blend of five super grains (quinoa, buckwheat, millet, sorghum and amaranth), topped with a bit of sweetness to satisfy both sweet and salty cravings. The line includes ten chewy and crunchy bars in ‘Classic’ ‘Coffee’ and ‘Popped’ categories, with around 18 grams of whole grains, very little sugar, and a bit of protein to keep you feeling sustained.
Always grain-free, non-GMO, organic, and plant-based, ALOHA brings us the perfect snack bars with 18 grams of protein, fiber, iron—and ingredients we can actually pronounce. Keep up with the clean eating by munching up pumpkin seed protein, nuts and other whole seeds, which are paired with dark chocolate and peanut butter or vanilla almond. Who said healthy snacking couldn’t also be delicious?
Not your standard nut butters, NuttZo’s spreads are concocted of seven organic nuts and seeds that collectively curb hunger while providing a superfood boost. Each of the three blends boast minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and, they come in single serving packs too. The single serving to-go packs (15g) are a mere 90 calories, offer only a single gram of sugar and a great option for on-the-go snacking. With flavors like Original Peanut, Chocolate Peanut, and Power Fuel, it’ll be hard to go back to your average nut butter.
These crispy little nuggets are delicious and full of organic ingredients that do the body good. Gluten free, vegan, and non-GMO, the crackers include a blend of flax, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds on top of powerfully nutritious grains like millet, amaranth and quinoa. Indulge in your need for a crunch and get some satisfying snacking in without regret, as these babies also provide some iron, calcium, potassium, manganese and zinc.
If there was ever a video to get you in an island state of mind, this would be it. Filmmaker Joerg Daiber brings us an entire day in the Bahamas thanks to the magic of time-lapse. Using drone footage, Daiber follows an island beauty as she paddles through the pristine, crystal-clear waters of the Great Guana Cay in the Bahamas. It’s enough to make you want to drop whatever you’re doing and book the next available flight to the islands. Words don’t do it justice though, so kick up your feet and take a dreamy three-minute vacation in paradise.
For another dreamy SUP destination, take a look at this stunning footage of SUP surfing in Kona.
Looking for something more extreme? Check out this video of freediving with sharks in the Bahamas.
There’s no wrong way to ride a OneWheel…Scratch that; there are plenty of wrong ways to ride a OneWheel, and the ground will quickly let you know if you’re technique is on par. The OneWheel—a single motorized wheel mounted and controlled by two foot paddles fore and aft of the wheel—is the latest craze in boardsports, and it’s found particular popularity among world-class SUP athletes. Guys like Mike Tavares, Luke Hopkins, and now, SUP celebrity Dave Boehne, aka the Brown Blurr, have adopted the OneWheel as their go-to off-water mode of transportation.
The OneWheel is an ideal vehicle for getting from your porch to your paddling put-in, but the pros are taking it a step further and pioneering the progression of OneWheel tricks. The rig can go off-road, in sand, uphill and cruises at up to 15 mph on flatland. Here, Boehne gives it a less conventional whirl in what must be one of OneWheel’s first trick videos. Leave it to the Blurr to get weird on this thing…
More Brown Blurr
Maui is my “home.” But, after a few years of traveling, I’ve found that home really is where you make it…as long as there’s surf nearby.
I came to this conclusion during my first-ever surf trip—a Baja road trip in celebration of my 14th birthday and my first ‘business trip’ as a Naish team rider. The assignment: surf, take pictures, celebrate my birthday and bring my dad! How could I score any harder?
We needed a guide, which is where Wyatt Miller came in. He’d spent years scouring the Baja coastline and had plenty of secret spots on lock down.
Wyatt elbowed a board bag in the back and dust and cobwebs billowed off the gear, filling the musty cavity of our box-truck and revealing the outline of a man sleeping in the cargo. It was Brian Talma—my hero and possibly the most epic character in watersports!
As we drove south, I watched the world I knew give way to a world of sand…and dirt…and poverty—harsh, hopeless poverty. It was my first encounter with Tijuana, and I was taken aback by the sea of tattered tents that flapped in the dismal border-town barrio.
Hours passed as we hauled down Highway 1 with daydreams of perfect surf, and simultaneously, tacos. Little did we know—our growling stomachs would be the instruments of our doom. We drove, consumed by hunger, all except Brian who was still asleep after some four hours of driving.
Salvation came in the form of a small town with a sign that read, “Cuatro Casas”…or so we thought.
