The past week I have been busy finishing up Summer SUP School and starting the second half of my season which is going to be huge. I have sacrificed a lot of time during the Summer to work. Now I want to focus on competition 100 percent.
National Watersports Festival (NWF) was my first stop on my long second half to the season. In it’s 9th year NWF is a showcase for all the new gear from the waterspouts industry and also provides plenty of competition.
Starboard had the new gear on display. Development for 2016 is next level. I am confident to say the new All Star will see many of the world top podiums. I was given mine at the weekend and it is next level. The turning capabilities, acceleration and tracking combines for a board which is truly all round.
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The 2015 Battle for the Bay has yet again provided the perfect platform to showcase all that Ireland has to offer. Amazing weather 😉 , vibrant watersports community and last but not least the “Irish Craic”. I have been involved in this beach culture festival for 4 years now and the event keeps growing both in terms of watersports events and as a showcase for leading Irish innovation.
This year was special for a number of reasons.
-The first ever Liffey SUP race happened with 40 people racing up and down the river through the heart of the city
-I was a ambassador for the SUP divison
-Lastly a crew of drone pilots from I fly Technology captured the whole event from the air!!!
I used the 2015 Starboard Astro Racer for the Liffey SUP race. Starboard have been working hard to show that their inflatables are as fast and durable as all the other brands. I was surprised with the performance of the board compared to the Red Paddle Co. Elite which many other competitors were using in the race. Both boards are fantastic but both use diffrent technologies to stiffen the boards.
-The famous rocker Stiffening system (RSS) from Red paddle Co.
-The new dual stringer technology from Starboard
Racing the board to a 1st place finish in the race showed me that Starboard have put their time to good use. Small changed with the construction of the rails, fin box and the addition of the dual stringer technology made the board feel solid and responsive.
European and Spanish Freestyle Kite Champion Alvero Onieva was staying with me for the weekend. The spaniard from Tarifa had some bad luck in the Kite Boarder Cross event but his passion for the sport was infectious. He works along side Wainman Hawaii and runs his own company Clash to push the innovation of kiteboarding to the next level. At the end of the event he gave away his board to a local young gun showing his humble attitude to the young community of Kitesurfers.
Photo: Wojtek Kosinski
Battle for the Bay 2015 from Memento Photography on Vimeo.
After nearly two years of planning, organising and dreaming. It has become a reality. ‘Summer SUP School’ . Together with my buisness partner we are opening Irelands ultimate Stand Up Paddle Board School on Old Head Beach in Louisburgh – Co. Mayo.
Summer SUP School is going to offer a full range of activities:
-Plus lots more.
I am fortunate to have some amazing sponsors who support me and produce the best equipment on the market. Red Paddle Co. and Starboard are the obvious equipment choices combined with O’Neill wetsuits. We have secured the most ideal location on the beach with a perfect grassy spot to hang out and go for a paddle.
Old Head has always been one of my favourite beaches. Some of my first memories were on Old Head playing in the rock pools. Now I get to spend the whole Summer on the beach again combined with traveling the world competing in some of the worlds biggest SUP events.
Share digital aloha and follow Summer SUP School.
8 Tracks: 8tracks.com/summersupschool
Discover Ireland: www.discoverireland.ie/Activities-Adventure/summer-sup-school/
Wild Atlantic Way: www.wildatlanticway.com/directory/details/summer-sup-school/
So, this is officially the worst blog in history. A empty promise to myself to produce content but ending up with lots of photos and very little writing.
-Let’s start with Winter 2015. I didn’t get to surf as much as I hoped due to exam commitments. I still scored some epic days on the west coast.-
-Thankfully I was able to travel a bit-
-Spring offered up some good weather and pre-season training kicked off-
My whole blogging dream never occurred I ended up making the same excuses as normal to myself. (It takes to long, who is actually going to read it, I have just paddled a million kilometres “I need FOOD” and I normally fall asleep before I build up any motivation)
Ok , so after coming home and every single person I have spoke to asked “how was California?”. Here is a brief recap of the epic adventure and event that was.
-24 hrs of flying, airports and general traveling-
– I reached my destination Salt Creek-
-I spent a few tense hours training-
-I competed at the 2014 Battle of the Paddle-
-I had a bad first day racing and didn’t make the final but watched the best race I have ever seen-
-I had a slightly better day two-
-Finished the event and explored California-
-Went on a bike ride to the Wedge-
-Found a decent coffee in America-
-Spent another 24 hrs going home-
Photos edited on VSCO cam.
