Infinity has once again partnered with the world’s leading conservation organization, World Wildlife Fund, on their mission to save the planet’s wild waters and natural places through the WWF’s Virtual Panda Paddle event bringing together all water enthusiasts to paddle their favourite body of water and raise funds for a world-changing cause. “We’ve been involved […]
On the eve of the release of the highly anticipated 2022 Infinity Whiplash, TotalSUP caught up with June Mizoguchi aka “June the Machine” (a term coined by the Infinity boss himself Dave Boehne) to take a look at his custom Whiplash. June, who has been for years heavily involved in the USA Cycling circuit, is an established paddler on the American SUP scene with several completed Chattajack 31 challenges under his belt, to name just few races he took part in. Embracing the #paddlelikeafreak mantra, June is a dedicated Infinity Brand Ambassador with an impressive quiver of Infinity custom boards. You will find him at his local spot in Kentucky, Freeman Lake (aka Kiddie Pool), where he trains up to six times a week in preparation to earn “the heaviest hardware” in the SUP world – the Chattajack 5-year belt buckle.
Hi June, welcome to TotalSUP! We’ve seen your amazing Infinity Whiplash custom board! Could you tell us more about it?
Thank you for having me! The 2022 shape is more radical than ever (I had the 2016 and the 2018 Infinity Whiplash designs too) but still the needle-like nose of Whiplash is one of its most iconic and recognizable features. The shape of the bottom of the board is definitely more defined with a cutting-edge design for faster water release that does not compromise stability. It’s the small changes in the rail, tail width and throughout the board that makes this Whiplash unique.
My usual go-to-board is the Infinity Blackfish Dugout, a full custom shape, and this time around the new board is a prototype of the board that Dave Boehne designed in early 2021. When you stand up on the deck and you take the first stroke you can feel the effortless glide and nose cutting through the water.
For someone who spends most of his daily training on flat water, Whiplash just shines and performs best in this environment. But then again, if you are coming from the ocean like Infinity Team riders Iztel Delgado, Tyler Bashor and Candice Appleby, they will ride it in any conditions so don’t think Whiplash is only a flat water race design.
View this post on Instagram
Could you tell us more about the designing process and how you collaborated with Dave Boehne?
My first Infinity SUP board was a 2016 Whiplash (12.6×24) which was Dave’s personal board. It kicked off my journey of collaborating with Dave on custom designs. This one is my third board built with Infinity and each design has its own unique story.
With this new Whiplash, the idea was to built a custom shaped board to celebrate the brand’s 50th Anniversary (#50yearsofshred). But 2020 hit us with the pandemic and all slowed down and things got put on hold till late in that year. Dave was super busy but he still shared a sneak peek of “secret” CAD designs for me to look at. The whole process started in February 2021 and this had become the prototype for the 2022 shape. What’s crazy is that because I was not in a hurry to get it shipped, the new board arrived this February.
One of the key aspects of the collaborative process with Dave, is to let the master shaper explore various ideas, come up with innovative solutions and make it a reality. This process opens up endless possibilities which ultimately leads to me owning one of those special custom boards.
The famous three stripes define the brand and make Infinity recognizable all over the world and every board I own has two purple and a black stripe. This three-stripe colour scheme started with Dave’s personal 2016 Whiplash board which I purchased and then continued with that colour mix.
With only 19.75 inches, the width of your board is rather on the extreme side…What was your motivation to choose these parameters?
Some may say I lost my mind, some may say I’m crasian but many will say – because “You are the Machine”.
This width choice didn’t come easy and was one of the ideas that came from the 1970 design as part of the 50th anniversary shapes with which I wanted to work with Dave. With that being said, I decided on the 19.75 width to just go outside the box. I also wanted to challenge myself and grow my paddle skills. A board this narrow will help me grow my balance skills and make me more effective when I’ll be faced with rougher conditions at racing events, especially on open water.
I believe staying a little bit outside of your comfort zone will help you grow and become a better paddler. One of the basic rules is not to go more than a two-inch drop on a width at a time and here I dropped the whole 4.25inches to play with! It is quite an extreme drop in width but you only live once so why not stand on the edge and learn it. I like to experiment and added the fourth fin to the mix.
