As early as I can remember, I have always loved the ocean. My parents would take me and early on I taught myself how to stand up on a boogie board. Neither of them surfed or really knew anything about the ocean so my brother and I were on our own.
I participated in many different organized sports, but I always enjoyed surfing the most. But living so far from the beach, it was hard to get to the beach as much as I wanted. It was such a blessing when in 1994 I became an ocean lifeguard and for the first time in my life had daily access to the beach. I learned how to paddleboard, surf ski, and bodysurf waves all the way onto the beach.
In 1998 I competed in the World Lifesaving Championships as part of the US National Lifesaving team, then went on to represent the US in many surf racing events around the world including: Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and Florida. In 2000 I began competing in the longer distance traditional paddling races, and through the years I have won paddle races on 10’6”,12’ and 18’ traditional (prone) paddleboards.
Then Stand Up Paddling came into my life. My first week on my own board I paddled for countless hours with blue whales off the coast of Redondo Beach, California. Looking down on these majestic creatures I realized the unique vantage point that standing on a board presented when paddling. Like many, I was instantly hooked.
With the help and support of my sponsors, in my first year of racing and surfing on a SUP I have enjoyed some good results. A few highlights are winning the Carolina Cup, winning the SUP surfing in the San Clemente Ocean Festival, and working my way through the 64-person trials and into the main event of the Stand UP World Tour event in Huntington Beach.
I’m excited to share what I have learned in all of my years of paddling and racing, and also the secrets I found in my short SUP career. Performance Paddling allows me the opportunity to bring together my teaching/coaching background and the fun new sport of Stand Up Paddling.