Balancing a family, career and a love of the water is tricky for most paddlers and even more so for those who want to compete at a high level. Taking on that challenge, and more is NSP SUP racer, parent and Doctor, Susanne Eder-Meyer. Susanne patiently waited for Chris from TotalSUP to catch up with her so he could find out just how she manages to balance everything.
Top SUP Racer Susanne Eder-Meyer
Hi Susanne, welcome to TotalSUP!Let’s start with SUP, who is Susanne Eder-Meyer the SUP Racer?
Hi Chris and the team, thank you for the chance to share my SUP Story. I have been racing since i got my first SUP hardboard in 2020, I did some training and was third in my first race and I knew I wanted to race more!
I was lucky to meet Christian Taucher and started training with him in 2021 for the Worlds in Hungary. The type of training Christian uses was totally new for me and very effective and I had a very good season culminating with third place in long distance 40+ at the ICF worlds.
I also won the Alps Trophy and got German champ 40+ in the long distance and technical race and then the best results were winning the German Open Championships in Long distance, Technical and Sprint in the same season.
Christian, a future SUPer star and Susanne
Wow, that is an exceptional start to your Stand Up Paddle racing career especially winning the triple, long-distance, technical and sprint. Congratulations! To perform at such a high level so quickly you must have had a sporting background
Yes, you could say that, I used to be a semi-professional mountain climber.
I have always enjoyed high-difficulty sports climbing, mountain climbing, ice and mixed climbing and high-altitude mountaineering, up to 7200 m. To train for that I used to go trail and mountain running as well as ski mountaineering.
A background in a very extreme sport, you are the first mountain climber I’ve interviewed.
The mountains were a natural place for me to be. I learned how to ski when I was 3 years old and spent a lot of my childhood in the mountains with my parents. Growing up split between Munich and Florida was great! At around 10 years old I started snowboarding and windsurfing and then re-discovered mountain sports again around 18 years old.
That’s a very varied sporting background. And you manage to balance sport with your career in medicine and with your family…
It keeps me busy! I am a mom with two kids who are 7 and 9 years old and I am working at a hospital in emergency medicine where I specialist in general internal medicine. I also specialise in orthomolecular medicine, and emergency and sports medicine.
And you still find time to paddle, fast! How long did it take for you to progress from first-time paddler to racing?
Well, like many paddlers my first time on a SUP was on holiday, we were in Fuerteventura. After my second child I was looking for a new sport which was easy to get along with my family, I tried a SUP and immediately got infected with the SUP virus 🙂
For the first 2 years, I paddled just for fun and to get back some fitness after the pregnancies before I bought that first hardboard.
Susanne in action. Image – Alpine Lakes Tour
With such an important job and a family, how does SUP, and your other sporting interests fit into your family and working life?
I think I need sport to keep life in balance. I simply love taking part in sports, especially SUP. I find that being on the water helps me to relax, to think, to appreciate new points of view and to motivate myself to keep on going. It feels so peaceful when you glide fast over the water especially when the water is calm. I also love it when the weather is rough, windy, cold and rainy, then I really enjoy nature in all its different ways. I loved storms in the mountains also, it shows you how little we are in this big world of nature.
Beautifully worded and something that I think everyone reading this will agree with. Let’s get back to Susanne, the SUP Racer. Last season you started to paddle on NSP boards and that went pretty well …
I love NSP!
The end of my 2022 season and then into 2023 has been on NSP boards and they are fantastic!I did really well in many races, maybe a list is a good way to show my results?
First place Paris Dec 2022
First place in the technical race at Gla Gla Race 2023 and fourth place in the long-distancerace at the same event
Seventh place at the long-distance at the ICF Spring Race Italy 2023
First place at the Lignano SUP Marathon 2023
Fourth place in the long-distance race at the ICF Faaker See race 2023,
Second place Alps Trophy long-distance Race Supalot.
First place in the long-distance race at Budwies
I like lists and that is a great list! Which of the NSP boards are you using and do you have a favourite?
