What were you doing at 16? Going to school? Thinking about the opposite sex? Playing sports? Slater Trout does all of those things too and more, like win standup races all over the country and surf in game-changing conditions at contests like last year's Standup World Tour Sunset Hulukai Trials, which he won. Add in the occasional photo shoot, promotional stops for sponsors and one thing becomes blatantly obvious: Not many of us were doing those kinds of things at 16. But as a recent cameo in Sports Illustrated attests, Slater Trout is big time, and a trend-setter among a handful of sub 20-year-old elites that put the sport of standup paddling in good hands. SUP magazine caught up with the newly-signed Infinity team paddler over the Holidays. –JC
SUP mag: So Infinity? Awesome company with a great history. Why did you decide to make the move? You've been with three board companies now. What are you looking for in a board sponsor?
Trout: I 'm really looking forward to riding Infinity Boards and having input on my custom Slater Trout series board with them. That's pretty much what it's about. Changing sponsors is just a natural progression. I’ve been lucky by having really good board sponsors in my career like C4 and Paddle Surf Hawaii, they have taken me where I am today.
SUP mag: What are your plans this year?
Trout: I want to get as much time on Maui’s north shore as possible this winter and have already had a few good swells. This is the time of year I look forward to just getting back in the waves. I'm excited to do some more tow in as well. I've been doing quite a bit of outrigger with Dave Kalama, which is great cross training. Soon, I'll be back into full-on race training. I'll be at Surf Expo in Orlando next week and a race/wave event in Mexico in March and the Hi Ho in the British Virgin Islands in June. And of course the Battle of the Paddle in Hawaii in May is coming up.
SUP mag: You're down in Australia now. What are you up to?
Trout: I've been here for two weeks visiting family friends who my parents met 25 years ago hitch hiking in New Zealand and getting in the water as much as possible. It’s my second time and I love Australia. We spent most of the time at Collaroy, one of Sydney’s beautiful northern beaches and spent Christmas in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast. I got to do some outrigger paddling/surfing with Jamie Mitchell at the Alley at Currumbin and celebrated my 16th birthday. I also had a pretty decent session at the Bombie at Long Reef, which was really good fun.
SUP mag: What are your plans for college?
Trout: I'm in the middle of my sophomore year of high school . I can’t wait to go to college but it's still a ways out. I probably will end up on the west coast of California but I never rule anything out.
For more check out Slatertrout.com