We followed the sign and crossed a massive plain. We could see the ocean! We could see discernible lines—waves! As we got closer we spotted a hotel and a restaurant with a blinking “OPEN” sign. The wind was up and the waves were weak, so we opted to forgo the immediate surf session and fill our bellies instead.
Everything inside the tiny restaurant was absurdly dusty. A man came out from the kitchen, eyed us suspiciously and whispered to a woman behind the bar. She walked over to us, poured water and handed us menus.
Wyatt looked a little displaced. He walked into the bathroom, the door swinging shut behind him. Before the door even closed, he was rushing back out.
“We need to leave, now,” he said.
This is the part where everyone started realizing something was wrong. Everyone except for Brian, who was still asleep in the U-Haul. I didn’t know what Wyatt had seen, but I understood we were in some kind of danger.
Wyatt fumbled with the keys. He started the car and we took off. We were covered in dust. It didn’t take long for us to realize…the box-truck was open in the back.
“Let’s split up and look for him,” Wyatt said as we nervously returned to the restaurant we’d escaped moments before.
After circling the hotel and scanning the beach, Dad walked into the restaurant and came out with Brian in tow. He’d woken up to the car parked in an empty lot. He explained: “So, I came to the bathroom…the fella in der don’t look too good!”
“He was tied up,” Wyatt said walking towards the car, “This isn’t a normal hotel. They’re fronting drug stuff here.”
Into the car again.
With all hatches sealed, we made our escape…again. As we fled, an old 90s Bronco pulled out from behind the hotel and got on the dirt track behind us. My hands went cold when I noticed a shotgun sitting on a gun rack behind its seats. Rattled by all the hints of violence around us, making our U-Haul live up to its name, hauling a** down the dusty dirt road back to civilization and away from the banditos.
By the time we hit pavement again, our bumper was hanging on by a thread. We warbled along with a flat tire and an overheated engine. Still, we limped on until we were far from whatever we’d just witnessed.
When we finally approached El Rosario, a small town about two hours south of Cuatro Casas, we stopped to give the truck, and ourselves, a break. We found a garage where we could buy a replacement tire and a taco stand where we could buy replacement attitudes The four of us sat at the taco stand in silence for a long time.
After refueling and recalibrating, we found ourselves once again racing west down another dirt road in search of waves. We didn’t have to drive quite as insanely this time, but we chose to anyways…the U-Haul was already trashed. When we got to the coast, a huge fog bank hung low in the autumn sky, shrouding our view of the waves. We couldn’t see the surf, but we could hear it.
Then, as five o’clock rolled around and the setting sun dipped beneath the thick marine layer, it seemed to burn the fog off from underneath. All at once, the sky was clear, the horizon became a mixture of colors—and there they were. Waves!
One of the most memorable days of my life ended on a high; The ocean finally rewarded our troubled travels with an epic SUP surf session! I realized right then—thousands of miles from Maui on my first trip outside the U.S., among shotgun toting smugglers and dusty desert drug fronts—home is wherever the waves are breaking.
As paddlers and active outdoors women, it’s important we have the activewear that allows us to perform at our best. But it’s also important that the activewear we purchase is produced responsibly to avoid inadvertently harming the environment that gives us so much. With endless activewear brands offering the latest and greatest in textile technology, we figured we’d take a look at the companies that are taking the extra steps to create products that are seriously sustainable as well as stylish or cutting-edge.—Shari Coble
Teeki Mermaid FairyQueen Tank
Channel the waterwoman goddess within while you sport this trippy tank by Teeki, which features a mystical mermaid scale pattern. The high neck top is a shorter cut (you’ll most likely show some belly in it) and lining-free to stay lightweight, while the breathable, stretchy material makes you feel like you’re not wearing anything. Teeki’s entire line is made from recycled or sustainable materials, which we think is crazy cool—just like their apparel.
Take a spin around the Freitas family’s (mobile) home-away-from-home
Hometown: Haleiwa, North Shore, Oahu
For professional paddlers who chase contests around the world most of the year, the company of loved ones and a few home creature-comforts can make life on the road a whole lot better. And so, when 18-year-old North Shore-born SUP prodigy Mo Freitas rolls to competitions on the mainland—away from his home on Oahu—he brings his family and their home with him. The Freitas family—father Tony, little brother Marvin and Mo—scored this motor home a few years back, and despite the endless travel itinerary of a jet-setting pro paddling clan, the Freitas fam hasn’t needed a hotel since. The rig’s saved them countless travel dollars, and what’s better, Mo has home advantage at every event. — Mike Misselwitz
1. Motor Home. The rig is a 2001 Ford with a Tioga camper on the back. It is an E-350 with a V-10, and it hauls. My dad built the racks in the back for the surfboards and on the top for the race boards.
