3 French SUP Paddlers Talk about Discovering WOO Outrigger Paddling

It is always important to mix up SUP training with other sports. With this in mind three paddlers from France, Jean-Michel Clorarec, Pascal Pouget and Jean-Pierre Letourneur, three keen SUP paddlers who have been Stand Up Paddling for years have changed it up in the last 12 months, by finding their way to outrigger canoe (OC) paddling. They talk to TotalSUP about the fun they have on their Woo Outrigger canoes.

How did you discover OC paddling, and how was your 1st experience?

Jean-Michel Cloarec: (laughs) As always, everything started with a good discussion about the OC with Pascal Pouget (Starboard Team Manager France). Pascal had already been talking with Woo outrigger owner Guy Ringrave about his Pueo purchase. At the time I was looking something to supplement to my SUP training, so after my discussion with Pascal I got in touch with “the boss”, and after 10 minutes I ordered a Pueo. A month later, I went to Anglet to look at the beast and it was perfect. Guy nailed the customization, the colours were great.  As I approached WOO I could see the Pueo missile waiting in the car park. It is great you see the canoe waiting for you in the car park, waiting patiently on its support. 30 minutes later we were on the water with Guy testing out the canoe.

Jean-Pierre Letourneur: I discovered OC during an endurance SUP event 3 years ago. The race was a 6 hour SUP relay on the Sarthe river. At the race there was an opportunity to test out an OC2. The water was flat, after testing out the OC2 I admit I was blown away by the glide that I got with very minimal effort! In 2017 a friend convinced us to take a OC1 into our SUP & Surf club in St Malo, Brittany. After a few months it had been regularly used by members, especially women! After that both a friend and I each ordered an OC1 carbon Woo Outrigger. The glide sensations achieved with such a small boat is insane!

Pascal Pouget: I discovered OC1 paddling during a long distance mixed race, where I saw these speed past my 14 foot SUP. Fast forward two years, a cruciate ligament knee surgery curtailed my paddling for 6 months and after that I decided to take the plunge and get started on my OC1 journey!

What are the differences between SUP raceboards and OC1?

Jean-Michel Cloarec: Logistically speaking the OC1 obviously is more complication than owning a SUP. However my OC1 weighs less than a SUP despite its 6m10! The Pueo design was carefully thought from the start in order to facilitate assembly. An OC1 can fit easily on the car roof just like a SUP, ideally using a kayak roof cradle then the ama and iato parts go into the car. The cons are that the length at 6.10m means that everyone can not easily store it. This is why the birth of WOO Feline was so great. The OC1 paddling technique is relatively similar to SUP.  But in my OC paddling technique I really try to focus on the lengthening and penetration of the paddle.

Jean-Pierre Letourneur: The practicality and speed of launching are similar between the two craft, but you will still need 1 m more storage for the OC1 compared to the SUP at 14 feet. If you take the OC1 in carbon it is a little more fragile. Technically speaking the paddle technique is shorter and almost identical but faster. In OC1 paddling you need to work of the pelvis and abdominals more than SUP.  The use of the rudder pedals frees the upper body to engage a rowing gesture which in OC1 paddling is more regular this is  a good cardio / endurance exercise. Finally the sitting position encourages larger Kahunas to take part in very long races! ;).

Pascal Pouget: The paddle technique is substantially identical and the training is the same intensity. Sitting down allows the paddler to focus more on his paddle technique.

What are the benefits between switching between OC1 and SUP?

Jean-Michel Cloarec: Soon, I am going to try 1 or 2 races. But quietly and at my own pace. However, one thing is sure, changing craft is really beneficial for your technique!

Jean-Pierre Letourneur: For the reasons I have already stated OC1 is an excellent complement SUP in terms of conditioning and preparation.

Pascal Pouget: I have already done several competitions in OC1 and Oc2. Changing it up between the two has meant that I will not get tired of SUP. I like to paddle my OC1 regularly to refine my paddling style.

Which OC1 do you paddle and why?

Jean-Michel Cloarec: When I first contacted Guy I bought a Pueo, I could store it easily and the proxmity of my house to the sea made it an easy choice. However, I have just bought two Felines for  my sons Tristan and Matisse. This will give me a unique opportunity to compare these 2 different canoes. For Guy to develop a smaller sized OC was a genius move. Storage problems have been solved  and the price is the same as a 14 foot SUP. The swell in Quiberon Bay has short periods I believe that the Feline is maybe more adapted to these conditions.

Jean-Pierre Letourneur: I paddle the new “feline” in carbon. This shorter pirogue rather than the Pueo is very practical logistically speaking.

Pascal Pouget: I chose a Pueo because I knew Guy Ringrave and I trusted him in my first purchase.


About the Author

Helen Trehoret

SUP, OC1, V6, Surfski ... and field hockey coaching, Helen is a busy British mother of two who lives in Bretagne, France with a passion for all things Ocean. Helen runs Barrachou SUP, a SUP tour company specialized in excursions around Bretagne and Scotland.

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