Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
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European stand up paddleboard championships – Jim Richardson

Hi Jim!

Which discipline will you be entering and how are you feeling about the competition?
Hi Abi, I am in for the SUP surfing event and I am feeling pretty good!

jim richardson sup paddler

2. As Someone who has entered the world sup championships twice ..what have you learnt About preparing for a competition ?
Hmm. I have learned that the best laid plans can go awry, but you still need to make the plans. You need to be physically fit and you need to be thinking –it’s a contest it’s not free surfing, so I have to resist gunning down the line for a mahoosive closeout re-entry, and instead try to hit the lip early, go big and stay in the pocket.
Also don’t have far too much sun on day 1 in a hot climate. That messes you up big time!
3. what does it mean to you to be representing your country in the Euros… With your wife on the same team?
It’s Fantastic! I did think my days of international comps were over but there are only so many chances you get to be on the same team as your wife and if it wasn’t for A levels Bee would have been with us too! It’s too good an opportunity to miss. (And the rest of the Welsh Team are great!)
4. Do you have a regular exercise and nutrition regime at the moment ?
I thought about fibbing here: but since Christmas I have had twice a week gym sessions with a personal trainer as well as running, surfing and walking the dogs. Nutrition wise I was very strict sticking to lean meats, fruit and salads. However recently I have been drifting back to chocolate, bar snacks and Gower Gold. But I presume my body is telling me something.

jim richardson stand up paddle surf

5. What board and paddle will you be using in France?
Probably the best custom SUP ever shaped in Europe. It’s a John Purton JP Surfboards 7.8” x 27” Bullnose. I’ll be taking an 8.00 x 27.5 too, just in case it’s lumpy. Paddle wise Kialoa all the way. Recently I am converted to the Hulu Carbon, although the GL Surf has served me well this year, so that will be my back up.

6. How did you get in to stand up paddling and how long have you been doing it?
It’s was an uneventful day on Langland Reef and Chris Griffiths was riding the first SUP I had seen. I asked him about it, we swapped boards and I knew instantly I would be a natural.
I wasn’t, could barely stand up, fell off constantly but managed one tiny glide – It felt good. I bought one and that was 7 years ago

7. Favourite sup holiday destination and why?
I’m just back from Costa Rica and I’d recommend it to anyone. Beautiful waves, some of them pretty sizeable, warm climate and it’s not crowded yet. Ollies Point and the Tamarindo Rivermouth were superb, even if there are crocodiles.

8. What are you most looking forward to about the competition?
The Welsh Team are a motley crew, the camaraderie will be great.
Particularly I am looking forward to giving my wife a hug when she finishes the long distance race. She has been training very hard.

jim richardson sup

9. And least?!
The over night ferry without a bed.
10. Any advice for people wanting to get in to paddlesurfing
Do it! It’s only so popular because it is so good. The learning curve is fast so as soon as you master paddling you will be off exploring, surfing, fishing and just playing. Meanwhile you will be stronger, fitter and even if you don’t lose weight you will have changed shape in a good way!
Read up before you buy anything, try first wherever you can. Most of the people who don’t much like SUP, bought the wrong boards to start with.
Finally – Basically you must! The Gower is paradise! Get out on the water and you really can see what an unbelievable place we live in. We have dolphins, porpoises, seals, shoals of fish and dobs of exciting seabirds like Cormorants, Gannets, Curlews and a gull or two.
11. As a keen stand up paddle surfer which is your favourite beach to surf?
It’s busy and there are plenty of berks but Langland remains my favourite.

12. Who do you surf with regularly?
Recently, it’s Eve, my youngest daughter, who has just discovered the joys of longboarding. Sometimes Mi or the good Dr Dalrymple but most of the time I head off on my own. The Gower surf community is pretty tight so once you have checked the webcams and Magic Seaweed you can be pretty sure wherever you turn up you will find quite a few friendly faces. The Gower SUP crowd are a particularly cheerful happy bunch!

jim richardson

13. What will you be doing mentally and physically to prepare for the competition on the day? You’re usually seen wearing headphones just before entering the surf..Shall we expect any twerking in France?
Mentally I will be trying to coach myself to pick the right waves and surf them wisely for a competition. Ie Set waves, big bottom turn, hit the lip early, big top turn – don’t take any wave unless it has a higher scoring potential than the ones you have already caught etc!
Headphones, yes, twerking no , but people should be prepared, I do now have an elaborate stretching routine which is very manly but at the same time quite hypnotic and undeniably erotic.

Thanks and best of luck
jim!

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