2018 started off with a bang for waterman and NSP rider Travis Grant, with the intention of taking some snow time with his family at Val Thorens, France, he ended up racing in the Gla Gla Race, contrasting conditions for an Ozzie based in tropical Hawaï!
Whilst staying in France TotalSUP caught up with the waterman and all-round nice guy- Travis to talk about his paddling, season 2018 and the sensational news that this could be his last as an elite athlete racer.
Hi Travis, What brought you to the cold in France?
We came here as a family on a holiday (to ski), we noticed that there was the Gla Gla race very close to where we were staying, I was a bit suprised, I would have never of thought to come to a cold lake to paddle. But that is the beauty SUP! always things happening, so here we are in the French Alps, at an event that is bringing 500 people together, it is pretty cool, so I said yes why not, I will race. The actual race was good but the 3 other racers Tom Auber, Leo Nika and Martino Rogai went round the corner towards the end, then they just took it to another level, and stormed the race.
So what do you have in store for the 2018 season?
This year I have a few plans I will be racing in the Carolina Cup, Hood River, Olukai Ho’olaule’a and the APP tour, which has 4 stops at London, NYC, San Fran, Paris, and I’m also signed up for the Maui Jim Shoot out. But we will see how this year pans out whether to stay in competition beyond this season.
So will this season be your last?
It could be! At the beginning of SUP racing it was just Danny Ching and I who were racing, we were winning everything, but as people have to learnt to paddle well and perfect the technique it is getting more and more difficult to maintain the level to win!
I’ll try go around one more time see if I can keep up with these youngsters. I still enjoy competing but I am finding it harder to keep up, to keep motivated and find the time to train, also recovery seems to take longer. Might be an age thing (:D), as you get older life seems to get busier, less down time is available. So I told myself, try for one more year then hang it up and focus on other things in life.
I love paddling always have done and I always will be involved, just at a more social level. Thats the best thing about paddling, It has so many levels at every event, from young guys and girls really trying, growing, pushing the sport, to older guys and girls just there to see a new destination or enjoy a beer with new friends.
The sport of SUP and moreover OC has allowed me to travel the world and meet like minded folk. I owe a lot to paddling, it has given me a good life thus far. So I will always stay in touch with this great sport, I hope to continue to travel, now with the family, and compete in destinations where I have never been, like the lac d’annecy race I did, they all provide me with different experiences.
Would you look into coaching?
Coaching is something life seems to be directing me towards. I never set out to coach, as I feel I’m still learning so much, but I seem to be getting directed in that direction, so I might embrace that and see if I enjoy the coaching side. I have no plan yet on exactly what I will do next year. But yes, teaching others what I have learnt in my paddle journey could be something I might explore. I still work Upholstery (canvas boat work) full time I have a Flexible job , but I Still really enjoy working with my hands in my job.