2. Boards. I have a 14’ Focus Blue Fin (left) that just came out. It’s only 23” wide and it’s the board I used for PPG and the one I’ve had my best results on. The board on top is the same model, but it’s a 12’6” and the 2015 version, which is made of a different carbon, so it’s lighter. The surfboard is 7’2” X 23 ½” X 3 ¼”, shaped by Pat Rawson.
3. Hamboard Biscuit. Hamboards makes crazy skateboards used with the “land paddle” (long shaft with rubber push-tip, left). Everyone knows Hamboards for the giant longboards, but this new model is super fun.
4. Sawyer TST. This paddle is what I use for both racing and surfing. It has wood in the blade, and the handle is wood for a livelier feel. I definitely notice an improvement in flex with the wood.
5. Boom Box. We use this thing to jam out all the time.
6. Lumix GH4. We got it because we wanted to take our footage to the next level. It shoots 4K at 24 frames per second and 1080p at 96 frames per second. I edit all my own stuff and the footage of me surfing is either from my friend, my girlfriend, or most of the time, my dad.
7. One Wheel. This is a super new and useful toy unlike anything else out there. One Wheel hooked me up with one and I ride for them. It makes things so convenient. I use it to get from camp to the event sites a lot. It only takes 20 minutes to charge and it’ll go for eight miles with that. And it goes 15 to 17 miles per hour!
Pimp out your paddle rig with more customizing ideas from our Inside the Ride archives.
Get to know Mo—the man behind the motor home.
Winter weather and frigid temperatures got you jonesing for a good SUP? Tired of suffering through spin class or fighting the monotony (and crowds) at the gym? Believe us—you’re not the only one disenchanted by wintertime’s limited exercise options. But don’t settle for binging Netflix instead just yet. There’s a new studio in a town near you that’ll help you through the seasonal paddling blues.
SUP studios are for standup paddlers what spin classes are for cyclists. They’re the new trend in SUP, popping up in various forms with a range of specialized equipment and providing full-body SUP specific workouts, sans the inclement elements of the great outdoors. From Indo boards to Kayak Pro’s SUP ergometer, and even custom indoor SUPs, studios are finding ways to bring the sport indoors. So next time you’re considering Netflix in lieu of training, check out one of these new SUP studios and stay in SUP shape till the sun returns. —Shari Coble
Yesterday, I laid on my belly desperately stroking my 9’4” gun toward the horizon. A standup paddler stood beside me desperately stroking his 10’ SUP in the same direction. A 40-foot mountain of water loomed above us. Suddenly, the differences between us—traditional surfers and standup paddle surfers—seemed pretty damned irrelevant. In the end, we both got sucked over the falls—I took a long trip to the bottom, while the SUPer got pitched into oblivion and broke his board. In that instant, it occurred to me: the ocean doesn’t give a damn what you ride.
John Forse doesn’t care what you ride either, so when he throws an expression session/party/“Unformal Unvitational” big wave contest, everyone gets an invite. John is the man behind the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic, Oregon’s locally organized, grass-roots big wave competition, and this year he made sure we all understood it wasn’t just a surf event—it was for both surf and SUP. With a bombing swell and perfect conditions forecasted for the week, John put out the word that the Classic was coming. The event was greenlighted by the local government and set to run on January 7. On Wednesday evening, the night before the event, a mix of big wave pros and underground chargers started trickling into Lincoln City. Among them were half a dozen SUP surfers.
The contest was a loosely organized expression session, with 15 chargers from up and down the West Coast donning colorful jerseys and taking to the lineup. Meanwhile, another half-dozen who weren’t signed up for the event paddled out as well, hoping to catch a few bombs of their own. A crack water safety team made sure everyone was safe, a few drones flew overhead to capture footage, and cold beer waited at the after party, where the entire contingent would watch video from the session and vote on the winner. This was big wave surfing as it should be—bravado and camaraderie as a bunch of self-funded hellmen pitted themselves against the angry ocean. The weather even cooperated, with light offshore winds sculpting the 15- to 20-foot peaks and the clouds parting for a rare dose of Pacific Northwest sunlight.
After a six-hour marathon session with enough epic rides to go around, the last of the boys made their way to shore and hot tubbed away the hypothermia before heading over to the Lincoln City Cultural Center for the awards banquet. Kevin Riddleberger took first, local Tony Perez second, and Ian Wallace third, and to be honest, I don’t know which of them surfed and which of them rode SUPs—but I’m pretty sure that that communalism was probably John Forse’s goal after all.
