What do you do when you’re a former multi-medallist and Wildwater Canoeing World Champion (C1, C2) moving onto the next chapter? You go rip the rapids on carbon SUP race boards! On the eve of the 39th edition of the legendary paddle race –Marathon international des Gorges de l’Ardècheand the last stop of the 2023 EuroTour – we’re catching up for a quick chat with the Champion and Light Board Corp, Nicolas Peschier.
He will be competing on the LIGHTBOARDCORP® PARADOXA board in the 27 km stand-up paddle race, starting from the Pont d’Arc and ending at Saint Martin d’Ardèche.
From an impressive sporting career in slalom canoeing to stand-up paddleboarding… How did you get into SUP and the competitive aspect of the sport?
I do a lot of climbing now but I miss being on the water. I was in the French National Team for seventeen years, so I need that. I don’t have the facilities to do slalom at home so I turned to SUP. It gives me new sensations and keeps me in shape.
Why whitewater paddling and how do you avoid injury?
I live 100 meters from the river so it couldn’t be easier for me 😉 To avoid getting injured, you have to be aware of the water level, be able to see far ahead to anticipate obstacles and not hesitate to get down on your knees if necessary to avoid falling.
What are the main things to look out for when whitewater paddling?
You have to respect some basic safety rules. No leash, a lifejacket, a helmet and avoid being alone on the river.
We’re catching up in the run up the Marathon des Gorges de l’Ardèche. What makes this event unique, especially for SUP athletes?
This race is in my backyard, so for me it’s already very special, but for SUP it’s a big challenge on the river because for 24km there’s a series of rapids that aren’t very big but are never easy and it’s not the same way to read the water as in the sea. There’s also between 1500 to 2000 people in canoes and kayaks for the start so it’s an amazing atmosphere.
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Light Board Corp?
A few years ago I started paddling a bit and already with a Light Board Corp thanks to Kayak-Online who gave me a board. Now I paddle a bit more and naturally I turned to the Light Board because I think it’s the best carbon SUP at the moment.
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