When I race in flatwater I always paddle the New Ninja 14×21. I Love this board because it gives me stability especially at the start so I can totally focus on paddling and pushing forward. During the race it is fast and the stability is perfect! I can focus on my technique and my legs don’t get exhausted and weak. It turns very fast and it is easy to get into draft positions. Even with side wind and side waves it has good stability and I can steer it easy just by changing my standing position and weight.
At the sea when there are waves I prefer the Carolina. I use the 14×22 because I am not the best paddler in these conditions and I need a really stable and fast-reacting board! That’s totally the Carolina for me! It just finds its own way through the waves and I just have to push it forward!
The kids I train love the Ninja 12.6 X 20. It is very, very stable, easy to jump on, easy to turn and so fast! Every kid has a big smile on their face when paddling this board for the first time! And it is light so they can do beach starts and carry it around easily.
Do I have a favourite? No, they are all brilliant!
That’s a great summary of three NSP race SUPs, something for everyone. In one of the images we have you seem to be combining your medical training with paddling, are you a SUP Dr as well?
Ha ha ha! Yes, Dr SUP. I am in the team from sup.training and we are trying to collect data to establish performance diagnostics for SUP to help find the best ways to train SUP athletes.
This is especially important for the young athletes. We want them to grow into the SUP Sport safely and there is still too little knowledge for professional SUP Training, especially for younger athletes. Even the perfect stroke technique is still not clear. We know what is important, but based on the standing position the athlete has to have special skills.
We cannot copy the training from other rowing or paddling sports and we have to develop a new strategy. For example, the stroke has to be individually adapted to the athlete. This is always a challenge when we work with young SUP athletes.
As a medical doctor, it is of course extremely important that training and technique do not lead to any injuries or damage. It is very interesting to see how the SUP Sport gets more and more professional. I know there are a couple of people out there who do the same thing and it would be nice if the different training approaches could be brought together, more collaboration.
With a stressful job, all the paddling and training you do how do you find time for anything else, how do you get that work/life/family/SUP balance?
Finding that balance is one of the most challenging things at the moment. For me the family is very important although sometimes I miss the old freedom I used to have when I was a mountain climber.
Sometimes I miss the long journeys to distant countries and expeditions to high mountains. But when I see my children laughing, being happy about the smallest things, cuddling with one another and we discover life together, then I never want to give that away again.
Working as a doctor with shifts night and days, having enough time for the family and training at a high level is often not easy. Often I wish my days would have more hours. Most important is to have fun with the things you do and enjoy doing them. Even work has to be fun. You have to be very organised and disciplined.
But you should not be too hard to yourself. I also have times when everything becomes too much for me. Then you have to be honest with yourself and rethink and adapt your life. Then, for example, I avoid intensive training sessions and just paddle or run for several hours, or go out with friends or take more time with my kids. It is also very important to have a great partner. I am extremely lucky with my husband. He supports me in everything I do! 🙂
Have to agree with that. I think that sometimes having a supportive partner and family are as important as having the talent and drive to compete, getting onto the water can be the hardest part of training. How does your training and coaching others fit into your schedule?
For my SUP training I work with two coaches, one is Christian Taucher and he writes my training plans for SUP and running. Then on the water, I paddle with Michael Hackl from Austria who is in the same club as me. My other coach helps me with strength training and mobility.
With my coaching work I started to train kids in Germany in 2021. I still do this with weekly individual training plans and occasional training camps. I am coaching a couple of kids in Germany who are really good and we are actively looking for new kids and adults in Austria and Germany who want to train for SUP.
My own kids know how to SUP and they have fun doing it but at the moment they don’t want to do races. They love water and swimming and paddling and at their age everything is just for fun. They are still looking for a sport that suits them and for me it is important that they find something that they really enjoy doing. Currently they are playing base ball, horse riding and playing tennis, quite a selection!
We need to add mon-taxi to your resume! As we approach the end of the 2023 season have you had the time to think about your goals for next year?