2015 was a great year for North Shore, Oahu’s SUP superstar, Mo Freitas. The 19-year-old globe-trotted his way around the world, snagging podium finishes in world-class competitions for both SUP surfing and paddleboard racing, the latest victory coming in the form of a crown at the second annual DaHui Backdoor Shootout and Pipeline SUP Invitational in memory of Duke Kahanamoku. Mo’s North Shore roots and experience earned him the prestigious win at the event—the second-ever SUP contest at the world’s most revered wave—along with street cred no one in the lineup will question.
Mo’s ability on a paddleboard dominates in far more arenas than Hawaiian surf. Here, we find him in Japan for a three-week tour of Japan’s whitewater, waves and competitive SUP community. His performances throughout are evidence of his extraordinary year in competition, and if his paddling’s not enough to impress you, consider the fact that Mo edits all his video clips himself…
Join Mo for a day in the life in our digital Pro Activity feature.
Mo’ Mo: Video from Freitas’ winning performance at the 2015 Payette River Games.
It’s no secret that Morocco is home to some of the finest waves in the world. The waters off this North African country produce pumping rights that are enough make any surfer envious. In fact, the Standup World Tour made an exhibition appearance there back in 2014 with Sean Poynter, Bernd Roediger and Izzi Gomez all putting on a show. Here is another prime video of a paddler carving on the perfect Moroccan waves. Sit back and enjoy.
For more epic SUP surfing.
Common sense might tell you that if the lake is covered in ice, it probably is better suited for ice skating than paddleboarding. While we know SUP is the most versatile watersport around, it requires H2O in its liquid state, or so we thought until this paddling duo came along.
In a stunningly beautiful waterway just off the coast of the Vladivostok, Russia, large patches of ice cover a frigid lake. While most people would prefer to avoid the solid layer of ice, these two paddled straight through it. Not sure why, but it’s definitely amazing to watch and adds yet another use for the almighty SUP.
Want to give ice paddling a try? Learn to SUP in sub-zero weather.
For another frosty SUP session.
If you have year-round warm weather that lets you keep paddling 12 months of the year, congratulations. For the rest of us who have to contend with the dropping mercury and whose frozen rivers and lakes or arctic seas won’t allow us to even attempt donning a wetsuit for a winter paddle, we have to get creative. But weight room workouts can seem like a chore and it’s easy to let off-season gym sessions stagnate.
Luckily, help is at hand. Lake Tahoe’s Jay Wild is a well-respected paddle athlete and instructor who coaches CrossFit. Wild and his wife Anik, who’s also a CrossFit coach and a former X-Games champ Anik, kindly put together a few workouts that use the equipment at your local gym in lieu of a paddle and thawed water. This list aughta keep you fit until Old Man Winter is banished.
General Body Movement (mountain climbers, planks, lunges, air squats, etc.)
Then 2 rounds of:
Next, hit the rowing machine for a 1000m time trial. Go hard and pay attention to your split time, so you can try to beat it and your overall time next week.
1000m easy row
Foam Roll IT bands and lats – minimum 2 minutes per side for each
Roll a lacrosse ball across your traps and between shoulder blades for 2 minutes per side
Couch stretch two minutes on each leg
Use the warm-up from Erg Workout #1,
Perform three rounds of:
Same as Erg workout #1
5 minute row or job and then general body movement exercises
One cycle of:
5 minutes slow rowing or walking
T-Spine Foam Roll, 2 minutes
Foam Roll IT bands, 2 minutes each
45 degree scorpion stretch, 2 minutes each
Couch Stretch, 2 minutes each
Stay on the water longer with these tips for subzero SUP preparation.
More Paddle Healthy
As we enter the middle of winter, visions of warm sunny days and crystal clear water seem like a distant memory. Instead, we are forced to hunker down and deal with cold temperatures and stormy days. To get your mind off the bad weather, check out this dreamy SUP surf session from Kona, Hawaii. Thanks to some excellent drone footage, the crystal clear water and fun waves have never looked so alluring. It may still be six months until the beginning of summer but that can’t stop us from dreaming, right?
For another dreamy SUP surf session.
“If you love the ocean, go and try it,” says world-class waterman Fernando Stalla.
