Christian Taucher is a name you might not be familiar with but this new signing to the SUNOVA race team is a very experienced paddler you should keep an eye on. A multiple Austrian champion and coach, Christian’s SUP journey started back in 2016 after his retirement from professional handball. Based in Graz, Austria Christian is getting ready for his first season with SUNOVA with his local SUP club and his SUP athletes. This SUPer busy paddler paused for a few minutes to talk to Chris from TotalSUP
Urban Paddling with Christian Taucher
Hi Christian, welcome back to TotalSUP! We last featured you back in April 2022, and we hear you have been super busy since then, what changes have there been to Team Taucher in the last 12 months?
Hi Chris, thank you for coming back to me!
Team Taucher means the paddlers I train every day with, at the SUP Sportclub Graz and the athletes I coach with my SUP Training company. They all tried and tested the new SUNOVA boards and they love them! Especially the athletes who have moved from other board shapes this season feel immediately comfortable on the SUNOVA boards, I think that is why we will see more athletes on SUNOVA boards this season.
Christian Taucher with one of his new SUNOVA race boards
Fantastic news with your new SUNOVA team. For those that do not know the brand which boards will you be racing on this season and where do you expect each to show their strengths?
I will be racing on three different boards from the SUNOVA FAAST range this year, I am lucky that I can match boards to expected conditions to get the most out of each shape.
For flatwater racing and the 200m Sprint I will use the SUNOVA Faast Flatwater Pro in 14′ x 21”. This board is super-FAAST, a pure speed machine.
In flatwater technical and long-distance races in choppy conditions, I will use the SUNOVA FAAST Flatwater Elite 14’x22”, this board gives me a little more stability and it is also smoother to turn because of the different bottom shape.
The third bard is the SUNOVA Faast Allwater 22”. This is hands down, the best all-water board I ever paddled, and I will use it in all races at the sea and in races with downwind parts on lakes too.
Going FAAST with SUNOVA
SUNOVA stand out on the water with a unique finish, which must be more than skin deep. What else do you like about them and the company?
I like that SUNOVA do not change board shapes every year and that they stay on top of the game in all conditions.
My biggest surprise was the really light weight of the boards. I didn’t expect that, but it’s awesome! And I love the very harmonic shapes, which give the athletes the freedom to focus on paddling only and not on the board control.
Additionally, the construction of the boards focuses not on pure stiffness but also on a very fast flex back to the base curve. This means the boards are more forgiving and controllable in choppy conditions than carbon boards and still super fast. SUNOVA has its roots in shaping surfboards, and everyone knows that a very stiff surfboard is much less controllable and more nervous than a board with a specific flex.
Christian paddling with SUP Sportclub Graz
Austria might not be the first European country paddlers might think about for SUP, as the President of the Austrian SUP Federation what would you say to encourage someone to visit our waters with their boards?
Come and explore!
Austria has about 25,000 clean drinking water lakes which are surrounded by beautiful mountains. A lot of locals and tourists enjoy Stand Up Paddling on the lakes and when there are many paddlers on iSUPs, some of them search for the sportive side of SUP and start to train and go to races.
With our club, we have rental boards for groups, about 30 inflatables for beginners and 20 hardboards. We have SUP training with groups every day and we also run tours on the River Mur mostly during the summer months.
Racing is a huge part of your SUP Life with 20 national titles, should we bring our fast boards too?
Yes! For me, SUP is a great sport which keeps me fit every day. I love to be on the water, I love to challenge myself and I love to push through hard training sessions. The social component, to enjoy paddling and sports with others, is also a big part of the SUP scene here which I really like.
My personal goals are to challenge the young guns who are growing in the sport. They will beat me often in races this season, but there will be the race, where my experience and fitness will pay off and I will win again. I am old and slow but not dead yet 😋🤣
I hope to go to the Alps Trophy tour events in Austria, which are both also ICF events.
Then I will go to the 3 Austrian championship events and I plan to go to the ICF world championships in Thailand. Then, if I can fit them into my schedule I will try to get to the ISA European and World Championships and maybe some Eurotour, it will be a busy year!
Christian with some of his SUNOVA ‘young guns’
Christian, thank you for taking some time out of your day for us here at TotalSUP. It’s great to see you on SUNOVA this year and we all hope to see you on the results sheets with your young guns throughout the season.
You can get more information about Christian’s work as a SUP coach on his website and follow his social media channels, Facebook and Instagram.
SUNOVA are one of the leading surf and SUP brands in the world with a massive range of boards and equipment, you can find out more about them on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles and of course read about them here on TotalSUP.
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