Meet Joe Paddler Phillie Nelson

Where you were born and where you live now?

Cleveland, OH / Cleveland, OH

What is your occupation?


Where do you SUP the most?

Lake Erie

Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

NALU SUP & Surf in Rocky River, OH

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?

Infinity Cutthroat 12’6″ race board

Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?

I have owned and loved many boards through the years but my current quiver is: 12’6″ Infinity Cutthroat / 10’0″ Coreban EZ / 9’2″ Riviera Nugg Turbo / 7’11” Infinity Phoenix V3

What paddle do you use?

Quickblade Kanaha 90, 100, and a 110 when I need to put some power to the ground!

Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?

I have owned many different boards and continue to buy/sell/trade as my quiver becomes more specialized (e.g. race, surf, touring). However, surfing in Lake Erie is a crap shoot as the waves are generally slow and mushy. A typical short board style SUP with an aggressive rocker doesn’t get enough speed to actually catch the wave and a narrower board makes it hard to stay upright when you’re battling howling winds (which is where our waves come from). Conditions also vary wildly and can change hour to hour so you need a versatile board. This has resulted in a lot of trial and error with various board dimensions.

Meet Joe Paddler Phillie Nelson

If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?

Nosara, Costa Rica is a fun spot! Anywhere with consistent waves as Lake Erie is a fickle mistress!

Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?

Train Hard, Go Fast, Have Fun! Although it’s Quickblade’s slogan, it’s applicable because while we like to get after it and burn some calories at the end of the day it’s all about having fun!

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

Too many to count. Rescued an out of towner who was sucked out by an undertow. Helped some fishermen without a net reel in a catfish from my race board. Had my picture taken by about 100 strangers as SUP is still newer to the Cleveland area.

Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)

Bonk Breaker Bars and Honey Stinger Waffles are good. I need whole food in my stomach when I’m working out for extended periods of time.

Goals for this next year?

Beat a few more 14′ racers on my 12’6″ 🙂

Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)

C2O Coconut Water and an apple.

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.

Running, biking, swimming, yoga, guitar, chasing my dog, and watching the World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers!

What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?

Heated wetsuit gloves. Most of the Lake Erie waves are in the winter and my hands go numb in no time!

What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?

Finding enough time to get on the water!

What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?

I’ve been fortunate enough to stay healthy and win some local races and I hope to continue that trend.

Meet Joe Paddler Phillie Nelson

Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through paddling.

I’ve made many close friends through paddling. It is such a chill community and everyone has very good vibes. We’ve had a lot of fun traveling around the region representing Cleveland paddlers!

Meet Joe Paddler Phillie Nelson