He’s talking about freediving. The art of holding your breath and exploring the underworlds of the sea. Fernando’s an expert on the subject, and pairs his expertise with standup paddling. According to Fernando, freediving and spearfishing pair perfectly with SUP. His method: paddle out to a kelp paddy, over a reef or into a lagoon, hop in and start exploring.
“That’s how I do it,” he says. Between paddling, freediving, and spearfishing, Stalla’s schedule is full. For spearfishing, he uses the board as a buoy and has a line back to it when he’s underwater. Otherwise he loves to explore the coast, park his board and go for a dive. The Maldives, he says, were especially awesome for this.”
“In the Maldives the water is super clear and you have a lot of sea life and colors and beautiful animals. It’s very entertaining to be underwater there. But the most amazing thing were the dolphins. While freediving they weren’t so friendly but when I was on the board, I was paddling with the pack. That was amazing.”
SUP is the perfect means for Stalla to enjoy the ocean. “The fact that you can do it anywhere in the world. I can go freediving on a paddleboard, go fishing, just paddle, take a friend or kid on the board, catch a wave, go explore. It’s a great sport and prefect for my lifestyle – I’m very happy.”
Among the rare breed of humans who thrive more in water than on land, Will Trubridge is a multiple record breaking freediver who broke one depth record by diving 100 meters down without any assistance or artificial aids – including fins. Here, Turbidge and Stalla share their expert advice on the art of holding your breath.
“The most important things are breathing and relaxation,” says Trubridge. “People think they can get more oxygen by breathing quicker. It’s important to breathe passively, and be relaxed both beforehand and while you’re in the water. By being relaxed you can store more oxygen in your tissue and blood. You consume less so you can stay down longer.”
“Panicking is the opposite of what you want to do, as it uses so much oxygen. So resisting that urge to panic and training for that. If you held your breath in a training course for three minutes, a minute or two of which was fighting that urge to breath, then you’re better equipped to deal with that in big surf,” says Trubridge.
Exhale for longer
“Do a two-second inhale, followed by a four second exhale,” says Stalla. “Do a few of those and if you feel relaxed take a deep breath and go down and enjoy. Professional freedivers will spend 20 minutes breathing to relax before a dive but just breathing for a few minutes beforehand will help.”
Double your surface time
“Rest on the surface doubles the time you spend underwater,” says Stalla. “So if you dive for one minute you should rest for two before you can go back down to prevent blackouts.”
Use a watch alarm
“Alarms let me know I’m at a certain depth or when I’ve been underwater for a certain amount of time,” says Trubridge. “But even for someone who’s not as serious about the competitive side, a dive time alarm can be handy as well.” Stalla is a fan of Suunto’s D4. “It has made my dives safer and more fun and also shows all the cool information about each dive!”
Freediving with Fernando Part 1
More SUP spearfishing.
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Victor at the US Open in Huntington Beach. Titles in two races at Pacific Paddle Games. Canadian National Champion. Rookie-year groms aren’t typically associated with such accomplishments. But then again, 14-year-old Canadian Jeffrey Spencer isn’t a typical grom.
Jeffrey’s SUP story began on the slopes. His parents Henry and Tammy have always been skiers and young Spencer cut his teeth on bunny slopes in and around Whistler, British Columbia. He was on skis as soon before he could walk. This rich background in sliding sports served him well when the family moved to Maui. Though the Spencers would make annual trips back to the ski resorts each winter, it was the ocean that now provided an exhilarating playground for Spencer and his younger brother, Finn.
It didn’t take the boys long to embrace their new environment. Growing up in Spreckelsville allowed them to not only work on their surfing skills, but also to immerse themselves in Hawaii’s waterman culture. It was almost inevitable that the Spencers got hooked on SUP in summer 2014. Henry and Tammy saw their sons progress rapidly, and the family decided they’d start competing in 2015.
The validation was immediate. Though only 14, Spencer often competed in his own age group and the next division up, the increasingly competitive Under-16 brackets. Facing proven talent from Mike Eisert and Jamie Donnelley’s The Paddle Academy, standouts from the Performance Paddling program and other groms who’ve been racing for years, Jeffrey opened the year with a fourth-place finish at the 2015 SUP Fiesta and second at Round the Rock.
Jeffrey gained momentum as the season progressed and scored another podium finish in his first river race at the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge and secured fifth at the Payette River Games in a deep field that featured many accomplished older paddlers, including Noa Hopper.
