Today we like to feature SUP Girl Paulina Herpel in our Spotlight series. Paulina is German SUP Champ inWaves, Whitewater and Technical Race and recently beat Fiona Wylde in the Short Track Masters Race in Duesseldorf! She loves the ocean and the nature and spends as much time as possible outside and in the water. Read more hereafter!
Let’s rewind to the start of 2017 – how are you looking back on the season?
It was a great year for me with many national and also international results as well as some great trips like Portugal, France, Sri Lanka and Norway. I really love to travel and explore new places with my SUP.
Highs and Lows?
I had many highs the last year. The European Championship was a big high since I made it into the wave final in the waves of Supertubos. After the final I was a bit disappointed because I had a good chance to get third but missed to get a second high wave score. Another highlight was to compete in the IFCA Champs my second home Cold Hawaii against the best in the world together with my German team mates. I made it into the final of the Technical Race which was an absolute highlight. I am already looking forward to the next World Championships this year in November in Brasil. I’m already qualified in the wave comp and have a pretty good chance to be in the Tech Race as well.
Did you do anything different in terms of training and did it make a difference?
I did some clinics in the waves and train more endurance when I’m not on the water.
What is your favourite board in your portfolio you would never toss?
The ProWave 7.6“ and the Falcon 12.6“ x 24.75 are my favourites!
Who do you look up to and why for inspiration in Stand Up Paddling and outside of the sport?
Honolua Blomfield is an inspiration. She’s so young and already a World Champ. And of course Izzy Gomes – she performs in really big waves and is not scared of anything. But Im inspired from every athlete who fights for his goals and stays focused.
What advice would you give to young groms?
Have fun with everything the ocean trows at you. And do not think so much about Hawaii if you stay focused you can reach your goals without living at the perfect spot.
Who do you credit as part of your success?
My family and friends. The best moment is to reach a personal goal and be able to celebrate this with your friends and family. And of course the close contact to my sponsors.
Where do you see your future in the sport/immediate and long term plans?
In the near future I want to improve my skills in the Waves and in the Technical Race to reach the top of Europe. Long term its my dream to compete in this disciplines at the Olympic Games.
Funniest moment on tour from 2017?
Bunker Party at the IFCA Worlds in Cold Hawaii – this was so much fun!
Flatwater or waves?
Home or Hawaii?
20/80 – I have never been to Hawaii though.
Open Ocean or lake?
Open Ocean! I love to feel the salt on my skin and the waves under my board.
Big winds or big waves?
Both:) Big waves are awesome and in the next years I want to try to surf some bigger waves than the last years. But Downwinders with lots of wind are also really fun.
What do you expect from your winter training and what skills do you want to improve?
Reaching a good base to start fit and healthy into the race season.
Finally, what are you looking forward to in 2018?
Getting as much water time as possible, meeting new people and places and reaching my goals. Really looking forward to be part of the German team again at the IFCA Worlds in Brasil!
More about Paulina: http://www.fanatic.com/team/paulina-herpel/