Interviews by Rebecca Parsons

Being a competitive athlete is time consuming. Between finding time to paddle, cross-train and traveling to events, it's basically a full-time job. And if you're part of the under-eighteen crowd, you have to find time to get your schoolwork done too. We caught up with six of the top groms in the sport and asked them how they balance school with standup paddling.–RP

Jade Howson. Photo courtesy of Mike Muir

Jade Howson

Laguna Beach, CA; 15

It is difficult but it gets done. School comes before paddling, so if my grades drop that means no paddling trips. This helps me stay motivated to study and get good grades!

Tyler Bashor. Photo courtesy of Chad Bashor

Tyler Bashor

Dana Point, CA; 16

Balancing school and training has always been a bit of a challenge, especially through high school. I have to find time to do my schoolwork in between practices and thankfully my school allows me to use standup paddling as my PE, allowing me time for more training and completing homework. My biggest help with balancing the two would definitely be my coach, Mike Eisert with the Paddle Academy, helping me set up a training schedule and practices. And my parents with their support throughout the years.

Scarlett Schremmer. Photo courtesy Patty Schremmer

Scarlett Schremmer

Honolulu, Hawaii; 11

I balance school and training with a lot of help from my teacher, Ms. Talley. She always takes time to give me the work I need to complete when I am traveling for contests and can't be at school. Also, the staff in the office are very encouraging and excited for me to compete so they are willing to help me. I like school and math is my favorite subject. My mom is really good at teaching me and we practice a lot of math and vocabulary when I am traveling.

Finn Spencer

Paia, Hawaii; 14

I do online school which makes it a lot easier to go SUP whenever the conditions are good and to travel to SUP competitions. I try to do an equal amount of standup paddling and school but sometimes, if the waves are really good, I might be in the water all day and have to catch up on my work when the waves aren't so good.

Elijah Schoenig. Photo courtesy of Georgia Schofield

Elijah Schoenig

San Clemente, CA; 16

I am able to balance SUP and school because I am enrolled in Independent P.E at San Clemente High School (IPE). This program allows me to leave school one period early to go paddle and allows me to miss a few days of school and make up the work I missed without any penalty.

Annie Reickert. Photo courtesy of Annie Reickert

Annie Reickert

Pukalani, Maui, Hawaii; 16

I homeschool, which allows me to create my own schedule and take my school on the road when I travel. If the surf is up and conditions look good, I start my day in the water. Usually, I do school work from 9-2 and then head back to the water in the afternoon for a downwinder, training or more surf. I've been doing this for a few years and have found a rhythm that really works.


Meet the eight-year-old who took on 20-foot waves at the Olukai Ho’o.

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