Angie Jackson is a fierce competitor. After years of professional kite surfing began to take its toll on her body, the Aussie had to find something more gentle. But taking it easy isn't really Jackson’s style, so she took up a career as a standup paddler and a successful one at that, taking home countless gold medals in races around the world, including this year’s ISA World Games in Peru. We caught up with Jackson between workouts to find out what’s going on Down Under. -Rebecca Parsons
Tell us about your athletic background.
I've lived by the ocean my whole life, so I love everything to do with it. I came from a professional kite surfing background and made the progression into SUP as kite surfing was starting to hurt my body too much.
What made you choose SUP?
I started with a big, old 11'6″ SUP board and was just out nearly every day, catching waves and paddling around in the flats until I started getting involved into the racing side of SUP.
You dominated at the ISA World Games in Peru with golds in both the distance race and the technical race. Tell us about that experience.
Peru was amazing and Team Australia winning the team gold was unreal. But, to also win two individual golds as well was great. The long distance race wasn't easy by any means; 24 kilometers and it was HOT, with an in/out surf section at the end of each lap, so it kept things interesting right up until the last 4 km back to the finish. The fog moved in and you could hardly see where you were going—it was crazy. I stayed pretty cruisy in the distance right up until the last four kilometers, where I managed to pull a good gap on the other girls.
Tell us about the SUP scene on the Gold Coast.
The scene at home on Currumbin on the Gold Coast is amazing and we have a solid training squad that runs every morning at 5 am with my coach, Peter Dorries. A lot of the world's top elite paddlers are coming out of the Currumbin Creek, such as Jake Jensen, Beau O’Brien, Paul Jackson and Travis Grant, to name a few. They are all my training partners as well, so it's really cool as everyone pushes very hard. The Aussie girls are now only just starting to adventure out to the international scene and we have a heap more coming through, too. Sometimes in the morning squad the girls will outnumber the boys. I get to train with my Fanatic teammates Jake Jensen and Paul Jackson every day, which is really cool.
What is it like racing on the Women's World Series and surfing on the Women's World Tour?
It's great! Great girls, and everyone gets along really well. I'm hoping to try and help build the female numbers for 2014 on the Tour, so let's hope we see more girls competing next year. It really is the only World Tour set up and running well. I believe all SUP riders need to support it, otherwise the sport is going to head off into many directions. Next year, the tour will have five or six stops, which is a lot better for the athletes.
What's your future with SUP look like?
Well, I hope I'm still around competing for a while. I have many things planned, starting now, and it's getting me ready for next year's Tour.
Your husband is also a professional standup paddler. What's that like?
Yes, Jacko (Paul Jackson) and I train, live, work and travel together; we do everything together as best mates. We are both really supportive of each other—we have to be, otherwise things just wouldn't be nice. We also work together seven days a week in our very busy Gold Coast SUP shop on Currumbin Creek when we are home, so that keeps us very busy.
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