To be honest, I don’t really know yet.
The death of a mountaineering friend in June this year weighed heavily on me and that takes some focus away from being competitive, some times we need to think about other things.
On the water, I think that need to look for different challenges to motivate me. Maybe travelling to different places, like my climbing career is something I need to pursue, to give me a different challenge when racing?
What is certain is that I will continue to work with NSP. I am proud to be part of this great team. I am happy to help make NSP known in Germany and Austria and to establish it as a brand. Being a brand ambassador is a lot of fun when there is a great team behind it. I will definitely work more as a coach and specialise in training young SUP athletes and women who want to race.
Of course, I continue to train myself, but currently without a clear goal for 2024. Maybe I will switch from SUP to Prone (my second love on the water) and look for a new challenge here…. Maybe someone has an idea for me on what I could train on… 😉
Susanne cross-training for TotalProne
Thank you so much Susanne for taking the time to talk to us here at TotalSUP. I am sure that an athlete who is as talented and driven as you are will find a suitable challenge for next season, lets hope that is standing on a paddleboard not prone!
Several members of the TotalSUP Team have boards from SUNOVA Surfboards and we are SUPer happy to share some big-name additions to the SUNOVA SUP Racing squad before the 2023 ICF World Championships in November. Team manager and top SUP racer Christian Taucher has all the SUNOVA news Hi Christian, I hear you’ve been busy since our last […]
In a triumphant return from injury, Belgian SUP athlete and NSP team racer Kjell De Bruyn has managed to secure a spot to represent Belgium for the first time at the ISA World SUP & Paddleboard Championship in Les Sables d’Olonne, France next week. Just a few days away from the huge event, Kjell opens up […]
EPIC is an often overused word, its value has diminished because everything, everywhere seems ‘Epic!’. However, Patrick ‘Paddy’ Boyum, NSP Surfboards’ Swedish ambassador knows the true meaning of the word as you are about to find out. With no further introduction from me here is Paddy’s latest adventure. Patrick Paddy Boyum – Nordic River SUP […]
Portuguese professional Stand Up Paddle athlete and NSP team rider, Tomás Lacerda, despite his youth, has already clinched 20 national titles and showcased outstanding performances in international competitions. He is now poised to undertake a remarkable feat by embarking on a crossing between the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira on a SUP board, making […]
SUP and SUP Racing is a sport that increasingly is attracting athletes from varied backgrounds. Many competitive paddlers have a background in watersports but an increasing number of SUP Racers have been competitive at a high level in other, completely unrelated sports. SUNOVA fan Polona Pusljar is one of those athletes who has already had […]
Portugal is a SUP Destination that offers a great variety for the travelling paddler with everything from the established EuroTour stop at Madeira, the spectacle of big wave surfing at Nazaré and the frequently visited area around Esposende. NSP paddler Marco Teodosio thinks there is another destination for the TotalSUP crew to add to their […]
“We felt like rock stars” said about the event Andrey Kraytor who shredded the Sprint final to pieces and walked away with Gold. Agios Nikolaos On SUP 2023, ICF SUP World Cup and National Panhellenic SUP Championship, brought together elite national athletes and some of the world’s top riders and delivered on the promise: “This July […]
There’s a noticeable shift in the attitudes of young SUP athletes towards their professional goals and growth strategy by refocusing onto international competitions. It may be more visible in the post-lockdown world, but they increasingly venture out, train abroad with other paddlers and compete to not only see how they stack up against their peers […]
Crete is calling and the countdown is on to the 8th edition of Agios Nikolaos On SUP 2023, a highly stacked ICF SUP World Cup and National Panhellenic SUP Championship event, kicking off on the 7-9 July. With stunning race courses, international elite SUP talent and a grand prize pot of 9000€, Agios Nikolaos On SUP is […]
Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
3rd Party Cookies
We use a set of third party tools to provide information on how our users engage with our website so that we can improve the experience of the website for our users. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited, and by which types of users. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!