Interviewed by Charlotte @ XOTB Durban
When did you start paddling?
I started paddling last winter, but nothing serious, just trying out different boards, playing on the ocean and joining the SUP Durbs’ crew on a Thursday night at the Umgeni river.
Why did you start SUP?
(Hehehe) Was at dinner with a few girlfriends and we got onto the topic of SUPing, after a few glasses of wine we all decided to try it out the following morning. Out of a table of seven girls, only two of us arrived down at XOTB the following morning. I absolutely loved it and proceeded to head down every weekend thereafter. I became an XOTB beach bum! My mom at the time was doing photography for SUP Durbs and suggested that I meet everyone and try paddling on the river, little did I know that Brandon Read from XOTB was the face behind the river paddling too.
Do you have a background in ocean sports?
Mainly swimming. I come from a triathlon background, so I did quite a bit of ocean swims whether it be for races or merely just training.
If you’re not SUPing you’re fishing. That’s quite unusual for a girl! Explain!
I have my hubby to thank for that, he took me fishing over my matric holidays, think I spend about 20 days fishing over the Christmas period, not your typical “matric rage”… and totally fell in love with being on the water and the high of catching fish. We also have our own lure manufacturing company called Pulsator Lures, hence all the fishing. I love my job, it’s pretty cool. The only part of my job that I find challenging, is that I’ll give someone advice about tackle, they’ll then ask to speak to by hubby who will repeat what I just told them.. Watch out boys, us girls know a thing or two about fishing!
You paddle in the ocean and the Umgeni River at the Thursday night dice – do you have a preference for training?
That’s a real easy one – OCEAN, however I love the atmosphere at the river on a Thursday night.
Why did you take it to the next level and start SUP racing?
Ah, another person to thank, Brandon, saw potential in me and encouraged me to pursue racing. He has stood by me from the beginning, his training, faith and support has been a monumental part of my SUP growth, which I will forever be grateful for. B, if you are reading this, thanks for being a great coach and parental. You rock!
PS – I’m also super competitive (in a nice way!)
What board are you riding?
I’m currently riding an F-One, Pro Race, 14’x26”. I’m seriously one lucky girl. The new boards just arrived in Durban at the beginning of September, we are all stoked with them. I can’t wait to do my first downwind on it.
I’m really excited for you this season. Congratulations on becoming an F-one Team Rider. You’re showing the Durban girls how it’s done. How does training in a team help you SUP?
Thank you Charlotte! Am pretty excited about being part of the F-One team, Bruce Crystal has some outstanding riders whom I’ll learn a lot from. I’ve spent the better part of 2015 training, racing and travelling with Jackie de Billiot, she comes from a paddling background and is currently #1 in SA. I’ve been privy to spend heaps of time with her, pick her brain and learn from her. She truly has a wealth of information about the ocean and paddling and to top it all off, Bruce is one energetic driving-force behind F-One. He is constantly there encouraging and supporting us. I think 2016 is going to be a fantastic year with the team. I’m looking forward it. I’m sure there will be heaps of sweat and tears, but most lots of laughter… and paddling.
What’s your favorite time of day to SUP?
Most definitely mornings. I’ve become an early-bird this past year and there is nothing better than an early morning paddle which leaves you charged for the day!
What’s for breakfast after a Saturday morning SUP on the water at Xpression on the Beach?
Surf Riders Avo & Salmon eggs benedict (minus the bun) with fresh chilli and a veggie juice! Yummy.
What advice can you give to Durban girls who want to get into SUP but they’re apprehensive about doing something for the first time?
Big Girl Panties!!! My famous three words. Whatever I do in life that seems intimidating, I repeat those words to myself, they are a reminder that I’ve put my big girl panties on many times and conquered. We are so capable of many things.
For your first SUP select a beach where the surf is small, such as Marine or DUC, pick a calm day, take a friend and just get out there and enjoy yourself, you’ll have no regrets, oh and wear a secure cozzie (hehehe).