Time will only tell how well I will progress this year but I’m looking forward to have fun and have a blast with it. I may inspire and motivate my paddle friends and actually start taking this board to races. Stay tuned because I will have this board for a while!
When I think about custom my ideal board that is unique in a sense that is shaped specifically for you and tweaked for you, it fits you well and performs attuned to your style. Colour is the last factor on my mind because it doesn’t necessarily lead to performance…
When you order a custom board with Infinity you are opening a whole new dimension of possibilities to fit you properly. It’s about a proper volume ratio based on your weight and the width you’ll be using. From open to fresh water, buoyancy in these two environments can change the performance…If you’re serious about a custom order, contact the master shaper Dave Boehne for consultation and take it from there.
Could you tell us about your collaboration with Infinity as a Brand Ambassador?
It was November of 2017 when I emailed Dave Boehne about becoming a Brand Ambassador for Infinity and his response was: “You’ve been racing all year and training, I love it! You have definitely been a great voice in the SUP world with your relentless enthusiasm!”
So this is how it started and I just kept getting stronger every year. One of my so-called breakthrough moments was a one minute video shot by Dave in Canada back in 2019 deep in the woods in Ontario, Canada at a small retreat weekend and friendly SUP racing.
“June the Machine” or the “Machine” was coined – it was Dave who created my persona. I’m not sure exactly but it happened around the 2018 Carolina Cup and they’ve been calling me the “Machine” ever since. Dave came up with something unique and I’m taking all the way.
To represent Infinity is a huge responsibility and you can’t do it without the passion and a bit of a character. I’m honoured and humbled to continue this journey with the Infinity crew for years to come.
What are your other Infinity boards of choice?
My paddle friends know that I name my boards, so here it is (meet Jen, Mistress, Jennifer, Jenna and Jessica, respectively). My Infinity boards of choice are: 2016 Whiplash 12.6×24/260L (my first board in the Infinity quiver) 2016 Blackfish 12.6×25.5/260L (picked up a new one from Slater Trout and Wendy Trout), 2018 Whiplash dugout custom 12.6×23/288L (it’s the biggest dugout in the 12.6 class), the 2020 Blackfish Dugout custom 14×24/291L (the double concave design) and the 2022 Whiplash Dugout 14×19.75/288L (a special board based on the 1970 design).
So this about sums up my Infinity boards. I have enjoyed racing my 12.6 board but nowadays it’s just sitting on the rack ready for renting or just for fun. Definitely I have collected one too many custom boards and some will stay here a little longer than I anticipated.
Could you tell us more about your preparations for Chattajack 31?
It’s nature, it’s in our DNA to sweat, be competitive and enjoy the feeling you get from endorphins. Training throughout the year is something I’m so used to doing and it keeps my mental health in balance and also keeps my focus levels high outside my training.
I first started training for Chattajack 31 in 2016 but I felt that I needed more time to prepare so my first Chattajack attempt was in 2017. For all the editions in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 all my training has been done with the Paddle Monster training programme led by Coach Larry Cain. In 2020 we still trained throughout the pandemic but we ended up doing Virtual Chattajack that year. Every racer who has ever taken part knows that completing five consecutive challenges will get you earned the Chattajack belt buckle.
Chattajack by no means is the longest distance race you will find in the USA but the views are spectacular and Tennessee river brings an interesting mix of conditions from fast flows to 25mph gusts.
It may sound like a simple task to complete five challenges straight but it takes many hours of training before the event. A specific Chattajack training starts usually mid-August and you build up the distance and Level 2/3 HR zone for volume work. During the Chattajack training block I will do 2-3 times of roughly 4.5hrs of training till the very week before the race to peak out your body. I consider the Chattajack as my end-of-the-season race event.
Some of us go for the podium each year, others go for personal goals and some simple want to finish before the cut off time in hope to earn the buckles. I’m motivated by my personal goals and getting the the 5-year belt buckle. In 2022 we will have one of a bigger groups of participants expected to get that buckle. My paddle friends and I are very excited to train hard and finish strong this year. So stay tuned for that shiny buckle!
Thank you very much for your time and good luck with the 2022 Season!
View this post on Instagram
To find out more about Infinity SUP, visit infinity-sup.com
Follow June Mizoguchi on Instagram