SUP is a fun sport and an excellent way of spending more time outside, staying in shape, and making new friends. With the continuous growth of the sport, there has been an increasing offer of specialized SUP clinics, given mainly by certified instructors or professional athletes such as Sean Poynter in the US Olivia Piana and Gaétan Sené in France or Beau O’Brian in Australia – to name but a few – and intended at helping other paddlers develop their performance in waves, on flat-water or even in downwinds.
We all know that SUP gear is by no means cheap and that when we’re buying our brand new board and paddle we are investing in moments of fun and leisure, spent with family, friends or even alone. So, if we spend more than a thousand euros / dollars / pounds (apologies if we can’t name them all) or even twice that if you have picked high-end carbon gear, it makes sense to try and maximize our investment and explore all the potential of our “sick” new board and paddle.
Many SUPers learn to paddle or ride waves on their own. They seek information or tutorials on Youtube, ask friends’ tips and advice and manage to get some basic information from their one-time holiday SUP instructor but never get the full attention from an experienced observer who can give constructive feedback.
As a consequence, most self-learnt paddlers have developed some kind of inefficient paddling technique or inappropriate bodily posture that might lead to future injuries (especially on shoulders and back). Others may have mastered the fundamental technique but are yet to improve their overall ability. Some may need to only work out their performance in waves and/or learn to perfect essential maneuvers like the bottom-turn or cutback, or the best way to use the paddle on waves.
Tiago Silva, founder of Functional Paddling and Portugal SUP Camp, has been giving SUP clinics around Europe in the last year. The growing success of his clinics and training program aimed at SUP athletes enables him to train professional athletes from around the world such as Sean Poynter (one of the Stand Up World Tour top riders and ISA SUP Wave World Champion) and Susanne Lier, the Swiss national racing champion. In his opinion, “no matter how experienced you are, there’s always something you can learn in a SUP clinic. It’s important that paddlers learn different methods and several kinds of techniques so that, in the end, they digest and apply that information to improve their general performance.”
Julia Perez, one of the top riders on the Spanish racing and wave tour, recently entered a Functional Paddling clinic held at the city of Oporto, in Portugal. “This kind of events is very important because it allows you to learn something new, you’re in touch with the latest tendencies and you can share information with the instructor as well as with other participants.” Furthermore, “it allowed me to increase my speed and to learn the perfect body posture to do it, preventing back injuries.”
Ruben Silva, the Portuguese national longboarding champion in 2012, always looked at SUP as a complement to his physical training for longboarding contests, training the racing side of the sport in rivers and on the ocean. “My expectation for this clinic was to learn from someone who knows about SUP; I used to just emulate what other paddlers did. Being a Physical Education teacher and having practiced several sports, I associated SUP with longboarding because of the board’s dimension and applied swimming technics to paddling. Now, after this clinic, I realized that I wasn’t paddling but merely ‘digging’ the paddle and I can now take more benefits from my SUP gear and prevent muscle injuries.”
But you don’t have to be a top athlete or a dedicated paddler to take the best advantages from SUP clinics. Tiago Sarmento, has been surfing for 26 years, and started paddling about 8 months ago. In his opinion, “SUP clinics are the best way to properly learn different paddling technics and to prevent injuries, allowing us to have more fun while paddling. Besides that it’s a great way to meet and interact with other paddlers and to plan future sessions with them.”
So, whether you’re interested in improving you paddling or wave technique, if you’re a pro athlete or just a weekend warrior, and want to learn how to prevent injuries, breath properly in harmony with the effort you’re making, getting the most of your investment on gear, or just meet new paddling buddies and having fun, then a SUP clinic might be the best for you.
pic 1. – There’s nothing like having your own instructor guiding us through a wave. Sean Poynter and Portuguese racing champion Isa Sebastião (credit: João Maya).
pic 2. – Tiago Silva, from Functional Paddling, sharing his knowledge with his students. (credit: supnorte.com)
pic. 3 – A Portuguese rider applying what he learned on a perfect Costa da Caparica wave, in Portugal, while at the back Sean Poynter gives some more good advice. (credit: João Maya)
pic. 4 – Nuno Sousa, aka ME, in need of some much helpful tips from Sean Poynter (credit: João Maya)
Christophe Colussi, alias Chris Puremagic, co-organisateur du Yaka Paddle Festival revient pour TotalSUP, sur la magnifique édition qui a eu lieu le 27 août dernier. On souffle, on prend le temps, on reprend notre souffle. On vient de vivre un Yaka fort en émotions. Très fort même. On l’avait cherché, On l’a trouvé. Retour sur […]
Anni Ridsdill Smith is a well-known name on the UK SUP Racing circuit, she seems to be at every race and she is now spreading her wings to compete in Europe and further afield. This season she has joined the ranks of paddlers moving to SUNOVA for their FAAST race craft after what seems like […]
SUP and SUP Racing is a sport that increasingly is attracting athletes from varied backgrounds. Many competitive paddlers have a background in watersports but an increasing number of SUP Racers have been competitive at a high level in other, completely unrelated sports. SUNOVA fan Polona Pusljar is one of those athletes who has already had […]
Blackfish Performance Camps return to Howe Sound! The next three three-day highly-focused SUP training camp organised by the Blackfish Paddles team will be held on 4-6 August 2023 in Squamish, B.C. Canada and led by three time World SUP Champion, Wingfoil Race World Champion and all-round waterwoman Olivia Piana. “I am super excited to announce […]
“We are excited to announce that Olivia Piana is joining Blackfish! Olivia is an amazing athlete who has won multiple national and world championships in stand up paddleboarding and is now a pioneer in the foiling world. Today she is one of the leading female athletes in the growing sport of downwind SUP foiling and […]
Quelle belle et étonnante surprise que de retrouver au départ (et encore plus à l’arrivée) de la Tarn Water Race 2022, Jean Letourneur. Pour les nouveaux venus au Stand Up Paddle de Race, je m’empresse de rappeler que ce jeune malouin de 23 ans, a écrit avec sa famille et notamment son grand frère Martin […]
Last weekend the Euro Tour circuit returned to the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira for the second edition of the Madeira Island SUP Challenge. The race was a 12-kilometer course that took place in the bay of Funchal, passing through the headquarters of the Clube Naval do Funchal, in Quinta Calaça, and the Barreirinha bathing […]
Un événement historique a eu lieu cette semaine à Gruissan, le tout premier Défi Wing, course de Wing Foil ouverte à plus de 150 participants. C’est un podium 100% français qui conclut l’épreuve au bout de trois jours de compétition, avec trois stand up paddlers de haut niveau, Olivia Piana 3è, Tom Auber 2è et […]
L’Outdoormix Festival, l’un des plus gros événements outdoor d’Europe, revient en force après deux ans de halte à cause de la crise sanitaire. En plus des concerts, du VTT de descente, du BMX, du parapente, il faudra compter parmi les 14 disciplines présentes pendant le weekend de 3 jours, sur deux épreuves SUP de rivière […]
Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
3rd Party Cookies
We use a set of third party tools to provide information on how our users engage with our website so that we can improve the experience of the website for our users. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited, and by which types of users. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!