Paddling to the Pros
Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) is currently the fastest growing world sport with many a water baby migrating across, largely drawn by the sport’s all-weather and conditions incentive. Enter Ty Judson. At just 17 years old, Great Lake local talent Ty, is changing up the sport and taking the world by storm.
Note: Cb got in there quick smart before this inspiring athlete (who’s easy on the eye, might we add!) becomes the next Kelly Slater of the SUP world.
Cb: Tell us how did you get into Stand-up Paddleboarding?
TJ: I grew up in Pacific Palms area and have been a surfer all my life. Dad had an old paddleboard in the shed and I would take it out for a spin when the conditions weren’t right for surfing.
Cb: Did you get addicted straight away?
TJ: Yes. I could catch as many waves as I wanted. With Stand-up, you can surf anytime, anywhere. When it’s flat or pumping. It just grew my love for the ocean and all its vastness.
Cb: What’s the hardest paddle you’ve completed to date?
TJ: Molokai, for sure. It’s a crazy ocean race with around 100 other contestants. It’s a big scene over there and that stretch of water is amazing. You’re trying to catch ocean swells with the wind behind you, so you’re constantly paddling, aiming to catch the next runner which gets you to the next wave, trying to link up so you don’t exhaust yourself. It’s a 53-kilometre race, which is a long way on a Stand-up and it took me five hours and ten minutes.
Cb: Was it hard? Did it test your resolve?
TJ: Absolutely. Molokai is definitely a tough mental challenge where you have to find your zone. It just takes you to another place. Probably at the halfway mark, I was ready to give in and just wanted to cry. The wealth of emotions coupled with all the sensations running through your body can throw you and I can see why even pro-athletes can crumble with the pressure.
Cb: What pulled you through?
TJ: My steering also broke about two hours in, so I had to hold my foot on the steering pedal and thought without the steering, I won’t be able to finish. I won’t lie, it was tough because without the steering it meant that I could move freely on my board and catch the waves to link up. But I had a lot riding on this event, a few sponsors and brands were watching and failure was not an option. It was a race to the finish line for me, that was it. My consciousness became so clear – just get to the finish line. And I did, luckily!
Cb: I don’t know about luck, maybe a lot of hours in the surf and hours of training perhaps?!
TJ: Yeah, and that too.
Cb: You did end up getting sponsored by one of the best in the business, Blue Planet SUP. Where to next, Ty?
TJ: Yes, Blue Planet SUP are great and super supportive, I’m so grateful. I would love to be part of the increasing awareness in the sport and be part of its growth, much like how surfing has become. At the end of the day, I would love to travel more and make a living out of SUP.
Cb: Thanks Ty, we’re right behind you!
TJ: Thanks, it means the world.
Tune into Coastbeat.Tv for more on Ty Judson
follow his road to success @tyjudson_