Australia’s Gold Coastis 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 Krummenacher Naff is a Gold Coast local with a real love for her local spot and she’s been sharing that knowledge with Chris from TotalSUP.
Hi Monika, welcome to TotalSUP!
Bun di Chris! Thanks for having me here
I thought G’day would be the Aussie greeting?
That’s right, “Bun di” is in my mother language form the Engadin valley in Switzerland.
Aha, that answers one question already, are you a local but we’ll paddle back to that later. So, I’ve already seen your amazing images but let’s start with your SUP journey?
Thanks for this amazing opportunity to tell my SUP Story, my Love for the sport and of course my beautiful board.
I’ve been paddling for quite a long time but my SUP journey began back in 2011, I sat at my mum’s dining table reading in a Swiss magazine about a man who had paddled across the Lake of Zurich, Zürichsee. I was impressed and thought to myself, one day I will be doing this.
And so, eventually my SUP journey began here in Australia where I now live on the beautiful Gold Coast.
You weren’t tempted onto the water in Switzerland?
Sadly not, I grew up in St.Moritz in the beautiful Engadin Valle and my sport there was skiing, I really didn’t try any watersports until I moved to Australia. I loved skiing and I do think that my Sunnova gives me a bit the same sensation when it glides fast over choppy waters.
But in the warmer water of your new home you couldn’t resist?
Yes, thanks to my friend Christine, a little while later she introduced me to a paddling fitness class on the Tallebudgera River on the Gold Coast. That first session started a 12-year-long (and counting) obsession! The instructor/coach in the session was called Paul, I bet he never thought that 12 years later I would still be paddling. I was so scared to fall in the water, all the fish , and getting wet, not my thing….
That fear is probably the most common thing that new paddlers have, but you seem to have got past that now
Oh yes! The SUP bug bit me!!
You now paddle on a very sleek board, quite a change from the one you started on?
Oh yes, my first board was a loan board but very stable, then I had a Bark 12.6 a JP 14 and after that my love grew for the SUNOVA Brand.
I have been paddling on SUNOVA Boards for about 4 1/2 years now and I absolutely love the brand, First I had a SUNOVA FAAST pro 23-inch, and now I paddle a gorgeous SUNOVA Flatwater FAAST Pro. This version board has evolved and it is sleeker and I believe a little faster.
My Flatwater FAAST Pro is 22 inches wide and it is sooooo smooth. On flatwater it had fantastic glide and it can handle quite a bit of chop and swell too. And it is soo light! That was a super-important factor for me as I struggle to carry heavy boards.
Did I mention that I LOVE it!
I think you might have mentioned that! So the Flatwater Pro handles mixed conditions well?
For me, yes. Really well. It isn’t a board for super rough conditions, SUNOVA have other boards that work better in harder conditions but for me the Flatwater Pro is fantastic.
Nice! My Australian knowledge is patchy, where do you paddle and what is it like paddling upside down?
Ha ha ha, we’re the right way up, I think you spend more time upside down than I do.
Ah, you got me, you’ve seen me trying to turn a narrow board, the upside is often down!
I do most of my paddling in the area around Surfers Paradise which is part of the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane. If you don’t know where that is we are on the East Coast about as far east as you can go on mainland Australia. The area has a lot of places to paddle and, of course, lots of surfing too.
I belong to the BrisSUP club which hosts Races and social events about 10 times a year. They are a great club to be part of.
Sounds like an active club and a good place to get onto the water?
It is and I am so lucky to be all to get onto the water a lot, I live in a place that allows me to paddle every day of the year, no frozen water here! During the week I paddle with a small training group on the Nerang River just north of Surfers-paradise, we do all the fun stuff and more serious training to keep fit.
The SUNOVA Flatwater FAAST Pro shines here and lets me paddle nicely.
Weekends give us more time to go further afield and we try to venture out to different locations on the beautiful Gold Coast. We are lucky that we can mix it up depending on wind and tide. All along the Gold Coast we have extensive waterways, from wide rivers to the Ocean.
Often, we paddle in the waters around Wave Break Island. This is a man-made island created in 1985 to protect an area called the Broadwater as part of the Gold Coast Seaway construction project. It’s a great place to paddle and see wildlife. We also get to play in the chop in the Seaway too, it is a fun place to paddle and very popular. The Water is always different due to wind and tide and Boat traffic.
You mention the wildlife, is it all sharks, saltwater crocs and snakes there?
Oh no! No crocks on the Goldi! We paddle amongst all sorts of things, small to big fish, dolphins, stingrays and sometimes sharks. Off-shore we sometimes see whales in the ocean.
It’s not just in the water, we have sea eagles in the area, countless swans pelicans and ducks and of course some kangaroos hopping about too. The area is a nature lover’s dream.
And you get to see all of this from a very good-looking 22” board
Yeah, the SUNOVA Flatwater FAAST Pro can take almost any condition. Did I tell you I love it!!!!!
With a very FAAST board under your feet, do you ever find yourself on the start line of a race?
Oh Yes, I enter races even though get very nervous on the start line. I always try to give the Best of myself on the Day and have been very lucky that my SUNOVA has helped me win a few Medals in my age group😊
My local club, BrisSUP regularly run races which are a great way to catch up with friends, after we’ve paddled hard!
Thank you Monika for taking the time to share your local spot with us here on TotalSUP, it seems to offer a bit of everything for all paddlers and I’ve added it to my list of places to paddle!
Monika is a regular in the SUP Challenge group SUP My Race sharing images from this stunning part of the world and of her equally lovely SUNOVA FAAST board. If you are looking for your SUNOVA fix then she recommends talking to SURF FX on the Gold Coast.
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