Paddling parallel paths: Normen Weber’s dual career in wildwater canoeing and SUP

With background in white water canoe racing and significant success in the sport representing Germany (his list of achievements in Classic, Sprint, single and team competitions includes, to name just few, three World Championships, six European Championships and gold medals in six Overall World Cups), Normen Weber‘s transition into the world of SUP racing seemed inevitable.

Normen brings a unique perspective shaped by years of dedication to the water and competing on a Championship level, and a hands-on approach to harnessing competitive edge by athletes coming from different disciplines.

TotalSUP caught up with Normen to delve into his experience, the relationship between his background in competitive canoeing and his success in the sport of stand-up paddleboarding and his collaboration with Light Board Corp, German sport brand pioneering in hollow construction.

Photo by Uros Kekus Kleva

Hi Normen, massive congratulations on your amazing 2023 SUP racing season! You come from the wildwater canoeing background: when and why did you decide to take up the sport of stand-up paddleboarding and start competing?

Thanks. I started paddling before I could walk. So I’ve been paddling my whole life. I spend most of my time paddling wildwater canoeing, which is where where I became the 2013 World Champion 2013.

Mike Ritter brought me into the SUP scene. He asked me to try a board in Munich. I tested it in  2012. Afterwards he asked me if I could paddle in competitions on his board and I did. Few months later I was paddling his boards more and more and we started developing them in the following years.

You’re still actively involved in competitive canoeing. How does that translate onto the sport of stand-up paddleboarding?

The stability training on a SUP board is the perfect training for staying in balance for canoeing. Similar muscles have to be trained in both sports. Though the training combination I go through is a high level for racing in less than two weeks. For example most of the time since 2018 I’ve been training on SUP boards but when I want to start canoeing on an international level again I need a month of intensive training in my wildwater canoe.

Photo by Andy Klotz Photography

Do you think athletes coming from other watersport background have a competitive advantage in SUP? What makes SUP an attractive discipline in your opinion?

The sport of SUP is a diverse discipline, you can paddle on flat water, rivers and oceans… anywhere you can find water, but it’s also a young discipline and because of that you will always have athletes coming in with background from other disciplines. People who are coming from other disciplines do have an advantage. They only must use it during the competitions. My advantages are on flat water and river paddling. In contrast to this, practicing SUP Ocean paddling is for me to increase my paddling skills in total.

Photo by Uros Kekus Kleva

The European SUP racing scene is really picking up its pace with some awesome events attracting international SUP talent – What are your thoughts on the growth of the SUP racing discipline?

In Europe we have the EuroTourSUP, the SUP Alps Trophy tournament with four to six races every year and for example the GlaGla Race in France at the beginning of the year. These are amazing events with the best international racers and many leisure paddlers.

Photo by Uros Kekus Kleva

In total we have lots of events with a high-level organisation and high-level paddlers and this is one important factor to get good paddlers in Europe and grow the sport. One other hand it’s vital to build clubs that can train kids. I think we have the space and potential to drive the growth of the SUP discipline.

Could you tell us more about your collaboration with Light Board Corp?

We are working together to improve our boards, build the technique and skills, and I absolutely love the Team atmosphere. We have a pretty big team in Germany and we train a lot together.

You’ve competed and won on the new LIGHTBOARDCORP® PARADOXA. What do you think about the board?

Before I paddled the Light Board Corp Signature 14×23. In comparison the new 14×23 Paradoxa is very stable and faster in sprints. I would say it’s as fast as the Light Board Corp 14×22 Mantra, but Paradoxa is lighter so the acceleration and speed are perfect.

The Paradoxa is a board aimed for flat water racing and some little bumps and I’ve really enjoyed it the last months of paddling.

Photo by Uros Kekus Kleva

What’s in the pipeline?

The season will kick off with the Spring SUP Race in April, followed by the SUP German Championships, SUP Alps Trophy Races and culminating at the ICF Worlds in Sarasota, Florida.

Photo by Uros Kekus Kleva

Thank you for your time Normen and we’re looking forward to catching up with you at one of the SUP racing stops!

To find out more about LIGHTBOARDCORP® designs, visit  and check out our interview with Gerd Weisner

Follow LIGHTBOARDCORP® on Facebook and Instagram 

Follow Normen Weber on Instagram 

Normen Weber 2023 SUP achievements:

  • 2nd place GlaGla Race LD – LIGHT Signature 14´ x 23 “
  • 2nd place GlaGla Race Tech – LIGHT Signature 14´x 23 “
  • 1st place SUP Alps Trophy Lago di Alpi – LIGHT Paradoxa 14´x 23″
  • 4th place EUROTOUR Nordhausen – LIGHT Paradoxa 14´ x 23 “
  • 1st place SUP Alps Trophy Adria Sup Cup – LIGHT Paradoxa 14´x 23″
  • 1st place SUP Alps Trophy Bavarian Waters – LIGHT Paradoxa 14´x 23″
  • 1st place SUP Alps Trophy Overall 2023 – LIGHT Paradoxa 14´x 23″
  • 1st place SUP Alps Trophy / German Championship Sprint – LIGHT Paradoxa 14´x 23″
  • 1st place SUP Alps Trophy / German Championship Tech – LIGHT Paradoxa 14´x 23″
  • 1st place SUP Alps Trophy / German Championship LD – LIGHT Paradoxa 14´x 23″

About the Author

Anna Nadolna

Anna is the Founder of SUPer Whale, a Cambridge(UK!)-based emerging watersports brand and a stand-up paddleboarding community. She is a certified SUP Flat Water Instructor accredited by International Surfing Association (ISA). Anna is also a digital marketing, storytelling aficionado and a growth hacking enthusiast.

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