Quiksilver & Starboard SUP Team Rider along with mate Bevan Gooch become the first to Stand up Paddle to Great Barrier Island
It had to be done, conditions weren’t perfect, but it was the only viable day amongst a infamous summer calendar to have a crack. We had tried before maybe six months earlier but had to abort in the 11th hour, this time round nothing was to stop us, I wanted this real Bad!!
Paddling to Great Barrier Island on a SUP had a dual purpose, a personal challenge to tick off and also a final ditch effort to gain exposure of the athletic capabilities of NZ SUP team riders to try and help us gain funding across the sport to compete internationally in upcoming World SUP Events. SUP is still a relatively new sport, but the fastest growing watersport in the world, a sport that NZ can secure podium finishes at the highest level. We just need the financial backing to get us there, completing a NZ first just might gain the exposure we need to make the SUP worlds in Peru.
Experiences are always better shared so teamed up with great mate Bevan Gooch to make the crossing happen. Bevo is an extraordinary Longboard surfer based in Pauanui who just recently took up SUP to increase his water presence and fitness, a real waterman in the making! Captain Buck, stunning crew mate Stacey, Videographer Scott Sinton & Outlaw John's Boat all got involved to enable a 6am, 45km paddle form Tawharanui to Great Barrier Island happen.
Throughout the 6 hour mission to Great Barrier Island it was the mid February heat that was most challenging. With only a 2-5 knots breeze at best, a couple of ocean dips to cool off were compulsory. Correct nutrition and hydration throughout the day were also essential, thankfully HORLEYS assisted us here with Gels, Replace and other nutritional needs to help us stay at peak form throughout. Preperation, planning and safety need to be at the forefront of any mission also, especially with the aura of the water we were crossing. The night before we went through every possible action plan scenario from a Great White Shark encounter through to undesirable open ocean currents. Beauty for us on this mission was the time it took simply didn't matter, we just had a laugh and a whole lot of banter with each other and the boat crew. One of my most memorable sporting achievements to date for sure; meticulous planning, the ultimate in surrounding & supportive crew who by a weather enforced window made sacrifices at short notice to make a long seeked dream now a moment to cherish and further build on.
Coming from a surfing background I became frustrated with not being able to get on the water regularly amongst quality waves. On a trip to Hawaii 4 1/2 years ago I saw someone doing a downwind SUP mission on a flat surf day and made the instant connection to increased water time and cross training health and fitness benefits. It’s the ability to get out on the water each and every day, all year round. The SUP scene is a real social one, missions amongst new mates each and every week, good times all the time. The health and fitness benefits are also second to none, SUP is the best all over body workout around, getting fit outdoors in the sunshine, beats the an indoor gym pants down every time. Our training involves cruising with stunners in bikinis, benefits are endless, shall I keep going :D. See you on the water one day soon, no doubt you too will make that instant connection after a few strokes.
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