It is offical German power house and Woo ambassador Sonni Honschied has become a convert to the OC1. Sonni recently added a Woo Feline to her quiver giving her an alternative training tool to keep her SUP season going at full throttle. The current leader of the Paddle League Sonni Honschield talks up the benefits of switching the training up with an OC1, why OC1 is a perfect complement to SUP and the benefits it has had on her paddle technique.
What’s your history with OC paddling?
I´m quite new to the sport of OC. When I was in Maui I had the chance to try the OC1, OC2 and the OC6, I always wanted to get a boat and get more into it, but due to all my traveling it was a hard decision where to get it. Finally, last winter I spent a few months back at home on Fuerteventura and WOO sent me their new model Feline. Paddling the woo is so much fun! It is built for all conditions. I can surf waves, in the flat and I can paddle in some great downwind conditions. Paddling the Woo Feline is really exciting, and I can´t wait to paddle it again! It is a really refreshing way to get out on the water, a real great way to mix up my SUP training.
Are there any similarities between the paddling an OC and SUP?
Yes, Outrigger paddling essentially consists of the same stroke techniques as SUP. Both techniques involve a good reach and a powerful stroke. The catch, power, exit and recovery phases of the paddle stroke are all similar to what happens when SUP paddling. When I first got the Feline Woo, it took me a while to find the balance point within my hips, but it came quickly.
Do you feel that OC1 paddling has allowed you to improve your performances in SUP Racing?
Paddling on my feline OC1 is much more technical than paddling on a SUP. With a SUP you need more power in the stroke, so combining the technical and the power aspects of both crafts has made me of a complete paddler. When I am downwinding in the OC1 I truly feel that being closer to the ocean has made me more connected with it, now I can read and understand the ocean bumps alotbetter, skills that I can easily transfer to SUP Racing and SUP downwinding.
How is the Feline?
First, the Feline is amazing because it fits in my living room, it measures just 5,12 m in length and 40 cm wide. These dimensions make it so easier to transport, even if it’s a little shorter than a regular OC1. From the paddling point of view, the advantages of the Feline are especially felt when you are paddling downwind, when the waves are more stoked it glides with ease. Plus the Feline just fits and glides on the waves perfectly!! it is the perfect OC1!
How often to get out on the Feline?
I go by how I feel each day, often I paddle in the feline to get distances under my belt, and sometime I paddle the feline to recover after a particularly long or intense SUP session. I like to switch it up, it’s the same for prone paddling. I feel it is important to use and activate different muscles. I also enjoy paddling the OC1 because I don´t have any expectations. On SUP I´m constantly analysing myself and performance, so on the OC1 I feel more relaxed, so far so good but we will see, I would love to do some OC races, so it might change!
For more information on the WOO Feline and a chance to mix up your SUP training check out www.woo-outrigger.com