“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
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