SUP Tricktionary, the New Stand Up Paddle Bible!

After more than three years of work, the SUP Tricktionany, the ultimate guide to Stand Up Paddling is now available in several languages! 528 pages detailing every stand up paddle discipline, from SUP racing to SUP surfing through SUP foil, downwind, river, yoga, etc., and all of the above, adapted for all levels of practice. From your first steps on a board to your most committed downwinds, from your first flights on a foil to your river maneuvers, through the learning of SUP yoga but also the improvement in SUP Race … you will find in this SUP Tricktionary the answers to all your questions (and even those you do not ask yet!). Written with the collaboration of some of the biggest names in stand-up paddling (Titouan Puyo, Olivia Piana, Bruno Hasulyo, Fiona Wylde, ClĂ©ment Colmas, Noic Garioud, Luiz Diniz, Casper Steinfath, Bart de Zwart, Michael Booth, Eric Terrien, Nicolas Fayol, Susak Molinero, Sarah Hebert and many others), this SUP Tricktionary also promises to be a stunning book, with beautiful photos and attractive useful visuals. In short, a perfect present to offer,  to give, to give to yourself or to put under the tree this holiday season. And to present this SUP Tricktionary in detail, who better than the author himself, French Stand Up paddle pioneer Fred Bonnef?

Hello Fred, to get started, what’s a Tricktionary ?

Tricktionary comes from the word “tricks”, in other words “maneuvers”. In other words, a “Tricktionary” is a dictionary of maneuvers.

What is a (hi)story behind the Tricktionary books?

Michael Rossmeier, aka Rossi, and I were both fierce competitors in the freestyle windsurfing discipline in the 2000s. Back then it was a race to see who could come up with a new maneuver, or who could do the most complicated one. In the end, there were so many maneuvers that most of us couldn’t understand them and even we got lost!

Rossi had the idea to list and explain each maneuver, from the most basic to the most complicated, step by step, with the help of sequences and explanations from the best of the discipline, while taking care to explain the basics of windsurfing, so that any reader can benefit from all the possible and imaginable technique, whether he is a complete beginner or a high level competitor. The Tricktionary concept was born. The windsurfing version of Tricktionary was a great success, and naturally the kitesurfing version came out a few years later. Then a little over three years ago came the idea of a SUP version of Tricktionary.

Why a SUP Tricktionary ? Who is it for?

Since 2006, the year I discovered stand up paddling for the first time (that’s almost 17 years ago!), I’ve always been looking for information to progress in this sport. During the first years, there were a few tutorials, a few blogs, a few videos, but no real reference, no “coffee table book”, like you could have in other fields. You really had to be passionate and spend a lot of time to find some rare usable information. Most of those who have been practicing stand up paddle for more than 10 years have generally learned by themselves, and in contact with other practitioners. Stand up paddle is a sport that has developed very quickly, but sometimes in a completely disjointed and unstructured way. If things have fortunately evolved a little, with some structures and coaches proposing now quality trainings in some geographical areas, it is far from being the case everywhere. And, having the chance to travel a lot for stand up paddle (notably through the EuroTour), I consider that generally speaking, we still lack references in terms of learning and training.

The risk for beginners, for example, is that they get disgusted, that they hurt themselves, that they adopt bad gestures, that they don’t have the opportunity to project themselves in this sport, or that they don’t see from the beginning the infinite possibilities that it offers us. In the progression, there is a big demand for information, in relation to SUP race, SUP surf, SUP foil, downwind, river, yoga, etc… And there are still few methods available for all and really structured, and even less books that includes them all. And there is still a lack of this famous “bedside book”, in several languages, gathering all the practices for all levels. This is what we wanted to bring.

