2018 has been a great year for French SUP surfer Benoit Carpentier. The Starboard rider claimed the Coupe de France, then was crowned the French champion. At the end of November he is set to star in the upcoming ISA’s in Hainan, China. Breton native Benoit talks to TotalSUP about his amazing year, his favourite board in his quiver and his goals for the next year.
Hi Benoit, 2018 has been a great year where you have recorded some solid results, what are your best moments?
It has been a great year, I have had a lot of good results and some great adventures. The top 3 highlights of the year have been working as part of the Starboard development and testing team, which I was doing in between my visits to Tahiti, Thailand and Bali. Then next it has to be my trip to Western Australia with my mates Kai Bates and Wesley Fry
Then finally the third greatest thing that happened this year was wining the French Nationals in front of my friends, family and a home crowd!
How did it feel to be crowned the French champion and book your place to the ISAs?
It felt amazing! But I knew before the French championships that I would be representing France at the ISA’s. But all the same it felt great to finally take the French title back, and at home in front of my parents and friends, that was something special.
Photo Credit: Robin Aussenac / LBC
It has been a struggle for a few years to win the title. In previous finals we have had some difficult conditions and sometimes a bit of bad karma, but this year it was totally different, there were some epic waves. I finally was able to express my surfing potential in the final, and it felt great!
How do you feel going into the ISA’s?
Right now I feel in form. I have been loving the new 2019 starboard range especially the Starboard Pro 7.3 x 25.5, with the endure carbon balsa size S! I am feeling pretty confident about going into the ISA’s.
This year I have had a good run of wins in competitions throughout Europe, and in varying conditions. So I think despite not knowing a lot about Hainan I really know my equipment, and that will allow me to be successful. So, in fact I am feeling pretty confident about the ISA’s !
You have a good range of Starboard kit, what is your favourite SUP board?
Definitely my new starboard long-SUP 9.0 x 28! That board is never home (haha), between me and my brothers there is always someone putting it in the back of the car! The Starboard Long SUP is definitely the board that you will always have fun on, it doesn’t matter if the waves are 8ft or 2ft, it will be still ripable. You can nose ride like a demon and yet, still throw some buckets on the tail like a pro board, however with a lot more stability and comfort.
The shape as been inspired from the classic long board shapes, which work so well. It just feels really good to have something thin under your feet, easier to put the rail in the water and carve, you can really feel that double concave while carving as well, it creates a lot of speed.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring SUP surfers?
Just have fun ! Try to surf different boards, different waves, and get someone to film you, so that you can analyse your surfing and try to correct your mistakes on the next session.
What do you have lined up for the next year?
I will definitely go back to Hawaii in February with the first stop of the APP tour. Then I will be going to Western Australia for the Rottnest Island Classic. Then I am all set to some research and development with Starboard. After that I will just jump in the plane for some more SUP adventures and contests!