Blackfish Paddles, designers of high performance, handcrafted SUP paddles, are set to make waves in Europe with the announcement of Amandine Chazotand Boris Jinvresse, two of France’s top SUP racers, joining Team Blackfish for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Blackfish Paddles: Pivotal Milestone
“Signing Amandine, who is a six-time French SUP Champion across a range of disciplines, is another pivotal milestone for our brand,” said David Smart, Founder of Blackfish Paddles. “We are excited to have Amandine join our team alongside Ke’ale Dorries and Tamlyn Bohm. It is exciting for us to have three such amazing female paddlers using our product! This is also our first signing in Europe which is an area that we see great growth potential for the Blackfish brand. We look forward to seeing Amandine and Boris making their Blackfish debut in the coming weeks. The 2020 racing season is set to be an exciting one.”
Blackfish Paddles: A shared philosophy of SUP
With the season heating up, the French SUP power duo found some time between their training to talk about the Blackfish partnership and their plans for 2020.
A very warm welcome to the Blackfish Team! What has drawn you to join the Blackfish Paddles Athlete Team?
Amandine Chazot: At the beginning, it is all about a human story. Two years ago, during a shuttle at the Gorge Paddle Festival (the downwind race of Hood River) I met Dave, CEO of Blackfish Paddles. We talked about the sport, the female athlete condition, our spirit and vision of the stand-up paddle for today and tomorrow and we agreed about many things. One year later, at Hood River again, Dave came back to me and introduced his brand and his products. We tried it for several months and we really loved these paddles.
Boris Jinvresse: Right! The paddles are great! Furthermore, we really like the philosophy of the brand, Blackfish Paddles are made with BIO resin and there is zero plastic used for packaging.
What’s your first event in the pipeline, and Blackfish debut?
Amandine: Our Blackfish story has already began! We’ve been training with these paddles since the resumption of training, 3 weeks ago. Our first big event will be the Azur Paddle Days race on 1st of May in France. It’s a EuroTour stop and that will be the first big meeting of 2020. Before that, we also have a national downwind event in Brittany, the Kelt Ocean Race in April.
Boris:Our favourite races are the downwind and the Ocean condition ones. So, our main goals are the Vendée Gliss Event, the Kelt Ocean Race, Agios Nikolaos on SUP, Pornichet Paddle Trophy and Hood River!
Do you know what paddles you’ll be using this season?
Amandine: I have a really good feeling with the Salish. This paddle is really light, the stiffness is perfect, the blade is really stable in the water. So far, I think I will use it in all conditions. On the other hand, the Viento is really good too. I’m still trying both of them.
Boris: It’s hard to choose! So, I think I will use two different models. The new Viento is absolutely amazing in downwind and ocean conditions. The blade is really stable and the catch is very effective. With it, I can accelerate many times really quickly and without being tired. On flat water, I have a different paddle stroke, a slower and more powerful one. For that, the Andaman is perfect.
What are your top training tips before the start of racing season?
Amandine: Listen to our coach, Bernard Jaouen! We are really lucky to be trained by him, he is a professional trainer and also a scientific in sports research. We’ve been training with him for three years now, he knows us really well.
My advice is to work as hard as you can on your weak points. I think it’s really easier to progress in physical condition than on technical points (buoy turns, beach start etc.)
Boris: My top training tips before the start of the season is also a technical point. Think a lot about what you can improve, especially on your paddle stroke. Ask for someone to make a video of you and compare it with champions such as Amandine or Lincoln Dews. A good and effective paddle stroke can save you from injuries and definitely make you faster!
What would you say to paddlers who are just entering the SUP racing scene?
Amandine: Do what you love! This is really important. Downwind, beach race, flat water…SUP is a great game. Choose the good races according to what you wanna do.
Boris: Be realistic about your goal and your results. This is really hard to do but it’s really important. Even if you trained hard during several weeks and you won just first or second place, this is good! Go step by step and enjoy all the small victories.
What are your expectations for the 2020 season?
Amandine & Boris:Our only expectation is having fun!!!! We love paddling, we love training and we love racing. For sure, some podiums are welcome.
Blackfish Paddles are set to take over your home turf…
Amandine: Sure, our main sponsor is Side Shore Water Shop in Brest. When we came back from Hood River, we introduced the Blackfish Paddles to Side Shore. They agreed to help us by selling this new brand in the shop. The importer of Blackfish Paddles in France is R.D Composite.
Boris: This a win-win agreement between Blackfish Paddles, Side Shore and us is really important. This is the beginning of a new story.
To find out more about Blackfish Paddles and their progressive, refined, handcrafted designs, visit www.blackfishpaddles.com
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