SUP Tricktionary is for everyone interested in stand up paddling, and for absolutely all levels, from complete beginners to the highest level, as well as for all SUP disciplines (SUP race, downwind, sprint, technical race, long distance, ultra long distance, SUP surfing, SUP foil, downwind foil, SUP river, SUP yoga, etc…). It is a 528 page guide, explaining with many illustrations and details, methods to learn and progress, from the basics of this sport to the highest level of its practice, with the intervention of some of the best athletes and specialists in the world in their respective disciplines. SUP Tricktionary is not intended to replace teachers or coaches, and does not claim to offer THE only method, but is a guide, a serious reference, with detailed explanations, photo sequences for each maneuver, diagrams, advice from professionals, etc…

How is the book structured and who took part in this project?

The first chapter is quite big and dedicated to the discovery of the stand up paddle, its history, the equipment, its maintenance, the preparation, the environment in which we evolve, the security, then we go on with the entry in the water, rowing lying down, kneeling, standing up, the good postures, the basic rowing technique, the first turns, etc. There is also a sub-chapter dedicated to children, with advice on how to use the right equipment and how to learn, and to older children, with the big SUP, tandem, etc…

The second chapter is dedicated to the SUP race, it is one of the biggest of this book: after some pages dedicated to the specific equipment for the SUP race, and how to choose its board, its paddle, its fin … the second sub-chapter, perhaps one of the most detailed of the book, is dedicated to the improvement of the paddling technique. The different phases of the gesture, the placements and the postures are unraveled thanks to Titouan Puyo, as well as some specific techniques, like the “comma”, the “heel”, the “pivot”, and others. If Titouan is the main contributor for this part, there are also interesting feedbacks from Olivia Piana, for example on postures, side changes, and from Fiona Wylde on the technique of rowing with crosswind or headwind. Then there is a sub-chapter dedicated to perfecting our turns, adapted to SUP race boards and competitions, with the participation of Fiona, Olivia and Titouan.

Then we move on to the competition itself, with some notions of preparation and strategy, mental, nutrition, warm-up, choice of equipment and then we get to the heart of the matter, with the starts, from the beach or on the water, sitting or standing, all ultra detailed by Casper Steinfath and Noic Garioud among others, with the participation of Titouan. The same three protagonists then give us all their secrets concerning the sprint, detailing all its phases. Then we go on with the drafting technique, the overtaking of our competitors with Fiona Wylde. Then we go on with a sub-chapter on the technical race, with a lot of details about the starts with waves, the turns to the buoys in the waves or on the flat, the arrivals on land, the passages on land, the management of the resources, the final sprint, etc… With interventions of competitors such as Tom Auber, NoĂŻc Garioud, Olivia Piana, etc…

Les techniques dĂ©cortiquĂ©es dans le SUP TricktionaryThe next sub-chapter is dedicated to long distance and ultra long distance, in competition, with a long and interesting interview of Bruno Hasulyo, then we also get a long interview of Michael Booth who tells us about his routine, his preparation, mental and physical, and some interesting secrets! Then we also have some interviews of riders with extremely different sizes, styles, and routines, but who all had great success in their careers, such as Arthur Arutkin, Sonni Honscheid, Vinnicius Martin, Susak Molinero or Olivia Piana, etc… Note that many other personalities of the SUP race other than those already mentioned are represented in this part SUP race.

The third chapter is dedicated to the downwind, it is one of the parts that was very important to me. It is very complete, very detailed, everything is there, from the observation and the reading of the environment, the recognition of the trajectories and the courses, until the catch of bump, the reading of the water level, the technique of adapted oar, the timing and the rhythm, the positions, the connections of bumps, the technique of surfing, the enfournements, the displacements of weight, the steps, the vision, the strategy, etc… We also find Titouan Puyo who is one of the main protagonists, but also many high-flying riders such as Josh Riccio, Amandine Chazot, Martin Vitry, Connor Baxter, Boris Jinvresse, Fiona Wylde, Michael Booth, etc…

The fourth chapter is dedicated to touring and adventure. After a first chapter dedicated to specific equipment, safety, and the preparation of your gear, we bring you a little bit of dream and contemplation, with superb pictures, taken all over the world, showing once again that SUP is adapted to all kinds of water and that adventure is everywhere, from paradisiacal lagoons to the most extreme latitudes, through lakes, rivers, etc… Then we look at ultra long distance, the most extreme adventures and challenges, with a long chapter dedicated to Bart de Zwart, his preparation, his advice, his craziest adventures, then we look at the crazy crossings of Casper Steinfath, lived from the inside, and finish with a beautiful adventure between the Balearic Islands and Spain.

