Welcome to Paddle Monster

Welcome to PADDLE MONSTER from Paddle Monster on Vimeo.

Welcome to Paddle Monster – an online SUP training community.  We’ve thought long and hard about how best to deliver things like training programs, technique and training instruction, video analysis, and value added learning opportunities provided by some of the top experts in various training related fields in a supportive, collegial, community like environment.  This is what we’ve come up with.

First of all, you’re not just a paddle sport athlete training for a particular race.  We are all part of an ever-growing community of stand up paddlers around the world.  We’ve met each other at races, on social media and in groups like the 100/100 Paddle Challenge.  We share a common interest, and many of us have common goals.  We each bring with us unique backgrounds and experiences that shape the way we view training and racing, and we’ve all discovered things we can share with others.  At Paddle Monster we want to capitalize on that and create a collaborative, collegial training environment where we all learn from each other, inspire each other and encourage each other in the pursuit of our goals.  You’re a member of a team and have teammates supporting you in your own pursuit of excellence.

I credit a lot of my success in paddle sports to others – my coaches and, perhaps even more importantly, my training partners.  I’ve benefitted greatly from having had others to push me, motivate me and inspire me.  I’ve trained daily for years with the same individuals and had them there for me right up to and including the warm up for an Olympic final.  There is no question they contributed in massive ways to creating the daily training environment that was necessary to achieve Olympic level goals.  At Paddle Monster we want each of you to feel like you’re part of a similar daily training environment.  For some of you that will mean that Paddle Monster will bring people in your area together to create an actual, for real, training group.  For others it means that you’ll find the support of a training group for the first time in a more virtual sense.

The basis of our day-to-day training is going to be the forum.  This is where we’ll meet to discuss training programs each week and pick up our training instructions.   Typically there will be a blog post outlining the week’s training objectives, details of the workouts and a discussion of some aspect of technique, physical or mental training or preparation specific to an upcoming race.  Then there will be three training programs, one each for novice, intermediate and advanced levels.  As well I’ll prescribe some technical drills to do.  Your job will be to go to the video library, watch the video describing the drills and then execute them over the following week as per the instructions.  Each week the program changes, presenting new challenges both physically and technically.

Undoubtedly there will be questions about the program.  You’ll each ask your questions in the forum.  I’ll be spending large chunks of time daily answering questions and providing feedback to those needing guidance or sharing details of their workouts.  Everyone will see each other’s questions and my answers.  It will be like a virtual classroom for SUP.  We’ll all learn together. 

You’ll have a chance to upload your GPS data and I can provide feedback on that.  You can ask questions about technique, training, nutrition, rest, equipment, race preparation, and race strategy.  Any question related to SUP that comes to mind you can ask, any time, any day.  As we grow together you’ll start to comment on each other’s training, offering feedback and encouragement, just like my training partners did for me when I was preparing for the Olympics.  You’ll learn far more when you start learning from each other’s experiences than you ever will from just me alone.

There will of course be some rules to abide by in order to ensure that everyone’s experience in the forum is optimal, so please consult the rules and policies post before making your first forum post.   Just remember that it actually helps you as a paddler when you help others.  It should make you think critically about what you’re doing and increase your own understanding of technique, training or whatever it is we’re talking about, so being a good forum citizen is in a way just another positive step in your own development as an accomplished paddler.

In addition to the forum, you’ll find a video library with drills, technique tips and lots of other SUP training and racing related information.  As I mentioned, some of these videos will be required viewing each week.  Others will be there for you to watch anytime.

You’ll be able to upload videos on the Paddle Monster site and I can do video analysis of your technique.  There will be instructions on how to film yourself to get the most out of the analysis.   This is an extra service that is discounted to Paddle Monster members.  I’ll be using a great tablet app called “Coaches’ Eye” to do the analysis.  I’ll be able to pause, slow down and reverse the video as well as draw on it, and I’ll be able to talk you through your video.  All you’ll require is the app on your own device to view it on when I send it back to you.  You’ll be able to access this service as much as you want, but it should be sufficient for most of you to use it only two to three times a year.

We’re planning on bringing in guests to talk to you in live webcasts about a variety of things related to training, racing and SUP in general.  Topics include injury prevention, nutrition, downwinding, strength training for novices, etc.  If there’s a topic you’re interested in, let us know.  You’ll have a chance to interact with the guest speaker while viewing live.  If you miss it, you can look it up in the video library and watch it as many times as you like afterward. 

We’ll be at a number of events each season, and doing clinics at nearly all of the ones we attend.  As members, your participation in clinics is discounted.  You also should have a preferred spot in clinics if you let us know far enough in advance which clinic you want to take.  And eventually we’ll be offering a training camp, which again as members you have a discount on. 

As we grow we’re hoping to get some industry leaders to become affiliates and that, we hope, will allow you to receive discounts from them.  Stay tuned for more on that. 

And finally, when we go to events we’ve targeted in the training programs we will go as a team.  We’ll be taking our tent so that we all have a base of operations at the event and a place to meet, relax and talk story before and after the race. 

I’ve learned in my 40 plus years of paddling that there are many great things about paddle sports.  Without a doubt the best is that we get to do them with other people.  It’s not the miles that we paddle or the races we win that we end up remembering and valuing, it’s the experience we share with others while we’re doing it.  SUP is a community, and we’re both proud and excited to meld that sense of community with a comprehensive training environment.  Welcome to Paddle Monster.  It’s going to be fun!

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