Battle of the Paddle the biggest race of the season.
Salt Creek, California
2015 Starboard Allstar
Prepared Yes or No?
Maybe, I have been focusing on the B.O.P for the past two months but this race has a lot of luck involved.
Make the final of the men’s elite race. There is two heats in the morning and the top 50 percent from both races go into a final heat in the afternoon. Plus get some surf done in Californian sunshine.
Battle of the paddle has always been on my bucket list of races and every top sup racer shows up to this race from every side of the world.
Stay tuned to my blog for daily updates and photos.
-What is the B.O.P?(To all the non paddling folk)
The Battle of the paddle is probably the biggest race of the year. A unofficial World Championships were the best Sup racers battle it out for a faint hope to become B.O.P champion. The list of past champions is pretty epic. Chuck Paterson, Jamie Mitchell, Danny Ching, Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny. It involves racing in and out of the surf with a run in between every lap. To be any way competitive you need to know how to surf a race board(it’s like driving a f-one car down a mountain pass plus you have a few hair pin bends to take care of). These ‘hair pin bends’ are buoy turns in the surf zone. I forgot to mention there is 30+ people going around the buoy at the same time.’Carnage Guaranteed’
Summer is here and I have been busy doing events, traveling and surfing. I am going to keep this short but there is a lot to blog about.
I was in Dublin for the Third annual Dublin Bay Sup Classic as part of the Pure Magic Battle for the Bay. The forecast was mixed but I enjoyed competing at home for a change. The event was world class with lots of international attention and a good beach vibe for the entire weekend. I got 1st in both events which I was pretty stoked with.
After Dublin it was straight on a plane to Bilbao, Spain in the beautiful Basque Country.The Bilbao event is amazing with friendly people, good organisation and a good vibe from the side of the River. I had a disappointing event in terms of performance and couldn’t find that sixth gear that I can normally depend on when racing. Plus it was 30 + during the day witch made it feel like a oven.
After Bilbao it was road trip time from Bilbao to Oleron,France. There was a bunch of guys making the same trip and it made for a epic week of surfing in pretty small waves. Everyone was enjoying the European Summer and the beach breaks of the south of France.
The island of Oleron was the location for the next stop of the European tour. Forecast was for a epic downwinder which actually materialised and made for a fun race. Again a disappointing result for myself made a few stupid mistakes. The sprint races were super fun and decided to go all out on them and ended up with a 10th place finish in the sprints. Overall a 13 th place finish.
Credit to Big Smoke for second picture
The racing season is full speed ahead with races every weekend and lots of traveling for myself. I have been in the U.K racing on the British Sup Clubs race series and preparing for the European racing tour.
I got a 2nd place at the Central Sup race in Birmingham, England. I made a stupid mistake leaving out one of the marks costing me 1st place. It made for a exciting finish for the crowd but lots of work for me to do. Myself and Sonni had a photo finish. I learnt my lesson that day and moved on to the next race. Thanks to all the guys at central sup for a amazing event.
Next race was the Battle of the Thames in London city. The weather was mild with no wind. I made a early lead and held a gap on the chasing group. It was a grind by myself with no one to draft. I came out on top after putting the work in early. My first for the year and hoping to keep the good results going. Big thanks to Blue Chip for more great organising.
A quick update of my life. I went on a epic 6 day road trip with Scott Warren of Starboard UK. It was a last minute plan as I had time off school for Easter. We drove Dublin – Cork – Dublin – Galway – Westport – Sligo – Portrush – Dublin. A total of 2000+km… The van was filled with the latest and greatest gear from Starboard. It was a networking/sales mission. We talked and showed off the boards and paddles and met a bunch of cool people.
We ended up at the Causeway coast surf festival. The surf was less then ideal with small conditions and shifty peaks it was difficult to secure the waves I wanted. I ended up in 2nd place behind Finn Mullen. Stand out Gearoid Mcdaid pulled off the biggest move of the contest in the finial of the open men. I was lucky enough to have captured it on Video. Check out my video of the event.
Photos: Bosco Macualey and Peter Kosinski