The second annual Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life is just around the corner, so we sat down with rising race star and Dana Point local, Shae Foudy, to see how her training's going and get her thoughts on having the biggest race in the world in her own backyard. -Rebecca Parsons
SUP Mag: What does your training look like leading up to the event?
SF: I always train at Doheny, but what's different about it for Pacific Paddle Games is that I try to integrate myself into the surf more. I've also been really training on my plan for the race. I live right there, it's a 5-minute bike ride, so I go down and watch the surf and check out where it's breaking. I'm praying there's going to be a swell for the race!
SUP Mag: What makes Doheny an ideal location for PPG?
SF: It's so ideal! The break is so friendly for race boards; it's not a super gnarly wave where it will just throw you over, it's a mellow break. The beach itself is super long and perfect for vendors. In my opinion, it's the best venue to have it at.
SUP Mag: Is it really special having the race at your home break?
SF: It's so insane. The fact that it's probably the biggest race in the world and the fact that it's five minutes from my house is so cool. Definitely got that home-court advantage, if you want to call it that.
SUP Mag: What advice would you give to someone who's never paddled at Doheny before?
SF: I would say that they should definitely go the day before and study what the ocean's doing. Study the wave and get a feel for what that wave's like. I think if there are waves for the race day it's best to set yourself up mentally and go into it with confidence. Waves are a different animal; it's not like racing flatwater. It's kind of a different sport in a way.
SUP Mag: What's your goal this year?
SF: Oh man, I've got some big goals this year. From the first day of 2016 my goals were geared towards Pacific Paddle Games. I'm going to shoot to win. But we'll see what happens. I know everyone will be there and that makes it even better and more exciting. But I'm definitely going to do my best for myself and for my sponsors, but mostly for myself. It would be even sweeter to win at Doheny because that's where I grew up.
SUP Mag: Which event are you most excited for?
SF: I'm definitely most excited for the technical short course. The technical's constantly in and out of the waves, which puts a different twist on things. I love surf races, they're my specialty I guess you could say. I'm excited because I think I have a really good chance in that race.
SUP Mag: What board will you be racing on?
SF: I'm using a Rivieria RP 12'6. It's a custom raceboard and it's 12'6" x 22".
SUP Mag: So you're a senior at Dana Hills high school this year. Will a lot of your friends be coming out to support you?
SF: Yeah, I think that probably has to be the coolest thing. I have a lot of support at home that's going to be there. It kind of makes it a little more stressful, but I'm excited for my friends to come see what I do.
SUP Mag: So what's on the horizon after PPG?
SF: I'm definitely going to take a break. November to beginning of January is my off time.
REGISTER FOR #PPG2016
Pro registration deadline: September 16
Open registration deadline: September 23