Then came three of the biggest events of the year. At the US Open of SUP in Huntington Beach, Spencer showed his endurance by not only winning the U-14 division, but also coming out on top in the U-16s. Then it was on to Doheney State Beach for the Pacific Paddle Games, where he championed both the Technical Grom Pro and the Distance Grom Pro for his age-group to sweep the 13-14 boys title. Younger brother Finn also showed the family genes in the U12 division, finishing second in the Distance race and fifth in the Technical.
For his final event of the year, Spencer headed north for the 2nd annual Tofino Paddle Surf SUP Invitational. Though the waves at Cox Bay were hardly epic, Spencer put his surfing skills on display to take down the open field. He not only won the event, earning himself the national champion title, but also became the youngest qualifier for the 2016 ISA World Paddleboarding Championships.
“I’d never surfed Cox Bay but I was just feeling it,” Spencer said. “I’m blessed to have the chance to compete at the ISA Worlds.”
For the Spencer brothers to travel for competition, they had to make some changes. The first was their schooling. While their parents want the boys to excel in SUP, their education remains a priority. Realizing that attending the local junior high wasn’t going to jive with months of travel, Jeffrey and Finn instead enrolled in online classes that give them the flexibility needed to combine SUP success with academic achievement.
“When the waves aren’t pumping I get a few hours of coursework in,” Jeffrey explains. “I really enjoy science and doing online course means I can study anywhere.”
The Spencers also made a big housing change to help accommodate the 2015 SUP race season. The family rented a house in San Clemente for several months so Jeffrey and Finn weren’t living out of suitcases and could develop regular training routines in preparation for all the big California races.
Another key component of Jeffrey and Finn’s success this past year has been mentoring. They’ve had the chance to meet and train with many of the best, including Kai Lenny, Candice Appleby, Anthony Vela, Zane Schweitzer, Casper Steinfath, and Kody Kerbox.
“Jeffrey’s a great guy and it’s amazing to see how good he and some of the other groms are already at 14 and 15,” Steinfath said. “They’re already starting to push the limits against the older guys.”
Jeffrey is evidently thinking along similar lines as he looks forward to the 2016 race season.
“I can’t wait to see what I can do at the next Pacific Paddle Games,” he said. “I want to keep competing against Tyler [Bashor), Ryan [Funk] and the other top paddlers in my age group, but also want to test myself in the open division at more events.”
For more on Jeffrey Spencer, check out his Instagram feed.
The second annual Pipeline SUP Invitational and DaHui Backdoor Shootout in memory of Duke Kahanamoku happened today with world-class SUP surfers battling in pumping Pipeline. A treat it was and an honor for the sport to have pumping Pipe closed for the second annual DaHui Shootout SUP Invitational at Pipe.
The Da Hui Backdoor Shootout in memory of Duke Kahanamoku,traditionally a prone surfing event until a SUP division (the first-ever SUP comp at Pipe) was added to the agenda last year. It’s a celebration of Hawaiian heritage focused on showcasing the islands’ top surfers. This year’s invitees for the SUP Invitational included Hawaiian athletes like last year’s Pipe champion, Kai Lenny, fellow Maui boy Zane Schweitzer, pioneering SUP icon Kainoa McGee and Haleiwa’s hard-charging up-and-comer, Mo Freitas.
Mo took control of the heat early with a stylish Backdoor barrel and a Pipeline backup to combo the field in-rhythm. But Schweitzer wasn’t to be deterred. Around halfway through the heat, he came back with a cleanly ridden Pipe bomb and the two went head-to-head on solid Pipe and Backdoor walls. Mo Freitas claimed victory after a heated round, and the prone surfing heats resumed with another thrilling 2016 Pipeline SUP Invitational in the books. Big thanks to DaHui and Hawaiian water patrol, congrats to Mo Freitas and always remember Duke Kahanamoku.
More info at WatermanLeague.com
Casper Steinfath and his hometown of Denmark are submitting a bid to bring the ISA Worlds to Copencold Hawaii. The idea is to split the competition’s events two locations—distance racing in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, and waves/technical racing in Steinfath’s hometown in Cold Hawaii (a place that is exactly as it sounds). Copencold…get it?
The benefits of such a move are valid. World-class distance-racing in Copenhagen, surprisingly good waves in Cold Hawaii. But that’s kinda the thing. It’s cold. Stormy. Hooded wetsuits and weeks of grey days. Will the paddle people really rally for the polar opposite of the event’s current location in tropical paradise? Just sayin’…We’re down, regardless.
If Denmark strikes your fancy, try Scotland on for size. Our digital feature puts you there.
Casper Steinfath surfs Cold Hawaii
Epic: Casper Steinfath’s story—blown to sea on the Lost Cost.
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