The fifth chapter is one of the biggest, that of SUP surfing. After an introduction, and precise information concerning the material, we move on to extremely complete sub-chapters dedicated to the reading of wave, to the observation, to the passage of waves, to the placement, to the rules of courtesy and safety, then we move on to the first surfs, the first turns, before entering the progression part, with the taking of speed, the fluidity, the reading of wave. We then treated in a separate way the “frontside” maneuvers, backside maneuvers, more than thirty maneuvers broken down from A to Z, with the help of photo sequences and explanations made with some of the best riders in the world, such as Luiz Diniz, Iballa Moreno, Zane Schweiter, Airton Cozzolino, Ben Carpentier, Poenaiki Raioha, Shakira Westdrop, Juan de los Reyes, Guillermo Carracedo … etc. There is also a chapter dedicated to big waves, another one dedicated to tubes, and finally one dedicated to aerials !

The sixth chapter is dedicated to the Long SUP, with all the specific equipment, then the techniques associated with the longboard style as the cross steps, the nose rides, the hang five, hang ten, 360, etc…

The seventh chapter is dedicated to the foil, with two parts: One on SUP foil in waves, the other on downwind foil. Here again, it is extremely complete and detailed, with an introduction, history, theory, a big section on equipment and settings, then take-offs, first flights, carvings, some SUP surfing maneuvers transposed to foil, from the most basic to aerials, including off-the lip, cut-back and others, wave connection, wave passage, etc…

Then we take a close look at downwind foil, the prerequisites, timing and positioning, take-offs on a bump or on the flat, then the exploitation of bumps, pumping, effort management, going upwind, connecting, and the most incredible maneuvers performed by the best in the world. To note the very active participation of Eric Terrien and Clément Colmas for this chapter, but also superb sequences of Zane Schweitzer, Austin Kalama, Olivia Piana, Annie Reickhert, Ben Carpentier, and many others.

The eighth chapter is dedicated to SUP yoga, with information about the history of this discipline, the equipment, and all the yoga positions adapted to SUP. This chapter was developed entirely with the help of Sarah Hebert.

The ninth chapter is dedicated to SUP on the river. This is a very specific part of stand up paddling, and was supervised from start to finish by Nicolas Fayol, with the help of the legend of the discipline Dan Gavere! The focus was on safety, equipment, basic knowledge of how a river works, an introduction to the different disciplines of river SUP, techniques, postures and maneuvers specific to this discipline, from the most basic to the most extreme.

How did you get involved in this book-writing adventure?

t was through Steve Palier, a friend of mine, who had previously been involved in the windsurfing version of the Tricktionary, that the connection was made with Michael Rossmeier, author of the windsurfing Tricktionary, and editor. We already knew each other from windsurfing, and moreover, he was moving to Tarifa, where I live. When he told me about his project of Tricktionary stand up paddle version, it corresponded perfectly to a desire that I had for a long time but that I had never been able to concretize. I felt that the project was serious, and I plunged into it body and soul. Moreover, I like writing, and the least we can say is that I was going to be served…

My experience as a state certificate in water sports since 1999, in stand up paddle since 2008, my background as an athlete since 2001 and as an event organizer and race director since 2013, when I also organized my first downwinds camps, plus all the contacts and friends I made during this long slice of life naturally led me to this project. I want to emphasize this point: I would not have realized this book if I had not had strong support, especially from some athletes. It is a kind of concretization of a part of what I had the chance to learn, with the unique opportunity to transmit it to a large audience in several languages.

