Rising SUP star Bodie Von Allmen is already a name many on the Stand Up Paddle racing circuit know from his impressive results at Elite level on the world stage yet this young paddler is still eligible to compete as a junior racer. This season he signed with the NSP international race team and TotalSUP were happy to catch up with him between paddle sessions to learn more about this young paddler, his boards and where he likes to paddle.
Over to you Bodie!
Bodie Von Allmen training at Lake Oswego
Hi TotalSUP, I am Bodie Von Allmen and I’m a paddle addict!
I was born in San Francisco but for most of my life, I have lived in a small town in Oregon just outside of Portland called Lake Oswego. What I love most about living in Oregon are the many watersports and outdoor activities available to me within a few minutes walk or a short drive and I like that we live in a place where we have all four seasons. I really like clear, crisp sunny days in winter. I look forward to my morning training sessions and love paddling on the lake at sunrise, or in the dark before sunrise in winter.
Lake Oswego is a great location to live, the beach and the Pacific Ocean are an hour and a half drive west and the Gorge and Mount Hood are an hour east. We are also about 4 hours away from Bend which has Mt. Bachelor and a lot of beautiful lakes, and some fun SUP races. My favourite place to paddle and race in Bend is Elk Lake.
In Lake Oswego, I grew up wakeboarding and wake surfing and picked up stand up paddling around age nine. My first love is surfing, but with the Pacific Ocean being an hour and a half away I realised that the only way I could be on the water every day is to paddle.
Bodie Von Allmen – NSP SUP Racer
Bodie’s NSP Race Board Quiver
I have three awesome SUP race boards from NSP, a Ninja, Carolina and Puma along with my NSP surfboards and now a foil set-up. I’m super lucky!
My NSP Ninja is the ideal board for paddling on the lake. The mornings are usually calm and glassy, perfect for time trials.
Later in the day when the lake gets choppy from wind and boat chop, or when catching boat wakes, I use my NSP Carolina which performs great in all conditions. The Carolina is ideal for the large swells in the Gorge and is great at connecting bumps.
The Ninja also works great on the Willamette River which runs through downtown Portland. I’m looking forward to racing it in Gorge Performance’s Willamette SUP CUP in May, which is a local race with a bunch of Portland paddlers and usually a good crew from Seattle as well.
I also love to paddle in the Columbia River Gorge in Hood River. It’s a beautiful area of the world, famous for its windy conditions, the perfect spot for downwinding. In the summer the wind blows primarily from the west against a strong current flowing to the west which creates huge bumps to ride and super long glides. The conditions are best when the wind is blowing 40mph+ (TotalSUP – that’s 65+ km/h).
I have been competing in the Gorge Paddle Challenge and the Gorge Downwind Champs, two popular paddle festivals held every summer since I was 10. The first time I raced in the Gorge Downwind Champs I was 12 years old and the wind was blowing 36mph sustained with gusts in the 40-50mph range! Fiona Wylde and I once downwinded in 50-60mph winds (TotalSUP – that’s really windy!) one day in May a couple of years ago. Downwinding in the Gorge can be crazy fun!!!
This summer I will be river guiding with my friend, Joel Yang, owner of Stoke on the Water. For downwind guiding this year I plan to use both my NSP Carolina and NSP Puma. I also look forward to doing more downwind foiling on my NSP Surf Foil Pro there this summer as well.
Bodie Von Allmen training at Lake Oswego
For surfing, I really like Pacific City in Oregon. This is where I do most of my surfing and fortunately, there are waves to catch year-round. The conditions on the Oregon coast can also get crazy! There can be calm and glassy days ideal to surf and then frothing 40 feet bombs closing out the entire beach ¾ of a mile out. So you have to go when it is good.
The NSP Sleep Walker performs well in the conditions in Pacific City which can range from peaky and glassy to rough and choppy and can be anywhere from 3 to 15 feet. I try to get over to the coast most weekends and compete in the Cape Kiwanda Longboard classic each year which is always a blast. I’m looking forward to taking out my Puma as well to train for surf racing. The Puma works well in the waves and it’s a little bit wider for extra stability when the ocean gets whipped up from wind and messy currents.
You certainly have a great part of the world to paddle in and seem to really mix it up. In your first year with NSP what events are you concentrating on this year and what are your ambitions for 2023?
I love competing in the California Winter Series, which consists of 3-4 races in SoCal. I get to paddle head-to-head against Danny Ching, I always learn a ton competing against Danny and soak up all the knowledge I can from one of the greats.
Bodie mixing it up with the best at the 2022 ICF World Championships.
I also plan to race in the EuroTour for the first time this spring where of course there will be so many great paddlers from all over the region.
In the summer I will switch my focus to downwinding in Hood River ready for the Gorge Downwind Champs and the Gorge Paddle Challenge. Once we hit fall and winter, I will be focusing on the US National Championships in Long Beach and then the ICF Worlds in Thailand. Overall my goal is to get as much race experience as possible against the best paddlers in the world, and hopefully one day I can be one of them!
One last question – which race, anywhere in the world is the one you most want to win and why?
The race I most want to win someday is the ICF World Championship Long Distance race. The ICF races are the most competitive in the world because they don’t put limits on who can compete in them. If one country has 4-5 of the top racers in the world, they will all be there if they want to race.
The ICF races are also super fun given the intensity and professional format – they are always on time to the second! Since it’s the highest level of competition, it’s the race I would most like to win. Also, I really enjoy long paddles and have the most fun grinding it out in distance races.
Bodie Von Allmen getting back to training
Thank you, Bodie. It is great to see one of the next generation of SUPerstars in the sport paddling at their local spot especially when it is as spectacular as Oregon. Everyone here at TotalSUP wishes Bodie and his NSP teammates every success in the 2023 season ahead.
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