World Class SUP Racer Paolo Marconi talks about his move to SUNOVA and a new SUNOVA Demo centre in Tuscany

At the ICF World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand supporters of two well-established SUP racers will have seen their favourites on new boards from SUNOVA Surfboards where Paolo Marconi and Susak Molinero made their competitive debuts at the biggest event of the year. Heading into the 2024 season Paolo talked to Chris from TotalSUP about their move.

Paolo in action in Thailand on his Allwater FAAST Pro

Ciao Paolo, welcome back to TotalSUP

Ciao Chris and hello to all the TotalSUP readers and to the Stand Up Paddling community! 

Nice to have you here again! At the end of October 2023 SUNOVA announced that you and Susak were joining their squad, belated congratulations. 

Thank you! It was a well-timed announcement, just before the last ICF Sup Worlds in Thailand.

We raced most of the 2023 season as freelancers, then we were lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time. In fact, during the summer we had a chat with our friend and SUNOVA team manager Christian Taucher who told us that the brand was looking for new riders to create an International team and they were enthusiastic to get on board.

Perfect timing! Did you have much experience with SUNOVA boards before this?

Susak had already tried a SUNOVA race board in the past while I did not, so the Worlds in Thailand were the right opportunity to try the range of models and get to know the brand.

Wow, your first experience of your World Championship race board was in Thailand? 

For me, yes. When we arrived in Thailand we met Martin Jandke, the rest of the SUNOVA guys and got to test our boards for the competition. If you haven’t tried one they are great and look fantastic!  

The event was the first time using these boards fr us and the results were really satisfying for both Susak and Me. We had the same results in the Open Long Distance race, both in ninth place! And we both made the B final in the Open Technical Race where Susak beat me with second place, I was a little unlucky in my race.

Susak at the ICF World Championships on her Flatwater FAAST Pro

Those are very good results for your first competitions on new boards, what happened next?

After the event, we moved to Kao Lak where the base of SUNOVA and its factory are. The Board Factory is amazing and we had the chance to test some new boards and establish good relationships with the rest of the riders and the whole SUNOVA team. We really appreciate and share the values and the philosophy of the brand, we are really proud to represent SUNOVA this season.

I’ve watched the SUNOVA video tour of the Board Factory several times now and it does look like a great place to visit. Which boards will you be using in the 2024 season?

For the upcoming racing year, we will be using the SUNOVA Flatwater Faast Pro and the Allwater FAAST Pro depending on the conditions. The boards are so fast and easy to paddle, their construction makes them incredibly light but strong at the same time. I am sure that the new gear will be a game-changer for us and our racing season.

Away from the high-octane race scene you and Susak have your own SUP School, can you tell us about that?

Of course! Our SUP school SUP SALIVOLI was founded in 2016 by Susak and me to share our passion for paddling with the local community. Year after year we worked hard to develop an all-round paddling experience for paddlers of every level.

We offer SUP classes for beginners, advanced lessons, SUP race training, SUP adventures and tours to discover the beautiful coastline in Tuscany.

Paddle in Tuscany with SUP Salivoli

I’ve seen some of your images on Instagram, looks like a beautiful place to paddle. 

It is! Everyone should come to visit!!

And from your Instagram, you also seem to be active in other areas?

That’s right! In the last few years, we have started to travel around Italy and Europe running workshops where we share our experience with other SUP passionates. 

Does SUNOVA fit in with SUP SALIVOLI?

Yes! From Spring 2024 our school will also become a demo center where you can come and paddle a variety of SUNOVA boards with us. If you want to try a board or get some coaching with us you can reach out to SUP SALIVOLI on our Instagram @supsalivoli or by email at

I am sure that 2024 will be a great year for you both on your new wooden race machines, we look forward to seeing you in action.

We think so to, 2024 will be great! And we really hope to see you all on the water sharing our passion for SUP and letting you try the right Sunova gear!

Thank you, Paolo. See you and SUSAK on a podium soon!

Paolo and Susak are Team Riders for SUNOVA SUP. SUNOVA are one of the leading surf and SUP brands in the world with a massive range of boards and equipment, you can find out more about them on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles and see where the magic happens in The Board Factory. Don’t forget to keep up with SUNOVA here on TotalSUP.

All images from Paolo and Susak.

About the Author

Chris Jones

Chris is the driving force behind SUP My Race, a distance challenge group for Stand Up Paddlers on Facebook. He is a super-keen paddler who has been on the water for nearly 10 years now and shows no sign of stopping. When he isn’t logging data on his laptop he can be found on the lakes and coastal waters in south west Sweden.

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