Meet Joe Paddler: John Nordin, Ventura, CA

Where you were born and where you live now?

Born in Southern Cal and live in Southern Cal (Ventura,CA.)

What is your occupation?

FedEx driver (for 20 years.)

Where do you SUP the most?

The Ventura harbor.

Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

Blueline Paddlesurf in Santa Barbara

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?

I ride a 14′ 27″ Morrelli & Melvin race board.

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

My other boards that I own and paddle include an NSP 12’6″ race board, 9K 14′ touring board, NSP 11′ recreational, Riviera 11’6″ recreational, 9’6″ Lifetime plastic molded board, Ray Lucke 12’6″ custom open ocean board, Ray Lucke 14′ custom downwinder, Ray Lucke 9′ sup surfboard.

What paddle do you use?

My paddles are: Werner, Aztek, QuickBlade, and two Kialoa paddles.


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

My boards have changed since I started paddling seven years ago. I got an 11′ board and taught myself in the ocean, alone. This board was heavy. I paddled that board for about two years up and down the coast alone. Then I found a lighter board and pretty soon after that I purchased my first entry level race board, found a paddle group, a training partner, and more new racing boards as I got better. My paddles tell the same story. heavy paddles, wide blades, and the better I got the lighter my paddles got.

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

Lake Powell for sure!

Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?

You’re on the ocean. Be like the ocean. (In other words, don’t be like a piece of cement in the ocean. Be fluid, relaxed.)

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

I once did a night paddle alone and heard a BIG splash right behind me. I turned around and all I saw were very big rings from whatever made that splash. That was pretty weird.

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

Powder, I really like Carbo-Pro and OX Endurance. I paddled from Santa Barbara down to Ventura, 29.5 miles, 7 hours, solo. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Power bars, and gels got me thru that day. Race mornings I eat bananas and chocolate,

Goals for this next year?

My goal for this next year is to paddle from Point Mugu Rock down to Santa Monica. 32 miles, solo.

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

Fruit, water, and fish tacos.

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.

When I’m not on my board I like to walk and hike. I have a mountain bike that I need to get on more often.

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

A deck pad with built in arch support.

What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?

My biggest challenge would be connecting bumps while downwinding.

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

Proudest moment would be coming to the finish line right after my buddy who is normally 2 to 3 min in front of me. That was pretty cool.


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

Derek is a good friend of mine that I met while paddling. We go to races together and paddle together when we can. He’s an animal and pushes me to and past my limits. Great guy.


What was your best SUP travel trip?

I have never been on a SUP trip but I have paddled way out in the ocean and had this big boat cruise in front of me while I ate my lunch.


Lisa is managing editor of and is an avid paddler of all the things - including sup, SurfSki, outrigger canoe and prone, though she especially enjoys paddle surfing and downwinding. She is a former journalist with more than 30 years experience in print and broadcast journalism and in government communications. She is a six-time Chattajack finisher, racing both sup and OC2. When not paddling, she is an outdoor instructor.



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