How long did it take you and how did you organize the work?

It took me a good 3 years, working almost every day, sometimes day and night, especially towards the end when I was proofreading in the different languages. It was a titanic task. Honestly, if I had known at the beginning what it would involve in terms of work, personal investment and sacrifices, I am not sure I would have accepted this challenge. I even lost some close-up vision in the battle! But I am now very happy to have accomplished something that will somehow help some practitioners of our beautiful sport.

The first part consisted in establishing an action plan, relatively organized, of what I wanted to have in the book: A very educational book, with a lot of explanations and details, but at the same time something very visual, attractive, with beautiful photos, beautiful sequences, beautiful designs, diagrams, a beautiful book, that we want to have and to offer, that we will discover little by little, according to our needs and our questions, or that we will devour in one go!

The problem in this kind of project is above all to gather all the images that we need. I didn’t want to have explanations without illustrations, I didn’t want the book to be “heavy” to read. So we started with a 15 days photoshoot in the Gorges, then another one, the biggest one, of 1 month, in New Caledonia, and the others at my place, then many others around Tarifa. For the missing pictures we got in close contact with the riders, the brands and the photographers. It was very difficult to gather everything we needed, but in the end we did it.

Then, the structuring of the work depended a bit on the chapter: For the basics, the beginner part, the race, the downwind, and the downwind foil, for example, I created the text beforehand and I looked for the sequences that could best illustrate these texts. For SUP surfing and SUP foil in the waves, I sometimes had to adapt the text according to the sequences I had. For the touring and adventure part, I wrote a part myself, found the photos, or I called upon riders who provided me with text and photos, etc…

So the structuring was not the same according to the chapters, but in all cases, I called upon some of the best athletes and specialists in the world to validate most of my texts. Sometimes, in very specific areas that I don’t master, like SUP yoga and river SUP, it’s even riders who wrote those parts from scratch, and I just checked everything, adapted it if needed, and made sure that the translations respected their text 100 percent.

During this whole process, there were a lot of times when I would wake up in the night thinking about something I forgot to say or something I forgot to say. And so we had to integrate that into the structure that we had already set up, then find the photos to go with that addition, then check that text, then translate it into the other languages, then check that it had been translated…

A never-ending story…

How many languages is the book available in?

The Stand Up Paddle Tricktionary is available in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.

How did you organize its translation in so many languages?

Together with Rossi, we called on professional translators, who had as much knowledge of stand up paddling as possible. This was not an easy part either, because we had to check, by comparing with the original language of the text (usually English or French), if the original meaning had been respected each time. And then there was the proofreading, which had to be done in such a way that the corrections made did not alter the meaning. The 528 pages of the book had to be reread hundreds of times, and each time a correction was made, it also had to be made in the 5 other languages… This work alone lasted 6 months of relentless proofreading and corrections, whole days and sleepless nights to finalize it all.

Where can I buy the SUP Tricktionary?

The easiest way for now is to go through the following link: The Tricktionary will also be on sale through some stores specialized in SUP and water sports in general.

Are you planning to organize a signing tour?

We will set up little by little, I will try to be present and organize it on some SUP events, starting with the 2023 Gla Gla Race in January, and other gatherings or competitions thereafter, then also on the EuroTour events, the Fort Boyard Challenge and others…

Thank you Fred for this detailed presentation and good reading to all!

To find out more about the SUP Tricktionary :
Buy Online / Facebook / Instagram

To follow Fred Bonnef :
Instagram / Facebook

About the Author

Mathieu Astier

Mathieu is the hyper-active founder of TotalSUP and a multilingual online marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience working for top international internet companies. His love-at-first-sight for Stand Up Paddling in 2013 led him to build one of the leading online media dedicated to SUP in English and French and to turn his family lifestyle towards the ocean.

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