“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 we are excited to see Olivia compete in this challenging discipline using our gear,” said David Smart, Founder of Blackfish Paddles, a high-performance SUP paddle brand based in British Columbia.
Photo by Nicolas Denis
“In the coming months Olivia will compete in Molokai2Oahu, The Gorge Paddle Challenge and several other events globally in the SUP downwind foil category. The feedback that we get as a brand whilst racing and competing at the highest level is invaluable. Olivia and Blackfish also share a common passion for awareness of the environment and making sure that we protect the amazing ecosystems in which we play. It’s an honour to have Olivia join us at Blackfish and we’re looking forward to getting out on the water with her very soon!”
TotalSUP caught up with Olivia Piana, an all-round waterwoman and one of the most prominent athletes in stand-up paddleboarding and wingfoiling, to chat about the announcement and her 2023 SUP racing and downwind foil plans.
Hi Olivia, congratulations on the news! What’s in the SUP and foil pipeline?
I’m super happy to join the Blackfish Team! Beyond the quality of the products that have been proving themselves for several years now, I’ve discovered the spirit of the brand and I really like it. Passion and commitment to the evolution of our sports matters a lot.
Photo by Anders Aune
This year is going to be a big year for SUP downwind foiling! This sport (which to me is the most incredible sport ever!) is going to have a huge expansion through many races around the world. Among all these races and personal challenges, my main goal is the Molokai2Oahu, held on 30th July in Hawaii. I am super happy to compete with Blackfish paddles in this race that has been my dream for a long time.
This year, we will also have the opportunity to share more time on the water, through clinics in delivered in Canada and Europe, in both SUP racing and SUP foiling formats. I’m so excited about all these projects – Thank you very much to the all Blackfish Team!
You have been extremely active on the foiling scene – Is that now your key focus?
Since the beginning of my career, I have always followed my passion and my desire to discover new things. Whether it is ways of riding (windsurfing, kitesurfing, SUP, surfing, foiling), beautiful spots around the world or inspiring people, diversity has always been one of my main drivers. I don’t ask myself the question “do I have to do this”, if my heart tells me that it seems good, then I do it! That’s exactly what happened with all the sports I’ve done, SUP race, then SUP foil, then wingfoil and windfoil. When some people think it’s weird, I try without thinking and I think it’s cool!
Photo by Anders Aune
Foiling, as it is today, is an achievement for our sports that goes beyond what we could have imagined. This sport is just amazing and that’s why it’s been my key focus for the past few years. After 6 years of foiling in SUP foil, surf foil, wingfoil and windfoil (I did a year of Olympic training in IQfoil with the French Team), I am the happiest to have developed skills that allow me to do long downwinding distances in SUP foiling (100km +). Even though I’m scared every time, I know I can do it. I have confidence in myself. It brings me the feeling of freedom and fulfilment that nothing else can give me.
Photo by Anders Aune
Congratulations once again and we’ll keep our eyes peeled on your next SUP and foil endeavour!
To find out more about Blackfish Paddles and their progressive, refined, handcrafted designs, visit blackfishpaddles.com
“Stacked field of pro SUP athletes”, “gnarly ocean conditions”, “incredible experience” and “an excellent event organisation” are some of the recurring themes summing up the Madeira Island Sup Challenge (MISC) 2023, the EuroTour Grand Slam event, held on the Madeira Island this past weekend, a stunning archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean and located about […]
With stand-up paddleboarding becoming the UK’s fastest growing watersport in recent years, the conversation about water safety is paramount. TotalSUP caught up with Emily Evans, Blackfish Paddles Team Rider, SUP athlete, all-round waterwoman and Coach, to add her perspective to the discussion. Hi Emily, let’s dig right in: What’s in your SUP kit? This is […]
As of the past weekend, a new endurance stand-up paddle race format was successfully added to the UK SUP racing circuit. Brought by the Guinness World Record holder in SUP, adventurer, water safety crusader and Blackfish Paddles Team Rider, Brendon Prince, the SUP TWELVE event saw thirty seven paddlers taking on the challenge of a […]
Coast Mountain Trail Running (CMTR), organisers of trail running events in coastal British Columbia, Canada, have announced a new paddle partnership with Blackfish Paddles for the second edition of the Conquer the Vedder 2023 event held on 27 and 28 May 2023. “Based in Squamish, BC, Blackfish Paddles are one of the top SUP paddle […]
“We are so excited to welcome Brendon Prince to the Blackfish Team. Brendon is an amazing athlete and someone with a passion and desire to see what’s possible on a paddleboard. We are honoured that he chose to use our paddles when he paddled around the UK and it is great to have him join […]
“Our Blackfish Nootka blade is a classic shape and a best-selling paddle. We have been working on building a more robust version for a couple years and the breakthrough came with the advent of SUP foiling. We had a number of athletes who had broken paddles while foiling and wanted to find a solution. The result […]
World SUP Champion and the 2022 Yukon River Quest SUP Record Holder Lincoln Dews has joined Blackfish Paddles as the Sales Manager for Australia and New Zealand and the Head of Product Development, announced the Canadian brand specialising in handcrafted, high-performance paddles for SUP, surf and foiling. Lincoln has collaborated with Blackfish Paddles to develop […]
“When I’m in the zone… pain doesn’t seem so bad and my mind is clear and focused,” says Blackfish Paddles Rider Brad Friesen who has just won the Yukon 1000 SUP division completing the challenge in 7 days and 6 minutes, as part of the Pirates of the Yukon squad where he teamed up with Scott […]
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 […]