Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
Tel : 01792 446511

European stand up paddleboard championships – Sean Smith

The European stand up paddleboard championships are being held in Lacanau, France 18th-24th June 2016 and there will be a Welsh team and English team representing there. Matt Barker-Smith, owner of The Sup Hut will be entering the sup surf category for team England and his wife Abi has been selected to compete in the sup surf category for team Wales!!

Abi caught up with another of  her team mates  Sean Smith one of The SUP Huts instructors who is competing for the Welsh team in the Technical SUP Race.

Sean smith SUP paddler

1. Hi Sean which discipline will you be entering and how are you feeling about the competition?

I’ll be competing in the 6K Tech Race which is a little intimidating as I’m not used to that length of course

in a tech race. Also being relatively new to the racing scene I know I’m going to have to put in a lot of

hard work to see results especially as I’ll be competing against Europe’s best!

2. How will you prepare for the competition? -what does it mean to you to be representing your country?

I’ll be looking to make big improvements to my diet as well as training regime on the water and in the

gym. I’ll be adding 2 training sessions a day consisting of cardio & strength training in the gym followed

by manoeuvres & distance on the water. It means so much to be representing Wales as I honestly never

thought I’d get the opportunity to do so at this stage of my paddle boarding journey. I’m both excited and

anxious for what’s to come.

3. Do you have a regular exercise and nutrition regime?

I can honestly say my current exercise & nutrition regime is pretty non-existent due to my job. Being

busy during the days & having an ever changing schedule I forget to eat regularly which means when I

do I tend to over indulge sometimes. When it comes to exercise I aim to get on the water as much as

possible as well skating/ cycling when time allows as I like to mix it up.

Sup paddler sean smith

4. What board and paddle will you be using?

So far I’m planning on using my trusty 12’6 x 26.5” Starboard Surf Race paired up with my Quick Blade

Kanahah-AC 90. I’ll also be taking my Starboard Tiki Tech Bolt Hybrid as a spare. Ultimately board &

paddle combo might change on the countdown to the competition in favour of something that will give

me more of a competitive edge.

5. How did you get in to stand up paddling and how long have you been doing it?

After seeing a few people enjoying a lovely sun set paddle on Swansea Bay I knew it was something I

needed to try so got myself booked onto a 1-2- 1 session. After paddling around Langland Bay for 2 hours

on a beautifully sunny day it was safe to say I was hooked. It’s been 3 years now since I’ve been paddle

boarding and haven’t looked back.

6. Favourite sup holiday destination?

So far I’ve only been on two SUP holidays, one in Corralejo, Fuerteventura & the other in Agadir,

Morocco. Both of which were great locations offering up a range of different breaks and wave sizes. The

beauty of both these holidays were being able to explore the coast lines and not being confined to just

one break.

7. What are you most looking forward to about the competition?

I’ve been to UK SUP Surf competitions but this is going to be a whole new experience. Different country,

different atmosphere but one thing which will remain the same is the amazing support from that I’ll

receive from my amazing team mates.

8. Any advice for people wanting to get in to racing?

It’s great to get started with some fun races or a local race series to see the level of competition and skill

out there, as this is a good base line to compare with when starting out. It’s also beneficial to watch your

competition which will help you grow as a competitor on the race scene.

Sean smith

9. Why should more people get in to stand up paddleboarding?

Stand up Paddleboarding is an amazing sport not only due to it being great fun no matter what discipline

you decide to go for but also for its effectiveness as an incredible way of keeping you in shape. SUP

works all muscle groups giving you a full work out every session. It’s also a wonderful way to meet new

people – most of which are now my closest friends.

10. As a keen stand up paddle surfer which is your favourite beach to surf?

The Gower coast line has some amazing beaches but my favourite has to be Langland bay. When the

conditions are right and the waves are pumping it’s the only place to be.

11. Who do you surf with regularly?

I regularly surf with members of SUP Gower SUP Club as they’re a great bunch to be in the water with (as

well as the pub afterwards). It’s great to be in the water with these guys as we’re always pushing each

other to go bigger and better as well as helping each other out.

Stand up paddle surfing gower

12. What’s your favourite distance paddle and why?

I love paddling from Mumbles around the coast to Caswell Beach and back as you get to admire our

amazing coast line from another perspective. It’s always nice to get a friendly wave from those walking

the cliffs too.

Thanks Sean and Good luck


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Here at SUP Gower We offer Stand up paddle lessons & Foiling Lessons ( wing sup - wing foil - sup foil -surf-foil & Efoil ) Plus Hire & Clinics. Our showroom and Plant based Cafe is stocked with boards, paddles, coffee & cake and all the food and gear you need to get on the water. GROUND plant based & much more.
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