Where you were born and where you live now?
Born in Cleveland, Ohio; live in North Ridgeville, Ohio
What is your occupation?
Business Development Officer with Stewart Title
Where do you SUP the most?
Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?
NALU SUP & Surf, Rocky River, Ohio
What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?
12’6″ x 26″ Boardworks Eradicator, but just got the Starboard Allstar 14′ x 23″
Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?
10’6″ CBC Soft top
What paddle do you use?
Quick Blade Slim Jim
Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?
Yes, I started with the CBC soft top, but when I discovered, and fell in love with racing, I needed an upgrade. Chose the Eradicator, but then recently added the 14′ Allstar to the quiver. I plan on racing both race boards in 2017.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?
I want to paddle everywhere!! I love exploring and paddling “strange waters,” but my first choice would definitely be Hawaii!
Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?
I have received so much great advice from so many amazing paddlers, but the best advice ever is to simply respect the water and use proper safety gear (leash, PFD). There have been some really tragic, yet avoidable accidents this year, and I think it is so important for us as paddlers to keep each other accountable on the water, when it comes to safety.
Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?
I went out for a training paddle on a hot, humid Saturday afternoon. I was planning on doing about 7 miles on the Black River in Lorain County, Ohio. Before I hit the water, I checked the radar and it was clear. Storms were expected later that day, but I had plenty of time to get my training done. Well a few miles into my workout, I was in the middle of no where and all of a sudden I heard the rumble of thunder, which I though was weird because the skies were sunny and blue ahead of me. However, when I turned around I saw the meanest, ugliest, storm clouds quickly approaching. Yikes! I turned my board around and started to high tail it out of there, but I was too late. The skies opened up and totally unleashed on me. Now normally, I don’t mind paddling in the rain, in fact, when it’s hot, I welcome it, but lightening is a different story. I quickly made my way to the river bank and sought shelter in the vegetation. The first squall passed relatively quickly, so i decided to make a run for it. I still had about 1.5 miles to get back to the boat launch and civilization. I rounded a sharp bend in the river and was suddenly hit with a huge headwind, so now i was paddling my heart out, but my pace had drastically slowed. And to make matters worse, I could see the next squall approaching quickly to the north. At this point, I was looking at cliffs on the east bank of the river and a factory with a huge steel, sea wall on the other side of the river. Neither was really an option to pull over to get off the river. Surprisingly, panic did not set in. I was just going to paddle close to the shore and pray that I made it a little further, where I would be able to get my board off the river. Then, out of nowhere, as if angels sent by God, a 30′ Criss Craft boat came around the bend. I was totally taken by surprise because there is very little recreational boat traffic on this section of the river. The boat came toward me full steam ahead, despite the no wake zone. They pulled up next to me and yelled, “Get in!” I quickly climbed aboard as my rescuers help haul my board up. Within minutes the next squall came through with a vengeance – stinging rain and lightening that lit up the sky as far as the eye could see. We all took shelter under the bow, while the captain steadily ambled back to the dock. I thanked my rescuers profusely and offered to buy them some beer or a pizza. They politely declined, as the captain explained he was a firefighter and was just doing his job. I’m grateful for God and kind-hearted souls looking out for me. What could have been a really bad experience turned into a wild ride!
Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)
Pre-race: plain oatmeal with raisins or nuts, a banana and caffeine; during race: gatorade with maltodextrin and a pinch of sale OR water, for shorter distances.
Goals for this year?
Well, I just found out my ACL is torn and I have to have surgery, so my Number One goal is to heal up, so I can come back healthier, stronger and faster than ever next year. I also want to compete in more competitive races, like the midwest point series, and start training for longer races, like Chattajack.
Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)
A protein bar and lots of water!! Then a big, fat, greasy burger.
Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.
Riding my mountain bike, hiking, chasing waterfalls (I LOVE waterfalls), chasing sunsets and pheasant hunting with my English Setter, Bella.
What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?
An AFFORDABLE set of SUP wheels for my bike.
What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?
This year it has been staying healthy. I’ve had a stress fracture in my foot from getting stepped on in the crowd at the Cavs parade, a sprained ankle from a one wheel accident, and a torn meniscus and ACL from a prior injury that was aggravated while surfing.
What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?
My first first place where I wasn’t the only girl racing – lol!
Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through paddling.
Oh man, I’ve met so many awesome people from all over! At home, there is my faithful paddling partner, Sarah Stilgenbauer, who I affectionately refer to as my water wife. My water husband, Phillie Nelson. My Nalu SUP & Surf teammates, Brian Willse, Bill Cochran, Rusty Deane, Chris Salerno, Phillie Nelson, Tony Galang, Randy Rair, Sara Rair, Robin Georgi, Jonathan Sedor, Jeff Suvak, Zoe Johnson, Christy Gray. My southern Ohio friends, Mark Herman and Adrianne Angel. My Kentucky SUP family, June Mizoguchi, Bob Deihl, Casey Scheringzer, Gerry James. I could go on forever….lol! So many awesome people in this sport.
What was your best SUP travel tip?
Never leave your board on your car overnight in a hotel parking lot. Either make sure you can get it in your room or make arrangements for board storage. Our team had a board theft incident a few years ago. Luckily, the thief was caught and everyone got their board replaced.