Hometown: Sylt, Germany
Sonni Hönscheid is a woman of many passions. She's an artist, a tennis player, a surfer and one of the fastest women in standup paddling. For Hönscheid, one passion inspires another, as showcased by her one-of-a-kind van. We caught up with the German-born, Canary Islands-raised, Hawaii-trained powerhouse to learn more about the gear that keeps her inspirations afloat. –Jack Haworth
1) 2016 Mercedes B Class Van. I'm an ambassador for Mercedes and at first they wanted to put my picture on it. I didn't want to drive myself around so we came up with the idea to put my art on the car. I use this car to drive to all of the different EuroTour events. I have all my gear in it.
2) Starboard All Star 14' and 12'6" raceboards. I used these boards for the EuroTour this year. They're good for all kinds of conditions—downwind, sidewind or surf races. In Europe, the APP and ISA races are supposed to be 12'6", while all the other races are on 14'.
3) Starboard Sprint 12'6" X 23". This board is my go-to for flatwater races.
4) Starboard Bolt paddles. I really like the open shaft and the carbon fiber makes these super light.
5) Starboard Pro 7'7" X 26 ¾". It's good in all kinds of different conditions, but I generally use this for small to medium-sized waves.
6) Jucker Hawaii Skateboard. I designed these boards years ago. The one I'm sitting on is the Kaimana and the one next to it is the Wailani. I always have them in my van and use them to cruise around with friends between races.
7) Athletic equipment. I always travel with my foam roller for stretching after races and my ASICS running shoes. When traveling I love to hop out of the van, go for a run and then hop back in and keep driving.
8) Storage. I have a Kimchi bag where I store my computer and all of my clothing. I also have a Bluesmiths bag for gear like screwdrivers and fins.
9) Fins. The three on the left are the Black Project Tiger fins. Definitely the best fins I've used, super light and great in flatwater or sidewind. I use the two on the right—Black Project Sonics—for surfing.
10) Coiled leash. I never paddle without a leash, even if it's a small lake. I always teach people to wear a leash no matter what water conditions.
11) Hydration Pack. I use the VestPac hydration pack it for longer training sessions or races over an hour.
12) Restube PFD. I always have it with me because some races require it and also because it gives me some added security when paddling by myself.
13) Drysuit/Wetsuits. The Starboard Drysuit keeps me warm and dry and protects against the wind. I keep it with me in Europe so I'm prepared even if it snows. The wetsuits are from Xcel—the Leslie Spring Suit 2MM and the Kristy Cross Back Long John 2MM.