When it comes to his homeland of Australia, Starboard SUP rider and former long-distance world champion Michael Booth has certainly been around. Having grown up in New South Wales, lived on Australia’s world-renowned Gold Coast and recently set up shop in Perth, in Western Australia, you’d be forgiven for thinking that many of the Land Down Under’s most well-known spots hold no more secrets for the SUP rider. But, to paraphrase the man himself, Australia (and more specifically, Western Australia) is a land of well-hidden treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. Thankfully, for TotalSUP, he was more than willing to let us discover a few with him.
Michael Booth, you’re a seasoned SUP rider and waterman, as well as being former long-distance world champion. What have you been up to lately and what are you looking forward to?
Lately, I’ve been travelling and doing a lot of racing with events in Hong Kong, Europe, America and Japan over the past couple of months. What I’m really looking forward to is staying put in Australia for a few months once Heavy Water 2017 (which takes place in San Francisco, California, this Friday 20 October) is over.
I want to stay home and learn more about how to foil and sail for a while. It would be great to acquire some new skills in those areas and spend some time perfecting them.
Did you grow up in Perth? Is this where you first took to the water?
No, I actually grew up in Caves Beach (below), which is 30 minutes south of Newcastle, New South Wales, and a 2-hour drive north of Sydney, on Australia’s east coast.
Since then, I lived on the Gold Coast for 7 years, and I have recently move to Western Australia and set up camp in Perth, which is a great city.
Many people associate the Australian coastline with surfing. But what of stand up paddle? What is the SUP scene like nationally at the moment?
The SUP scene in Australia is strong as ever at the moment, and I’d say it’s going from strength to strength. Every time you look out on the ocean or on the many lakes and canals we have you can catch a glimpse of people practising stand up paddle, either solo or in groups.
The race scene is gaining momentum as well, with a lot of great new events and great talent cropping up all the time! The Noosa Festival of Surfing takes place every year, and the King of the Cut and The Doctor are additional major events on the local paddling circuit that are well worth checking out. It’s quite an exciting time for SUP in Australia at the minute.
So many spots in Australia are synonymous with watersports activities. What makes Perth so special in your opinion?
Perth is really great for paddling as you have the Indian Ocean and the Swan River to paddle on. The latter is the perfect place to train, I think.
The south/south-westerly trade winds blow from November to February, which is ideal for downwind paddling. And there is great surf down towards the south, with spots like Margaret River and Yallingup only a short drive away.
Perth has a relaxed culture and small city vibe, and that really suits me down to the ground.
Is there a spot in Perth that you hold in particularly high esteem? What is it about it that you like?
I’ve recently begun to check out the outer reefs just off the coast, which has been fun to foil on. My favourite place to go to in Western Australia would be Margaret River, although, for some reason, it has a habit of taking my paddles away from me!
Are there any riders in Perth at the minute that you think might have serious potential?
In Perth, I’m still not too sure of about the profiles of local paddlers, so I couldn’t really comment. But there are so many great paddlers from Australia right now. It would be hard for me to name just one.
Finally, beyond the world of SUP, why should someone visit Perth in your opinion?
It’s a beautiful part of the world and I genuinely think it’s just so underrated. So many people would just never know to go there, but they’d be missing out!
If you love adventure, both on and off the water, there are endless places to explore! So, fly over, hire a 4WD and you’ll have a ball. I guarantee it!
Australia’s Gold Coast is an area we might associate with surfing, and stunning beaches with a shoreline developed for tourism, it is a hotspot for holidaymakers from around the world. But there is much more to the area than the plentiful beach breaks and paddlers looking for some longer, racier SUP action. SUNOVA paddler Monika […]
New gear, new sizes or upgrades, the 2024 Stand Up Paddle Range by Starboard is out! What’s new in the 2024 Starboard SUP lineup? – Ace Foil – a downwind foil board inspired from the famous Ace – Starboard Gen R – the flat deck race board is back! – X-15 Foilboard – a board […]
Last year Japanese SUP Racer and new Starboard recruit Rai Tagushi left a lasting impression in the world SUP Racing community by securing a double win at the 1st edition of the Busan SUP Open in Korea, one of the most remarkable performances of the year 2022. As we approach the 2nd edition of this […]
Starboard Team launches Gen-R, this highly anticipated board for 2024 is a new breed amongst Starboards already extensive and world class range of race SUPs. There have been a few boards circulating amongst the Starboard Dream Team riders, where they have already been exhibiting amazing performances on them. The Gen-R is ‘bridging the gap’ between […]
Power, focus and conviction seem to be the accurate words to describe the racing style of Linus Karlsson, six-time Swedish SUP Champion and Starboard Team Rider. TotalSUP caught up with Linus in between two races – Planet Baltic SUP Race in Poland (where he has just bagged fresh podiums – Technical Race Win and Silver […]
Two words: Asger Smidt . We met this die-hard gamer turned SUP athlete, Overall Danish Champion 2023 and Starboard Team Rider in Malmö, Sweden as he was tearing the technical and long distance races up. Ambitious, hungry and tremendously hard working, at only seventeen, Asger brings explosive and elegant paddling style to the SUP racing table. […]
In this exclusive chat with Starboard HQ about their NEW range of pre-impregnated carbon twill fins, the team explain the detailed process that goes into making such great kit. You may not realise the process that goes into the production of your favourite Starboard items, however here you can read first-hand the passion that members of […]
“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 […]
Starboard Team has made an innovative update to their most popular inflatable boards, introducing the Zen Roll. This collection of the most popular Zen boards are standing a cut above the rest as they come complete with the brand new Roll Technology which allows paddlers to travel in more comfort and style by revolutionising the […]
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!